Operational Pipeline Pigging

Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th November 2017

Presented by

Tuesday 7th November 2017

Pre-seminar Tutorials

Tuesday 7th November 2017

Pre-seminar evening reception and exhibition
Evening drinks and hot buffet in the exhibition area from 6pm

Wednesday 8th November 2017

Main Seminar
Seminar Registration from 8.15 a.m
Seminar Commences 8.50 a.m

Ardoe House Hotel and Spa

South Deeside Road
Aberdeen AB12 5YP

Tel: +44 1224 398801, Fax: +44 1224 860644
Website: http://www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-6626-mercure-aberdeen-ardoe-house-hotel-and-spa/index.shtml


This year PPSA are running 2 tutorials on the day before the main seminar; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The price of the tutorials is in addition to the seminar price. The delegate rate for one tutorial is £ 150 (+ VAT) and two tutorials is £ 250 (+ VAT). Places are limited to 30 delegates per tutorial, available on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is not necessary to attend the main seminar in order to attend the tutorials.

The tutorials are as follows:

Best Practice in Corrosion Diagnosis and Growth Modelling Using ILI Data
Presented by Andy Russell, Michael Smith, ROSEN

The tutorial will discuss what value can be extracted from first and repeat ILI data, when it comes to diagnosing corrosion mechanisms and modelling corrosion growth.

A series of common and unusual corrosion feature distributions from ILI surveys will be shown and their key characteristics discussed, outlining the rationale which leads to diagnosis of their corresponding corrosion mechanism(s). This topic will be completed with case studies based on real data.

An overview of techniques used to estimate historic corrosion growth rates from repeat ILI data will be given. This will include an analysis of methods used industry wide and an opinion on what constitutes best practice based on extensive experience.

Within this topic, the following will be discussed:

  • Effect of ILI tool tolerances on repeat data sets
  • Methods used for defining expected statistical errors
  • Use of raw signal data to reduce statistical uncertainty in estimation of corrosion activity between inspections
  • Methods for using historic growth rates to identify ‘optimised’ future growth rates
  • Pipeline segmentation techniques

Case studies will be used to illustrate the above, and how best practice growth modelling techniques can overcome some other limitations of repeat ILI reporting errors.

Flexible Riser Inspection and Integrity Assessment with FlexIQ
Presented by Sebastian Hartmann, Konrad Reber, Innospection Ltd

The complex layer structure of the flexible risers and flexible pipes corresponds to integrity evaluation challenges especially at the various wire layers under various tensional stress levels.

This tutorial shall focus on the inspection solution and integrity assessment for flexible risers and pipes with FlexIQ.

FlexIQ is a unique offering from INTECSEA and Innospection offering the best in class inspection and computational simulation by combining the state-of-the-art and proprietary inspection capabilities of MEC-FIT™ and the numerical simulation capabilities of FLEXAS™.

The patented MEC-FIT™ technique has been developed to deliver a reliable and technically advanced solution for the inspection of flexible risers and flexible pipes in-situ, mooring lines and umbilicals. Case studies related to the inspection of flexible risers and pipes with the MEC-FIT™ shall be presented.

FLEXAS™ is a dynamic riser simulation using detailed and multi-layered finite element models resulting in increased accuracy for fatigue life prediction. It has been considered the leading flexible riser simulation capability by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) at multiple major operators. Case studies related to this dynamic riser simulation will also be shown.

By combining these capabilities with industry-leading annulus testing and a formal risk-based approach to flexible riser risk assessment and life extension, FlexIQ delivers all aspects of flexible integrity management through a single provider.


The seminar presentations will be given by PPSA members, all experts in their own field. Plan now to attend this practical and informative one-day seminar and exhibition on pipeline pigging, covering pigging techniques and applications and highlighting the latest developments within the industry.

An Early Bird delegate rate of £ 170 (+ VAT) for PPSA members and £ 250 (+ VAT) for non-members applies for payments made before 6th October. After 6th October the price is £ 210 (+ VAT) for PPSA members and £ 290 (+ VAT) for non-members.

Presentations include:

The Shell FLAGS Intelligent Pigging Project
Presented by Ram Subramanian, Shell UK Ltd and Tom Steinvoorte, ROSEN, UK

In-line inspection of offshore pipelines is increasingly becoming a challenging task for various reasons:

  • In recent years, decisions have been made to build offshore pipelines which are difficult to pig, e.g. because of increasing water depth or when new pipelines are connected to existing systems.
  • Older pipeline systems which were not designed to be pigged now require inspection.
  • Ageing pipeline systems have become more difficult to pig, e.g. because of wax build up or depleting production and consequently low flows.
Offshore pipelines distinguish themselves from onshore lines because external reference measurements or local repairs are challenging or sometimes even impossible. Furthermore, inspecting offshore pipelines is often more demanding than inspecting onshore pipelines, e.g. because of logistics, accessibility, and cost.

