Any pigging creates risk and cost as opening pig traps and operating valves that are only used occasionally can be dangerous; pigs can get hung-up, stuck, lost or damaged; and normal operations may need to be disrupted during pigging or may be stopped if there is a problem. Good planning and project control involving engineers with the right experience will minimize these risks and costs.
Pipelines come in many forms: multi-diameter, made from different materials, running multiphase contents across kilometers, underwater, underground, over landscapes hot and cold. They may have facilities for pig launching and recovery. Or they may not. They may be lined with different materials. They may operate at low pressures or at very high temperatures. And yet a common denominator is pigging – and pigging is central to most pipeline integrity management systems (PIMS) throughout the lifecycle of a pipeline. The key drivers for pipeline pigging typically range from operational pigging for liquids or wax management to planned in-line inspection (ILI) – and are an integral part of an overall integrity assurance program.
But for a lot of operators, pigging is very often a non-routine or infrequent operation, making it an unfamiliar task to them. And where pigging requirements are deemed non-standard or more complex, there can often be disagreement on the best way to proceed. Launching and recovering the pigs is not always straightforward, either.
It is therefore often necessary – before commissioning a pigging operation – to consider the range of options available. This is in order to develop an effective project execution plan and to demonstrate and predict the viability and cost of a chosen option. In addition to the obvious risks and immediate practical challenges, it is often also necessary to address some significant external factors as contributors to the full lifecycle costs of a pipeline.
Thus, the many aspects that need to be considered when preparing and executing complex pigging operations at times present major technical or operational challenges to operators, accompanied by real (or sometimes perceived) risks and significant economic barriers. The challenge is to analyze all factors in an objective and experienced way, to make an informed decision and to act on it.
PETROTECH’s expertise is centered on a dedicated team of specialists focused on supporting operators in preparing and managing complex pigging operations. Our pigging consultancy team provides operators with a one-stop shop, bringing together everything needed to complete a successful inspection project. From initial analysis to reviewing all options to delivering the inspection itself, we have it all covered.
This team is further enhanced by being embedded in the wider PETROTECH group, with direct access to PETROTECH’s unrivaled pig design, analysis, manufacturing, and testing capabilities. Plus, operational colleagues inside PETROTECH routinely manage complex pigging operations around the country.
By adopting a system-level approach, PETROTECH’s pigging consultancy is able to propose practical “turn-key” pigging strategies, supporting each phase of a pipeline’s lifecycle to ensure maximum value from each pigging operation while minimizing operational risks.
We work closely with operators to define the key integrity drivers for a pigging program, identifying compatible technology or infrastructure solutions in order to deliver a practical and cost-effective campaign.
Discuss and assess the operator’s requirements. This must cover the entire issue but can include launch and recovery options, the prior pigging history, and the pipeline’s physical disposition, deficiencies, and geometry. Several other factors may be significant, including limitations in the pipe’s design and construction, operating conditions (pressure, temperature, and flow), and the presence or likelihood of deposits such as wax and liquids.
Depending on the review, a standard inspection tool may be available, but it is often necessary to implement a strategy and custom-build a tool that addresses any and all complexities of the pipeline system. Based on an assessment of perceived integrity threats, a range of inspection technologies can be considered to detect and size all significant anomalies. A bespoke tool can include technologies for crack detection, loss of wall thickness, and geometrical irregularities.
Accurately costing a campaign is critical to choosing between options. A robust cost model should account for the global impact of a campaign over the full project life-cycle. Some costs are not immediately obvious. Although there is a propensity to minimize the campaign duration, many installations have personnel restrictions that may restrict parallel working.
Some campaigns can be very difficult to cost at the feasibility stage and should therefore contain appropriate contingencies or be based on analogous jobs done at other times. Contemplation of ancillary support services, possible chemical injection, and sub-sea intervention costs are all advised, and a scoring system deploying traditional risk assessment techniques can help identify the appropriate pigging solution for a particular job.
The PETROTECH approach to pigging feasibility and optimization enables engineered solutions to be proposed with confidence, removing uncertainty and consequently reducing risk. In a high-value industry, effective cost and risk control still play a vital role. Our consultancy’s aim is to assess those costs and risks and to make our contribution to the profitable, safe, and efficient running of a pipeline asset.
Clear and significant benefits to the operator are offered by ensuring:
Today at PETROTECH, our products and services support all of the critical aspects of the Integrity Management Process. We are proud of our position as the knowledge hub for the inspection and analysis of oil and gas assets.
Our aim is simple: We help our customers to get the best from their valuable assets. There are 3 elements to our value proposition:
Operators in the oil and gas industry are confronted with more and more challenges. The economic situation is tense, assets age, and regulations impose stricter requirements. A rigorous Integrity Management Process is recognized as the best way to meet these challenges. PETROTECH offers cost-effective state-of-the-art solutions in each discipline. The environment today requires the highest levels of competence, expertise, and knowledge to reach the right conclusions.
Policies and procedures are based on the best practice seen across the world and aligned with the latest standards. Range of data management services. We generate a fully digitized asset register allowing rapid access to reliable data for analysis. Data-driven analysis can create highly granular results.
Performance indicators provide a way to ensure the right focus.
Working with all the major operators, PETROTECH audits against the benchmarks set by the very best.
follow-up analysis for all types of inspection technologies. Our goal is to identify the best possible corrective measures.
PETROTECH evaluates potential threats and the likelihood of failure events. On this basis, we help you to implement risk-reduction and mitigation measures.
At PETROTECH, you will find the advantages of having highly specialized units, all under the same roof; whether you require a Fitness for Purpose Assessment or a large-scale integrity program implementation. PETROTECH can offer you the full range of required systems and services; from high-level procedural and organizational definitions to detailed engineering assessments. As part of the PETROTECH DR, we are backed up by a substantial R&D team and therefore have access to the most sophisticated technologies – ensuring that you lead the way. Benefit from our expertise.
PETROTECH has developed proven, structured methods for implementing an Asset Integrity Management System. In close cooperation, we develop a system around international standards and local requirements. Furthermore, we support the implementation and ultimately most importantly the training and knowledge transfer.
The core elements of our system:
Applicable onshore and offshore industry standards and guidelines (specifications): ASME B31.8S, API 1160, DNV-RP-F116, EN 16348, API 581/653/510, ISO 55000 / BSI PAS 55
The experts at PETROTECH understand the nature of corrosion. We have developed appropriate mitigation strategies, so operators can rely on a secure and effective flow of production. We also consider the importance of cost savings to our clients. Our offering in detail:
We know that inspection and engineering must go hand in hand. You will benefit from our high-end inspection technologies even more if you decide to use the broad range of follow-up assessment services we offer. By combining inspection and assessment we can reduce uncertainty, increase safety and minimize costs.
We provide balanced, safe, accurate advice based on demonstrable competence and unparalleled experience. PETROTECH assessments are always in accordance with industry standards (e.g. ASME B31.G), recommended.
Enterprises in the oil and gas industry all face similar challenges, whether a tank farm operator, a transmission pipeline operator, or a gas distribution company. The assets are valuable, and their integrity is crucial. PETROTECH’s expertise covers all the disciplines needed for these diverse assets. Some examples:
Benefit from the largest and most experienced engineering team in the industry. Petrotech offers solutions designed for a long-term investment horizon. As an independent business, we continuously invest in improving our competence and technology. We give you the answers you need.