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In this exclusive interview with Oil & Gas IQ, Hugo Van Merrienboer, Inspection and Integrity Manager at Total in the Netherlands speaks to Tim Haidar about intelligent pigging systems and how they are helping the onshore and offshore oil and gas industries maintain thousands of kilometres of pipeline worldwide.
Modern intelligent pigs, or smart pigs, use electronics and finely-calibrated sensors to collects various forms of data during their trip through the pipeline that is being tested. Using techniques like magnetic flux leakage (MFL), electromagnetic acoustic transduction and acoustic resonance technology, the pigs will text for aberrations like:
- Cracks and weld defects
- Surface pitting
- Areas of crushing or deformation
Due to the distances an intelligent pig will travel on an inspection and the ferrous nature of the pipes in question, communication with the outside world may be impossible, meaning that the pig must store data collected internally.
When the smart pig is removed from the pipeline, positional data recorded by the onboard odometer and pipeline evaluation data recorded by the sensors is combined to give an exact millimetre by millimetre picture of the pipeline's "bill of health".
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