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Insights That Go Deeper

Tracerco’s Discovery™ has continued to prove itself as an invaluable resource for flow assurance and asset integrity inspection projects in the Gulf of Mexico having recently being deployed to a record depth of more than 9000’.

Discovery™ is a non-intrusive, local inspection technology which provides real time images of the cross section through the flowline – this means that a single Discovery™ scan provides information on the pipe wall thickness, geometry and coating condition as well as information on the contents inside the pipe. With the added benefit of fast screening for metal loss anomaly detection each inspection location can be completed more effectively than ever.

For flowlines where in-line inspection (smart pigging) is not suitable, Discovery™ is a less invasive alternative and does not require any production deferment. The images (tomograms) give the operator reassurance about the pipe wall as part of a risk-based integrity management strategy. They can also provide valuable insights which are useful to validate corrosion and flow modelling systems enabling better understanding of current conditions.

Example tomogram from >9000' water depth showing a mainly gas filled pipe

The tomograms produced using Discovery™ during a recent ultra-deepwater inspection project were all made upstream at depths of over 6500’ and were unaffected by the coating thickness or flow conditions inside the pipe. There was no evidence of deposits identified, and it could be seen how the production fluid had different flowing conditions across the inspection locations from stratified flow (mainly gas to fully liquid conditions) to some locations with turbulent stratified flow (possible slugging). No metal loss anomalies were identified, and the remaining wall thickness measurements were all found to be within expected tolerances. This gave the operator full confidence in continued operation and allows the flow assurance group to be aware of possible future issues due to flow conditions.

Example tomogram from >9000' water depth showing a mainly liquid filled pipe

Tracerco was the first company to develop a subsea computed technology (CT) system; Discovery™ and still hold the fundamental patent for the concept of subsea CT scanning dating back to 2011. Over the years since, Discovery™ has incorporated numerous additional patented innovations for optimising the system ensuring that Discovery™ is always at the forefront of CT scanning in a subsea environment. The technology has a field proven track record, and to date Discovery™ has provided real time critical insights for over 100 pipeline/riser inspections.

Combining its high-resolution characterisation of pipeline contents with the development of its fast scan technology, Tracerco can deliver a higher ratio of scanned pipeline vs time than ever before. With Tracerco’s insights, operators can be assured of making well informed decisions on the future of a pipeline, without the need to stop or interrupt production.

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