Operational pigging seminar
including a focus on the future of pipelines

An Online Seminar

Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th November 2021

Presented by

Seminar Format

This year the seminar will be held online.

Register now and we will email you a link to the meetings and other details on how to access the webinar closer to the seminar date.


Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th November 2021

The Papers

The seminar presentations will be given by PPSA members, all experts in their own field.

Presentations include:

A Non-Intrusive Method Using Induced Pressure Waves to Track Moving Objects Within Pipelines
Presented by Stephen Newman, Halliburton, UK
A new live pig tracking methodology is proposed with field proven operational data. The new proposed method allows tracking from end of pipeline. Sensors are not required along the route and a transmitter system is not required on the pig. The method can be applied to any object in a pipeline or wellbore.

Tracking is based on analysis of induced pressure waves within the conduit. Data such as pig position, velocity and estimated time of arrival can be calculated. The method discussed has recently been successfully used to track pipeline pig location on a large diameter pipeline project in the middle east. The pipeline had a stuck pig from recent commissioning activities. The location of the pig was unknown. It was also unknown if the pig was stuck or still moving slowly.

Pressure wave technology was mobilised to the site. An initial analysis confirmed the location of the pig. A further analysis a short time later confirmed the pig was not moving. A remediation plan was put in place to retrieve the pig and pressure wave technology was used to track the location of the pig during its recovery.

Through successive testing, the live pig velocity was calculated and from this an estimated time of pig arrival. The pig arrived in the pig receiver within minutes of the predicted arrival time. Live tracking provided confidence to the pipeline operator that the remediation methods were going to be successful and allowed optimisation of subsequent commissioning activities.

When both shall meet: Managing Integrity for H2 and CO2 conversion
Presented by Roy van Elteren, Neil Gallon and Tom Steinvoorte, ROSEN Europe
The advancing global energy transition faces many challenges when it comes to ensuring a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy supply. An emphasis on decarbonizing the existing infrastructure will lead to greater penetration of greener fuels, such as hydrogen, ultimately produced from renewable energy. This paper will review the challenges associated with transporting these green fuels through pipelines, and outline an Integrity Framework approach as part of the decarbonisation value chain.

Many operators are currently in the initial stages of investigating possibilities to build dedicated hydrogen pipelines or convert existing natural gas pipelines to hydrogen. With its innovative inspection technologies, supported by world class Integrity Engineering, ROSEN is well on its way supporting the industry with these challenges. This will be highlighted by a use case containing multiple ROSEN inspections performed in 100% hydrogen under operational conditions.

In parallel with the need for hydrogen pipelines, there is a re-emergence for the requirement to transport CO2. This time, the requirement is related to (Blue) hydrogen production as a clean energy source. The transportation of carbon dioxide (CO2) within carbon steel pipelines for the purposes of carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) has been a topic of interest for a number of years, but it is fair to say that it has not taken off to the extent anticipated ten years ago. This paper reviews the re-emergence of the requirement for CO2 transportation in carbon steel pipelines and looks at the related integrity challenges associated with CO2 in a hydrogen production environment. We will identify threats related to downhole pipework for CO2 storage, transportation of CO2 and hydrogen as input for a holistic Integrity Framework.

Pigging in the Cloud: The Capabilities & Value Proposition for the Cloud-Based Virtualization of Pigging Operations
Presented by Jason A. Farqué, CDI,
Pipeline pigging projects are streamlined and made more transparent at all phases and to all stakeholders through the use of cloud-based virtualization and mapping of pigging operations.

Cloud-based software platforms which send and receive data and images from ground-based AGMs, signallers, tracking equipment and personnel can provide near-real-time pig positions and status during pigging operations to users.

Pipeline pigging operations created in such online platforms have a high degree of reusability – permanently capturing man-hour investments in all aspects of the survey and run process providing strong ROI.

Safety is enhanced as the number of personnel required to be present on a pipeline is reduced. Pig passage events are automatically transmitted to the cloud 24 hours a day and pigging activity can be monitored and commented on from anywhere.

Managers can coordinate and monitor multiple jobs simultaneously, further reducing the number of man-hours consumed by a single run.

Safety is increased as stakeholders can receive instant notification of changes to a project as well as potentially hazardous developments such as inclement weather, nearby lightning strikes, heat/cold/UV alerts and more.

Run virtualization and recording provide unique techniques unavailable to traditional pigging operations. One example: should a pig become stuck, operators have the unique ability to “rewind” a run’s state to the precise moment when pressures spiked, getting a snapshot of the pipeline at that instant.

Permanent database storage of completed runs allows for easy reference to work done previously, and also provides for rapid comparisons of multiple runs year-over-year and can lead operators to identify developing problems on their lines.

The Pinnacle Of Pig Tracking
Presented by Steve Wheeler, Well Services Group,
Case study on the successful deployment of a series of next generation Above Ground Markers (AGM’s) complete with EM detectors and geophones.

