In-line inspection (ILI) tools play an important role within integrity management and substantial investment is made to continuously advance performance of the existing technologies and, where necessary, to develop new technologies. Performance measurement is typically focused for the purpose of understanding the measured performance in relation to the ILI vendor specification and for the determination of residual uncertainty regarding pipeline integrity. These performance measures may not provide the necessary insight into what type of investment into a technology is necessary to further reduce residual uncertainty regarding pipeline integrity, and beyond that, what investment, as an operator, results in an effective and efficient reduction in uncertainty.

The paper proposes a reliability based approach for investigating uncertainty associated with ultrasonic crack ILI technology for the purpose of identifying efficient investment into the technology that results in an effective and measurable improvement. Typical performance measures and novel performance measurement methods are presented and reviewed with respect to what information they can provide to assist in investment decisions. Finally, general observations are made regarding Enbridge’s experience using ultrasonic crack ILI technology and areas currently being investigated.

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