Enbridge Pipelines Inc. operates the world’s longest and most complex liquids pipeline network. As part of Enbridge’s Integrity Management Program In-Line Inspections have been and will continue to be conducted on more than 15,000 km of pipeline. The Inspection Programs have included using the most technologically advanced geometry tools in the world to detect geometrical discontinuities such as ovality, dents, and buckles. During the past number of years, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. has been involved in developing a method of evaluating the suitability of dents in pipelines for continued service. The majority of the work involved the development of a method of modeling the stresses within a dent using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). The development and validation of this model was completed by Fleet Technology Limited (FTL) through several projects sponsored by Enbridge, which included field trials and comparisons to previously published data. This model combined with proven fracture mechanics theory provides a method of determining a predicted life of a dent based on either the past or future operating conditions of the pipeline. CSA Standard Z662 – Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems provides criteria for the acceptability of dents for continued service. There have been occurrences, however, where dents that meet the CSA acceptability criteria have experienced failure. The dent model is being used to help define shape characteristics in addition to dent depth, the only shape factor considered by CSA, which contribute to dent failure. The dent model has also been utilized to validate the accuracy of current In-Line Inspection techniques. Typically a dent will lose some of its shape as the overburden is lifted from the pipeline and after the indentor is removed. Often there can be a dramatic “re-rounding” that will occur. The work included comparing the re-rounded dent shapes from a Finite Element model simulating the removal of the constraint on the pipe to the measured dent profile from a mold of the dent taken in the field after it has been excavated. This provided a measure of the accuracy of the tool. This paper will provide an overview of Enbridge’s dent management program, a description of the dent selection process for the excavation program, and a detailed review of the ILI validation work.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.