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Title: Collapsible Smart Pigs: An Update and Review of Transco's Experience
Category: Pigsource Papers
Downloadable: No
Project No.:
Research Agency:
Catalog No.: pg1038e
Date of Publication: not available
Price: $25.00 US
Authors: Virgil N Wallace
Abstract: Transco, like many other natural gas pipeline companies, historically used reduced size valves as mainline block valves. Twenty four-inch valves were installed in 30-inch pipelines, and 30-inch valves were installed in 36-inch pipelines. Standard in-line inspection (ILI) devices were not designed to pass through these smaller diameter valves installed in larger diameter pipelines. This physical configuration of Transco's pipeline system significantly affected the cost of utilizing ILI devices. The cost of replacing these smaller mainline valves was limiting the amount of pipeline that Transco could inspect using conventional smart pig technology. It would cost Transco from approximately $150,000 to $350,000 to replace just one valve that is smaller than actual pipeline diameter in order to run available smart pigs. The cost of modifying Transco's pipeline system in order to run smart pigs was limiting the amount of miles inspected. Transco elected to work with Tuboscope Vetco Pipeline Services (Tuboscope) in order to determine if it was feasible to develop a magnetic flux (MFL) tool that can pass through the concentric reduced-size valves . It was determined that a tool that had this capability was feasible and could be designed and fabricated. The fabrication of such a tool would eliminate spending large amounts of monies on the replacement of the smaller valves which otherwise are fully functional from an operational standpoint. Tuboscope began by designing a 30-inch tool capable of collapsing to pass through a 24-inch valve, followed by a 36-inch tool capable of collapsing through a 30-inch valve. In the summer of 1995 Transco began utilizing these two new collapsible smart pigs and the subsequent results of the runs of both diameter smart pigs will be discussed. It is not intended for this paper to discuss in great detail all the design and technical aspects of the two collapsible smart pigs since that information can be obtained from Tuboscope or in other papers written concerning the collapsible smart pig tools.
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