Colombia is a country located in a geographical area with great geological diversity, where every day the effects of climate change increases the probability of the failure of buried pipelines due to the movement of land or the instability associated with them. That is why the use of geometric In Line Inspection (ILI) intelligent tools with the inertial module is important for the diagnosis of structural integrity of pipelines and is associated with an integrity management program due to the geotechnical threats present throughout its path. It decreases maintenance costs due to pump stoppage for unscheduled repairs, anticipating the solution, and mitigating and controlling deformations in the pipeline caused by geotechnical ground displacements.
OCENSA-Pipeline Central SA (Colombia) has developed, through its experience, a program to manage integrity by determining the structural expense in specific sections due to displacement of the pipeline caused by ground movement through the use of the Geometric ILI tools and MFL inertial module. This paper specifically presents the use of the tool in decision-making based on OCENSA’s preset study limits for deformations in the elastic range and plastic building material of the pipeline.
In 1997 OCENSA was among the first companies in Latin America to use Inertial Geo-positioning technology; today there are sectors which have been inspected with this technology as many as five times, in which pipe displacement of up to 5 meters has been found.
The case study presented refers to a geographical point on the route of the pipeline located in the Andes, at the site of the movement known as the “La negra” ravine, near the town of Puente Nacional, where movements of the pipeline associated with geotechnically unstable slope conditions were detected by In line inspection (ILI) Geometric and inertial modules, beginning in 2004. Since that time, integrity management was conducted in order to reduce the chances pipeline failure will materialize in this area of geotechnical instability.