Comprehensive Analysis and Assessment of Pipeline Configurations for the Inspection of Unpiggable Pipelines

DEXON Technology offers comprehensive pipeline inspection consultation for all approaches to in-line
inspection, including in-depth analysis of asset configurations, assessment of challenges, and inspection
recommendations. Challenging pipelines require a customized approach to inspection, including
extensive testing within replicated test lines and a program for tool customization and development
along with specific operational approaches to suit the known challenges.

The Definition of Unpiggable:

The term “unpiggable” refers to a pipeline that is believed cannot be
inspected or is extremely difficult to inspect using traditional pigging or in-line inspection methods.
Unpiggable can also be referred to as challenging, as pipelines are rarely unpiggable and simply require
customized solutions to complete the inspection.

Pigging an Unpiggable Pipeline

Dexon holds an extensive 25+ year track record of successfully inspecting unpiggable or “challenging”
pipelines, with the ability to adapt our approaches and technologies to suit client needs such as:

  • Alteration to existing technologies and ILI tools
  • Development of new inspection technologies
  • Commercial collaboration projects to address client-specific inspection requirements
  • Continued improvement and pipeline integrity gauge development
  • Extensive testing facilities to replicate challenging sections of the pipeline, providing confidence
    in the suitability of our approach in offering a risk-free and accurate inspection to meet client
  • Offering customization of DEXON’s existing fleet to ensure the safe passage of tools through the
    line in addition to the collection of adequate inspection data

Dexon Technology’s Unpiggable Pipeline Inspection Program

Ensuring asset integrity is crucial to the efficient, safe, and profitable operation of pipelines. Dexon has
over 25 years of challenging pipeline in-line inspection experience. Pipeline features, operating
characteristics, and challenging mediums pose difficulties to inspection operations and integrity
management programs. Dexon takes a holistic, tailored approach to each pipeline inspection, offering a
consultancy-based approach to in-line inspection by adapting to client requirements and developing
individually customized solutions for each inspection run. Guaranteeing accurate data on the physical
condition of an asset for asset integrity management systems, producing reliable Fitness-For-Purpose
(FFP), and Estimated Repair Factor (ERF) assessments. Dexon’s in-house test yard allows for client
pipeline configuration duplication and inspection run verification, allowing our inspection teams to
recreate exact pipeline conditions to ensure that the PIG can successfully navigate pipeline components
while guaranteeing inspection data results.

Services Offered Under Dexon’s Unpiggable Pipeline Inspection Program

  • Pre-inspection analysis, surveying, and piggability consultation
  • Customized tool design and modification to navigate challenging pipeline configurations
  • Client pipe sample inspection verification and testing
  • Client pipeline configuration duplication, replication, and testing
  • Inspection solution collaboration to solve client-specific inspection requirements

Unpiggable Pipeline Configurations

A list of challenging and often believed to be ‘unpiggable’ pipeline configurations are detailed below:

  • Multi-Diameter Lines

    Multiple diameter lines pose difficulties for the carrying out of in-line inspection operations and
    require specially designed driving cups to maintain a seal with the pipe wall across multiple
    internal diameters.
    Dexon offers bespoke solutions to overcome internal diameter changes

  • Bi-Directional Inspection

    The absence of receivers and other pipeline configurations such as subsea Pipeline End
    Manifolds (PLEMs) require customized tool design offering bi-directional in-line inspection

    Dexon offers bespoke solutions to overcome internal diameter changes.

  • Challenging Pipe Materials

    Dexon offers extensive solutions for the inspection of challenging pipe materials such as nonferrous metals and polymers such as High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE).

  • High Wall Thickness

    Dexon’s Fleet of ILI Pipeline Integrity Gauges (PIG’s) guarantee inspection results across all wall

  • Lack of Launchers and Receivers

    Dexon offers complete design, manufacturing, and modification services for the installation of
    both permanent and temporary launchers and receivers, or other approaches of inserting and
    removing tools from the pipeline.

  • Multiple Pipe Schedules

    Multiple pipe schedules or multiple wall thicknesses cause changes in a pipeline’s internal
    diameter, which require customized driving cup design to maintain a seal with the pipe wall.

  • 1.5D Bends and 1D Bend Return Bends

    Dexon offers tailored tool modification, design, and fabrication to navigate challenging pipeline
    features down to 1D bend return bends.

  • Flow and or Pressure Fluctuations

    Pressure and flow conditions in a pipeline can cause complications with tool propulsion and
    onboard electrical components. Dexon provides comprehensive services to ensure successful
    inspection runs.

  • Lack of Previous Inspection Data

    Previously uninspected pipelines can be challenging to inspect due to a lack of information
    regarding pipeline features and geometric conditions. Dexon’s pre-inspection process covers indepth analysis and surveys to ascertain and guarantee successful inspection results.

  • Unbarred Tee’s

    Unbarred tees, miter bends, and other pipeline features can make it difficult for standard PIGs
    to successfully complete inspection runs. Dexon’s entire inspection fleet is customizable to
    navigate challenging pipeline features.

Dexon’s Unpiggable Pipeline Inspection Archive

Dexon Technology’s Unpiggable Pipeline Inspection Archive features a selection of challenging
inspection case studies. With over 471 unpiggable pipeline inspections completed to date, Dexon
Technology offers completely customized inspection solutions for the inspection of unpiggable pipelines.

Click here to learn more.