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Willems H.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Jaskolla B.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Sickinger T.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Barbian A.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Niese F.,Fraunhofer Institute for Non-Destructive Testing
Proceedings of the Biennial International Pipeline Conference, IPC | Year: 2010

The two prevailing technologies in in-line inspection (ILI) of pipelines used for metal loss detection are magnetic flux leakage (MFL) and ultrasonic testing (UT). The ultrasonic method provides a more precise depth sizing as a direct measurement of the remaining thickness of the pipe wall is obtained. The advantage of providing more precise defect data leads, in turn, to a more accurate and reliable defect assessment thus reducing follow-up costs for the pipeline operator. As conventional ultrasonic tools, which are based on piezoelectric transducers, require a liquid coupling medium to couple the ultrasonic energy into the pipe wall, this technology is readily applicable to the majority of liquids pipelines, but not to gas pipelines (unless a batch of liquid is used). In order to apply ultrasonic ILI technology for metal loss inspection to gas pipelines directly, a new tool was developed based on the EMAT (electro-magnetic acoustic transducer) principle by which ultrasound is generated in the surface of the pipe wall through electromagnetic interaction. EMAT sensors utilize coils for sending and receiving ultrasound. Since coils can also be used to pick up MFL signals and eddy current signals, the sensors were designed such that, apart from the ultrasonic signals, these additional signals are recorded simultaneously. The availability of three simultaneous, independent measurements allows for considerable improvement with regard to both defect sizing and feature discrimination. In the paper, the new sensor concept and the setup of the ILI tool are described. First results are presented and discussed. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.


Piovesan C.M.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Fogleman K.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Green H.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Meade M.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Peterson M.,NDT Systems and Services Inc.
Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference | Year: 2012

For offshore platforms and other pipeline facilities (See Fig.1), Inline Inspections (ILI) tools (intelligent pigs) can be utilized to capture integrity data for high-pressure, high-temperature pipelines systems. There are a variety of ILI devices that specialize in finding particular anomalies in pipelines such as corrosion, dents and gouges. Prior to a high-pressure, high-temperature pigging solution, the offshore industry had limited pipeline assessment methods. Challenges remain with other non-destructive testing such as laser scans, spot & direct assessments, visual evaluations, and potentially destructive testing (i.e. hydro and pressure testing) creating limitations to pipeline assessments. Limited pipeline assessments do not provide pipeline operators with complete, reliable data to make decisions on repairs and/or operating conditions. Copyright © 2012 by the International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers (ISOPE).


Pfanger A.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Jaeger C.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Frank M.,NDT Systems and Services Inc.
Clarion Evaluation, Rehabilitation, and Repair of Pipelines Conference (Berlin, 10/20-21/2010) Proceedings | Year: 2010

This paper reports on a fitness-for-purpose investigation carried out for a 25-km x 36-in. sour crude pipeline. An ultrasonic tool was chosen to inspect the line. The use of an inspection tool based on ultrasound technology allows for anomalies and flaws to be detected, sized and located with high accuracy. The high sensitivity of the physical principle applied leads to low detection thresholds and reliable detection of all features with a potential influence on the integrity of the line. The inspection revealed the presence of dents, laminations, internal channeling corrosion as well as blistering, the latter a typical feature found in the presence of a sour medium. Due to the aggressive corrosion behaviour of the sour crude in major sections of the pipeline, a rehabilitation strategy was developed including a cost-efficient repair and re-inspection plan.


Isaac Ml.R.,NDT Middle East FZE | Al-Sulaiman S.,Kuwait Oil Company | Martin M.R.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Sharma S.,NDT Middle East FZE
Proceedings of the Biennial International Pipeline Conference, IPC | Year: 2010

In early 2005, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) initiated a Total Pipeline Integrity Management System (TPIMS) implementation in order to carry out a major integrity assessment of its operating facilities, equipment, buried plant piping and pipeline network and to establish a continuing integrity management program. KOC Transit System is a complex infrastructure consisting of over three hundred pipelines, thousands of wellhead flow lines, and consumer and offshore lines for which there was a significant loss of data when the facilities were destroyed during a military invasion in 1990. An initial pipeline system assessment identified issues and actions regarding condition of the pipelines, corridors, requirements on in-line inspection (ILI), documentation, RISK assessment, status of international code compliance, and overall state of the system. Following recommendations from that initial assessment led to the development of a long term strategy; the execution of which required the implementation of a comprehensive integrity management program. This case study discusses the results obtained after five years of implementation of TPIMS at KOC. It will demonstrate some of the complex components involved in managing the integrity of the Transit System that have been made possible through the implementation of the system. The general concept and structure of TPIMS will be described, and how it deals with the complexity of the KOC pipeline system. The system made it possible to integrate and manage data from various sources, by conducting integrity assessment using ILI, Direct Assessment and hydrostatic testing, as well as structure a comprehensive RISK & Decision Support mechanism. This is one of the world's first implementations of this magnitude which encompasses such a wide range of services and variables; all being managed in a single environment and utiiized by a multitude of users in different areas at KOC. The biggest challenge in a project of this scope is data management. Examples wiil be shown of the integration structure to iilustrate the benefits of using a single comprehensive and versatiie platform to manage system requirements; ultimately providing system reliabiiity and improving overall operational efficiency. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.


