Identifying deficiencies and monitoring the effectiveness of a pipeline’s cathodic protection (CP) system can be difficult, expensive and time consuming — especially when the pipe is located in an area of difficult access. Now that CP may be monitored via in-line inspection tools (smart pigs), the status of CP systems can be confirmed and problems identified regardless of the location, accessibility, or condition of the pipeline right of way. An in-line inspection tool capable of reading and recording the magnitude and polarity of current supplied by cathodic protection has been developed and tested in a variety of pipelines. The results show that CP currents can be quickly, accurately and efficiently measured without access to the outside surface of the pipe. For difficult-to-access areas, the CPCM™ In-Line Cathodic Protection Inspection Tool provides for a reliable, cost-effective, and time-saving way to monitor, validate, or trouble shoot a pipeline’s cathodic protection system. This paper will present results from field trials as well as the first commercial deployments of the technology. A discussion of how cathodic protection and pipeline features are identified will be included. This tool is the result of the joint development effort of Shell Pipeline Co. LP, Shell Global Solutions, Baker Hughes PMG and the US DOT.

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