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Volume 21 Number 7 - July 2021

© 2021 NOV Inc. All Rights Reserved.


VERSATILE. Always a leading innovator, we supply customers with cutting-edge diagnostic and system integrity solutions. This, bound with our focus on flexibility, reliability, cost and quality, leads to offerings beyond your expectations.

www.rosen-group.com


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CONTENTS WORLD PIPELINES | VOLUME 21 | NUMBER 7 | JULY 2021

03. Comment Pipeline people

SURFACE PREPARATION 41. Staying on the surface of things

05. Guest comment

Drs. J. F. Doddema, CEO, MONTI - Werkzeuge GmbH, Germany.

Thure Cannon, President of the Texas Pipeline Association (TPA).

INSPECTION SERVICES 47. More control, more confidence

07. Pipeline news News from Enable Midstream, TC Energy, Corinth Pipeworks, Williams and Aramco, plus the latest pipeline events updates.

Senior Pipeline Integrity Product Manager, Matt Romney. T.D. Williamson, USA.

CONSTRUCTION BEST PRACTICE 51. HDD goes electric

REGIONAL REPORT 10. The only way is up China’s oil and gas consumption is only increasing, despite the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Hooman Peimani looks at the reasons why, and provides an overview of the country’s major pipeline projects.

Boris Böhm, MAX STREICHER GmbH & Co. KG aA, Germany.

WELDING TECHNOLOGIES 54. Estimating welding productivity Soroush Karimzadeh, MBA, P.Eng., PMP, Chief Executive Officer and Matt Yarmuch, MSc, P.Eng., IWE, Canada.

Figure 1. Novarc’s SWR is used in a number of industries requiring process piping construction.

China’s oil and gas consumption is only increasing, despite the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Hooman Peimani looks at the reasons why, and provides an overview of the country’s major pipeline projects.

A

s a major exception to the rule, China imported and consumed oil and gas in 2020 at a scale larger than the previous year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic pushing just about all the developed and developing countries into a recession. While these countries, particularly the large economies of Asia (e.g. India, Japan and South Korea), Europe (e.g. UK, France and Italy) and the Americas (e.g. Brazil, Canada and USA), experienced substantial contractions of their economies – lasting up to this date due to the extensive and long-lasting lockdowns to contain the pandemic – China began its economic recovery in 2Q20 through stringent measures. They helped it prevent the expansion of the pandemic from its few affected locations to the entire country, and, as a result, China experienced the revival of its industrial activities and exports while restoring pre-pandemic social activities by the end of 2020. The return to economic and social normalcy in China, except for a few patches of pandemic surge, increased energy consumption in the country to surpass its consumption in the previous year. The expansion of public and private industrial activities, a harsh winter and the record low oil and gas prices boosted their imports as additional factors. Hence, according to China’s General Administration of Customs’ data released in March 2021 (reported by Reuters), the country’s imports of crude oil increased by 7.3% in 2020 compared to its previous year’s imports in spite of the ongoing pandemic “with record arrivals in the second and third quarters”. China’s imports of 542.37 million t of crude oil, equal to average daily imports of 10.85 million bpd, reflected this development. Reported by the same source, its total imports of gas (piped and LNG) amounted to 101.66 million t in 2020, registering an increase of 5.3%

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Soroush Karimzadeh, MBA, P.Eng., PMP, Chief Executive Officer and Matt Yarmuch, MSc, P.Eng., IWE, Canada, outline how to find optimal technology to enhance welding automation, as developed by Novarc Technologies.

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t’s a CFO’s dream: the promise of technology in industry to improve productivity, bring quality up, and costs down. But promises turn into problems when reality gets in the way. There is frustration in finding out that your results in the field, or on the shop floor, don’t square with your expectations. Welding is no exception. Significant differences in the production environment between shop and field welding conditions, or comparing roll welding to welding in position, will often result in difficult comparisons. To fully understand all the facets of welding costs: reliable, accurate and repeatable data collection must be achieved. Novarc Technologies in North Vancouver, British Columbia, creators of the world’s first collaborative Spool Welding Robot (SWR), wanted ‘real world’ proof to quantify the productivity and quality improvements that were attainable with its new development in advanced welding processes and automation technologies. Novarc designs and builds robots for industrial applications (pipe welding, pressure vessel manufacturing and other 1G welding applications) using advanced mechanical control and vision based systems. Given the fluidity of the shop floor working environment, the Novarc team has created an innovative solution using a floating long reach manipulator, with a three-axis cobotic arm at the end. Novarc’s breakthrough welding cobot, the SWR, increases the dexterity and flexibility of the human operator, improving productivity on the shop floor and reducing costs for the pipe shop. Contrary to some public concern that automation technologies are taking jobs from humans, Novarc’s

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COVER STORY 15. How to hit the one million mark

SWR is actually assisting less-skilled workers to work alongside the robot, allowing highly-skilled welders to extend their careers. This is helping the welding industry to solve a huge problem: the severe global shortage of highly skilled welders impacting numerous industries such as process piping construction for oil and gas, energy utilities, water and wastewater and shipbuilding, to name a few. Pipe shops serving these global industries require highly skilled welders, and according to the American Welding Society, this is a looming labour crisis that will escalate to a shortage of about 400 000 welders in the next three years.

Maximising productivity Given this industry challenge, as pipe welding is an integral process to a myriad of construction projects, Novarc invested in research to determine how to improve and extend the capabilities of its SWR. Implementation of the SWR had already shown a 3x - 5x increase in pipe welding productivity, potentially recouping costs in six to 18 months. But Novarc wanted to do further research to develop ways to expand the capabilities of the SWR for pipe fabrication shops. The result was SWR+HyperFill®, a highly efficient, fully integrated dual torch system that utilises Lincoln Electric’s patented twin-wire GMAW solution, HyperFill, that maximises productivity, and profitability. Prior to the product launch this spring, Novarc did extensive research and conducted a productivity study to review the SWR+HyperFill capabilities. There are various methodologies for estimating welding productivity, costs, quality and efficiencies. Many companies have sophisticated programmes based on specific applications and equipment, while others

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NOV team members (USA).

VACUUM LIFTING SOLUTIONS 19. Building better relationships lifts us higher Todd Razor, Vacuworx, USA.

INLINE INSPECTION 59. Complex corrosion: changing perceptions on pinholes Mark Olson, Director, ENTEGRA, USA.

25. ANNUAL PIGGING SERVICES DIRECTORY Featuring: Aubin Group, ENTEGRA, iNPIPE Products, Intero Integrity, Jee Limited, Pigs Unlimited International, Pigtek, Propipe Limited, PureHM, ROSEN Group, T.D. Williamson and Tracerco.

Reader enquiries [www.worldpipelines.com]

The NOV SentryTM closure design relies on a simple locking ring. When the ring is expanded to the closed position, it securely locks the door into position. This design methodology is proven within the oil and gas industry, provides distinct advantages of integral safety, and avoids the reliance on external clamps with combined screw thread expanders. Find out more at www.nov.com/midstream

Member of ABC Audit Bureau of Circulations Copyright© Palladian Publications Ltd 2021. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. All views expressed in this journal are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher, neither do the publishers endorse any of the claims made in the articles or the advertisements. Printed in the UK.

ISSN 1472-7390

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COMMENT PIPELINE PEOPLE

SENIOR EDITOR Elizabeth Corner elizabeth.corner@palladianpublications.com

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Palladian Publications Ltd, 15 South Street, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7QU, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1252 718 999 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 718 992 Website: www.worldpipelines.com Email: enquiries@palladianpublications.com Annual subscription £60 UK including postage/£75 overseas (postage airmail). Special two year discounted rate: £96 UK including postage/£120 overseas (postage airmail). Claims for non receipt of issues must be made within three months of publication of the issue or they will not be honoured without charge. Applicable only to USA & Canada: World Pipelines (ISSN No: 1472-7390, USPS No: 020-988) is published monthly by Palladian Publications Ltd, GBR and distributed in the USA by Asendia USA, 17B S Middlesex Ave, Monroe NJ 08831. Periodicals postage paid New Brunswick, NJ and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to World Pipelines, 701C Ashland Ave, Folcroft PA 19032

S

andy Carter, Vice President of Amazon Web Services, includes a footnote on her business emails that reads: “TRULY HUMAN NOTICE: Getting this email out of normal working hours? We work at a digitally-enabled relentless pace, which can disrupt our ability to sleep enough, eat right, exercise, and spend time with the people that matter most. I am sending you this email at a time that works for me. I only expect you to respond to it when convenient to you.” I hope you work with one or two Sandy Carter’s in your business! Tonight I’m writing this column at 8pm, as well as answering emails and sending notes to colleagues. Our household is isolating out of precaution, following recent contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, so today I cared for two little ones and kept an eye on my email, doing the best I could at both things. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a supportive team at World Pipelines and at home, and to be enabled by a whole world of technology so that most bits of my job can be performed from my kitchen table. In an ‘always on’ world, as has often been the case during the pandemic (and for many years before that for a lot of people), having sympathetic, communicative and team-playing colleagues goes a long way (thanks Aimee and Calli). Being truly human at work is important. This issue includes a story from front cover advertiser NOV (p. 15). The article hinges on the story of the sale of NOV’s one millionth closure, as told by four key members of staff. The millionth sale is an impressive achievement, but the piece is really about hearing from Amber, Ed, Kerke and Sherry as they lead the reader through the story. They help map out the values and ambitions that belong to the company and its staff, and it’s a nice way to understand how things work at NOV.

There’s another relationship story in this month’s issue, on p. 19. The article outlines the working relationship between Vacuworx and some of its vacuum lifting ‘super users’, which include Welspun Corp Ltd. “In a typical year, Welspun clocks approximately 6000 hours handling pipe using the RC Series attachments the company owns at its Little Rock plant alone.” The strong relationship between the vendor and the customer in this instance helped during testing for Vacuworx’s newly designed RC Series lifters, since Welspun could offer constructive feedback and help direct any re-engineering work necessary to the technology. P.I.T. Pipe, another vacuum lifting super user, was also able to help, at its own facilities in North Carolina. The article highlights the impact of in-person relationships and consistent communication that fosters an environment in which ideas can be shared and concerns may be addressed in near realtime. My hope is that in-person relationships in the pipeline industry will be able to flourish again soon, with the return of conferences and exhibitions where we can all meet face to face, share an elbow bump and continue to grow those friendships and working partnerships that make the pipeline industry so special. In the meantime, please continue to make your voice heard in the World Pipelines virtual community: say hi on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, and consider signing up for our online conference in October – OpTech 2021 – which will offer expert guidance on operational technology, servicing and maintenance for pipelines, as well as networking opportunities (worldpipelines.com/optech2021). Or write for me! Think about a pipeline story you could tell, send me a short pitch at elizabeth. corner@worldpipelines.com and I promise I’ll let you write it at your own pace, at a time that suits you best. Get your unique, truly human voice out there!

THE ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS THE IMPACT OF IN-PERSON RELATIONSHIPS


Guest

Comment Thure Cannon President of the Texas Pipeline Association (TPA)

F

rom the extreme weather event in Texas this past February to the Colonial Pipeline Company cyberattack in May, this has been an eventful year for US energy producers. Immediately following Winter Storm Uri, the Texas Legislature held hearings to review what had worked and what had not. Those hearings showed that the Texas midstream industry had few problems during the storm, unless facilities either lost the gas supply coming in from the field or lost electric power. The few mechanical failures that occurred in midstream facilities were typically repaired quickly and, as soon as gas supply or power was restored, the state’s gas supply rapidly reached normal levels. Storage was a key component to protect service to human needs customers. To address the situation, the Texas Legislature has since passed Senate Bill 3, which establishes a sweeping new layer of regulation and oversight over Texas’ entire energy industry, including both gas and electric sectors. It creates new committees to develop additional rules and best practices to protect the people of Texas in the event of another unprecedented storm. The US natural gas pipeline network is a highly integrated system that moves natural gas throughout the continental US. The network has about three million miles of mainline and other pipelines that link natural gas production areas and storage facilities with consumers to fuel their lives and businesses. In 2019, this network delivered about 28.3 trillion ft3 of natural gas to about 76.9 million customers, according to the US EIA. In Texas alone, there are enough pipeline miles to reach the moon and back (more than 479 798 miles). The Colonial cyberattack demonstrated that such an incident can substantially lessen access to gasoline, diesel, heating oil and jet fuel across the Southern and Eastern states, where widespread disruption underscored the importance of pipeline transport. Pipelines are the safest, most reliable and environmentally friendly way to deliver hydrocarbons, taking trucks off the road and preventing rail cars from transporting potentially dangerous materials through cities and towns, all the while reducing emissions. TPA is one of seven industry associations and more than 40 oil and gas companies that in March 2020 formed the Texas Methane and Flaring Coalition, whose goal is to collectively identify and promote operational and environmental

recommended practices to minimise flaring and methane emissions. Industry-led initiatives are working. According to the World Bank’s April Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report, there was a 32% decrease in flaring across the US from 2019 - 2020. The report attributed lower production due to the pandemic as one factor, but also noted infrastructure improvements to capture and use natural gas rather than flare it as another. The US represented the vast majority of the global emissions decline – accounting for 70% of reductions globally. A more robust pipeline infrastructure is an essential tool to reducing emissions. The midstream industry is also an economic lynchpin. Through ongoing operations and construction in 2019 alone, the Texas oil and gas pipeline industry provided more than US$48.6 billion in economic impact, supported more than 238 000 high paying jobs, contributed an additional US$29.3 billion in additional gross state product, and injected more than US$2.7 billion in state and local government revenues, according to a Texas Tech University study. We hope that all stakeholders, including the current Administration, will agree there is no better way than pipelines to move the hydrocarbons that fuel our lives and economy, as well as the materials used to manufacture the medical-grade healthcare products that are essential to combating COVID-19.

IN TEXAS THERE ARE ENOUGH PIPELINE MILES TO REACH THE MOON AND BACK

Research sources . . . .

.

. .

SB 3 legislation https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/Text. aspx?LegSess=87R&Bill=SB3 US EIA Natural Gas Explained https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/ natural-gas/natural-gas-pipelines.php Why Pipelines Matter to You https://texaspipelines.com/wp-content/ uploads/2021/03/Why-Pipelines-Matter-one-pager-update-3.8.21.pdf Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack https://www.spglobal.com/platts/ en/market-insights/latest-news/oil/051821-colonial-pipelinescustomer-communications-system-is-experiencing-problems?utm_ source=social&utm_medium=twitter&utm_term=plattsoil&utm_ content=53317d83-74d8-43b1-97d6-7acc490539ef&utm_ campaign=hootsuitepost TPA Economic Study https://texaspipelines.com/wp-content/ uploads/2020/10/TPA-Updates-Economic-Benefits-Study-of-TexasPipelines-10.20.20-FINAL.pdf World Bank Flaring Reduction Report https://texasmethaneflaringcoalition. org/world-bank-report-shows-u-s-texas-lead-in-global-flaring-reduction/ Global Gas Flaring Report https://thedocs.worldbank.org/en/doc/1f722 1545bf1b7c89b850dd85cb409b0-0400072021/original/WB-GGFR-ReportDesign-05a.pdf


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WORLD NEWS Enable Midstream announces FERC approval of Gulf Run Pipeline project

TC Energy confirms termination of Keystone XL pipeline

Enable Midstream Partners, LP has announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has granted approval to construct and operate the Gulf Run Pipeline project under section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act. The project is designed to transport natural gas from some of the most prolific natural gas producing regions in the US, including the Haynesville, Marcellus, Utica and Barnett shales and the Mid-Continent region, to the US Gulf Coast and is backed by a 20 year commitment for 1.1 billion ft3/d from cornerstone shipper Golden Pass LNG. The planned 42 in. pipeline provides for approximately 1.7 billion ft3/d of capacity, allowing for upside potential beyond Golden Pass LNG’s commitment. “We appreciate FERC’s thoughtful review of the project and all of the hard work from our best-in-class project team to reach this important milestone,” said Rod Sailor, president and CEO. “Gulf Run makes significant use of existing assets, reducing the project’s cost and environmental impact. With FERC approval and the demand for LNG increasing globally, the project is well-positioned to add new customer commitments.” The cost for the project is currently estimated at approximately US$540 million, and pipe for the project was recently acquired at favourable pricing relative to market. The contractor bidding process is underway, and the project is anticipated to be placed into service in late 2022.

