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Leak Detector Pig for Oil Pipelines

[+] Author Affiliations
Daniel Almeida Camerini, Jean Pierre von der Weid

PUC-Rio, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Cláudio Soligo Camerini, Carlos Eduardo Maia

PETROBRAS, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Paper No. IPC2004-0095, pp. 1065-1068; 4 pages
  • 2004 International Pipeline Conference
  • 2004 International Pipeline Conference, Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, October 4–8, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4176-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3737-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


The leakage detector pig was created with the purpose of detect and locate leakages in a preventive way. The fast detection of small leakages decreases the probability of larger leakages. By means of a differential pressure system based on pressure data acquired through the pig’s running, using pressure sensors installed on the pig’s vessel, small leakages are identified and its positions registered. This allows a quick intervention at the identified location. The working principle is based on the pressure difference caused by the leakage, which is read by the sensors. The polyurethane cups responsible by the pig’s propulsion are of a special kind capable of sealing a constant volume of product among them. So, when the pig passes through a leakage, the pressure in the middle drops compared to those in front and hear, generating a characteristic signal thus permiting identification. The first prototype was tested intensively at laboratory facilities, and in a test pipeline showing excellent results locating precisely all the simulated leakages. Defects from different sizes with different flow where simulated and measured. This work has the objective to present the tool, its potential, the test results, to discuss its efficiency in detect and locate leakages and the possibilities for the future.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Sensors , Pipelines , Leakage



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