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Confirmation of Containment: How to Build it into your Integrity Program


Confirmation of Containment: How to Build it into your Integrity Program

The use of pipelines is the safest and most efficient way to transport critical energy products; however, pipelines often come under scrutiny from government officials and the public because the consequences of a failure can be very high. To reduce the risk of operating pipelines, energy providers have responded by developing comprehensive integrity programs to identify problems before they lead to failure.

As scrutiny surrounding pipelines continues to increase, many pipeline owners have started to use tools that can confirm product containment on a more regular basis. Regular confirmation of containment to identify pinhole sized leaks is part of an industry-leading pipeline integrity program and can help pipeline owners prevent unintentional product losses.

SmartBall for Oil and Gas
The SmartBall tool can be inserted into any pipeline 4-inches and larger, and operates under regular service conditions.

Common inline inspection (ILI) tools such as MFL, crack detection, and ultrasonic tools cover a wide area of defects but cannot locate pinhole sized leaks. While pinhole leaks are rare, a leak that goes undetected for a long period of time can eventually lead to hundreds of barrels of  lost product. Inline confirmation of containment tools have the unique ability to locate these leaks, and should be used to complement existing ILI programs.

Inline confirmation of containment tools can be seamlessly integrated into existing ILI programs. In modern ILI programs, a number of tools are used to assess the pipelines. It is quite common for a program to include cleaning pigs, a geometry tool, crack detection and an MFL tool all deployed one after another. Inline confirmation of containment tools can also be deployed along with these other tools to create a complete ILI program identifying as many defects as possible.

These tools are also much easier to deploy than other ILI tools because they are not full bore and can also be tracked by the same method as the rest of the ILI tools. Inline confirmation of containment can also be deployed by the pipeline operator as frequently as needed, with proper training and regular contact with a vendor for data analysis. Inline confirmation of containment tools provide flexibility and are excellent complementary tools to existing integrity and ILI programs.

To learn more about how inline confirmation of containment tools create best-in-class ILI programs, emphasizing safety and precision, download our white paper here.


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