TC Energy Corporation has confirmed that it has terminated the Keystone XL pipeline project. Construction activities to advance the project were suspended following the revocation of its Presidential Permit on 20 January 2021. The company will continue to co-ordinate with regulators, stakeholders and Indigenous groups to meet its environmental and regulatory commitments and ensure a safe termination of and exit from the project. Following is a statement from TC Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer, François Poirier: “We value the strong relationships we’ve built through the development of this project and the experience we’ve gained. We remain grateful to the many organisations that supported the project and would have shared in its benefits, including our partners, the Government of Alberta and Natural Law Energy, our customers, pipeline building trade unions, local communities, Indigenous groups, elected officials, landowners, the Government of Canada, contractors and suppliers, industry associations and our employees. “Through the process, we developed meaningful Indigenous equity opportunities and a first-of-its-kind, industry leading plan to operate the pipeline with net-zero emissions throughout its lifecycle. We will continue to identify opportunities to apply this level of ingenuity across our business going forward, including our current evaluation of the potential to power existing US assets with renewable energy.”

Corinth Pipeworks delivers first hydrogen-certified pipeline project for Snam Corinth Pipeworks, the steel pipes segment of Cenergy Holdings, is executing with Snam, one of the world’s largest energy infrastructure companies, orders for 440 km of pipes. The above orders are among the first high-pressure newly manufactured pipes certified to transport up to 100% hydrogen for a transmission gas pipeline in Europe. Following the framework of ASME B31.12 Option B, Corinth Pipeworks and Snam cooperation provides a technically and economically feasible solution for the safe transportation of hydrogen at high pressures through large diameter/high strength steel pipelines. Thus, pipes produced today and installed in the current gas network can cover the energy mix of tomorrow. As required by this standard the pipes, in L415ME steel grade with an outside diameter of 26 in. (660 mm) and thicknesses of 11.1 mm and 15.9 mm, have been tested in laboratory at maximum pressure and 100% hydrogen. “We are very excited to be an innovative producer and early adopter, providing certified large diameter/high strength steel pipes for hydrogen transportation. The potential of hydrogen to build a sustainable energy mix in the future and achieve global decarbonisation targets is significant, and Corinth Pipeworks

aims to be an integral part in providing solutions to its customers to reach their goals,” said Ilias Bekiros, CEO of Corinth Pipeworks. “This agreement confirms Snam’s commitment to making its infrastructure increasingly ready to transport not only natural gas and biomethane, but also hydrogen. While we are continuing with analysis and certification of our network, when we replace old pipelines, we now routinely use new pipes tested in the laboratory in line with international standards and able to transport hydrogen up to 100% without changing pressure. Our goal is to deliver fully decarbonised gas by 2050,” commented Massimo Derchi, Chief Industrial Assets Officer of Snam. The full quantity of hydrogen certified pipes was manufactured in Corinth Pipeworks’ plant in Thisvi, Greece. Scope of supply also includes external 3LPE anti-corrosion coating and internal liquid epoxy lining applied at the same location as pipe manufacturing. With the support of its long-term partner in Italy, PIPEX Italia, Corinth Pipeworks has been a trusted supplier of Snam for over a decade with more than 1000 km of completed and under execution pipeline projects.

JULY 2021 / World Pipelines

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CONTRACT NEWS EVENTS DIARY 23 - 25 August 2021 Canada Gas & LNG Exhibition & Conference 2021 Vancouver, Canada https://canadagaslng.com/

NEW DATES AND LOCATION: 21 - 23 September 2021 Gastech Exhibition & Conference 2021 DUBAI, UAE https://www.gastechevent.com/

NEW DATES: 21 - 23 September 2021 Global Energy Show 2021 Calgary, Canada https://www.globalenergyshow.com/

18 - 19 October 2021

Williams announces deepwater export agreement at Shenandoah Williams has announced that it recently reached an export agreement with Beacon Offshore Energy Development LLC and its co-owner ShenHai, LLC, a subsidiary of Navitas Petroleum, to provide offshore natural gas gathering and transportation services and onshore natural gas processing services to the Shenandoah development through the Discovery infrastructure in the central Gulf of Mexico. Shenandoah is located 160 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Walker Ridge area of the Gulf of Mexico. “Our interconnected offshore and onshore infrastructure allows us to maximise value for our customers by providing a safe, seamless and direct path to market for deepwater producers in the Gulf,” said Micheal Dunn, Chief Operating Officer for Williams. “Our investment in

Shenandoah is a strategic expansion of our Gulf of Mexico infrastructure which further strengthens our portfolio of services. We are pleased to provide the entire spectrum of midstream capabilities to Beacon that will capture the full value of these important deepwater resources.” Facilities to be installed include a five mile offshore lateral pipeline build from the Shenandoah platform to Discovery’s existing Keathley Canyon Connector pipeline, and additional onshore processing facilities to handle the expected rich Shenandoah production. The new, rich natural gas will be transported to Discovery’s processing plant in Larose, Louisiana, and the natural gas liquids will be fractionated and marketed at Discovery’s Paradis plant in Louisiana. Shenandoah is expected to come online as early as late 2024.

Transportation Oil and Gas Congress 2021 (TOGC 2021) Zurich, Switzerland https://togc.events/

20 October 2021 OpTech 2021 ONLINE CONFERENCE https://www.worldpipelines.com/optech2021/

NEW DATES: 8 - 11 November 2021 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference 2021 (ADIPEC) Abu Dhabi, UAE https://www.adipec.com/exhibition/

NEW DATES: 5 - 9 December 2021 23rd World Petroleum Congress Houston, USA https://www.wpc2020.com/

7 - 9 December 2021 15th annual GPCA Forum Dubai, UAE www.gpcaforum.net

8

World Pipelines / JULY 2021

Aramco closes infrastructure deal with global investor consortium Aramco and an international investor consortium, including EIG and Mubadala, has announced the successful closing of the share sale and purchase agreement, in which the consortium has acquired a 49% stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Company, a subsidiary of Aramco, for US$12.4 billion. The consortium consists of a broad cross-section of investors from North America, Asia and the Middle East. As part of the transaction, first announced in April 2021, Aramco Oil Pipelines Company and Aramco entered into a 25 year lease and leaseback agreement for Aramco’s stabilised crude oil pipelines network. Aramco Oil Pipelines Company will receive a tariff payable by Aramco for stabilised crude oil flows, backed by minimum volume commitments. Aramco continues to hold a 51% majority stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Company and retains full ownership and operational control of its stabilised crude oil pipeline network. The transaction does not impose any restrictions on Aramco’s actual crude oil production volumes, which are subject to production decisions made by the Kingdom.

THE MIDSTREAM UPDATE •

Ocean Infinity acquires Ambrey

BHP awards McDermott marine installation contract

US recovers most of ransom paid to Colonial hackers

TC Energy appoints new independent director

Trelleborg rebrands as Vipo AS ahead of growth plans

Kinder Morgan to purchase Stagecoach Gas Services Follow us on LinkedIn to read more about the articles linkedin.com/showcase/worldpipelines


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10


China’s oil and gas consumption is only increasing, despite the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Hooman Peimani looks at the reasons why, and provides an overview of the country’s major pipeline projects.

A

s a major exception to the rule, China imported and consumed oil and gas in 2020 at a scale larger than the previous year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic pushing just about all the developed and developing countries into a recession. While these countries, particularly the large economies of Asia (e.g. India, Japan and South Korea), Europe (e.g. UK, France and Italy) and the Americas (e.g. Brazil, Canada and USA), experienced substantial contractions of their economies – lasting up to this date due to the extensive and long-lasting lockdowns to contain the pandemic – China began its economic recovery in 2Q20 through stringent measures. They helped it prevent the expansion of the pandemic from its few affected locations to the entire country, and, as a result, China experienced the revival of its industrial activities and exports while restoring pre-pandemic social activities by the end of 2020. The return to economic and social normalcy in China, except for a few patches of pandemic surge, increased energy consumption in the country to surpass its consumption in the previous year. The expansion of public and private industrial activities, a harsh winter and the record low oil and gas prices boosted their imports as additional factors. Hence, according to China’s General Administration of Customs’ data released in March 2021 (reported by Reuters), the country’s imports of crude oil increased by 7.3% in 2020 compared to its previous year’s imports in spite of the ongoing pandemic “with record arrivals in the second and third quarters”. China’s imports of 542.37 million t of crude oil, equal to average daily imports of 10.85 million bpd, reflected this development. Reported by the same source, its total imports of gas (piped and LNG) amounted to 101.66 million t in 2020, registering an increase of 5.3%

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over the year before. That included the “record” import of 11.23 million t in December 2020. For certain reasons, China’s oil and gas consumption will increase in the foreseeable future despite its impressive achievements in increasing the share of renewable, including hydro, and nuclear energy in its energy mix. As reported by BP (2020), their respective productions in 2019 (the latest year on which statistics were available for this report) were 17.95 exajoules and 3.11 exajoules when China’s total annual energy consumption was 141.7 exajoules. Hence their combined share of the total energy mix was 14.86%, as calculated by this author. Ironically, China’s systematic efforts to decrease its CO2 emissions for environmental purposes, particularly cleaning the highly polluted air of the urban areas, has phenomenally increased its natural gas consumption used as a cleaner alternative to coal for power generation. For the same reason, such fuel has also been replacing coal to meet the urban areas’ energy needs, such as heating. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics’ data reported by Reuters, the “proportion of urban residents with some form of access to piped gas hit 44% in 2018, up from just 14% in 2006.” This drastic jump reflected the respective increase in the number of urban residents with access to natural gas to “almost 370 million” from 83 million. Hence, reportedly, the annual compound average rate of growth for such residential increase in gas consumption was 13% in the period 2006 to 2018, translated into the annual compound average growth rate of 14% for the country’s gas consumption factored by large gas consumption for power generation. Consequently, China’s annual gas consumption increased to 280 billion m3 in 2018 when its domestic gas production reached to 160 billion m3, thanks to its success in raising such production. The considerable gap between gas consumption and domestic production has since widened, as reflected in their respective figures (307.3 billion m3; 177.6 billion m3, BP 2020) in 2019, the latest available statistics. Despite China’s determination to replace fossil energy as the main source of greenhouse gas emissions with nuclear and non-pollutive renewable (mainly hydro, solar and wind) energy to deal with worsening climate change and the adverse impact of such emissions on its population’s health, there is no evidence that this will lead to a drastic decrease in its oil and gas consumption in the near future. The reason is multi-fold, including the limits to the expansion of hydro energy in China, which – as is the case elsewhere – is the only practically available renewable technology for largescale power generation, given the limits to the use of rivers as hydro dams feedstocks’ providers. Intermittency of wind and solar energy as power-generating sources is another major factor, which cannot be addressed solely with advancements in lithium batteries. Their charging to ensure continuous power availability when wind and sunshine are unavailable at all or at the required scales deprives the respective wind and solar farms’ communities of a significant amount of the generated power when such sources of energy are available. The resulting gap must be filled with coal and gas-fired power generators as the only available option for continuous power generation.

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World Pipelines / JULY 2021

Hence, generating enough power to meet the current need can only be achieved with a phenomenal expansion of nuclear energy as a source of continuous large-scale power generation. This is not happening now and will not likely happen in the near future, notwithstanding China’s rapid and massive expansion of its nuclear energy sector. Such expansion is demonstrated in China’s large number of operational (50 units; 48 498 MW capacity) under-construction (19 units; 19 860 MW capacity) and planned (37 units; 41 660 MW capacity) nuclear power reactors, as reported by the World Nuclear Association, securing it the world’s first rank as the hub of nuclear energy expansion. In fact, China’s massive investment in electric vehicles to reduce its urban pollutions caused by the ever expanding number of internal-combustion-engine vehicles on its roads will only phenomenally increase its power demand. The reason lies in their highly energy-intensive production process and their requiring a phenomenal amount of electricity to power them. This demand will have to be met by renewable energy and/or nuclear energy to prevent the inevitable increase in demand for fossil-fired power generation to betray the whole purpose. The current mismatch between the amount of power which the renewable and nuclear energy can generate, and the existing power demand has prolonged the fossil-fired power generators’ lives, coal-fired and gas-fired ones alike. The latter are expanding as a cleaner type of generator compared to coal-fired ones, which still dominate China’s power sector. This is clearly evident in coal’s largest share of China’s power mix in 2019, 64.68% (4853.7 terawatt-hours) when the shares of hydro and other renewable energy were 16.92% (1296.7 terawattshours) and 9.75% (732.3 terawatts-hours), respectively, according to BP. Gas’s share of 3.14% (236.5 terawatts-hours) completed fossil fuel domination of China’s power mix in 2019 and lasted to this year, only to continue in the predictable future. The large deference between consumption and production of gas and oil, thanks to the rapid expansion of vehicle ownership in China, has since justified sizable and growing imports of gas (piped and LNG) and crude oil to predictably continue in the next two or three decades. No wonder, if China’s carbon neutral objective was set for 2060 during President Xi Jinping’s video address to the UN General Assembly on 23 September 2020, when he announced his country’s aim to peak carbon emissions by 2030. Briefly, in absence of adequate domestic production, the large and expanding oil and gas requirements will ensure large imports of such types of energy in the foreseeable future to ensure their respective pipeline activities in China. LNG imports aside, China currently imports piped gas from Central Asia via the Central Asian gas pipeline system’s Lines A and B (each 1830 km; 42 in.) with the total capacity of 30 billion m3/y completed in December 2009 and October 2010, respectively, and line C (1830 km; 48 in.; 25 billion m3/y), which became operational in 2014. Through the system’s currently realised total capacity of 55 billion m3/y, Turkmenistan and, to a lesser extent, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan supply China with gas. Its Line D construction (about 1000 km) started in 2014 to add 30 billion m3/y to the system’s capacity, only to be


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stopped in 2017 due to China’s lack of need for the latter and restarted in 2018. Its completion date is currently unknown. Russia has been supplying gas to China since December 2019 through the East Route gas pipeline (38 billion m3/y). The two sides negotiations for a second pipeline (West Route, 30 billion m3/y) are yet to bear fruit. Myanmar is another gas supplier via the China-Myanmar gas pipeline also known as the Kyaukpyu-Nanking gas pipeline (1727 km, 40in., 12 billion m3). Being operational since 2013, the pipeline is yet to achieve its nominal capacity as its average annual throughput has fluctuated around 6 billion m3. Added to sea tanker-based oil imports from a host of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America (e.g., Iran, Nigeria and Venezuela), China has imported piped crude oil from Kazakhstan through the Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline (2789 km, 32 in., 400 000 bpd), Russia via the two spurs of its East Siberia Pacific Ocean oil pipeline (4857 km; 48 in.; 30 metric t/y), namely the Skovorodino-Daqing pipeline since 2011 (1030 km; 26 in., 300,000 bpd) and the MoheDaqing pipeline since 2018 (932.1 km; 32 in., 300 000 bpd) and Myanmar via the China-Myanmar oil pipeline also known as the Kyaukpyu-Kunming pipeline (2371 or 2401.5 km; 440 000 bpd) since 2017. Against this background, China’s major pipeline projects are discussed below.

Southern section (East Route gas pipeline) Construction on the southern section of the East Route gas pipeline system (ERGS) on its Chinese section began in January, as reported by Xinhua. Going online on 2 December 2019, Russia has since supplied China through the ERGS with Russian gas (38 billion m3/y) to last for 30 years, as part of the world’s single largest energy deal (US$400 billion) made between Gazprom and CNPC in 2014. The ERGS consists of a Russian system (Power of Siberia, 3000 km, 1420 mm, 38 billion m3/y), which passes through the Irkutsk and Amur Regions and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) to supply gas from the Chayandinskoye field in the Yakutia gas production centre to the consumers in Russia’s Far East and to China. According to Gazprom, the three-line system is currently under extension to have another feeding line (803 km) scheduled for completion in late 2022 to link the Kovyktinskoye field in the Irkutsk gas production centre to the Chayandinskoye field, which currently feeds the system. Having northern, southern and middle sections, the ERGS’s Chinese system combines building a 3170 km pipeline and using an existing 1800 km pipeline passing through six Chinese provinces (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shandong and Jiangsu), the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Tianjin and Shanghai. Its northern and middle sections went online in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Being under construction since January, the southern section (1509 km) will feed Shanghai with Russian gas by connecting Yongqing county in Hebei province to Shanghai passing through Shandong and Jiangsu provinces, according to the China Oil & Gas Piping Network Corporation also known as PipeChina. Planned to go online in 2025, its reported daily capacity will be 50 million m3.

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World Pipelines / JULY 2021

On May 18 2021, work began on a major tunnel of the southern section beneath the Yangtze River in east China’s Jiangsu Province.

Tianjin-Hebei gas pipeline PipeChina is constructing the Tianjin-Hebei gas pipeline. Valued at US$1.3 billion, the trunk line, whose construction started in October 2020, will connect a gas import terminal in Tianjin to Xiongan near Beijing once it is completed, according to Reuters. The pipeline (413.5 km; 43.5 in.) will have the annual capacity of 6.6 billion m3 once it is operational. Reportedly, the undertaker plans to connect the pipeline to other pipelines, including the Shaanjing pipelines designed to carry Chinese gas from its northwest fields to Beijing, as well as Russian gas from the Power of Siberia feeding the ERGS.

