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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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03/18/2014

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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
cleaning.

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.

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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

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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.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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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