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Tracerco’s Ground-Breaking Technology Is Being Deployed Globally

Jim Bramlett, Tracerco’s Commercial Manager – The Americas, explains how its ground-breaking pipeline inspection technologies Discovery™ and Explorer™ are being deployed across the global oil and gas industry to improve operational efficiency, reduce time and lower costs across deepwater pipeline maintenance projects.

As oil and gas assets age, the industry faces the challenge of guaranteeing efficient production whilst maintaining pipeline integrity.

With operations moving into deeper waters – combined with increasingly extreme operating environments – innovation in technology has become more important to ensure assets perform at optimum efficiency whilst maintaining integrity and extending lifespan.

Tracerco’s bespoke Discovery™ and Explorer™ technologies have been designed to provide accurate, in-depth and real-time data insights at considerable water depth and are proving a success deployed by oil and gas operators across the globe.

Industry first technology With these market leading technologies, Tracerco has developed methodologies that enable online pipe inspection from the outside without the removal of protective coatings or interference with production.

The use of pioneering subsea CT scanning technology – primarily used for non-invasive medical diagnostic technique – has revolutionised pipeline maintenance by providing critical flow assurance and integrity data without any need for coating removal and all in real-time.

The technology delivers precise sizing of wall thickness in minutes by capturing a high-resolution image of the pipe wall provided from an external scan of the pipeline. This tomographic image identifies flaws within the pipe walls, pinpoints location, amount and density of any material or deposits and all within a difference of only 0.05 g/cm3.

Rapidly deployed – using an ROV and simply clamped on to the pipe – Discovery™ has been employed across a wide variety of pipeline designs, investigating both internal and external corrosion, detecting blockages and ascertaining flow issues.

Having received Lloyd’s Register recognition, Discovery™ provides a proven technology for deep water pipeline maintenance, a solution for pipelines that cannot be inspected by traditional means and provides an alternative where operators want to eliminate intrusion and loss of production. The technology boasts the capability to deliver savings of up to 35% on inspection campaigns compared with conventional scanning techniques.

Align this to Tracerco’s inbuilt fast scanning technology – reducing overall scan time by up to 80% – and operators across the globe are gaining from maximum data capture never before available in the industry and from one single pipeline inspection.

Like Discovery™, Tracerco’s Explorer™ tool is an industry first, providing flow assurance screening capabilities to identify areas for further investigation. Comprising bespoke technology, Explorer™ rapidly screens pipelines for deposits and screens several kilometres of line per shift.

Non-intrusive, Explorer™ measures content from the outside of the pipeline with zero need to detach protective coatings or disturb production. As such, Explorer™ provides owner operators with possibly the most cost – effective solution to flow assurance problems. Performing at depths of up to 3000m, Explorer™ inspects pipe diameters from 2in to 60in, screening a range of differing piping systems from standard rigid pipe (coated or uncoated) to pipe-in-pipe, bundles, and flexibles.

Once Explorer™ has located any suspected blockage, Discovery™ can be deployed to accurately characterise precise type and scope.

Empowering data driven decisions Discovery™ and Explorer™ technologies mean owner operators can confidently and accurately schedule preventative maintenance programmes, engineer the proper remediations to get it right first time and make calculated decisions focused on extending lifespan of a pipeline asset past its original design life.

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