East African crude oil pipeline project Apart from being a major east African project, the East African crude oil pipeline project (EACOP) is noteworthy for its serving as an indictor of China’s expanding clout in Africa and its repositioning itself as a rising superpower with claims to many regions of the world far away from its mainland. Thus, two east African countries of Uganda and Tanzania signed an agreement with French Total and Chinese CNOOC on 11 April for the construction of a major oil pipeline to export crude oil from landlocked Uganda to international markets through western Uganda’s Indian Ocean Tanga Port, as reported by Reuters. The EACOP’s shareholders are Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), added to Total and CNOOC, whose exact shares are currently unknown. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan attended the signing of the agreement consisting of three accords, namely a host government agreement for the pipeline, a tariff and transportation agreement and a shareholding agreement. In May, Tanzania signed a Host Government Agreement (HGA) with the Total-led joint venture to build the pipeline as part of the US$3.5 billion Lake Albert resources development project in Uganda and Tanzania, including Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects in Uganda and the construction of the EACOP in Uganda and Tanzania. The HGA reportedly provides for the legal and commercial framework for the financing, construction and operation of the pipeline project. Connecting the yet-to-be built Kabaale Industrial Park in Uganda’s Hoima district to Tanzania’s Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga Port, the 1445 km pipeline (216 000 bpd) will enable Uganda to pursue an export-led posture towards the development of its oil reserves estimated at 6 billion bbls, discovered in 2006 in the Albertine rift basin of its western part near the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tanzania’s Tanga Port will enable Uganda to access the international markets by sea tankers. Reportedly, the project has become controversial due to the opposition of environmentalists for its alleged threat to the ecologically sensitive areas along its route. This has promoted 263 NGOs from different countries to urge 25 potential funding banks not to fund the project.


Amber Godwin

Ed Jatzlau

Kerke Smith

Sherry Crawford

NOV team members (USA) share how it is the people that have guided the company towards its one millionth closure sale.

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hen it comes to closures, NOV has been innovating and earning its reputation as a market leader for a long time. As a testament to the company’s longevity and success in this field, NOV recently confirmed its one millionth closure sale. The path to this remarkable milestone has been forged by the people of NOV, who work as a team to routinely connect customers with these crucial products for pipeline safety. This article offers insight into four individuals with very distinct backgrounds and roles at NOV, united under a singular, driving purpose: ensuring that customers can depend on quality closures. Guiding us through the story of closures are: Production Manager Amber Godwin, Welding Lead Ed Jatzlau, Customer Service Co-ordinator Sherry Crawford, and Lean Engineering Manager Kerke Smith.

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Figure 1. The SentryTM closure is designed with heavy-duty

components to withstand the rigours of long-term operation and can be opened in as little as 90 seconds.

Figure 2. The history of NOV closures.

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World Pipelines / JULY 2021

Godwin, who has been with NOV for 10 years, is firm in her belief that customers know NOV will always be here for them. “We have brand recognition in the marketplace. It speaks volumes that we have a product line that has lasted this long,” she says. “Some products come and go, but our customers can count on us.” So, for the uninitiated, what exactly is a closure and how long has NOV been making them? NOV has been active in the closures business since the 1950s. A closure functions like a door, providing quick and easy access to a closed system for inspecting pipelines and pressure vessels. NOV closures are customisable to any size to suit a customer’s specific requirements. For example, the company recently completed a 74 in. closure – a circumference equivalent to that of a small SUV. Of course, a closure is more than just a door: it protects assets, products, and people from adverse environmental situations and physical harm. To that end, a tried and rigorous quality control process is followed for every closure. “Customers get a reliable and quality product that goes through a number of steps at our state-of-the-art facility,” Jatzlau says. As part of NOV’s culture of continuous improvement, its closures have regularly evolved to meet customer and industry needs. “Over the years, we’ve listened to our customers as we’ve developed new closures,” Crawford says. “We have pipeline companies that depend on us to maintain their safety, and we’ve done a good job of working with them to develop products specific to their needs.” Smith, having worked in engineering and engineeringadjacent roles over the last nine years, gets a little more technical as he discusses things from the product development side. “We’ve evolved from Sentry I to Sentry II; the Sentry II uses O-rings instead of lip seals – an easier design to install and replace in the field,” he says. As NOV’s line of closures has grown, so too have the opportunities for engineering advancements, as Godwin explains. “Engineering has done design work to make better, easier-to-operate closures; they even look at the ergonomics of people in the field while the closure is attached to a pipeline. They’re always looking for opportunities to help products function optimally while in service.” Naturally, the evolution of closures and the development of new features have resulted in a host of solutions to customer issues. Jatzlau, with more than three decades of experience in the business, is able to offer some examples. “On Yale Street, where our closures business started, we offered only a threaded closure back in the late 1980s. We now offer a closure that has no threads,” he says. “We have an interlocking device that holds the seal with our Sentry closures. “We also offer the Y2000 closure that we developed. It is also threadless, with outer clamps over the hub, preventing the door from reopening under pressure.”


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All NOV closures have pressure alert valves (PAVs) installed. Before a customer can open the closure, they must remove the PAV. Once this is done, the door can be opened safely. Of course, for a company that prides itself on a stellar safety record, it certainly does not hurt to have team members like Crawford, who grew up around the industry and has put in 13 years with NOV. “My whole family is oilfield; my mom even worked for one of NOV’s subsidiaries. We’re roughnecks by blood, so this was my path in life,” she says. “I wanted to be a teacher and I get to do training in my job now, so I have the best of both worlds.” With built-in loyalty like this, NOV crews never lose sight of turning out products that they would want their own families to use. At NOV, employee loyalty has led to the accumulation of a vast bank of knowledge and experience. Godwin’s group especially racks up some big numbers when it comes to years of service. In welding alone, the team of eight welders have worked over 150 years with NOV. Godwin recently gave out two service awards – one for 35 years and another for 15. NOV, with its innovative nature, has not only kept pace with industry needs, but continues to lead the market into the future, all while serving customers in the best way possible. “Automation is where I think we’re really doubling down,” Smith says. “We’re looking at having the 3D models of our

closures designed based on input from the customer. The new process automatically generates the required thickness for the design based on pressure, temperature range, and other factors. Hit ‘generate,’ and it creates documentation for the shop, effectively bypassing the need for a designer or engineer to have to manually generate the document. “It also triggers the generation of a 3D model which puts together the components, general arrangement, drawing with building materials, customer information, everything you need to know about that order-specific closure. All this happens in a matter of two to three minutes, whereas previously it took the drafter 20 - 30 minutes for the drawing alone. So that’s exciting.” Also new to NOV closures are QR codes. Godwin says these codes will connect added information to customers’ fingertips. “They will be able to read these codes with their device, and they’ll have access to catalogs, brochures, and drawings.” In reviewing all these advancements and accomplishments, it is not difficult to see how and why NOV has earned the deep trust of so many customers over the years. NOV prides itself on being a global family. Its people possess vast expertise, deep product knowledge, and above all, a passion for excellence. These, coupled with the loyalty and the partnership of NOV’s customers, have collectively resulted in the one millionth closure sale. The race to two million closures has already begun.

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Figure 1. P.I.T. Pipe use s a Vacuworx RC 16 to handle 80 ft. (24 m) pipe in North Carolina.

Todd Razor, Vacuworx, USA, describes making improvements to Vacuworx RC units as part of a productive working relationship between Vacuworx and super users of vacuum lifting, including Welspun Corp Ltd.

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owntime is the common enemy of pipe handlers operating in oil and gas related industries due to, by and large, the high costs typically associated with any disruptions in workflows. Vacuum lifting is widely embraced, both in the plant and in the field, as a safe and reliable method of loading, unloading and placing pipe – effectively removing the need for hooks and cables or fork-like attachments.

19


Super users of vacuum lifting technology for pipehandling often run at breakneck speeds, constantly leveraging systems and equipment to meet rigorous material handling demands. Not only are they looking for machines that are safe and versatile, they want lighter components, longer lifespans and minimal maintenance requirements. In many cases, they also value close working relationships with the manufacturers of the equipment they use on the job every day.

At the plant A productive working relationship among representatives of Vacuworx and Welspun Corp Ltd was reinforced during testing that helped shape improvements to the next generation of RC Series vacuum lifting systems. Welspun, a leading pipe manufacturer with a growing presence at its spiral weld facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, currently produces two different types of pipe with outer diameters ranging from 24 in. (609 mm) to 48 in. (1219 mm). Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Vacuworx designs and manufactures material handling equipment with an emphasis on the development of vacuum lifting solutions for pipe handlers in the midstream oil and gas industry. In early 2020, Vacuworx announced the roll out of major enhancements

to its flagship line of RC Series vacuum lifters, including with a new adapter, belt drive, CAN bus system and improved flow block controls to maximise safety and limit downtime associated with maintenance or repairs. In a typical year, Welspun clocks approximately 6000 hours handling pipe using the RC Series attachments the company owns at its Little Rock plant alone. Dan Sternberg, a yard maintenance supervisor who started with Welspun in 2012, has been influential in helping kindle the relationship between Welspun and Vacuworx as the two companies work toward achieving common goals. Sternberg shared his take on Welspun’s role in providing critical feedback to Vacuworx during early development and testing of the newly designed RC Series lifters, featuring the incorporation of virtually maintenance-free belt drives in lieu of traditional gear boxes. Welspun, utilising one of the new RC Series lifters in a load out position at its large OD plant in Little Rock, racked up close to 1000 hours on the test unit in about three months. That arrangement led to closer contact between the two companies, Sternberg noted, opening fresh lines of communication that have resulted in greater operational innovation and cooperation.

Turning point One of Welspun’s initial concerns was related to hooking a vacuum lifter up to a piece of carrier equipment, Sternberg said, referring to the adapter that connects the lifter to the host machine. “We were in on the testing side initially and some early interactions,” he said. “Aligning that pin up there can be precarious at times. We were interested in a cap system that didn’t require precise alignment. Then Vacuworx came out with an adapter assembly and that became a quicker install.” Beyond reengineering the adapter to include removable top caps, Vacuworx added a belt drive system to replace the traditional gear box. “We had great success with the unit after that,” Sternberg said. “We tested out the belt drive in one of our load out positions to rail cars, one of our workhorse options. It removes love joy coupling failures and gear box failures, and we had no issues in the testing stage.” Welspun’s feedback also helped solidify Vacuworx’s decision to relocate flow controls to the adapter, instead of the top of the stick, placing them in easy reach for safer and more convenient adjustment of the hydraulics. Each improvement is intended to bolster safety and reduce downtime while decreasing the workload of maintenance personnel.

Next steps

Figure 2. Vacuum pads with Tough SealTM pad seal help prevent damage to pipe coatings.

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World Pipelines / JULY 2021

From steel mills and laydown yards to ports, rail spurs and materials storage, oil and gas pipeline procedures call for a robust plan of attack when it comes to the proper handling of large diameter coated pipe. Vacuworx already designed its RC Series to be quick and efficient, with 360˚ rotation to provide precise


placement of materials and wireless remote operation that is safer than using hooks, slings or chains. The technology provides a powerful positive engagement of the load and will not damage delicate materials and bonded coatings. RC Series units, capable of handling a wide range of sizes of pipe, plate and

slab, are available with standard lifting capacities up to 25 t (55 000 lb). A Controller Area Network (CAN bus) system has also been incorporated into new RC Series lifters, providing real-time diagnostics and enhanced safety features. The system utilises a central logic controller to monitor faults, ensure electronic components are functioning properly and diagnose specific problems. A new dashboard gauge on one side of the RC Series lifter displays error codes, oil and fuel levels, pressure level, number of lifts and engine hours. The simplified wiring design has fewer components, zero fuses to repair or replace and no mechanical switches.

In the field

Figure 3. Updated Vacuworx adapter features removeable top caps for easier installation and flow control block for more convenient adjustment of hydraulics.

Figure 4. Vacuworx replaced the traditional gear box with a belt drive system to minimise down time with virtually no required maintenance.

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World Pipelines / JULY 2021

Barry Tindoll, a yard manager with P.I.T. Pipe, currently oversees an active 40 acre pipe yard with recent movement of 80 ft (24 m) QRLs. P.I.T. Pipe is a US based pipe supplier with outlets in five states and a focus on new and used steel pipe for the North American construction industry. The company owns a new Vacuworx RC 16 and is currently running the lifter in conjunction with a CAT 349 hydraulic excavator at one of its North Carolina stocking locations. P.I.T. Pipe utilises three different pad assemblies, all of which work with the RC 16, to be able to handle steel pipe ranging from 16 in. (406 mm) to 36 in. (914 mm) in diameter. The system is currently being used to cycle loads of coated steel natural gas pipe with an outer diameter of 36 in. (914 mm) and 515 wall thickness. The new belt drive RC lifter, Tindoll said, is making light work of picking pipe from a stockpile of approximately 2000 joints, each weighing about 16 000 lb (7257 kg), and loading the material pyramid-style onto trucks slated for delivery to sites across the US. He commented on the recent upgrades to the RC Series from the perspective of a union pipeline mechanic who has both operated the equipment and completed more than 100 installations of Vacuworx attachments over the past 20 years. In addition to the new adapter and removable top caps – which require less effort for the installer to position and secure the adapter pin – Tindoll zeroed in on vacuum lifting’s ability to help prevent damage, from tiny dents to small gouges or rub marks, which take time and valuable resources to address. Given that productivity can suffer every time work has to unexpectedly pause or stop, he said, the ability to steer clear of damage cannot be overstated. By reducing contact with external sources and eliminating potential for the incorrect application of sling configurations, Tindoll noted that vacuum lifting has the ability to mitigate the potential for damage on every lift. “We have used belts, pelican hooks, spreader chains, all kinds of stuff,” he continued. “The coating on pipe is always an issue. In the old days, we had a lot of hard-wired stuff that went all the way from the vacuum lifter to the operator’s station. Now we have (wireless) remotes, which is wonderful. “There used to be a split coupler on top of the yoke. We used to have to line it all up and push the pin through


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from the side. On the ROW, that could be a lot of work, especially in steep mountains. Now all we have to do is pull the caps. That is where (the improvements) become especially advantageous, on steep ground or in mountainous terrain.”

Sternberg underscored the impact of in-person relationships and consistent communication that fosters an environment in which ideas can be shared and concerns may be addressed in near real-time. “We are one of [Vacuworx’s] higher-use customers,” he said. “We have met with field Out front techs, and the service manager and service technician came The business of material handling emphasises preparation out to listen to what improvements we think they can make – particularly when addressing large-scale, enterprise in their systems. applications – as a best practice and a reminder to always “Vacuworx has incorporated some of the suggestions put safety first and never underestimate the complexity of we had made and we can put so many hours on these any given lift. Both pipe contractors and manufacturers tend machines in a short amount of time. That’s where it starts. to lean toward using less human contact while finding ways We have built a better relationship.” to not have to re-handle materials multiple times. For Tindoll, the proper selection of equipment, required maintenance, and supplier and vendor relationships are each on the forefront of their materialhandling concerns. “99% of my experience with vacuum lifting is in pipeline construction,” Tindoll said. “Loading and unloading. Raising and lowering pipe. We have done it in mountains, on flat ground; we always have one in the back yard to go out to the rightof-way.” “Every time we get a (Vacuworx) vacuum unit in, whether rented or purchased, it has a box of fittings and an install kit,” he continued. “I have never not had what I needed in the kit to install it.” Peter Thompson, owner of P.I.T. Pipe, chimed in from an executive perspective: “We handle thousands of pipe loads a year,” Thompson said. “It is versatile and being able to switch (pad assemblies) is extremely helpful. Say we need to go to 36 in. (914 mm) from 20 in. (508 mm). It only takes about five or 10 minutes; there is no big downtime. Maintaining a pipeline is no easy task. With so many things to worry “For years we used cranes, about, you need products you can depend on. Always. Our solid-state front-end loaders. On this particular decouplers help improve your cathodic protection system’s performance job, with all coated pipe, we did and stand up to AC faults and lightning strikes, in all sorts of conditions. not want to damage the coating or We make them rugged so that you can trust them to perform. Always. have to roll any of the pipe on the trucks. We have found that vacuum Applications Include: lifting is safest and most efficient • AC Voltage Mitigation way to do it. It brings safety to the • Insulated Joint Protection • Decoupling Equipment forefront. It was a good addition to Grounding Systems our company.” • Gradient Control Mat Isolation Tindoll wrapped up: “The coating cannot be damaged or scratched Learn more about our or anything. In that (pipeline Always Rugged Promise: construction) industry, Vacuworx is Dairyland.com/AlwaysRugged synonymous with moving pipe. It is the best way to move pipe.”