Valdes M.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Uzelac N.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Graciano L.S.,PEMEX
Global Pipeline Monthly | Year: 2010

A TOTAL INTEGRATED certified maintenance programme was conducted to rehabilitate, modernize, enhance, and bring up to the best industry standards the process pipeline system in Madero City, Mexico. The programme consisted of running a multi-diameter ultrasonic in-line inspection (ILI) tool to determine the current condition of the pipeline and provide input for a maintenance procedure, integrity assessment was conducted and every 'integrity-diminishing' feature present on the system was repaired and finally, the line was certified. Due to the complex nature of the pipeline construction dated from 1975 and the lack of maintenance, several special modifications, integrations and special activities were necessary to enable advanced in line inspection survey in a traditionally unpiggable system. In-line inspection was chosen because its data allow for optimization of immediate and future integrity assessments and hence establish a basis for developing the most efficient rehabilitation programmes. The system consists of a 28-km pipeline with the diameter varying from 14in to 16in and back to 14in again. It is located on the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico and its main purpose is to transport fuel oil from Madero City refinery to the Federal Thermoelectric Central plant in Altamira. The integrity analysis used to define the project development employs ASME, BS and API codes and standards. The total maintenance approach was divided in the following main aspects: assessing pipeline suitability and conditioning, pipeline cleaning (mechanical and chemical), geometry inspection, ultrasonic in-line line inspection of wall thickness, pipeline mapping with an inertial navigation system tool, risk assessment, fitness for purpose, rehabilitation and certification. This paper will elaborate on the details on the tasks, experiences and results of this process which achieved total success in the projected benefits.


Isaac R.,NDT Middle East FZE Ahmadi | Martin M.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Al-Sulaiman S.,Kuwait Oil Company | Sharma S.,Kuwait Oil Company
Oil and Gas Journal | Year: 2011

Kuwait Oil Co. (KOC) has started Total Pipeline Integrity Management System (TPIMS) implementation to conduct a major integrity assessment of its operating facilities, equipment, buried plant piping, and pipeline network and to establish a continuing integrity-management program. KOC conducted a differential global positioning survey with submeter level accuracy, mapping all pipeline routes in detail. The DGPS-surveyed pipeline routes, overlaid with satellite imagery of Kuwait, greatly enhanced KOC's efficiency of repairs and maintenance. Many complex components affect managing the integrity of the transit system. KOC established data management centers in both Canada and Kuwait. Secured sites setup at both locations hold independent, databases. The SQL server databases host the central pipeline database, as well as all aerial photography, satellite imagery, and other base map data. KOC decided a quantitative approach to risk would work best for them, with the results of risk analysis for any given pipeline segment producing data that can be compared.


Barbian A.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Beller M.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Hugger A.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Jager C.,NDT Systems and Services Inc. | Pfanger A.,NDT Systems and Services Inc.
Proceedings of the 22nd Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management Conference | Year: 2010

Choosing the most suitable non-destructive testing technology and in-line inspection tool for a given inspection task requires an understanding of the different techniques and their system-specific measurement threshold, accuracies, and resolutions. A discussion covers the major issues regarding the quality of data with respect to their use for integrity assessment and fitness-for-purpose applications; different configurations of tools using ultrasound technology for the quantitative sizing of general and localized metal loss; case examples showing the advantages of using extra high resolution ultrasonic tools; and the influence of accuracy, resolution, and confidence levels and their effect on integrity assessment results. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the Pipeline Pigging & Integrity Management Conference (Houston, TX 2/17-18/2010).


Jager C.,NDT Systems and Services AG | Willems H.,NDT Systems and Services AG | Barbian A.,NDT Systems and Services AG | Uzelac N.,NDT Systems and Services Inc.
Proceedings of the Biennial International Pipeline Conference, IPC | Year: 2012

Crack inspection of pipelines using liquid-coupled ultrasonic technology has established itself as an accepted ILI (in-line inspection) technology that is routinely applied by many operators. The inspection is based on the pulse-echo technique using 45° shear waves which provide very good detection sensitivity. While length sizing of cracks is reasonably precise, the accuracy of (amplitude-based) depth sizing is limited to some extent. Apart from the crack size, the methods applied for crack assessment have to take into account the geometry of the actual pipe, the relevant material properties and the loading conditions. The work presented is based on the FAD method (Failure Assessment Diagram) being the most common technique for assessment of crack-like defects in pipes. It is shown how the assessment results depend on the quantities determined by ILI (e.g. crack size, wall thickness) and their associated measurement uncertainties. Using a deterministic approach the sensitivity with regard to the different parameters can be compared quantitatively. Probabilistic crack assessment based on the combination of the FAD method with Monte Carlo simulations is well suited for taking into account the statistical distribution of the measuring tolerances. It allows, for example, the calculation of statistical properties such as the probability of failure as will be demonstrated for realistic defect situations. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

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