The ability to detect corrosion within oil and gas pipelines has long been the preserve of the Intelligent or Smart Pig. These tools have evolved over the past 30 years into very sophisticated, but often expensive inspection options. Since 1994 RST Projects Limited, a Scottish based pipeline inspection company, has been pioneering the development of passive inspection tools that can be retrofitted to standard Cleaning or Utility Pigs. These tools are fundamentally different to traditional inspection pigs. Passive instruments (instruments which do not contain an active source or emitor, such as ultrasonic or magnetic flux leakage sensors), fitted to a Utility Pig are used to monitor its passage through a pipeline. Changes in the behaviour of the Utility Pig measured by these instruments have been demonstrated to reflect the condition of the pipeline. To date more than 40 projects, involving surveying some 4,000 km+ of operational pipelines have been completed. This paper presents the results of work undertaken to develop the first stages of a basic corrosion detection capability of the Smart Utility Pig tool. It does so by presenting findings from surveys of the 16” Beatrice Oil Export Pipeline, operated by Talisman Energy UK Limited. It also draws upon surveys carried out in other assets operated by Talisman in the UK. It explores how this technology when combined with other inspection methods offers the potential for a more integrated approach to routine pipeline condition monitoring.

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