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Pipeline Pigging Technology

Pipeline Pigging Technology

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Published by: api-3869181 on Dec 01, 2009
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Pipeline capacity

Calculations from pressure-drop readings taken after the pipeline was put
back into service revealed that the pipeline capacity had been restored to
I60,000kg/hr (an increase of 26%). This was confirmed in August, when
pipeline flows reached 157,000kg/hr without maximum operating pressure
limits being exceeded. Fig.7 lists friction factor ratios before and after

Pipeline integrity

Results from the inspection revealed only five reportable defects (more
than 20% metal loss) along the entire 180-km (110-mile) pipeline. The
maximum depth reported was 34% metal loss. Novacorp performed an
engineering critical assessment on the data, and determined that no immedi-
ate repairs were required. AGEC will excavate, inspect and recoat these
defects over the next two years.


Fig.7. Friction factor ratios.

Polymer quantity

The estimated amount of polymer removed from the pipeline was 5m3
This estimate includes polymer removed from cut-outs, separators, and filter
bags. All of these held polymer in different forms, some loose, some com-
pacted, making an accurate volume estimate difficult. The amount of polymer
removed supports the estimates generated from roughness calculations prior
to the cleaning. AGEC will continue to monitor polymer build-up using


Pipeline Pigging Technology

Ethylene pipeline cleaning

pressure drops, friction factor comparison, and roughness calculations.
Removable test spool pieces will be installed on the pipeline to further
monitor the deposition rate. A long-term objective is to better understand the
polymer formation mechanism.

Future programmes

With this project's successful conclusion and the restoration of pipeline
capacity, AGEC will be investigating a future on-line ethylene cleaning
programme to maintain pipeline capacity. Corrosion rate predictions deter-
mined by Novacorp are presently being analyzed to develop an inspection
programme that will ensure a continued high level of integrity is maintained.

Safety and public relations

Great efforts were made on this project to provide a safe work environ-
ment and promote good public relations.
One minor recordable injury resulted during the 60,000 man-hours of
work, and two public complaints were received.


Novacorp International Consulting Inc wishes to acknowledge, with
thanks, the help and co-operation afforded by the following:

John Duncan, P.Eng.
Lucie Zillinger, P.Eng.


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