Tracerco takes pipeline inspection systems to Australia

Offshore staff

PERTH, AustraliaTracerco is permanently basing two pipeline inspection technologies at its facility in Western Australia.

Discovery provides a high-resolution CT scan of subsea pipelines, distinguishing between wax, hydrate, asphaltene, or scale deposition at density differences of 0.05 g/cc.

Explorer can screen pipelines at the rate of 100 m/hr (328 ft/hr) in order to identify restrictions. In combination the systems are said to help operators plan the required remediation to bring a flowline quickly back to full capacity.

Both operate without the need to remove the pipe coating material. Once Explorer has located the area of the suspected blockage, Discovery can be used to characterize its precise nature.

Having the equipment in Perth allows it to be mobilized within a week in the region. Flow assurance issues can prevent operators from meeting daily production targets.

Both technologies can operate at depths of up to 3,000 m (10,000 ft), and can be used to screen standard rigid pipe (coated or uncoated), pipe-in-pipe, bundle systems, and flexibles.

Explorer detects the location of deposit build-ups by measuring the density profile of the pipeline, then analyzing any detected anomalies. An abnormal density, in relation to the material flowing in the line, indicates a build-up of deposit.

The tool provides a detailed profile showing mean densities of pipeline contents and amounts of deposit based on assumed densities. It has already been used on various subsea flowlines including a project in the North Sea and a campaign in the Gulf of Mexico.

Discovery is said to detect integrity issues within a pipe including corrosion, wall thinning and pitting. Hundreds of scans using the device have helped Tracerco’s clients characterize deposits and identify integrity issues within a range of flowline designs.


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