Inspecting gas pipelines in cold and damp Scotland | Creaform's blog

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Inspecting gas pipelines in cold and damp Scotland

Monday June 3rd, 8:00 in the morning. The weather is incredibly cold and foggy for springtime. Welcome to Scotland, a few miles north of the city of Aberdeen. Martin, our contact onsite, warmly welcomes us: “In this area, the summer lasts only 2 days! You’re lucky to see the sun guys!”. Great. At least, we’ve been warned…

We’re facing a huge and impressive structure in the rising sun. Inside of it, a maze of dozens of pipes and scaffoldings, gathering gas from many offshores platforms in the North Sea. Looks like we have our work cut out for us!

Scanning an outdoor pipe with a Handyscan 3D scanner and Pipecheck

Corrosion: the enemy to track down

The main problem the oil & gas industry is facing is corrosion, as pipes exposed to harsh underwater, underground conditions or outdoors weather can degrade very quickly. Since these pipelines convey valuable and/or dangerous liquids, they need to be controlled on a regular basis, and replaced if needed. This is exactly why the pipeline owner had us flew in to Scotland that day: to assess corrosion levels on the pipes with Pipecheck, Creaform’s 3D scanning solution for pipeline damage assessment, comprised of a Handyscan 3D scanner and the Pipecheck pipeline integrity assessment software.

Creaform’s Field Pack: 3D scanning without any electrical power source

The project consisted of assessing through 3D scanning the level of pipe corrosion of several pipelines that seemed pretty damaged. The 1st one to be inspected was easy to scan, as it was located on the ground. We simply put targets on it and quickly got a clean scan of the pipe. Things got complicated though when we had to climb 3 floors on the scaffoldings to reach the next pipes.

This is the kind of situations when our Field Pack becomes a great help. Its 8-hour battery autonomy makes it possible for us to scan almost anywhere – which turns out pretty useful when the next power outlet is 3 floors down!

Field Pack

On-site 3D Scanning results

Once all the scans were done, we were able to present the customer with his colormaps and inspection reports, right on site. With the most damaged areas now identified, the pipeline owner was able to evaluate the risks, and replace some of the pipes that were identified as high risk for leakage or accident.

Corrosion on pipe_Real time results in Pipecheck

The customer was impressed by the scanning speed of the Pipecheck solution and its real-time data generation feature, and very satisfied to get instant results. As for us, we were happy to go back home to enjoy the sun and warmth of June!

Article written by Robin Winterhalter - Applications Engineer

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