Historically, pipeline operators have tended to place more weight on inline inspection tool specifications than on the inherent design and reporting capabilities of the service providers themselves. While internal collection of integrity data is very important, it’s imperative that vendors, also, have high levels of expertise and effective quality control systems in place to successfully analyze exceedingly high volumes of inspection data. The quality of inspection information is vital to assessing if a pipeline is fit for purpose now and/or into the future. Integrity managers attempting to reduce overall operating risk by making decisions based on inaccurate or poor quality reporting are in fact exposing their networks to greater safety and financial risk. Recognizing these risks and that inline inspection (ILI) is an overall system that needs to be formally qualified, operators and ILI service providers have collaborated to develop several international standards. The most recent is the umbrella API-1163 industry consensus standard, which is now being widely adopted, primarily in USA. This standard provides requirements and recommended practices for qualification of the entire ILI process. Two companion standards: ASNT In-line Personnel Qualification and Certification Standard No. ILI-PQ and NACE Recommended Practice In-Line Inspection of Pipelines RP0102 combine to address specific requirements for personnel who operate and analyze the results of ILI systems. In Europe, the Pipeline Operators Forum (POF) has, also, established specific requirements for ILI reporting processes and data formats. However, these standards do not define how operators and vendors must meet these requirements. To follow will be a story about how an ILI service provider embraced a holistic approach to address these standards’ requirements, in particular in the areas of data analysis, reporting, and dig verification due to their significant importance in assuring the final quality of its deliverables. A key outcome desired will be to provide operators with greater insight into what best practices and technologies ILI service providers should have embraced and invested in to insure reliable service delivery.
- International Petroleum Technology Institute and the Pipeline Division
Inline Inspection: Both Effective Data Collection and Interpretation Needed to Achieve High Quality Reporting Results
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Walker, JR, Mallaburn, P, & Balmer, D. "Inline Inspection: Both Effective Data Collection and Interpretation Needed to Achieve High Quality Reporting Results." Proceedings of the 2010 8th International Pipeline Conference. 2010 8th International Pipeline Conference, Volume 1. Calgary, Alberta, Canada. September 27–October 1, 2010. pp. 187-196. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IPC2010-31112
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