Put Down Your Work Gloves.

(We’ve got this.)


Pigging services directory Welcome to the third edition of World Pipelines’ annual Pigging Services Directory, showcasing the latest pigging products and services offered by a range of companies, as well as their recent oil and gas pipeline pigging projects. Featuring contributions from international pigging services providers: Aubin Group, ENTEGRA, iNPIPE Products, Intero Integrity, Jee Limited, Pigs Unlimited International, Pigtek, Propipe Limited, PureHM, ROSEN Group, T.D. Williamson and Tracerco.


Pipeline proving

Aubin Group

Pipeline gauging

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive

F

ounded in 1986, Aubin Group has a long history of providing chemical pigs and pipeline materials to the oil and gas sector. We consider our core expertise using chemistry to solve engineering problems, minimise environmental impact, and working with our customers to provide a technical partnership. Whether supporting SMEs or multinational oil companies, Aubin can respond quickly via our established global supply chain network. We also provide in-house testing and development in laboratories based in Aberdeenshire, UK. Aubin offers the innovative EVO-Pig range, elastomeric solid pigs capable of navigating challenging bend radii, internal diameter changes, and dispensing with the need for traditional launchers and receivers. Whether used alone, such as in dewatering applications, or in conjunction with other gel products or chemical treatments to provide batching capabilities, EVO-Pig is a highly efficient, safe-to-use tool which presents opportunities to pig what has previously been discounted as un-piggable. The chemical team at Aubin Group supply a chemical toolbox to meet many of the operations of a pipeline’s lifetime. From precommisioning, cleaning and maintenance, through to decommissioning, our products have continued to meet challenging requirements. Facing several distinct challenges, an

Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis

Other

26

NIBLESS PIG.

independent upstream company in Canada utilised our EVO-Pig system to both clean gathering lines and deliver efficient removal of produced water. The system lines, having been constructed without dedicated launcher/receivers, had never been pigged previously and internal conditions were not fully understood. As an acquired asset onshore, with minimal records of underground configurations, the gathering lines were considered a challenging network with up to 50% bore restrictions, unknown bend radii, and full-bore branch connections.

CASE STUDY Working with our partner company in Canada, an engineered solution was created to provide effective, efficient water displacement. EVOPig, chosen based on its ability to mitigate the challenges presented, has the additional benefit of being able to be extruded through small bore orifices. A direct result of this is that Aubin’s EVO-Pigs have a very low risk of becoming ‘stuck’. The material – when subjected to a differential pressure – will deform, providing a seal whilst navigating restrictions in internal geometry up to 50%. In addition to water removal and cleaning, the specified requirements were less than 400 ppm chloride content remaining within the line, and as HDPE linings were present, any pigs chosen should have no detrimental effect on the internal lining. A staged solution of running a cleaning batch of water/chemistry displaced by Aubin’s EVO-Pig, a freshwater flush, and subsequent de-watering with an EVO-Pig driven by nitrogen was employed. The operations were conducted safely and completed successfully with all client criteria met. EVO-Pig’s efficient displacement and dewatering of the line reduced energy requirements, minimised potential for leaks, and the added benefit of quick turnaround time to operational deployment were all considered strong positive outcomes. Based on the operations and results, the client was pleased to relay their positive application of the technology and would consider selecting the EVO-Pig range in the future.


Pipeline proving

ENTEGRA

Pipeline gauging

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs

E

NTEGRA® is a global pipeline inspection company specialising in ultra-high resolution (UHR) technologies and data analysis. Redefining industry standards for inline inspection, we deploy an extensive fleet of state-of-the-art UHR magnetic flux leakage, caliper, mapping (IMU) combination tools, cathodic protection

current mapping and tethered solutions. This technology is backed by a DA team led by experienced, talented data engineers from around the world. ENTEGRA can discover and identify complex corrosive threats ranging from pinholes to pits within pits to corrosion in puddle-welded pipe. Corrosion on the long seam, pilferage and manufacturing defects such as hard spots can also be readily found and characterised. We know our customers and we know they have a moral and legal obligation to know their pipeline. Our job is to power those efforts, helping our partners to see more, know more, do more and deliver on those obligations.

CASE STUDY

Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis

Other - please detail

28

A Louisiana operator needed an accurate, efficient and costeffective assessment of an 11.5 mile, 8 in. ethane pipeline. Serving as the operator’s trusted inline inspection service provider, ENTEGRA SPECIALISES IN UHR TECHNOLOGIES AND DATA ANALYSIS ENTEGRA was familiar with the SERVICES. nature of the operator’s challenges. ENTEGRA provided the UHR tools and data analysis to evaluate the line, which had multiple 1.5D bends, wall thickness changes and a host of expected features to be navigated, ranging from welds and valves to taps. Key sections of the pipeline transited multiple waterways, reinforcing the need for tool reliability and performance. The outcome was first-run success in line with our global 98.5% first-run success performance record. Pipeline debris, varying wall thicknesses and bends and the constantly UHR MFL/CAL/IMU COMBINATION TOOLS RANGE FROM 3 - 36 IN. changing conditions within the DIAMETERS. pipeline caused some (expected) speed excursions, but they did not affect the tool’s ability to gather and disseminate accurate UHR data on the entire line. The operator reported full compliance with their job specifications and that the ENTEGRA team delivered to their complete satisfaction.


NPIPE Products i

NPIPE PRODUCTS™ is an acknowledged world leader in the design, manufacture and supply of pipeline pigging, maintenance, testing and isolation products for over 35 years. With extensive engineering experience and expertise, the company has the capacity to offer custom engineering and a full turnkey project solutions dependent upon specific client requirements. Operating in the oil and gas, petrochemical, power generation, mining, nuclear, water and FLEXICAST™ PIGS. food processing industries, iNPIPE PRODUCTS engineers a comprehensive range of products including foam and metal bodied pigs, cup pigs, bi-directional cleaning/gauging pigs, pig handling equipment, isolation tools, spheres, pig signallers, pig tracking, pig diverters, pig launchers and receivers as well as bespoke engineered solutions. iNPIPE HIRE™ offers one of the largest worldwide hire fleets of isolation tools including internal and flange type weld testers up to 56 in., high pressure plugs and the dual FULL WIRE BRUSH AND CARBIDE FOAM PIGS AND BI-DIRECTIONAL tools. The extensive range of simple, CARBIDE TIPPED STUD PIGS. easy to use tools for pipeline testing and isolation provide a solution, CASE STUDY incorporating a unique and patented Posi-seal iNPIPE PRODUCTS was recently approached by a technology. major EPC Contractor in the Gulf region who iNPIPE PRODUCTS Solutions provides clients required enhanced pipeline cleaning tools for the with a range of project management and removal of scale, corrosion and salt deposition. engineering consultancy services for pipeline Following detailed design review of the client pigging and flow assurance. The company pipeline data, iNPIPE PRODUCTS designed, can assist clients with all aspects of pipeline manufactured and supplied 36 in., 30 in. and maintenance, cleaning, repairs, inspection, testing 24 in. full wire brush and carbide foam pigs and and commissioning. bi-directional carbide tipped stud pigs complete The company has extensive experience in the with pluggable bypass. design, manufacture and full FAT testing from its 6-acre site in the UK and delivering worldwide. iNPIPE PRODUCTS™ is always in total control of all manufacturing from its purpose designed 60 000 ft2 factory split into three bays: polyurethane moulding, fabrication and a fully integrated machine shop. Total control, right first time and on-time deliveries.

Pipeline proving Pipeline gauging

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis

Other -Pipeline isolation, decommissioning and cleaning

29


Intero Integrity

Pipeline proving Pipeline gauging

I

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT

ntero Integrity is a global service provider with over 35 years of experience in the pipeline pigging industry. We combine an innovative industrial service package with the latest inspection and robotic systems, backed by smart sensors and advanced data management. We provide inline inspection of pipelines including quick scans, full assessments, pre-engineering, mechanical works, mechanical and chemical cleaning, gauging, caliper runs, inspection, xyz surveys, reporting and consulting. The field of challenging pipelines is our speciality. Since each pipeline is unique, standard technologies and services do not always suffice. Decades of experience combined with cutting edge technology allows us to find creative solutions for specific challenges, while simultaneously providing customised technical solutions and adaptive field application. High-end engineering enables us to develop custom tools and equipment, while a certified, well trained and seasoned group of field engineers can apply these solutions anywhere in the world. Our pipeline inspection equipment is based on UT and MFL. Our systems are capable of providing high resolution data with the best defect sizing accuracy available. For maximum flexibility, the system applies a contact-free ultrasonic measuring head that is able to scan the full surface of the pipe wall. Dual diameter, mitered bends, full-bore unbarred tee pieces, and single entry configurations are well within the capabilities of our system and can be inspected utilising regular, high, and ultra-high resolutions. Our innovative solutions provide insight in pipelines ranging from 2 in. to 64 in., located from

Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other

WATCHING ROBOT ENTRY. Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis

Other - please detail

30

subsea offshore to remote areas anywhere in the world on short notice. All of our tools (hardware and software) are well maintained and updated in accordance with the latest industry standards. For our clients, the result is high quality solutions, better data, more reliable inspections, and less downtime. The collected data is presented in a comprehensive report (POF 2016) or can be viewed in our TubeViewer software. To determine the integrity we can provide post-inspection assessments (FFP, CGA,RLA) or the data can be uploaded into our cloud based Pipeline Risk and Integrity Management System (PRIMS) to manage and determine the integrity of your pipelines. We are constantly challenging the boundaries and looking to expand our knowledge and experience. In addition to our specialised services, methods and equipment, our newly constructed test, training and technology centre in The Netherlands allows us to keep our own and our client’s staff knowledgeable and well-trained.

CASE STUDY Determining the integrity of a 1950 year old 10 in., 5 mile long gas pipeline not designed to be pigged and an unknown geometry of the pipeline, the number of fittings and excavations required, the trajectory of the pipeline through farmland, as well as potential weather delays. This is what we call a challenging pipeline. Given the uncertainties of the pipeline composition, the decision was made to inspect the pipeline out of service and in order to complete the project successfully, inspection solutions that can overcome these uncertainties and challenges were required. Our Explorer ILI robots are tetherless and battery operated, which means they have a finite distance they are able to inspect before they must be recharged. In lieu of numerous size-on-size hot tap fittings, recharging stations were added to the pipeline, thereby reducing the number of times the Explorer ILI robot would be removed from the line. Working together, the client and Intero determined 13 sites were required along the pipeline length. The client worked with the land owners and their farmland to determine the optimal locations. Special consideration was given to how far equipment would need to travel over farmland, as rain and mud could make excavations inaccessible. We were successful in inspecting the 5 mile pipeline using the Explorer ILI and we were able to collect high quality MFL, laser deformation, and video data with over 99% coverage. By utilising our launcher and in-line charging, the length of unpiggable gas line was inspected in only nine days.


Jee Limited J

ee Limited offers engineering support, technical assurance and project management to complex pigging and pipeline isolation projects. They have a long track record of undertaking pigging and plugging projects worldwide specialising in challenging scenarios including pipelines historically classed as ‘unpiggable’. Covering all phases of the asset lifecycle, Jee can assist with feasibility studies, commissioning pigging and baseline in-line inspections (ILI), through to operational cleaning and life-of-field ILI campaigns to cleaning for decommissioning. Each project is unique and their involvement has ranged from discreet activities to support throughout the whole project process. Within pigging they are able to assist with: pigging feasibility studies, pipeline bore mapping (pipeline geometry review), pig/ILI tendering and tool selection, tool development and testing support, third party pig design verification with their in-house pig design assurance checksheets, risk assessment and procedures, and offshore/ onsite execution management. In addition to the above, their plugging capabilities include: review of plug setting/unsetting procedures, load stress checks on pipe wall, verification notes on plug vendor supplied documentation, and rigorous test regimes for every operation.

CASE STUDY Jee’s client operates a condensate export pipeline which is pigged on a fortnightly basis for wax management purposes. Due to pig launcher valve issues, no pigging had been undertaken for almost 12 months, leading to significant concerns around the ability to pig the lines with the fleet of tools available due to expected wax buildup during this period. A detailed review of the approach to re-instating pigging operations was therefore required. Jee assessed the pipeline pigging history, expected debris condition and reviewed options for dewaxing the pipeline. Jee then specified the requirements for the initial pigs in a progressive cleaning programme with the intention of obtaining confidence that wax levels in the pipeline had been reduced sufficiently to run the existing remediation pigs safely, followed by reinstating runs of the routine operations pig design. Jee provided technical assurance to the entire process of designing, testing and fabricating the pigging campaign including design optimisation of new pig designs. Jee also acted as the client site representative at the pig testing and carried

Pipeline proving

out fabrication QA/QC checks on the pigs at the vendor facility. The revised remediation campaign included: • Use of multi-density and medium density foam pigs. • A foam calliper pig to measure the waxed pipeline bore. • New low-aggression small-mandrel bypass pigs. The strategy provided by Jee included a decision tree clearly defining the data to be reviewed and decisions to be made on receipt of each pig. This was especially important for the transition from the foam pigs to the hard-bodied pigs due to the increase in risk associated with the step up in cleaning effectiveness between pig types and the need to avoid generating a large debris plug ahead of the pig. Jee liaised with the client team within the specific region, as well as central engineering teams to ensure all risks and concerns were identified and mitigated as far as possible. The campaign was carried out over two months at the end of which the operator was able to confidently reinstate the routine pigs at their standard frequency. Jee’s experience of complex pigging requirements helped their client to use the most effective tools for the project, including bespoke designs for the specific campaign requirements, minimising the risk and maximising the probability of a successful pigging campaign.

Pipeline gauging

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other

LOW-AGGRESSION PIG DURING WAX TESTING. Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis

Other -project management and technical assurance

31


Pigs Unlimited International

Pipeline proving Pipeline gauging

Precommissioning

P

igs Unlimited International‘s (PUI) manufacturing and business operations run exclusively within the USA, and the company is a leading manufacturer of a full line of

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive

GREY HARD SCALE PIGS AFTER A SUCCESSFUL RUN WITH THE SEDIMENT THE PIGS REMOVED.

Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other

BEFORE/AFTER PICTURES OF A TOTAL WIRE BRUSH PIG AFTER A SUCCESSFUL RUN.

Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis

Other - please detail

32

pigging products including foam, solid-cast, and steel-mandrel pigs, as well as spare components (cups, discs, and brushes). They also manufacture and supply ancillary tools and equipment often needed to complete a pigging job such as pig trackers, pig poles, pig passage indicators, traps and more. Pigs Unlimited’s ability to have stock always available and quick production times on durable custom built pigs has made it one of the leading manufactures in the market. Pictured to the left are results from a progressive pigging run. Progressive pigging is a special method for cleaning lines with reduced internal diameters caused by product build up on the pipe wall. This method of pigging is necessary due to the increased risk of the pig being unable to navigate the extreme internal diameter reductions, potentially plugging the pipeline. The first step involves ascertaining the internal diameter of the line. This can be achieved by viewing the inside of the pipe at either end or removing a fitting such as valve; using a light-density swab to prove the line. Because deposits can be heavier in some sections of the line and lighter in others due to piping and flow variations, it is recommended to use a line-size-light-density swab to prove the line. Once amount of deposit build up is determined, the next step of progressive pigging is to run a medium density bare pig followed by a line sized light density pig. This process is repeated by slightly increasing the size of the medium density criss cross and wire brush foam pigs while continuing to run line sized swabs until the pigs are ran with minimal wear. The last stage of progressive pigging is to run a line-size medium-density bare pig to perform a final sweep of the line removing any loose debris. By adopting a routine pigging programme, progressive pigging should not be needed again to clean the line.


www.starksolutions.com

001-936-539-2386

sales@starksolutions.com

33


Pipeline proving

Pigtek

Pipeline gauging

P

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis Other - specialist pig design, development of dual diameter pigs and multi diameter pigs

34

igtek provides specialist pigging products and services for applications where ‘standard’ products simply cannot perform or are proving to be inefficient. Products and services are performance driven and our reputation is built on quality, experience and customer care. Pigtek continues to design and develop many unique specialist pigs and revolutionary pigging methods – from tackling pipelines with little or no previous pigging history to routine maintenance pigging. Clients include many of the world’s leading oil and gas majors, primary pipeline operators and international pipeline inspection companies. Pigtek Advanced Cleaning Pigs offer optimum performance and have achieved results in extreme pipeline conditions. Comprehensive pipe wall conditioning is essential for flow assurance, and removing debris through the use of efficient pigging equipment has many advantages, including improved flow throughput, reduced pipeline operating costs, stable flow, pressure and velocity, and allowing corrosion inhibitors access to bare pipe wall for maximum protection. Pigtek has products specifically designed to

tackle various types of pipeline debris, such as wax, scale, sand, sludge, dust and ferrous debris. Pigtek designs and produces individual, unique pigs to overcome specific pipeline pigging problems. Following an initial assessment, pig development often continues through to full-scale trials and testing of a prototype pig. Trials provide the opportunity to witness how the pig is likely to perform in ‘live’ conditions and enables any amendments to be made before final production.

