Pipeline News: The future of intelligent pigging services to expand

The global intelligent pigging services market is set to expand at a CAGR of 6.3% during the period 2015-2025, reaching $826.5 mil by 2025.

The global intelligent pipeline pigging services market is set to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3% during the period 2015-2025, reaching $826.5 million by 2025, according to a research report by Future Market Insights (FMI). The report titled, "Intelligent Pigging Services Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015-2025,"* offers market forecast and key trends in the intelligent pigging services market.

The key factors fuelling the intelligent pigging services market include growth of the global oil and gas industry, stringent government regulations, and advancement in pipeline inspection technology.


Did You Know?

Q: What is a Pig and Pipeline Pigging? A: A pig is a device inserted into a pipeline which travels freely through it, driven by the product flow to do a specific task within the pipeline. These tasks fall into a number of different areas: (a) Utility pigs which perform a function such as cleaning, separating products in-line or dewatering the line; (b) Inline inspection pigs which are used to provide information on the condition of the pipeline and the extent and location of any problem (such as corrosion for example) and (c) special duty pigs such as plugs for isolating pipelines.**

Q: What is the purpose of pigging? A: Pipelines represent a considerable investment on behalf of the operators and can often prove strategic to countries and governments. They are generally accepted as being the most efficient method of transporting fluids across distances. In order to protect these valuable investments, maintenance must be done and pigging is one such maintenance tool.

During the construction of the line, pigs can be used to remove debris that accumulates. Testing the pipeline involves hydro-testing and pigs are used to fill the line with water and subsequently to dewater the line after the successful test. During operation, pigs can be used to remove liquid hold-up in the line, clean wax off the pipe wall or apply corrosion inhibitors for example. They can work in conjunction with chemicals to clean pipeline from various build-ups.

Inspection pigs are used to assess the remaining wall thickness and extent of corrosion in the line, thus providing timely information for the operator regarding the safety and operability of the line. Pigs (or more specifically) plugs can be used to isolate the pipeline during a repair.**

Q: What if a pig gets lost in the pipeline? A: It's very important to track the pig during the pigging process. Pig tracking allows the pipeline operator to know exactly where the pig is during a pipeline inspection or cleaning. Pig tracking and detection ensures that time is saved in locating lost or stuck pigs, and located the pig helps to prevent financial loss for the pipeline operators.***


The key factors that can restrain the growth of the intelligent pigging services market during the forecast period include shrinking profit margins owing to fierce competition and high cost of intelligent pigging.

FMI has also analysed the key trends in the intelligent pigging services market in its research report. Two key trends in the market include growing demand for small pigs and long-term contracts with OEMs/vendors.

On the basis of technology, FMI has segmented the intelligent pigging services market into MFL and UT. MFL is widely used in intelligent pigging, accounting for a share of over 60% in 2015. FMI forecasts MFL to remain the dominant technology during the forecast period.

UT cannot be used for inspecting natural gas pipelines, and owing to this limitation, this technology segment is expected to witness moderate growth during the forecast period.

FMI has segmented the intelligent pigging services market on the basis of end-use industry into oil and gas. Demand for intelligent pigging is robust in the gas sector; FMI projects this segment to hold a share of 79.5% in 2025. The oil end-user segment is anticipated to expand at 6.2% CAGR during the forecast period.

On the basis of key regions, FMI has segmented the intelligent pigging services market into North America, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Western Europe, Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ), Latin America, and Japan.

* Source: Future Market Insights

**Source: Pigging Products & Services Association

*** Source: CDI - Pipeline Pig Tracking, Signaling and Communications Equipment - Onshore, Offshore, Subsea


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