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02077 In-Line Inspection of an Offshore Crude Oil Gathering Pipeline Lessons in Endurance and Patience

Product Number: 51300-02077-SG
ISBN: 02077 2002 CP
Author: Bryan P. Melan
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In-Line Inspection (ILI) of pipelines is quickly becoming the industry-preferred method of integrity assessment. As the technology has matured, new frontiers have begun to be exploited by this technique which has traditionally found its primary application in onshore transmission pipeline systems. The translation of the application of this technique to the offshore environment is not without its pitfalls, both technological and economic. This paper will discuss the limitations of attempting to use commonly applied onshore logistical activities in an offshore environment and the impact of unexpected problems that became greatly magnified in this environment. It will detail how such pipeline systems present unique obstacles to be overcome by both the pipeline operator and the ILI contractor. It will describe not only the complex field logistics, but also unique data analysis considerations as well. This paper will enumerate the lessons learned – most of them the “hard way”. Finally, it will offer several points for offshore pipeline operators to ponder as they consider applying ILI technology to pipeline systems which are reaching farther out into deep and, some day soon, ultradeep waters.
In-Line Inspection (ILI) of pipelines is quickly becoming the industry-preferred method of integrity assessment. As the technology has matured, new frontiers have begun to be exploited by this technique which has traditionally found its primary application in onshore transmission pipeline systems. The translation of the application of this technique to the offshore environment is not without its pitfalls, both technological and economic. This paper will discuss the limitations of attempting to use commonly applied onshore logistical activities in an offshore environment and the impact of unexpected problems that became greatly magnified in this environment. It will detail how such pipeline systems present unique obstacles to be overcome by both the pipeline operator and the ILI contractor. It will describe not only the complex field logistics, but also unique data analysis considerations as well. This paper will enumerate the lessons learned – most of them the “hard way”. Finally, it will offer several points for offshore pipeline operators to ponder as they consider applying ILI technology to pipeline systems which are reaching farther out into deep and, some day soon, ultradeep waters.
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