Oil & Gas

Interview with our ILI trainers Dr Michael Beller (Rosen) and Dr Konrad Reber (Innospection Germany GmbH)

Written by: Fleming. Team

1. How serious is the problem of corrosion on offshore and onshore oil and gas pipelines?

Metal loss and the various types of corrosion are the most common types of defect found in the pipeline wall. About 75% of all inspections performed with in-line inspection tools are aimed at detecting, sizing and locating metal loss and corrosion.

2. It’s not only about corrosion. What other flaws, anomalies and defects are the most common?

Other typical features are, for instance, geometric anomalies like dents and out-of-roundness. Another feature type is cracks, including stress corrosion cracking, fatigue cracks or laminations. Yet another type of defect is leaks or pin-holes.

3. What monitoring and inspection methods are commonly used and which do you think are the most effective?

This course is mainly about in-line inspection. In-line inspection tools, sometimes also called “intelligent pigs” are the most widely used technology today. Depending on the type of defect, there are specialized tools for geometry, corrosion and crack inspection.This course covers the so-called “traditional” in-line inspection tools used for high-pressure transmission pipelines associated with the mid-stream sector of the oil & gas industry. Specialized tools are also available for the up-stream and down-stream sectors, where we find more difficult-to-inspect pipelines, usually called “Challenging” pipelines.There are also external inspection technologies for pipelines which cannot be inspected from the inside and also all the different methodologies bundled in the Direct Assessment approach.

4. One “personal question” - which one is your favourite?

Our favourites are naturally In-Line inspection tools 🙂

5. Unpiggable pipelines are challenging. Different bends, diameters, low flow... What other reasons cause them to be a challenge for smart pigs?

This course relates to traditional pipelines, as mentioned above. It therefore covers piggable pipelines. These are pipelines that can be inspected with the available in-line inspection tools without the need to modify them significantly.Challenging pipelines require special tools and special procedures. However, the boundary between traditional and challenging is not fixed and is always moving. What is challenging today may be traditional in the near future. The questions to be answered in both cases relate to accessibility, negotiability and propulsion. Or in other words: How can I access the line and introduce the inspection tool? How can I get the inspection tool through the pipeline? And finally, can it be pumped with the medium being transported or does it require its own drive unit?

6. What role does the selection of material play in the lifespan and overall resistance of pipelines?

High-pressure pipelines are made of steel. There are different steel grades, of course. The steel used depends on the operating pressure the pipeline is designed for and the medium it transports. It also makes a difference whether you have an onshore or an offshore pipeline. In the latter case, external pressures also play a large role.In case of an aggressive environment, you may use special types of pipe such as cladded pipe and corrosion-resistant alloys. There may also be a need to use special steels not susceptible to hydrogen-induced cracking in special circumstances. The course does cover all the types of inspection tools that can be uses in the large range of pipelines that are being operated.