Consequently measurement performance, first run success, risk mitigation and operational impact are key factors to be considered when selecting an inspection solution.

In order to successfully execute these increasingly challenging inspections, experience and expertise, from both operator and inspection contractor, need to be combined in a multidisciplinary team that operates as ‘one team’ and establishes the confidence and trust to deliver and make the right decisions.

This paper discusses a recent example of such a challenge: the in-line inspection of The Far North Liquids and Associated Gas System (FLAGS); an offshore 36” pipeline that runs from Brent B to St. Fergus gas terminal, which transports processed gas from some of the UK and Norwegian north sea fields.

Although the FLAGS line had been in-line inspected before, changes in operating conditions and the addition of a hot tap tee in the system made the inspection task a unique, industry-first challenge. The inspection solutions had to overcome:

  • Very low flow of gas at inlet ~ 0.05 m/s
  • Presence of a non-return clapper valve which could not be locked open
  • High slide flow at the Hot Tap Tee (>15 m/s)
  • 450 km length

This paper will discuss how the Shell – ROSEN team tackled these challenges, solutions applied, and the lessons that were learned

Recent Improvements Regarding Ultrasonic Crack Inspection of Pipelines
Presented by Herbert Willems, Thomas Hennig, NDT Global GmbH & Co. KG, Germany

Crack inspection of pipelines using conventional ultrasonic technology has become a standard application for in-line inspection (ILI) of liquid pipelines. Crack inspection tools have proven very successful for the detection of various types of cracks (e.g. SCC) or crack-like anomalies present in many pipelines worldwide. The first inspection tools were designed for axial crack inspection (UC), as most cracks or crack-like defects in pipelines are axially orientated. In some cases, however, circumferential cracking can occur leading to the development of tools for circumferential crack inspection (UCc). Standard crack inspection tools can be applied in most liquid pipelines transporting typical crude oils or products (e.g. diesel).

Over the years, special inspection requirements came up that were not covered by the first tool generations. These requirements are related to different aspects of the inspection process ranging from tool-related characteristics to inspection-related challenges such as e.g. crack inspection in liquid gas. Consequently, those challenges were addressed by the latest tool developments allowing an inspection performance not possible before with regard to inspection speed and measuring resolution. In the paper, we present examples from recent inspection runs demonstrating the improvements achieved. Furthermore, we elucidate recent progress in crack depth sizing as enabled by taking advantage of high-resolution measuring data.

Feasibility Study for an Unpiggable Subsea Pipeline
Presented by James Stewart, Baker Hughes, a GE company, USA

Managing the long term integrity of a critical 10” subsea crude oil pipeline is dependent on being able to use the correct inspection technologies, however, the current structure of the pipeline does not allow for any in-line inspections. Consequently managing the short term integrity of the pipeline becomes a priority until the pipeline is made piggable. This paper describes where and how to investigate along the pipeline to determine the current internal condition of the pipeline.

A desktop feasibility study was completed in order to determine the locations and the confidence in the use of an external ultrasonic scanning survey (auto-UT) to determine the short term integrity of the pipeline. This comprised the following:

  • Review of product composition and assessment of potential corrosion threats.
  • Technical identification of the points along the length of the pipeline that is most susceptible to internal corrosion.
  • Confidence in evaluating condition of pipeline based on auto-UT

In addition a review of the current sacrificial anode protection of the pipeline was completed to ensure that any investigative works completed would not result in any external corrosion issues.

Pre Inspection Cleaning of “Unpiggable” Subsea Operational Pipelines
Presented by Robert Davidson, Jakub Budzowski, Halliburton, UK

Subsequent to risk based inspection (RBI) and corrosion assessment it was highlighted that a number of Client owned pipelines in the North Sea required internal inspection to verify line conditions and ensure that the pipelines were fit for purpose. It was recognised that some of these pipelines were not readily equipped for pigging operations and challenges existed to enable inspection of the lines. The most feasible means of obtaining detailed inspection data was to carry out intelligent pigging (IP) operations, which required the installation of temporary subsea launch/receive facilities which were also utilised to allow pipeline cleaning, via a combination of chemical application, progressive pigging and pipeline gauging prior to the IP tools being run.

Dewatering Unpiggable Gas Gathering Line with Elastomeric Pig
Presented by Danny Molyneux, Aubin Group, USA

Making infrastructure modifications to install launchers and receivers on gas gathering lines will typically cost 5-6 figures per line. The ability to pig gas gathering lines without making such modifications could offer flow assurance and corrosion prevention without the associated cost and downtime.