CASE STUDY

Pigtek was awarded a contract to develop a unique multi-diameter pigging solution; oil is currently exported from the client’s offshore platform to a third-party operated platform via a 16 in. pipeline. But due to the third-party platform ceasing production, an alternative pipeline route will by-pass this platform and tie directly into a 24 in. pipeline. The 24 in. pipeline then ties into a 34 in. pipeline system which terminates onshore. The new routing will require the use of a pig that can not only provide operational cleaning in the 16 in. pipeline to remove wax, but to also continue in traversing the complex pipeline route with changes in diameter from 16 in. to 24 in. to 34 in. Through an intensive pig design and development programme, including a series of optimisation trials, Pigtek has delivered a solution capable of achieving these highly demanding requirements with a pig that incorporates innovative technology, exotic materials and unique components. This revolutionary pig has now been run successfully through the ‘live’ pipeline system, pushing the boundaries PIGTEK PROTOTYPE MULTI-DIAMETER PIG AND 34 IN. OPERATIONAL PIG of multi-diameter pigging EXITING THE TEST LOOP DURING PIG INTERACTION TRIALS. further than ever before.


Propipe Limited P

ropipe Limited is a leading supplier of pipeline pigs, pig tracking equipment and pipeline isolation plugs, with over 20 years of direct experience. Every item from Propipe is designed to meet the specific requirements of each pipeline and can be developed, tested and proven in-house before field use. Propipe has a factory complex at its site in Hartlepool, UK, and a unique all-weather testing plant, for piggability testing and product development. 30 IN. MULTI-HIT SMART. The company has been testing pipeline pigs for several years at their dedicated test facility. Tests can vary from simple testing to full piggability testing for multidiameter pipelines. Propipe North America are the specialist developers of the Trident pig tracking range, which features: • EM Transmitters c/w bluetooth and datalogging. • Acoustic pingers. • Surface, subsea diver and ROV receivers. • Magnetic pig signallers. • APEX above-ground marker system c/w 3G or satellite. • Pipeline dataloggers (acceleration, gyro, RANGE OF PRECOMMISSIONING PIGS. pressure and temperature). • SMART gauge using single-hit or multi-hit Propipe SMART Gauge systems are used to systems. allow safe gauging of subsea pipelines before tie• Trident PigView software including thru-wall in. Working with a pipelay contractor offshore data transfer technology. Mauritania, Propipe was asked to provide a Propipe pigs are supplied for many 30 in. SMART Gauge Pig to allow gauging of the applications, including spool cleaning and pipeline, but with the pig to pass reduced-bore gauging, J-tube cleaning and gauging, 28 in. sections. The Trident Multi-Hit SMART pipelay flood, clean and gauge, dewatering, Gauge system allows this and uses on-board commissioning, pre-Inspection cleaning, isolation analysis software to recognise the difference pigs and decommissioning pigs between a known reduction and an actual Propipe has extensive experience in the use of pipeline defect. The pig is suitable for backdual and multi-diameter pigs, such as 16 in. to loading and reverse recovery and also will record 20 in. and up to 24 in. x 30 in. the full run for later download.

Pipeline proving Pipeline gauging

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis

Other - please detail

35


Pipeline proving

purehm

Pipeline gauging

P

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs

ureHM’s proprietary Armadillo Tracks system provides the most reliable tracking for any type of pig, on any pipeline using legacy or remote methods. The Armadillo AGM tracks and records each pig passage with up to seven sensors and creates a snapshot of that passage for record keeping. Remote tracking: when remote tracking, the AGM communicates with PureHM’s control room using a GSM or Satellite remote tracking unit. The remote tracking equipment is pre-deployed before a pigging project, meaning no field technicians are required on the right of way during the run. It is the safest method of tracking for pigging projects. For longer distance projects and multiple pig runs, it also reduces tracking costs significantly. Conventional tracking: conventional tracking is ideal for short distance projects, or projects with limited safety concerns where

Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry

ARMADILLO RTT AGM INSTALLED AT A PUMPING STATION IN AN EFFORT TO IMPROVE OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY.

Intelligent pigs: other Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis

Other - please detail

36

one or two technicians can track the pigs during a single shift. In these situations, Armadillo conventional tracking is more cost-efficient than remote tracking, yet still provides the reliability of the Armadillo AGM. Permanent tracking: the Armadillo RTT system involves permanent deployment of PureHM’s AGMs for tracking cleaning and ILI tools. It is ideal for regularly pigged pipelines or multi-pipeline corridors where conventional tracking methods are expensive and pose unnecessary safety risk due to frequent right-of-way (ROW) access. In these situations, permanent AGM installation and remote tracking saves operators a significant amount in field costs, while making pig tracking safer. LiveMap: PureHM’s LiveMap web viewer is included in every PureHM tracking project and provides up-to-date run information to project stakeholders. LiveMap provides operators and stakeholders with more reliable information about their tracking runs, and custom updates via SMS or email. Site documentation: PureHM can accurately survey new AGM locations before an ILI project begins, or re-survey existing AGM locations to improve accuracy. Improved AGM location accuracy helps operators save money by improving the accuracy of ILI. PureHM is currently working with a number of major pipeline operators to install permanent Armadillo RTT AGM units along their right of way. Once installed these units allow the pipeline operator to effectively remove the requirement for a field technician during ILI inspections, subsequently reducing their risk exposure. One of the largest impacts to a pipeline operator’s bottom line is the amount of time that the pipeline is not operating at full capacity. While ILI programmes are a vital necessity for pipeline operation, they inherently affect the ability of the operator to maximize their throughput, especially so when bypassing a pump station. By strategically identifying tracking locations, the Armadillo RTT system allows the operator to manage their pipeline logistics in such a way that they can significantly reduce their pump station bypassing timeframe. This raises the operational efficiency allowing the operator to move as much product as possible.


PosiTector Inspection ®

Unrivaled probe interchangeability for all of your inspection needs. 

Coating Thickness

Surface Profile

Environmental Conditions

Hardness

Ultrasonic Wall Thickness

Salt Contamination

+1-315-393-4450  www.defelsko.com Backwards Compatibility! Accepts ALL coating thickness, surface profile, environmental, soluble salt, hardness, and ultrasonic wall thickness probes manufactured since 2012.

DeFelsko Corporation  Ogdensburg, New York USA Tel: +1-315-393-4450  Email: techsale@defelsko.com

37


ROSEN Group

Pipeline proving Pipeline gauging

T

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis Other - umbilical pigging operation, robotic/crawler units

38

smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android) is used to collect data at the launcher and receiver without the need for an internet connection. Once an internet connection is available, the previously collected and stored data is uploaded to an online database (Online Repository) for storage and dashboard visualisation. The two levels ensures needs are addressed accordingly. In the Basic Assessment (Level 1) data such as pipeline operating conditions, trap conditions, used tool configuration, post-run tool condition, debris type and volume, cup/disk wear, gauge plate measurements, and photographic evidence is collected in the field via the app and uploaded to the Online Repository. Featuring a dashboard of predefined key performance indicators (KPIs) and automatically generated reports, this database provides a comprehensive overview of all cleaning runs performed so operators can get a quick overview of their data and draw their own conclusions. The Enhanced Assessment (Level 2) additionally includes data from intelligent cleaning tools containing a Pipeline Data Logger (PDL). The purpose is to capture more-detailed information, such as differential pressure in the pipeline, flow velocities, temperature profile and tool rotation. Cleaning experts then analyse the captured data and identify trends, evaluate the efficiency of the cleaning campaign and offer opportunities for improvement. They can also provide recommendations on run frequencies and tool configurations, and they can conduct proactive flow-assurance modeling. The ArcGIS Survey123 App from ESRI is used to collect all field data, underlying questionnaires are customisable and tailored to any run goals (cleaning/dewatering/ batching etc.) In terms of reporting using the online repository, reports are automatically generated and THE CLEANING ANALYTICS SERVICE PROVIDES AN END-TO-END SOLUTION timelines are flexible. They include FOR COLLECTING, PROCESSING, AND ANALYSING CLEANING DATA. charts, photos, and any other data collected and can be visualized according to KPIs at any time. Reports are organised by asset and run dates. Using and collecting the information from pig runs can be unbelievably valuable in increasing asset lifetime and performance, efficiency, and minimising risk. Having all the data in one dashboard visualisation makes for quick and effective decision-making, taking the guess work out of pipeline cleaning. he ROSEN Group offers the full range of services and products related to the pigging industry, and beyond. Our technology portfolio addresses all threats pipeline and facility operators face, including geohazards, metal loss, cracking, material and pipe property verification, and combined threats. In addition, in nearly 40 years the ROSEN Group has gained unparalleled operational experience and offers in-line inspection solutions for challenging to inspect pipelines. Making pigging a science rather than an art tends to be a mission for many vendors and operators, particularly pigging for pipeline cleaning. Although cleaning runs do provide information about the type, volume, and nature of removed debris, and the condition of the utilised pig, this information is rarely collected and analysed. However, from this information, operators can gain insight into cleaning effectiveness, abrasiveness of present debris, bore restrictions, and readiness for ILI. The Cleaning Analytics Service (CAS) provides an end-to-end solution for collecting, processing and analysing cleaning data. An easy-to-use app for


T.D. Williamson P

igging technology pioneer T.D. Williamson (TDW) helps operators worldwide maximise throughput, eliminate downtime and mitigate risk. Because no two pipelines are alike, we manufacture one of the widest ranges of purpose-built pigs, available in multiple diameters, customisable and configurable to meet 10 IN. MFL AND DEF TOOL BEING LIFTED INTO A VERTICAL PIPELINE FOR AN even extreme conditions. INLINE INSPECTION RUN. TDW provides: • Purpose-built pigs for Initially, the operator considered using gauging, cleaning, batching, liquids displacement robotic remote-controlled ILI. However, to and corrosion inhibition. reach the entry and exit points, the robot • Quick-actuating and threaded closures that are would have to make a 110 ft vertical climb safe and easy to operate, including the marketon the inlet side. The vendor doubted the leading D2000 closure with the ProSeriesTM robot could pull itself straight upward and was concerned it might make an uncontrolled drop Advantage. on descent. • Pig tracking equipment that continuously Instead, TDW employed a pull-through monitors the location of the pig inside the approach with wireline equipment. This solution pipeline, from launch to retrieval, including enabled the cleaning pigs and ILI tools to safely ‘smart’ tools that record speed excursions or ascend into the pipeline and move through it at stalls. a regulated speed. • Pig passage indicators (or pig-sigs) that mark The operation began with progressive pigging when a pig has passed a specific point inside the – a process of using increasingly aggressive pipeline. cleaning pigs until cleanliness standards are • Inline inspection (ILI) tools, including the met – to prepare the pipeline for good sensor Multiple Dataset platform equipped with five contact during the ILI phase. This critical step technologies and the revolutionary new gouge ensures first-time run success. versus metal loss (GvML) classifier. TDW next ran a gauge pig to check for bore • Technical support and onsite consulting; restrictions and then launched magnetic flux assurance based progressive pigging; technicians leakage (MFL) and deformation (DEF) to perform online and offline maintenance, technology in combination. Not only did the chemical and pre-inspection cleaning. tools provide vital information about metal loss and out-of-roundness, dents and other CASE STUDY geometric anomalies, running them together Height makes managing the integrity of underserved a safety purpose; the MFL tool provided bridge pipelines complex and more difficult, with enough drag to prevent the possibility of it potential risk increasing inch-by-inch. Yet when falling during descent. it came to cleaning and inspecting a 10 in. natural gas pipeline affixed to the underside of a 429 m (1408 ft) bridge – a span with an above-water clearance of 41 m (135 ft) – height wasn’t the only challenge TDW had to consider. There was no access to insert or remove the cleaning pigs or ILI tools, and no way to install traps. And because the flow came from enduser demand on the line, there wasn’t much the operator could do to regulate the flowrate, which under normal circumstances would keep the pigs and tools moving at optimal velocity.

Pipeline proving Pipeline gauging

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis

Other -pipeline closures

39


Tracerco

Pipeline proving Pipeline gauging

T

Precommissioning

Dewatering

Mandrel pigs Foam pigs Solid cast pigs Pig tracking

Pig signals: intrusive Pig signals: nonintrusive Intelligent pigs: MFL Intelligent pigs: UT Intelligent pigs: geometry Intelligent pigs: other Inhibitors/chemical cleaning

Data analysis

Other - please detail

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racerco’s field proven subsea technologies deliver real-time condition monitoring of subsea assets. Established to provide 100% accurate, safe and reliable pipeline pig tracking, Tracerco’s GammaTracTM instrument provides fast, effective and complete control of subsea pig tracking, pig positioning and pig location. Implementing GammaTrac and the use of optimised radioactive sources attached to each pig as part of a pigging campaign, is a simple operation that has a proven track record in the industry. An operator will know exactly where a pig is during inline inspection (ILI), cleaning and de-watering activities, as well as the speed of the pig when multiple GammaTrac instruments are used. Pipeline operators can use this data to minimise the risk of damage to the pipeline and maintain maximised production throughput. Rapid pig detection also ensures that time is saved in locating any lost or stuck pigs, preventing any significant production/financial losses for pipeline operators. Our GammaTrac instrument is also optimised for use with work-class ROV’s and/or divers for up to 3000 m water depth, providing real time results that enable operators to quickly locate a lost or stuck pig and proceed with inspection. With proven reliability, our pig tracking systems

can be deployed throughout the full life cycle of a pipeline – from pre-commissioning through operational requirements to de-commissioning. Whether it is during activities such as tool isolation and positioning (accurate to +/- 5 cm), flooding, cleaning, gauging or dewatering, inline inspection in steel, rigid or pipe in pipe systems or within buried pipelines (up to 0.5 m burial), operators can be secure in the knowledge the location of the pig is known. Accurate and reliable pig tracking can also be applied to foam pigs as part of a pipeline cleaning testing run. Our technologies are used in the non-intrusive subsea pipeline inspection of both unpiggable and piggable coated and uncoated subsea pipelines, to help oil and gas operators better understand flow assurance issues and ensure the integrity of their assets. This ensures that maximum production is achieved.

ONGOING PROJECT BRIEFS

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Figure 1. Surface preparation is defined as the cleaning and/or pre-treatment of the metal and adjacent coating surface.

Drs. J. F. Doddema, CEO, MONTI Werkzeuge GmbH, Germany, discusses ways to achieve adequate surface preparation, to combat pipeline corrosion.

S

urface preparation of pipeline steel before external coating application is the foundation of corrosion prevention. Any compromise made in the degree of surface preparation will usually compromise the field joint and/or repair coating performance as well, regardless of the technical quality of the field joint coating. Surface preparation is defined as the cleaning and/or pre-treatment of the metal and adjacent coating surface, ensuring the best possible bond between the surface to be coated and the coating to be applied. Coating degradation problems that lead to the creation of a corrosion risk within the design life of a pipeline can be attributed to one of the following causes ) An inappropriate specification for the coating material and/ or coating process. ) Poor surface preparation and/or application. ) Interaction with the operating environment.

Poor surface preparation and poor coating application practices can lead to premature coating degradation, particularly loss of adhesion, and increased risk of corrosion. Appropriate standards have been well defined for many years but do not appear to be applied correctly. There are many degrees and methods of surface preparation, ranging from simple dusting or blowing away of loose dirt and rust, to the complete removal of all contaminants. The methods include the use of steam cleaning, laser cleaning, oscillation cleaning, chemical cleaning, hand tools, power tools such as grinders and needle guns, bristle blasting, water-jetting and loose abrasive blasting for e.g. loose abrasive grit blasting or sponge-jetting. Preparation grades as included in ISO 8501-1 (Sa 1.0 - 3.0) have been used for many decades to describe the surface cleanliness level achieved by the abrasive blast cleaning method as described in ISO 8504-3. Blast-cleaning grade Sa 3 is deemed as the cleanest possible surface finish from the blast cleaning method and it is normally produced in a plant-applied pipeline coating environment using engineering controls and automated blast cleaning machines with metallic abrasives. Blast-cleaning grade Sa2½ is typically achieved on working sites, where access is sometimes difficult and temporary provisions such as encapsulation, heating and dehumidification are used to control the works.

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An important rule to remember when selecting both the degree and method of surface preparation is that the service and life expectancy of a given field joint coating or coating system is directly proportional to the degree of surface cleaning done prior to field joint application.

The second objective is to remove surface imperfections in accordance with the ISO 8501-3. Some of these are: ) Weld spatter.

Prepare what’s important

) Burrs.

