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Improvements and Modifications to Electromagnetic Pipeline Surveys

[+] Author Affiliations
Jim Hunter, Shamus McDonnell

Hunter McDonnell Pipeline Services, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Shawn McGregor

Terasen Pipelines, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Len Krissa

NACE Certified CP Specialist

Paper No. IPC2004-0555, pp. 1107-1110; 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


This paper outlines the development and manufacture of a new pipeline evaluation tool with the capability for multipurpose applications on various types of pipeline systems. Developed with financial assistance from the National Research Council, the new survey system provides pipeline companies access to a cost-effective in-direct integrity assessment process to assist with ensuring safe and reliable operation of their facilities. The technological options available to pipeline integrity assessment are extremely costly and/or considerably outdated. Until recently, external evaluation instrumentation had not been significantly modified since its inception in the mid-1980’s. Although there are inline inspection (ILI) tools or “smart pigs” available to assess the overall integrity of a pipeline, they are extremely expensive. The use of internal inspection tools is also restricted to only those pipelines of uniform diameter and which are modified to accommodate launching and receiving traps. The data from ILI logs does not include depth of cover or coating condition assessment, which are also critical in maintaining the integrity of a pipeline. The majority of small diameter pipelines, such as those in gathering systems, are typically not compatible with the internal inspection technique. The incentive for improving and modifying electromagnetic pipeline coating assessment equipment was based upon: • Customer demand for new pipeline maintenance technologies; • Aging infrastructure; • Increased regulation; • Higher facility throughput and less down time requirements. The new generation of instrumentation is still based upon electromagnetic theory while incorporating the latest in computer and digital technology. In comparison to its predecessors, the package is more accurate, efficient, dependable and robust for a variety of harsh field conditions. The equipment has the ability to reliably collect and evaluate substantial amounts of data in real-time through environmentally sensitive areas such as water crossings and regions of wildlife. Compatibility with industry standards was considered in the development of the associated software used for processing and managing the significant quantity of information collected. The software also offers compatibility with GPS (Global Positioning System) and sonar technologies. Geodetic co-ordinates and, if applicable, water depths are obtained simultaneously with all the associated pipeline survey data, providing permanent reference should future remedial action be required. With the collected data set, it is now possible to effectively monitor erosion effects and shifts in pipeline position through three-dimensional modeling of the pipeline corridor and water crossing.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Pipelines



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