In this paper we describe the successful use of an elastomeric pig to dewater a gas gathering pipe in Colorado with no launcher or receiver, resulting in the complete restoration of flow in a pipe that had suffered from a differential due to water accumulation in low spots. The pig was inserted at a temporarily dropped spool and removed through a blowdown valve making use of its ability to be extruded through reduced bore piping.

Making Simple Smart & Smart Simple – Cost Effective, Low Risk Pipeline Inspection
Presented by Paul Clayton and Steve Banks, I2i Pipelines Ltd, UK

By integrating sensor technology onto simple utility pigs that are deployed with greater frequency inside the pipelines, a pipeline operator can get regular and accurate data on the flow assurance and integrity of the pipeline. By using advanced signal recognition software to organise, analyse and understand the increased data sets, i2i can monitor and trend the actual conditions of the pipeline without disrupting production.

This paper will cover the development of such tools for a North Sea Operator covering the tool’s ability to embrace challenges such as multi-diameter inspection applications, bi-directional capability and inspecting through wax or other non conductive deposits.

A Novel Approach to Non-piggable Subsea Pipeline Inspection
Presented by Sebastian Hartmann, Innospection Ltd, UK

This paper presents a novel approach to the inspection of non-piggable heavy weight concrete coated subsea pipelines.

The object of inspection is a 16” reinforced concrete coated subsea gas pipeline located in the North Sea. The pipeline had to undergo pressure uprating and life extension assessment after a part of the pipeline was re-routed as a result of an intermediate platform being decommissioned.

The pipeline is unviable for internal inspection. As a result, it had to be externally inspected at selected locations utilising a Subsea PEC Scanner capable of measuring the average wall thickness through the reinforced concrete coating present on the subsea pipeline.

This presentation describes the inspection project from its early phase during the qualification of the PEC (Pulsed Eddy Current) inspection technology, throughout the execution of the offshore operation and the evaluation of the inspection data.

The inspection results were subsequently successfully verified by the client on an accessible location of the subsea pipeline. The inspection revealed a degradation mechanism being present that previously had been unknown.

This case study demonstrates a new approach to the validation of pipelines that have been left uninspected in the past.

Unconventional Applications of Isolation Plugs - Throughout the Pipeline Life-Cycle
Presented by Dale Millward, STATS Group, UK

Remote controlled and tethered isolation plugs are regularly used to provide fully proved double block isolations, that enable valve replacement or repairs to take place without having to depressurise the entire pipeline. This type of isolation workscope could be described as conventional. Although, due to the safety criticality of any pipeline isolation, each application is engineered, tested and risk assessed against project specific parameters.

Isolation plugs are also used in unconventional, innovative ways throughout the pipeline life-cycle – from cradle to grave. This paper will discuss case studies where isolation plugs have been used in non-standard ways to solve pipeline problems during the various phases of a pipeline’s life.

During the construction phase isolation plugs are used to facilitate pipeline recovery in the event of a wet buckle. To enable recovery of large diameter or deep-water pipelines, the catenary section of pipeline to be recovered off the seabed usually requires to be dewatered. To dewater the catenary section, isolation plugs are deployed subsea either via a diverless subsea launcher or via a pipeline retrieval tool with a cassette sleeve that contains the isolation plug.

During the operational phase, midline sectional replacement and repair may be required. In the case of an unpiggable defect, isolation plugs have been developed that can be pigged from either end of a pipeline towards each other, allowing the isolated section to be vented, cut out and replaced. To facilitate leak-testing following the repair an additional leak-test module is utilised and high-integrity pressure equalisation is used to safely unset the plugs.

Finally, for pipeline abandonment and decommissioning, isolation plugs are used to permanently plug and abandon pipelines. These isolation plugs can also be used to install a subsea bypass allowing platforms to be removed.

Pipeline Through-wall Communication Capabilities
Presented by Gary Anderson, TD Williamson, USA

Pigging operations in pipelines can be for a number of reasons — cleaning, batching, inspection, or isolation of the pipeline.

In all cases, it is critical to have knowledge of the piggable device in the pipeline, from tracking of the device through known points, location and identification of the device, and control of that device when capable of two-way communication.

SmartTrack™ communication system is a through-wall two-way communication system used as a platform to control and communicate with inline isolation tools (SmartPlug®) and other piggable devices.

It uses Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) electromagnetic signals allowing for communication through thicker wall pipelines (>50mm wall thickness).

This paper covers the improvements made in ELF communication and features actual case studies showing the use of this technology in pipeline decommissioning projects involving multiple pigs and isolation plugs, and pipeline isolation projects where wall thickness challenges are overcome.

Application of Wide-Band Ultrasound Techniques for the In Line Inspection of Crude Oil Pipelines
Presented by Willem Vos, Halfwave AS, Norway

In line inspections are commonly used to ensure safe operation of oil and gas pipelines. These inspections provide reliable information on the status of the pipeline’s integrity. Traditionally, gas pipelines are inspected using magnetic flux leakage (MFL) technology, and liquid pipelines are inspected using either MFL or ultrasonic wall measurement (UTWM) technology.