The first objective of surface preparation is to remove surface contaminants that will affect the performance of the field joint coating. Some of these are: ) Oil and grease – these can inhibit good coating adhesion and should completely be removed.

) Sharp edges.

) Slivers. ) Pits. ) Crevices.

) Soluble salts – these can increase moisture penetration by

osmotic pressure through the coating and can accelerate the rate of corrosion. ) Dust and dirt – these can inhibit good coating adhesion. ) Rust – usually cannot be penetrated by most coatings

resulting in uneven layers with exposed metal where corrosion can take place. ) Mill scale – these cannot be penetrated by most coatings

and will eventually break free from the substrate taking any coating with it. ) Delaminated coating – can be present at edges-backs and

All visible surface imperfections of substrate caused by the girth welding operation, such as welding slag and spatter, sharp edges or burrs that could damage the coating, detected before or during surface preparation should be removed by an approved grinding method, welding and/or appropriate filing polymer and/or techniques according to the following grades. Grinding of steel defects should not reduce the wall thickness below the specified minimum wall thickness of the pipe. The third objective of surface preparation is to provide an ‘anchor pattern’ or ‘surface profile’, which improves the bonding depending on the adjacent coating adhesion mechanism such as epoxies, polyurethanes, fusion bondedepoxies and it increases the surface area.

can inhibit corrosion prevention.

Take extra care and time before coating in the field The ISO 8501 relates the cleanliness of the surface to its visual appearance only. In many instances, this is sufficient for the purpose of atmospheric applied coatings, but for field joint coating exposed in severe environments such as water immersion and continuous wet conditions, special attention should be given to the following factors, requirements and tests.

Presence of moisture Many types of coating require a dry surface and do not allow water to be present on the substrate. Condensation can appear on the substrate when the substrate temperature is below the dew point of ambient air although it may always not be “visible moisture”. Dew point and probability of condensation should be checked in accordance with an internationally accepted standard (e.g. ISO 8502-4). Presence of continuous condensation can be reduced by using special drying systems. Water may also originate from different sources not related to condensation such as from rain or from submersion. Water/ moisture can be mitigated by waiting for the surface to dry or by creating a water-tight habitat (when necessary).

Contamination by soluble salts Figure 2. Bristle blasting is the alternate method for surface preparation.

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Soluble salts present on substrates are mainly originating from salts containing chlorides. Soluble salts contamination


is therefore often designated and measured as chloride contamination. They can have a detrimental effect on the long term coating performance and should therefore be limited on the substrate and adjacent coating, to a quantity that does not affect the performance of the new coating. Compatibility with substrates having determined levels of salt contamination shall be demonstrated in a technical assessment. The level of these hygroscopic salts remaining on the substrate should not exceed 20 mg/m3. The level should be measured in accordance with the requirement of ISO 8502-6 or ISO 8502-9. Contamination by soluble salts can be mitigated by washing the substrate by demineralised water to avoid false total salts readings. Attention should be given to habitat conditions in order to prevent recurrence.

Dust contamination Dust is a type of contamination that can originate from different sources. This includes – but is not limited to – soil, abrasives used for surface cleaning, removed corrosion products, and delaminated plant coatings. They all have in common that they are rather loosely attached to the substrate. Dust can have a number of detrimental effects on the coating performance, e.g. adhesion strength and occurrence of coating voids during application. The degree of dust remaining on the surface should be assessed in accordance with the requirements of ISO 8502-3. This contamination can be mitigated by cleaning the substrate. Attention should be given to habitat conditions in order to prevent recurrence.

be realised – impair long term proper performance of the coating. Substrate contamination by oil, grease, and other petroleum-like products should be tested in accordance with an internationally accepted standard (e.g. ASTM F22). Oil, grease and wax should be removed by solvent cleaning in accordance with SSPC-SP1, steam-cleaning or by a suitable detergent. This contamination can be mitigated by washing the substrate with water jetting techniques using detergents and/ or by solvent cleaning using a suitable solvent. Attention

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Contamination by oil, grease, and other petroleum-like products Oil and grease predominantly consist of hydrocarbons. They all have in common that they are relatively non-polar compounds being insoluble in water, and that they stick very well to the substrate. They form a film on the substrate that impairs proper adhesion with many types of coating, or – when adhesion could

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should be given to habitat conditions in order to prevent recurrence. Attention should also be given to precautionary measures in order to prevent health, safety and environmental issues.

Compatibility with existing coating If the selected coating overlaps the existing coating, it shall be compatible with the existing coating and show proper adhesion to prevent air or water ingress. In case there is no overlap, a small gap may remain at the interface which should then be coated with a third compatible material. Compatibility between field joint coatings and existing coatings should be tested by assessing at least adhesion before and after accelerated ageing procedures at room temperature and at maximum service temperature, as described in this part of ISO 18797.

Special attention should be given to existing coatings with irregular surface profiles and feathered edges.

Feasibility of surface cleaning The level of possible surface preparation may be impacted by local regulations, environmental concerns, and skills of the work forces. In case of impossibility to remove all traces of the former coating, alternate methods for loose abrasive blasting according ISO 8501-1 can be considered such as for e.g. Bristle Blasting.

Space and access constraints The space required to perform the surface preparation and coating application should be taken into consideration when selecting surface preparation method and coating type. The space around the pipe should be sufficient and stable enough to ensure a safe and proper work area.

Time constraints The surface preparation method should allow coating to be applied in time to prevent flashrust. Flashrust occurs when freshly abrasive blast cleaned steel are exposed to high humidity, rain or a corrosive atmosphere. The time involved in getting rust back can vary from minutes to weeks. As a rule of thumb it is always advisable than a loose abrasive blast cleaned surface to Sa2½ in accordance with the requirements of ISO 8501 Part A1 (visual assessment) should be coated within eight hours. Under no circumstances should the steel be allowed to rust before coating is applied regardless of the time elapsed. However, an exception to the rule is the use of surface tolerant coatings or surface preparation methods that don’t change the surface tension of the steel surface, e.g. bristle blasting.

Repeatability

Figure 3. Bristle blasting in the field.

Whatever the level of surface cleanliness required – e.g. Sa2½ in accordance with the requirements of ISO 8501 Part A1 (visual assessment) – the correct hardness, size and angularity of loose abrasives as a method, or the correct method of bristle blasting, could be used. A dense, regular, and angular profile (anchor pattern) is required in order to obtain the largest, cleaned surface area and maximum adhesion of the coating to the cleaned and profiled substrate according the requirements of ISO 8503-5 (replica tape), or other methods ISO 8503-1, 8503-2, 8503-3, 8503-4 correlating with ISO 8503-5 may be used. A rounded, dished profile is not acceptable. In areas where the roughness of the profile does not meet the requirements, the surface should be redone. The peak to through height of the anchor pattern, the Rz-value, should be minimally governed by the thickness of the applied liquid coating, which depends on the adhesive mechanism via an anchor profile.

Substrate temperatures

Figure 4. Bristle blasting, depending on the brush and the type, meets the requirements of power tool cleaning.

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During the coating application, temperatures should be within limits as stated by coating manufacturer. Relative humidity can be of interest for the coating application process within eight hours after surface preparation to avoid flash rust, and should not exceed the minimum and


maximum humidity as specified in the PDS. In cases when the relative humidity exceeds permissible limits, habitats/tents or other containments should be set to allow the air treatment inside. When using cleaning materials such as water jetting or wet abrasive blasting, the cleaned surface will rust very rapidly. It is therefore essential that a rust inhibitor is applied to the surface itself immediately after cleaning, or mixed in the water being used during the actual cleaning process.

Adhesion mechanism of various coatings Adhesion mechanisms can be divided basically into mechanical interaction, thermodynamic mechanisms, Vanderwaal’s forces and chemical bonding. Among these different adhesion mechanisms, a significant amount of contributions is due to mechanical adhesion. Mechanical adhesion in a loose abrasive blasted substrate or a bristle blasted substrate relies on the curing (hardening) of the coating inside the surface profile and asperities of the substrate surface and physical anchorage resulting therefrom. Mechanical bond may be assisted by contact friction between the substrate and coating in areas where the actual adhesion is inadequate. It is important to note that mechanical adhesion in tension differs significantly from mechanical adhesion in shear. For example, a high interface roughness may improve shear bond strength, whereas tensile mechanical bond strength primarily depends on vertical anchorage in the surface profile.

Surface energy Surface energy is more important for bonding. Areas in a loose abrasive and/or bristle blasted surface are not flat but three-dimensional. Roughness of a three-dimensional surface cannot be accurately characterised by using a single roughness parameter in linear length. Parameters that characterise surface profiles Ra, Ry, and Rz, or peak count, are two-dimension parameters. Although they are widely utilised in different applications, they are not really able to provide the full information on the three-dimensional surfaces. Most importantly, these linear length parameters do not form a linear relationship by themselves to surface area or surface energy. 3D roughness profile testers are on the market.

Figure 5. Monti’s specialised power tools provide innovative solutions for blasting without grit.

following cleaning methods can be used. These methods do not create a roughness profile.

Cleaner/degreaser Removes dirt, grease, oil, adhesives, road tar. Agitate for one minute before use. Apply directly on the surface, rub with a brush or cloth, and rinse thoroughly with clean water or wipe with a damp cloth. For large jobs dilute cleaner/degreaser with water. All surfaces should be dry before coating is applied.

Steam cleaning

Damage during handling During handling, turning and laying, damage to the field joints welds, edges and to the surface by the use of sharp-toothed clamps should be avoided by taking precautionary measures. Touch-up and repairs can easily be handled by the bristle blasting method and subsequent coating systems.

Recommended for removing grease, oil, salt, acid, alkali, and similar chemical residue from large areas. For maximum effectiveness, steam cleaning should be used in combination with alkaline cleaning. The surface should be thoroughly dry and free of residue before it is coated.

Alkaline cleaning

Cleanliness at site Just as surface cleanliness before the first coating layer is fundamental to performance of the complete system, so is the cleanliness of the coated surface prior to the application of subsequent coating layers within a system.

Cleaning methods without anchor profile generation In order to remove rust, dust and contaminants, cleaning methods such as laser cleaning, oscillation cleaning and the

For removal of dust, dirt, wax, grease, oil, fat, salt, acid residue, etc., scrub the surface with a strong commercial detergent solution such as trisodium phosphate (TSP), then flush thoroughly with fresh water. Surface should be completely dry and free of any residue before it is coated.

Volatile solvent cleaning Make certain the area is well ventilated. Apply solvent to the surface with cloths, sponges, or brushes and scrub to remove grease and oil. Several successive wipings are usually necessary,

JULY 2021 / World Pipelines

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using clean cloths and solvent each time. For optimum results follow with alkaline cleaning.

Loose abrasive blasting cannot be normative in a standard for coating in the field Selection of a suitable method is necessary to achieve the required standard of surface preparation. For repairs and coating in the field, it should not be normative to use only the method of loose abrasive blasting to achieve ISO 8501-1 Sa 1-3 grades. In the ISO standard, the loose abrasive blast cleaning method ISO 8504-2 should be informative. ‘Sa’ is the designation for blasting cleaning by loose abrasives only. Surface preparation methods by hand- and or power tools such as needle guns, or wire brushing are designed by ‘St’. Descriptions are given in ISO 8504-3 for cleaning, including treatment prior to, and after. Preparation grade St is not included, as it would correspond to a surface unsuitable for field joint coating. Abrasives used in the preparation of field joints should comply with ISO 11124 or ISO 11126. Compressed air for blast-cleaning should be free of oil, condensed moisture and any other contaminants, and must conform to the requirements of ASTM D4285.

Bristle blasting, the alternative method This method for removal of millscale, rust, old coating and creating a profile is mechanical by a handheld pneumatic, electric power or water-driven tools and semi-automatic or automatic machines. During operation, the bristle tips will create a dense, angular, regular roughness profile of more than 50 micron Rz and a cleanliness equal to requirements of ISO 8501-1 Sa2½.

10 000 strikes per second without heating up the surface per 23 mm belt The core feature is the accelerator bar. It suspends each separate bristle during rotation and accelerates it to increase the kinetic energy of the bristle tips impacting the surface. The system combines the ability to produce an abrasive blasted finish with the high mobility and flexibility of a portable hand-held tool. The procedures prior to bristle blasting and after are similar to loose abrasive blasting. The applicator should wear glasses. Visual sight during the operation is possible to check the cleanliness. The bristles can be reclaimed and dust control vacuum machines can be attached. Compressed air for bristle blasting by a pneumatic tool shall be free of oil, and condensed moisture. ) Sa 3 is approximately equivalent to NACE No.1/SSPC-SP5 (White metal blast cleaning). ) Sa2½ is approximately equivalent to NACE No.2/SSPC-SP10

current normative loose abrasive method to achieve a Sa 1 till 3 cleanliness. General rule of thumb or production is that one operator can prepare 1 m2/h with one bristle blaster of 23 mm width. Bristle Blaster Double offers 3 m2/h per person as surface preparation power. Prepper Q4 and Prepper Q10 are available in a wider configuration. Subsea bristle blasting is also available based on on water hydraulics.

Other power-tools cleaning according ISO8501-1 grade St2/3 For coating in the field requiring minimal surface preparation, the surface should be prepared according ISO8501-1 grade St2/3. Tightly adhered millscale, rust, coating can remain provided it cannot be removed with a dull putty knife. Please note that tightly adhered invisible millscale can affect the adhesion and performance of the coating system. Hand tool cleaning can be an ideal method to prepare small areas, areas with difficult access, or areas where the use of blast cleaning is not permitted or it is impractical. There are many different tools available to manually prepare surfaces; some of the most common include: ) Rotary wire brush – available in various forms to fit specific machines, including cup and radial form, knotted or crimpled tips. Wire brushes have good resistance to wear and tear. ) Reciprocating impact tool (needle gun) – this tool consists

of a group of steel needles that are struck by a piston, like a chisel. The needles project out of the gun simultaneously and they will strike the surface individually and hence adapt to irregular surfaces. This is most effective on brittle or loose surface contaminants. ) Grinders or sanders – for example, cutter bundles or stars

are hardened steel washers that are grouped together on an axis and rotate individually. These are used in metal and nonmetal surface preparation, grinding concrete, and for generation of non-slip surfaces. ) Rotary impact or scarifying tools – generally consist of an

abrasive material spinning at high speeds, using centrifugal force to project cutters or hammers against the surface. These tools accomplish most cleaning jobs rapidly and leave surfaces fairly smooth, but frequently leave oil or grease on the surface. The surface should be cleaned of oil and grease before using rotary cleaning tools. While it is possible to achieve an acceptable standard of surface cleanliness with power tools, the surface profile is unlikely to be the same as that achieved with abrasive blasting because they do not produce a uniform pattern.

(Near-white metal blast cleaning).

Removal of PP, or PE linepipe coating ) Sa 2 is approximately equivalent to NACE No.3/SSPC-SP6

(Commercial blast cleaning). Bristle blasting, depending on the brush and the type meets also the requirements of power tool cleaning and the

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) Tools without generating a profiling but well-equipped for

removal of polypropylene, polyethylene, glue residues or vinyl without damaging the primer are technologies like the Vinyl Zappers based on butyl or silicone for wearless properties.


Senior Pipeline Integrity Product Manager, Matt Romney. T.D. Williamson, USA, outlines how a new classifier enhances response to gouges from mechanical damage.

I

n the 60 years since pipeline service providers introduced inline inspection (ILI) capabilities, the development of new technology has provided increased peace of mind – and decreased potential for product loss. Today’s pipeline inspection technology can help detect common defects including dents, cracks and corrosion, and more complex interacting threats with increasingly greater accuracy. Yet there are still some challenges to overcome. For example, finding a way to distinguish dents with gouges from plain dents, and dents with corrosion, has remained the focus of intense interest – and considerable investigation, research and investment. And with good reason: gouging in dents may be a high-risk anomaly associated with mechanical damage, the leading cause of reportable incidents on natural gas and hazardous pipelines worldwide. The industry realised that the ability to differentiate between dents with and without gouge anomalies would provide significant integrity benefits. ILI tools that could better detect, classify and size these defects would help operators comply with ‘dent with metal loss’ regulations, reduce unnecessary digs, prioritise repair and, ultimately, avoid failures. That’s a tall order, but in 2016, T.D. Williamson (TDW) and Kiefner & Associates began a US Department of Transportation-funded research project aimed at delivering the game-changing capability. The result was a gouge versus metal loss (GvML) classifier paired with the TDW Multiple Dataset (MDS) platform.

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Third party damage: a global threat to pipeline integrity

Figure 1. Excavators and other digging equipment are often to blame for mechanical damage in pipelines.

