Incidents in recent years illustrate how pipelines can be vulnerable to different types of flaws – including cracks, corrosion and dents – that interact simultaneously at the same location. This despite the fact that each type of flaw, or feature, has previously been detected by separate inline inspection (ILI) technologies at different times.
As a result, it has been difficult and time consuming for operators to easily identify features that may be coincident with each other because such detection requires the alignment, matching and overlay of data from multiple ILI runs using different technologies, often from several years apart.
To help oil and gas pipeline operators improve their ability to detect coincident flaws that potentially could lead to costly pipeline failures, Cramlington, UK-based PII Pipeline Solutions, a GE Oil & Gas and Al Shaheen joint venture, has added its coincident feature assessment service (CFAS) technology to its suite of inspection software. The service helps customers easily identify coincident cracks, dents, corrosion and other anomalies across multiple ILI runs.
“With CFAS, PII is the first company to develop a product that accurately and efficiently identifies coincident features from multiple ILI data sets and helps make the detection and reporting of these features easier for our customers,” said Michael Bellamy, General Manager of PII Pipeline Solutions.
CFAS saves operators time by providing a consolidated pipe-listing report that summarises features from separate ILI runs and highlights the ones that are coincident and, therefore, may be interacting to pose a problem. CFAS offers file conversion, alignment and matching of features from separate ILI runs. The ILI runs can be performed by any ILI vendor and with any ILI technology, making CFAS vendor-agnostic and inherently more flexible for operators.
In addition to its Excel-based report, CFAS includes a PipeImage-based client viewer that enables the customer to view all features from the five ILI runs on one screen. The customer can interact with the feature data in many ways, including assigning different colours to cracks, internal corrosion or dents as well as switching particular feature types, ILI technologies or even specific runs on or off the screen. The PipeImage-based viewer also allows customers to alter the parameters defining how close features have to be before they are considered coincident. This enables customers to choose their own level of conservatism and take into account ILI tool positional tolerances.
A leading provider of pipeline inspection and integrity management solutions for operators worldwide, PII Pipeline Solutions has provided integrity services to the industry for 35 years. PII is a 50/50 joint venture between GE Oil & Gas and Al Shaheen Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum.
Through GE Oil & Gas’ PII Pipeline Solutions and Measurement and Control units as well as GE’s Industrial Solutions business, the company offers a comprehensive portfolio of inspection technologies and services that promote the integrity of hydrocarbon and water pipelines worldwide.
Adapted from press release by Cecilia Rehn.