Willem Vos was born in the Netherlands in 1977 and holds a master’s degree in Electrical and Electronics engineering. Active in pipeline inspection since 2000, he’s held various positions in engineering, operations and sales. He joined Halfwave in 2016, heading up the sales team. Through the merger of Halfwave & NDT Global he's transitioned into a new role being Head of Product Management.
Virtual Pipeline Summit 9 Dec
Overcoming In-Line Inspection Challenges using ART
Piggability challenges in offshore liquid pipelines are not uncommon due to their design and the hostile environment that these pipelines are in. In 2016, Halfwave AS was approached by a pipeline operator to inspect a multi-diameter liquid export pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico. The asset combines 24-inch and 30-inch diameter sections in the same inspection. Furthermore, several wye’s in the system need to be navigated at very low flow, and some wye entries are on the 12 o’clock position.
For magnetic based inspection tools (MFL), the combination of high wall thickness (>1 inch) and the large diameter changes is proving a very serious challenge. Moreover, the high risk associated with low flow wye passage of the MFL tool as not acceptable to the pipeline operator. Since the pipeline was internally coated with wax, and difficult to clean, traditional UTWM tools are not an option.
The proposed tool based in Acoustic Resonance Technology (ART), is able to overcome the limitations of UTWM and MFL. Following a piggability review, is was determined that a full new tool build was required to meet the challenges of the pipeline inspection operation. Some of these challenges were tool centralization, maintaining of drive through the wye passage, bend radius passage, and extreme pressure inside the pipeline. The authors will highlight solutions found during the detailed engineering of the tool, and tool build phases. An overview of the final tool design will be shared.
Detailed results of pump trials in Norway and the US will be shared, including data on drive pressure, and flow required to pump the tools, illustrating the operational envelope of the product. Success rates of the pump trials will be included, and an overview of the pipeline features introduced during testing. Furthermore, details will be shared around the defect detection capabilities and sizing accuracy of the tool. Finally, the authors will elaborate on final use of the tool in the field.
Some details will be shared around the ongoing development of and ILI tool for even more extreme diameter changes. The development pushes the boundaries of what is considered ‘inspectable’ in the industry, so the authors will discuss the implications on pipeline design, and capabilities for further expansion in future.