Since then, TDW has worked with operators to refine and enhance the accuracy of the original GvML algorithm, resulting in the development of an updated GvML classifier. The enhanced classifier was built and validated on data from real-world anomalies – each one identified during ILI inspections and validated with associated non-destructive evaluation (NDE) data. This resulted in the industry’s first published performance specification for gouge identification and depth sizing within a dent. The new GvML classifier: ) Identifies gouges with greater confidence. ) Provides depth sizing of gouge and corrosion features

co-located in a dent. ) Allows operators to make data-driven decisions, using depth

sizing reporting to assess threats and mitigate higher threat features first.

Despite operators’ efforts to thwart mechanical damage – including surveillance, encroachment monitoring, one-call programmes and other strategies – it continues to be an on-going problem, even in regions where pipeline integrity risk is declining overall, including Europe. According to Conservation of Clean Air and Water in Europe (CONCAWE), a group that studies environmental and other issues relevant to the oil industry, all causes of “spillage incidents” on the continent have tapered off. That is, except for theft, which has risen significantly in recent years, and mechanical damage, which remains the most common threat pipeline operators have to contend with. In its research about European pipeline failures between 1971 and 2017, CONCAWE looked at the percentage of spillage incidents stemming from mechanical damage. When theft is included in the equation, mechanical damage, or third party interference, accounted for 24% of all incidents. Excluding theft, though, the total jumped to 38%. That’s roughly equivalent to the number of incidents on European pipelines caused by mechanical and operational issues combined. The story is similar in the US. For example, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) found a significant link between third party damage and serious incidents (those resulting in a fatality or hospitalisation) on gas transmission pipelines. Between 2005 and 2019, PHMSA reported, excavation damage was responsible for 25% of serious incidents and the majority of those (83%) were caused by a third party.

Gouge or corrosion? Why identification matters While it’s safe to say that mechanical damage is a worldwide menace, the fact is that not all mechanical damage is alike. Some forms pose a far more severe risk to pipeline integrity. According to API 1163, ‘mechanical damage’ is a generic term used to describe combinations of dents, gouges and/or cold work caused by external forces. Although any deformation of the pipeline wall can alter pipeline integrity and lead to the possibility of failure, dents with minor corrosion and smooth, isolated dents are generally considered lower risk than dents with gouges present. API 1160 defines gouges as “elongated grooves or cavities usually caused by mechanical smearing of metal.” They typically result from the pipe being unintentionally struck by a third-party excavator or other equipment working above it or nearby. A common scenario is an excavator tooth scraping against the pipe’s surface with enough force to create a dent with a gouge –

Figure 2. The Multiple Dataset (MDS) system provides the most comprehensive inspection data for mechanical damage assessment.

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creating the possibility of multiple problems, some more serious than others. For example, the dent may have metal loss or disbonded coating that can lead to corrosion. However, research has shown that a dent with a low level of corrosion (10% or so) doesn’t significantly increase the integrity risk. A dent with a 10% gouge, on the other hand, could be indicative of localised cold working, making the pipe more susceptible to cracking. Knowing whether you’re dealing with a dent with corrosion or a dent with a gouge, and the depth severity, can be the difference between monitoring and mitigating, between scheduling a repair or responding with the utmost urgency. Although metal loss detection is possible with conventional magnetic flux leakage (MFL) technology, it wasn’t until the introduction of the enhanced GvML classifier that detection, classification and sizing metal loss in a dent was backed by a performance specification.

Combining existing technology for comprehensive inspection The GvML classifier leverages the existing magnet-based technologies on the TDW MDS platform with machine learning. The result: a process that can pick out – and categorise – subtle characteristics in ILI data derived from high and low magnetisation signals. MDS technology offers comprehensive mechanical damage assessment. The MDS platform incorporates multiple technologies on a single tool train, where data is easily correlated to identify coincident threats. The MDS platform includes five primary technologies: high-res geometry (GEO); with mapping (XYZ); high field axial MFL; low field MFL (LFM); and helical/ spiral MFL (SMFL) – that allow for a comprehensive inspection of most pipeline features, including dents with coincident metal loss. To distinguish dents with gouges from plain dents and dents with corrosion, the GvML classifier compares signal characteristics of the MFL, LFM and SMFL technologies. The highfield technologies detect and size

metal loss while the low-field technology detects metallurgical changes associated with mechanical damage. The classifier leverages details about each technologies’ signal collected at the dent, including signal amplitudes, shape and orientations relative to the dent profile, to complete its classification and sizing.

Lots of dents, lots of data points A key to the expected performance of the enhanced GvML classifier is the data that was used to create the primary algorithms. Although it is common for early versions of a new model to be based on laboratory data, the enhanced GvML model


a classifier and depth sizing model with performance that is robust against the same broad distribution of inspection parameters. Sometimes, early versions of a new classifiers can be intentionally conservative; to make sure no anomalies are missed, they identify some anomalies for excavation that turn out to be low risk. By improving accuracy and precision compared to the earlier GvML classifier, TDW no longer needs the additional conservatism in the enhanced version. The enhanced classifier process is validated to accurately classify gouge and non-gouge metal loss within a dent, with demonstrated results, while balancing the operator experience of investigating non-gouge features that are misclassified in reporting.

Better decisions about what is next

Figure 3. When mechanical damage does occur, it’s common to find a gouge located within the larger dent anomaly in the pipe wall.

was developed solely using field data obtained from ILI and excavations across multiple pipelines. Test anomalies included plain dents, dents with corrosion and dents with gouges, all of varying sizes and severity. The number of anomalies and broad distribution of diameters, anomaly severity and pipe types enabled

Mechanical damage is a little like a flash flood or an earthquake. It appears out of nowhere, without warning. Even with all the best prevention efforts, it can catch operators off guard. And it may not be obvious until it’s too late and failure is imminent. Fortunately, while the industry continues to look for solutions to mitigate mechanical damage in pipelines, it is possible to use technology to minimise losses and better manage the response. The one-of-a-kind GvML classifier can help operators gain control over the effects of mechanical damage. By providing a data-based understanding of metal loss anomalies within a dent, including depth sizing of gouge and corrosion features, the GvML classifier allows operators to make informed decisions about what to do next, whether that’s monitoring or immediate mitigation.

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T

he construction business is currently undergoing an enormous change as the requirements for safety and efficiency are steadily on the rise. The issue of environmental protection in recent years has thereby been gaining in importance. STREICHER has made this issue one of its primary objectives to close an existing gap. A sound base of many years of working experience provides the subsidiary enterprises of the STREICHER Group with the knowledge and craftsmanship to design and realise technological developments and modifications in this field. A case in point for STREICHER’s expertise is the company’s specially developed HDD rig with a modern electric drive technology – it has been designed by experienced expert personnel for practical operations. MAX STREICHER GmbH & Co. KG aA ranks among the experts, as an international provider of systems for public energy infrastructure, in the field of planning, building construction and systemic maintenance of the most diverse public supply facilities such as gas, water, electricity, long-distance heating, sewage, as well as communications and broadband systems. STREICHER employees have many years of international experience and high standards of quality, safety, environmental technology and energy management, and this contributes to the successful implementation of a wide variety of large-scale projects on an EPC basis, even under the most adverse technical and climatic conditions. Numerous laying methods come to use in the construction of pipelines – depending on the requirements of the respective project. Among other items, this applies to the trenchless horizontal directional drilling (HDD) method. The experience and expertise that such projects have yielded to the STREICHER Group in the field of pipeline construction have been used for the development and design of the HDD rig. This has subsequently led to a custom-tailored solution for a series of full-electrically driven HDD rigs – which have been employed for internal operations and external customer use alike.

The new HDD rig The HDD rig, as a new design, is the result of a highly-ambitious project, which has united

Boris Böhm, MAX STREICHER GmbH & Co. KG aA, Germany, describes the development of a full-electrically driven HDD rig, designed to meet sustainable development goals.

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The HDD-E-facility The system is much quieter than conventional models, due to the electric drive technology, which ensures better acceptance of the related construction work in populated areas and shows its advantages for the protection of the environment in nature reserves. This will be a benefit to drilling construction personnel and the operators of the drilling rig, as noise level will be significantly reduced, thereby protecting the occupational health and safety of personnel. CO2 emissions are also significantly reduced by this new technology. The reduction in emissions is part of an industrial trend and will gain in significance Figure 1. HDD80-E rig is field-tested within e.g. projects of trenchless laying of electric and importance when it comes to a call for power lines. projects. A further great advantage is that the system is compatible with the public power supply when working on inner city projects. It provides flexible compatibility for project-specific requirements. A feed-in module generates with an active-front-end technology a mutual direct current intermediate circuit. Due to the system structure with an integrated battery, it is possible to feed back braking energy and later return it into the system where required. Conversely, this also means that less energy has to be replenished from the supply grid or the energy store. With the energy storage located in a high-voltage intermediate circuit battery, it is possible to temporarily store excess energy and use it flexibly only when required. The system is accordingly designed for efficient use of space. The drilling rig can be moved without an external power supply by use of an integrated battery. In terms of maintenance, the new system has noticeable advantages, as the electrical drive technology is subject to Figure 2. The system of HDD80-E is constructed as electrical in comparatively little wear. its entirety.

A new operating concept STREICHER’s broad-range expertise in a unique manner. The development was carried out by an interdisciplinary team of specialists from the relevant technical departments, by drillers and designers. Whereas the regular HDD-drive technology is based on a diesel-run hydraulic system – which has been used by STREICHER over the past 15 years – the new drive concept for the electrified drilling rig has been entirely re-designed. This meets the new technology requirements und takes full advantage of the resultant technological enhancements. The system is, in accordance with STREICHER’s electrical design concept, constructed as electrical in its entirety: all drives – spindle, carriage (thrust/pullback), mud pump and crawler tracks are run by electric motors. The complete concept of electrification attains its fullest efficiency by the deployment of an integrated battery and an intelligent circuit of power distribution throughout the system. Hybrid solutions of other manufacturers, in contrast, may use an electric motor instead of a diesel engine but will also apply a classic hydraulic drive for all their other functions of the drilling rig.

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World Pipelines / JULY 2021

STREICHER has used its many years of experience and extensive know-how to select the right components and suppliers in order to contribute to the electrically driven HDD rigs. Along with many further innovations and design concepts, these rigs have been rendered highly efficient for their designated purpose during practical project operations. The entire power electronics system, as one of the feature items, has been built with elements from the mobile electric drive technology. These are particularly shock and vibration resistant and offer good protection against dirt and water. With the water-cooled and specifically developed synchronous motors, the rig drive technology is very robust, powerful and highly efficient compared to the conventional devices. The completely newly developed, intuitive operating concept of the HDD80-E rig adds another highlight feature. From the technical field of drilling, to construction and software development, the design process involved a close co-operation of the STREICHER internal departments to


integrate valuable suggestions, experiences and objectives. On this basis, a simple and highly functional control cabin was drafted with two joysticks for the control of all main functions. The large and clearly designed 19 in. touch panel displays all relevant drilling parameters and maintenance data of the system at one glance. Many elaborate automated functions facilitate the operation of the system at the convenience of the system’s operator. An enabled device of automatic recording of drilling data provides a further feature that can be re-applied for later analysis. The integrated anti-collision system should also be noted here, which harmonises the interaction of the various mobile components and prevents possible collisions. The drilling rig can be moved, maneuvered and erected by remote control – even in confined spaces, ensuring an optimal field of vision and a reduced risk of accidents. A system with four cameras installed in key positions will ensure that the drilling operator has an overview of all ongoing activities. The HDD80-E supports the working personnel in terms of occupational safety.

The package Drill rods are handled by the new rig with a loading crane and a rod handling system. The loading crane places up to five drill rods on an intermediate rod rack next to the mast, from which two gripping arms feed the rod individually to the drilling process. Two automatically height-adjustable rod supports are also integrated into the mast structure for handling special components and for readjustment. These can move at a high precision rate to previously taught positions by the push of a button. The drill rods are screwed and unscrewed by the breakout system, which can be moved along the mast. Accessibility and work safety for the drilling crew is significantly improved by use of a wide walkway along the mast for cable-guided drilling and by clear separation between the working and rod handling area. The system is equipped with an on-board high-pressure cleaner. All these are features that bring along significant advantages for daily work. A look at the performance data, moreover, shows the new rig’s high technological level of sophistication. The crawler-based rig has a thrust and pullback force of 80 t and is designed for Range 2 drill rods (i.e. 9.5 m drill rod length). The spindle drive has a powerful drilling torque of 57 000 Nm and a maximum speed of 100 revolutions per minute. In order to run these high-performance components, the power electronics and the entire electric system has been made suitable for a feed-in power of 400 kVA. The same power source also drives an integrated mud pump, which is easily accessible to the maintenance working personnel. Over the course of this year, STREICHER will complete a new electrified HDD rig as a smaller design model, based on the impressive HDD80-E design. It will wield 45 t of thrust and pullback force and will be equipped with a specialised rod handling system with rod boxes.

Great potential for pipeline construction With its state-of-the-art technology, the HDD80-E is suitable for a wide array of projects. An interdisciplinary

Figure 3. 19 in. touch panel displaying all relevant parameters and maintenance data.

development team of STREICHER particularly emphasised the company’s strengths in this new development. The fact that these strengths have brought noticeable improvements, not only in theory but also in practice, was shown on the one hand by their intensive test operations and internal acceptance tests, and, on the other hand, by the system support and optimisation within the framework of a pilot project. The drilling rig has been used in the meantime in the underground, trenchless laying of electric power lines. STREICHER has created with these projects a product that is second to none. The STREICHER Group heralds a new era with the HDD80-E project – and the all-electric welding tractor, designed and developed prior to this project – bringing with it many exciting new developments. Experience gained from these projects shall come to use for future design and construction of machines. According to the motto ‘from practitioners to practitioners’, STREICHER continues to break new ground in the pipeline construction business. Futureoriented, sustainable solutions and conventional technology find their improvement in all core areas of technological development, from occupational safety and environmental protection to operative efficiency. These projects will stand for better results and a healthier environment.

JULY 2021 / World Pipelines

53


Soroush Karimzadeh, MBA, P.Eng., PMP, Chief Executive Officer and Matt Yarmuch, MSc, P.Eng., IWE, Canada, outline how to find optimal technology to enhance welding automation, as developed by Novarc Technologies.

I

t’s a CFO’s dream: the promise of technology in industry to improve productivity, bring quality up, and costs down. But promises turn into problems when reality gets in the way. There is frustration in finding out that your results in the field, or on the shop floor, don’t square with your expectations. Welding is no exception. Significant differences in the production environment between shop and field welding conditions, or comparing roll welding to welding in position, will often result in difficult comparisons. To fully understand all the facets of welding costs: reliable, accurate and repeatable data collection must be achieved. Novarc Technologies in North Vancouver, British Columbia, creators of the world’s first collaborative Spool Welding Robot (SWR), wanted ‘real world’ proof to quantify the productivity and quality improvements that were attainable with its new development in advanced welding processes and automation technologies. Novarc designs and builds robots for industrial applications (pipe welding, pressure vessel manufacturing and other 1G welding applications) using advanced mechanical control and vision based systems. Given the fluidity of the shop floor working environment, the Novarc team has created an innovative solution using a floating long reach manipulator, with a three-axis cobotic arm at the end. Novarc’s breakthrough welding cobot, the SWR, increases the dexterity and flexibility of the human operator, improving productivity on the shop floor and reducing costs for the pipe shop. Contrary to some public concern that automation technologies are taking jobs from humans, Novarc’s

54

SWR is actually assisting less-skilled workers to work alongside the robot, allowing highly-skilled welders to extend their careers. This is helping the welding industry to solve a huge problem: the severe global shortage of highly skilled welders impacting numerous industries such as process piping construction for oil and gas, energy utilities, water and wastewater and shipbuilding, to name a few. Pipe shops serving these global industries require highly skilled welders, and according to the American Welding Society, this is a looming labour crisis that will escalate to a shortage of about 400 000 welders in the next three years.

Maximising productivity Given this industry challenge, as pipe welding is an integral process to a myriad of construction projects, Novarc invested in research to determine how to improve and extend the capabilities of its SWR. Implementation of the SWR had already shown a 3x - 5x increase in pipe welding productivity, potentially recouping costs in six to 18 months. But Novarc wanted to do further research to develop ways to expand the capabilities of the SWR for pipe fabrication shops. The result was SWR+HyperFill®, a highly efficient, fully integrated dual torch system that utilises Lincoln Electric’s patented twin-wire GMAW solution, HyperFill, that maximises productivity, and profitability. Prior to the product launch this spring, Novarc did extensive research and conducted a productivity study to review the SWR+HyperFill capabilities. There are various methodologies for estimating welding productivity, costs, quality and efficiencies. Many companies have sophisticated programmes based on specific applications and equipment, while others


Figure 1. Novarc’s SWR is used in a number of industries requiring process piping construction.