Enabling a pipeline pig passage to be recorded (even without functioning transmitters) and the data stored internally as well as confirmation of the movement being disseminated via text and email without any human intervention.

AGM’s are placed in pre-agreed locations prior to pig launch where they lay idle until remotely confirming passage. This reduces costs, increases safety of people and gives better locational information of the pig in the line in case of any hang up in the line.

These movements are automatically added to a web app showing the progress of the tool to, from and in-between markers. Calculating real time ETA and speed.

ART – a unique technology for unique pipelines
Presented by Gary Dye & Ben Bergius, NDT Global,
Regular attendees of the PPSA seminar in Aberdeen will recall the initial introduction of Acoustic Resonance Technology (ART) back in 2017 – which at the time included many theoretical applications for the technology.

This paper will develop upon that paper and explore a selection of interesting, practical applications of ART with a specific focus on the evergreen topic of challenging/unpiggable pipelines.

The inherent characteristics of ART permit inspection of pipelines that may have proven unpiggable with conventional techniques. Specific challenges this paper will cover include multi-diameter pipelines; Bi-Di requirements and pipelines susceptible to wax. NDT Global will explore the challenges, solutions, and outcomes of a variety of actual projects to cover these specific challenges.

Strain demand and capacity assessment based on in line inspection of axial and bending strains
Presented by Inessa Yablonskikh, Baker Hughes, Process & Pipeline Services,
Strain-based assessment is an important part of integrity management of pipelines located in areas with unstable ground conditions. Strain-based integrity assessment is conducted by comparing pipeline strain capacity with strain demand (the level of elongation or compression produced in the pipe wall as a result of external and internal factors). While the bending component of the longitudinal strain is well understood and can be derived from routine IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) in-line inspections, the pure axial part of the longitudinal strain has been a recognised gap in the knowledge of the strain condition of a pipeline. Now, the inline axial strain inspection tool (AXISS™) can be used to measure the pure axial strain component. The measured axial strain can originate from many sources, such as geotechnical hazards, temperature effects as well as from the combination of soil restraint conditions and internal pressure effects.

This paper describes an approach to combining bending strain, measured by IMU tool, with axial strain, measured by the AXISS™ tool, in order to determine total longitudinal strain demand. The total strain demand can be determined at the girth welds in the pipeline, and at anomalies, such as metal loss, dents, etc, reported by magnetic, ultrasound and deformation inspections. The strain demand is compared with the strain capacity to determine whether remedial action is required. The tensile and compressive strain capacity will not be constant along the length of a pipeline and is influenced by several factors including material properties and imperfections in the girth welds, corrosion and geometric anomalies such as dents, buckles, wrinkles. A case study is included in the paper showing how the axial and bending strain components are combined to determine the longitudinal strain demand and an approach for evaluating the strain capacity to assess the integrity of the pipeline.

Design and operation of subsea pig launchers for gas pipelines
Presented by Jens Amund Jensen, IKM Norge; Werner Hansen, IKM Norge; Odd Reidar Boye, IKM Norge and Aidan O’Donoghue, Pipeline Research Limited
Subsea pig launchers are a feature of multi-phase production tie-backs and gas export pipelines from FPSOs for example. Their design is critical to their operability. In general, pig launch from such a unit is expensive and it is very important to ensure that the launcher is fit for purpose. This paper discusses the basic launcher layout and Functional Requirements in order that they have the necessary features to allow them to be used effectively for the life of the pipeline. Operational pigs, inspection tools and possible intervention tools such as plugs need to be considered. The launching method is discussed with a focus on the use of hydrocarbon gas to kick the pigs off in comparison with the use of a nitrogen or MEG downline for instance. Pig loading, deployment and storage is set out along with the ability to safely launch pigs into the pipeline and the pros and cons of each launch method are presented. A comparison between launching with a downline or with hydrocarbon gas is made and the guide to how this could be decided is provided.

New Pipeline In-line Inspection Technology Based on Self-crawling
Presented by Fred Lee, Xingke Small-medium Enterprise Service Center of Shenyang University of Technology
Before the new pipeline was put into operation, because there was no medium in the pipeline, the inspection tool had no forward driving force. At present, the detection of pipelines before commissioning mainly relies on air or water as power, which has a huge cost. Moreover, due to the compressibility of air, the operation of the inspection tool is unstable, so that the accuracy of the detection result cannot be guaranteed.

Our company has successfully developed an in-line inspection tool that does not need to be driven by the medium in the pipeline and can realize autonomous crawling. The self-crawling detector adds a driving section based on traditional in-line inspection tools. The electric drive section carries different sensor modules to realize multifunctional detection of newly-built pipelines. For example, it can realize deformation detection, crack detection, centerline mapping, stress detection, etc. The cumulative inspection mileage of 762mm, 813mm, 1016mm pipelines has been over 1,000 kilometers, which has a good inspection application effect.

The self-crawling new pipeline detector provides a new detection method for pipeline inspection before commissioning.


This online seminar is free of charge for both members and non-members.


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