Recently, an additional technology has been introduced to the market, based on acoustic resonance technology (ART). This ART technology allows for the inspection of both liquid and gas pipelines with acoustic testing. The ART technology overcomes typical limitations of the prior state of art, such as limited wall thickness capability and speed (for MFL) and cleanliness criteria (for UTWM).

The authors will present the theoretical background of Acoustic Resonance Technology, and practical applications at a product level.

Furthermore, practical applications will be presented where the technology was applied in-field, in the North Sea area. Specifically; 2 occasions will be discussed of crude oil pipelines in the North Sea, which experience wax deposition to such a level that sufficient cleaning for UTWM inspections was not possible or cost-inhibitive.

Pre seminar evening reception

Available to all delegates, come and enjoy an evening with friends and colleagues in the exhibition area. Just £ 27.00 (plus VAT). Includes drinks, a hot buffet and dessert.


PPSA members can book exhibition space for £ 120 (+ VAT). This includes a 100 word company description published in the delegate pack and a free of charge place at the pre-seminar evening reception.

The exhibition is a great opportunity to network and find out about what's new in the industry. You can visit it at the pre-seminar reception and during the seminar breaks.

The layout of the exhibition area, and list of exhibitors is available here.


Tuesday 7th November 2017
9am – 12.30pm Morning tutorials (and lunch afterwards)
1.30 pm – 5pm Afternoon tutorials (and lunch before)
4pm-6pm Exhibition set-up
7pm Pre-seminar evening reception
Wednesday 8th November 2017
From 7am Networking breakfast in Elliot room for those staying at Ardoe House Hotel
8.15am Seminar registration
8.50 am Seminar presentations
5.15 pm Seminar close


  • One tutorial - £ 150 (+ VAT) per delegate includes lunch
  • Two tutorials - £ 250 (+ VAT) per delegate includes lunch
  • Pre-seminar evening reception - £ 27 (+ VAT)
  • Seminar – Member rate - £ 170*/£ 210 (+ VAT), Non-member rate £ 250*/£ 290 (+ VAT). * Early bird bookings before 6th October.
  • Exhibition space booking for (PPSA members only) £ 120 (+ VAT).


Seminar Delegate Fee: An early bird non-member registration fee of £ 250 (plus VAT, if applicable) per person is available for payments received by 6th October. After 6th October the non-member registration fee is £ 290 (plus VAT, if applicable) per person. PPSA members can register at the discounted early bird rate of £170 (plus VAT, if applicable) for payments received by 6th October, after which the PPSA member rate is £210 (plus VAT, if applicable). This includes refreshments, lunch and end of day drinks, plus copies of the seminar papers.

Pre-Seminar Reception: £ 27 (plus VAT, if applicable) per person (includes drinks from the bar, hot buffet, dessert and tea/coffee).

Tutorials: The price for a person taking one tutorial is £ 150 (plus VAT, if applicable) and a person taking two tutorials is £ 250 (plus VAT, if applicable). Lunch is incuded in the price.

Exhibition Stands: Members can request an exhibition space at the seminar. The exhibition stand rate is £ 120 (plus VAT, if applicable), which includes one free place at the Pre-Seminar Reception. Please contact for more information.

Invite a Guest: Members are encouraged to invite non-members to the seminar as guests of the member. Members' guests can attend at the discounted member rate. Guest places are limited so please e-mail for more information.

Payment: In Pounds Sterling (GBP) only, in cash, by PayPal (credit card), by cheque drawn on a UK bank, or by direct bank transfer. Bank details will be shown on your invoice. Payment must be made at least 14 days prior to the seminar (25th October 2017). After this date reserved places may be sold to other delegates wishing to attend. Bookings made after 25th October 2017 must be made by credit card or direct bank transfer.

To Register:
    Register on-line by clicking the "Register Now" button below.

Register Now

Booking conditions (the small print):

  1. Payment must be made at least 14 days prior to the seminar (25th October 2017). After this date reserved places may be sold to other delegates wishing to attend. Bookings made after 25th October 2017 must be made by credit card or direct bank transfer.
  2. Cancellations for any of the events made in writing and received 16 or more working days prior to the event will be refunded less a £ 30 handling fee.
  3. Cancellations for any of the events received 15 working days or less prior to the event will not be refunded, and the full invoice fee will be payable regardless of whether you attend the event or not. Substitutions may be made at any time.
  4. Confirmation of your booking will be made in writing as soon as possible upon receipt of payment. This confirmation will be sent to the address given on the booking form, unless otherwise required.
  5. Once completed and submitted, this form is regarded thereafter as a form of contract.

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