55


will complete only rough estimates. But an accurate assessment demands that a full range of deposition rates, efficiencies and duty cycles be considered. The evaluation compared Novarc’s mechanised SWR, integrated with GMAW-MWSC (STT) and GMAW-P (HyperFill) twin-wire technology, against typical historical processes (baseline processes) such as manual (SMAW), semi-automatic (GMAW) and mechanised (SAW) processes. Productivity studies were done in

an actual shop production environment following typical practices and welding procedure specifications. A full productivity study will access multiple factors and metrics. To simplify the relative comparison of welding and automation technologies, three major factors were considered: ) Duty cycle – the ratio (percentage) between arc time and the total time spent by the welder or welding operator completing a joint. ) Deposition rate – a measure of the rate of weld metal

deposition (this (lb/hr or kg/hr) for the welding processes and/ or automation system. ) Deposition efficiency – the ratio (percentage) of weight of

deposited weld metal as compared to the weight of filler metal consumable used.

Results

Figure 2. SWR in action.

The results of the comparison illustrated that substantial productivity improvements can be realised on the shop floor with Novarc’s SWR+HyperFill platform. Improvements in deposition rate, deposition efficiency, and duty cycle, compared to the baseline processes, were consistently achieved, demonstrating that the Novarc SWR+HyperFill is capable of reduced welding times, achieving higher production rates (lb/hr) and excellent weld quality when compared against historical pipe shop practices. The productivity data for the GMAW-P (HyperFill) fill/cap passes is summarised in Table 1. For comparison, manual SMAW E7018 and mechanised Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) results are included. A summary of time to complete the 24NPS Schedule 40 pipe coupons is provided in Table 2. The time to complete the weld (including arc and non-arc time) is shown; no consideration of time for hoisting, fitting, equipment preparation, etc. was given. The results demonstrate that welding production time was reduced using the mechanised SWR as compared to manual, semi-automatic and other mechanised solutions. The SWR+HyperFill uses the Lincoln STT GMAW-MWSC process on the root, and twin wire GMAW-P (HyperFill) on fill and cap passes. It can be used on carbon steel pressure process pipes or vessels with 0.5 - 2.5 in. thickness and as low as 6 NPS in. in diameter. The system also has the flexibility of using root to cap GMAW or seamlessly switching to FCAW or MCAW for the fill and cap passes. Besides achieving higher deposition rates and deposition efficiencies, SWR+HyperFill can increase factored diameter inches (FDI) to 350 - 500 per shift on carbon steel pipes, meeting ASME Section IX and B31.3 WPS qualification requirements and achieving high toughness test results down to -50˚F (-45˚C). With the SWR+HyperFill Solution, there are a number of benefits beyond the original features of the SWR (namely, small footprint, integration with up to five positioners, assisted seam tracking and height control, welding vision system NovData™). These additional benefits include: ) Deposition rates of 15 lbs/hour or higher on fill and cap passes. ) The root, fill and caps can be welded for up to 2.5 in. thick

materials in the same welding cell using the SWR. Figure 3. Dual Torch.

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World Pipelines / JULY 2021

) Flexibility to use GMAW or MCAW process on the root.


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) Flexibility to use FCAW or MCAW process on the fill and

Table 1. Productivity data for the GMAW-P (Hyperfill) fill/cap passes Process & consumable

Deposition rate lb/hr

Deposition efficiency (%)

Duty cycle (%)

Min.

Max.

Min.

Max.

Min.

Max.

SMAW – E7018 (manual hot pass)

1.5

5.1

18

54

40

54

SMAW – E7018 (manual fill & Cap)

5.2

6.5

55

57

71

77

SAW – DC (5/32 in. single electrode, mechanised)

12.6

12.9

89

95

97

100

caps instead of HyperFill (with the right tip and drive rolls). ) Flexibility to weld stainless steel with the second torch

(with the right tip and drive rolls). ) Elimination of the hot pass common with manual or

semi-automatic welding.

If high-productivity technologies such as the SWR+HyperFill’ s solution are implemented with proper SWR GMAW-P Hyperfill 15.4 15.5 99 100 98 100 adaptation of the upstream and downstream activities, (0.035 in. twin wire) then the ‘pipe dream’ of full performance utilisation is achieved along with the targeted return on Table 2. Summary of time to complete the 24 NPS Schedule 40 pipe coupons investment. Essentially, this means that pipe NPS schedule Process combination Time to complete Percent difference fabrication shops will be able to increase their heavy weld (min.) fabrication productivity by increasing weld deposition 24 S40 SMAW & SAW-DC (manual 95.4 -rates while delivering excellent weld quality; lower & mechanised) their cost by reducing weld and material handling GMAW-MWSC & SAW-AC 52.4 45% costs compared to the sub-arc process; and (single 5/32 in,) (Semistreamline and simplify production. automatic & mechanised) All of this is good news for pipe fabricators GMAW-MWSC & GMAW-P 42.1 56% serving the oil and gas industry, pressed to increase Hyperfill (twin 0.035 in.) margins on existing projects, and bid with increased (Spool Welding Robot) competitiveness on new projects.

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Complex corrosion: changing perceptions on pinholes Mark Olson, Director, ENTEGRA, USA, presents pinhole assessment utilising UHR axial MFL ILI.

S

hifting paradigms is difficult, yet the advent of ENTEGRA® ultra-high-resolution (UHR) magnetic flux leakage (MFL)/caliper combination tools has helped to change industry perception regarding the detection, characterisation, and sizing of true pinhole/pilferage anomalies. Prior to the advent of UHR ILI systems, the typical ‘pinhole’ metal loss detection and sizing specification for axial MFL was limited to probability of detection (PODs) and probability of identification (POIs) of ‘maybe’ with an accuracy of ‘detectable’. According to Pipeline Operators Forum (POF) and API 1163, a pinhole shaped anomaly is defined as being smaller than or equal to 10 mm x 10 mm (axial length x circumferential width). ENTEGRA’s definition considers internal and external pinhole metal loss anomalies with a minimum size of 3 mm x 3 mm. Examples of pinhole shaped metal loss anomalies include: microbially induced corrosion (MIC), AC induced corrosion, illegal taps (pilferage), and manufacturing anomalies such as scabs, slivers, and seam weld and girth weld defects.

59


Table 1. Pinhole specification for metal loss anomalies.

material thickness, there is a background level of MFL. The leakage decreases with an increase in material thickness. Conversely, with thinning, the leakage increases. A common example of thinning would be corrosion. Comparing the leakage in an area of metal loss with the background leakage, the values can be correlated to known defect sets (derived in the laboratory) to estimate the amount of missing material. Over time, the POD, POI, and sizing specifications can be qualified by comparing to actual results observed in the field. Given that the magnetic flux will generally take the path of least resistance, the shape and orientation of metal loss (or gain) becomes important. The flux will tend to flow around a narrow anomaly (e.g. pinhole or axial slot for axially oriented MFL) and therefore leak less. Less flux will flow around a wide anomaly (e.g. circumferential slot), and therefore leak more. Given the shape and orientation of the metal loss, the leakage correlates directly to the volume of missing material.

Overcoming limitations

Figure 1. Unity plot of internal pinhole anomalies.

With traditional MFL ILI systems, pinhole detection (as well as axial slotting, e.g. corrosion preferential to the long seam) and sizing has been problematic due to the relative narrowness and low volume of metal loss. Development of effective ILI techniques has been further hindered by the practical challenges of verifying internal pinhole anomalies in the field. ENTEGRA’s UHR MFL sensing matrix has been designed in such a way that a pinhole metal loss feature as small as 3 mm x 3 mm and 20% deep should not pass undetected. The API 1163 qualification of the ILI system for pinhole detection and sizing entailed both small scale and large scale laboratory testing and involved correlating hundreds of internal and external pinhole anomalies with field observations. ENTEGRA’s pinhole specification is shown in Table 1.

API 1163 qualification MFL defined Used in pipeline inspection applications for more than 50 years, MFL theory is broadly known. When magnets and an iron backing bar are applied to a piece of ferromagnetic material (e.g. carbon steel pipe), a magnetic circuit is formed, causing a magnetic flux to flow in the (pipe) material. The flux will take the path of least resistance within the circuit, including flux that flows either outside or inside of the material being assessed. The flux that flows inside or outside of the material being assessed is called the ‘leakage’. Sensors placed in the magnetic field on the surface of the material being assessed then measure the amount of magnetic flux that ‘leaks’ out of the material. For any given

60

World Pipelines / JULY 2021

API 1163 allows for a tiered qualification of an ILI system comprising: ) Engineering estimates. ) Small scale and large scale laboratory testing. ) Field correlation.

Large scale laboratory pull-testing on machined defects demonstrated a >90% POD for 10% internal pinhole metal loss anomalies and 20% external pinhole metal loss anomalies, as small as 3 mm x 3 mm at lower tools speeds (20%/25% at full tool specification speeds). The use of machined defects is


necessary at this stage of qualification, in order to control all the variables involved. The shape of natural corrosion is much more complex, where it is common to have pinholes inside of larger areas of corrosion, and where interaction rules must be taken into consideration. The most reliable and most difficult API 1163 qualification tier to achieve is based on field correlation. As a practical matter, the most challenging aspects of utilising field correlation-based results are: ) A low to medium level standalone pinhole wouldn’t typically be targeted for remediation unless it was in proximity to a more severe anomaly or if dictated by interaction rules. ) The pipeline operators’ bandwidth for providing field

results back to the ILI service provider.

Figure 2. Bottom half of 16 in. (DNS 400), 0.250 in. (6.35 mm) NWT pipe.

) The ability to verify the quality of the feedback provided.

For our purposes, only physically measured cutout features were considered. A unity graph of the physically measured, field correlation of internal pinhole metal loss anomalies is shown in Figure 1.

ENTEGRA in action In July of 2018 a final report was delivered on a 16 in. (DN400), 0.250 in. (6.35 mm) WT gas line (Figure 2). Included in the report were 12 internal metal loss anomalies with predicted depths between 45% deep and 60% deep, in three locations,

that were of interest to the pipeline operator. The line was excavated, and a handheld ‘pencil probe’ UT device was used to confirm the severity of the target anomalies. X-rays were used to identify the location of the target anomalies, but the deepest reading observed by the pencil probe UT device was 14%. Nonetheless, the pipeline operator decided to cutout pipe from the three locations in order to physically measure the internal defects. With the internal pitting located between 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock, the top half of the cutout section of pipe was

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removed. Once the surface was prepared, utilising an electronic depth micrometer, the corrosion was carefully measured and mapped. Overlaying the ILI data with an image of the pipe surface, one can see excellent POD performance of the system (Figure 3). The unity graph (Figure 4) shows the results of comparing many anomalies predicted by the ILI system vs the actual depths of corrosion. In October of 2019 a final report was delivered on a 6 in. (DN150), 0.188 in. (4.78 mm) WT liquid pipeline, including multiple anomalies of interest. The pipeline operator cutout the pipe containing the target anomalies. The pinhole results (including other predicted anomalies in proximity) are shown in Figure 5.

Field correlation of pinholes The biggest challenge in achieving a field correlation basis for API 1163 qualification of the pinhole specification was getting reliable results from the field. The above example is common, where the ILI Figure 3. Overlaying ultra-high-resolution data with observed pinhole defects. system predicts a pinhole to be 57% deep and the NDE technician is unable to find anything deeper than 14%. If one relied on the in-the-ditch NDE results (internal pitting located and sized from outside the pipe), then the ILI tool would be deemed to have grossly over-called the target anomaly, even though the internal pit was located and sized from inside the pipe by the ILI system. We know that this gross overcall situation cannot exist. Due to the volumetric, ‘path of least resistance’ nature of MFL, we know that an actual 14% deep pinhole does not contain enough missing material to register as a 57% metal loss anomaly with an MFL technique. There is simply not enough volume to a 14% deep pinhole for much flux to leak out of the pipe. Therefore, it is unlikely for an MFL ILI tool to overcall pinholes (beyond tool tolerances). The in-the-ditch NDE techniques utilised (typically UT or PAUT for internal pit measurement from outside the pipe) are Figure 4. Unity graph: internal pinholes on 16 in. (DNS 400) pipe generally accepted by the industry and are considered to be cut-outs. reliable. Yet the challenges of locating the internal anomaly and capturing the deepest measurement are also known. Utilising a UT device (handheld or automated) and without being able to see the small anomaly located on the opposite surface, one must get the angle and focus just right.

Back at the lab

Figure 5. Unity graph: internal pinhole defects on 6 in. (DNS 150) pipe cut-outs.

62

World Pipelines / JULY 2021

In order to better understand this relationship between ILI technology and in-the-ditch techniques, and to compare the ILI system performance with state-of-the art NDE, a laboratory experiment was designed. A section was removed from a piece of 8 in. (DN-200), 0.250 in. (6.35 mm) WT pull test pipe. Pinhole shaped defects were machined on the inside surface of the section, and the section was welded back into place. The following defects were utilised (Table 2). Known to affect both MFL and UT techniques, both round bottom and conical shaped pinhole defects were used to test inspection system performance. Round bottom defects


contain more volume of metal loss than conical shaped defects. Conical shaped defects tend to scatter more of the UT pulse than round bottom defects. MIC and AC induced corrosion are examples of round bottomed defects. Much rarer, typically external, and typically associated with coating damage, MIC can also be found to be conical shaped. Most other conical shaped anomalies are found to be manufacturing defects (e.g. slivers, scabs, girth weld and seam weld anomalies). In Figure 6, note that the cutout section has been tack welded back into position (the seams and the tack welds can be seen very clearly in the MFL data in Figure 7). The round bottom defects were located at the 6 o’clock position and the conical shaped defects were located at the 12 o’clock position.

Table 2. List of pull test defects.

Shaped pull test defects An ENTEGRA UHR MFL/caliper tool was pulled through the test section four times, with speed ranging between 0.5 and 3 m/s. The MFL results can be seen in Figure 6 and Table 3. An expert level III NDE technician, representing a major international NDE service company provided the NDE test equipment and performed AUT, PAUT, and radiographic inspection of the test section (machined defects on the inside of the pipe, inspected from the outside surface). It was decided, to best simulate the in-the-ditch NDE scenario, that the AUT, PAUT, and radiography tests would be blind. In other words, the NDE technician did not know the existence, precise location, or size of the machined defects. For the AUT assessment, a ProScan AUT system was used with an AccuScan scanner and an Olympus 0 degree, 3/8 in. diameter transducer. Three passes were made, using scanning resolutions of 6 mm x 6 mm, 3 mm x 3 mm, and 1 mm x 1 mm. Only six of the twelve machined defects were detected. Of the six detected defects, only the larger, shallower, round bottomed defects were accurately sized. The AUT system was challenged by the deeper internal pits (less material between the probe and the deepest point) and by the conical shaped pits. The results are presented in Table 4. For the PAUT assessment, an Olympus 10L32-A10 system (10MHz, 32-element, 0.6 mm pitch, 0.52 mm crystal width) was used to perform a linear scan (axially) at a 0˚ angle. Nine of the 12 defects were detected, including all the round bottomed defects, all of the shallow conical defects (80% remaining material), and none of the deep conical defects (only 40% remaining material). Sizing of the detected defects was generally observed to be good. The results are presented in Table 5.

Figure 6. Pull test pipe with machined internal defects and AUT scanner.

Table 3. Axial UHR MFL ILI results.

Conclusions It was concluded that results from an axial UHR MFL ILI tool with an API 1163 qualified pinhole specification can not only be relied upon, but that detection and sizing internal pinholes from inside the pipe at a significantly higher sampling rate outperforms traditional in-the-ditch NDE (measuring internal defects from outside the pipe).

Figure 7. UHR data showing seam and tack weld.

JULY 2021 / World Pipelines

63


Table 4. AUT results

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Table 5. PAUT results

Utilising pipe cutout during field correlation activity, it was demonstrated that it is unlikely for an axial UHR MFL ILI system to grossly overcall a pinhole anomaly. In order to focus further in-the-ditch assessment activity, digital radiography was also used to effectively locate target anomalies. Pipeline operators should consider using multiple, complementary, in-the-ditch techniques to assess pipeline integrity anomalies identified by ILI systems. ENTEGRA’s Ultra-High-Resolution tools, CPCM platform and experienced and talented Data Analysis team are uniquely aligned to address such challenges. We work with operators the world over to discover, identify, characterise and size complex corrosion, ranging from pinholes to pits within pits to corrosion in puddle-welded pipe. Corrosion on the long seam, pilferage and manufacturing defects such as hard spots can also be readily found and characterised. The result? Improved first-run successes, operational efficiency, reduced cost, risk mitigation and return on investment (ROI). We know our customers and we know they have a moral and regulatory obligation to know their pipeline. Our job is to power those efforts, helping our partners to see more, know more, do more and deliver on those obligations.


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