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The Challenges of Pipeline Pigging

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The Challenges of Pipeline Pigging
The Challenges of Pipeline Pigging

Many engineers in the oil and gas industry will already be aware of the challenges arising from pipeline pigging.

Pipelines need to be cleaned and inspected to keep up to code, ensuring that any product flowing through them is delivered at the other end without hindrance.

Managing the pipeline can be challenging. Monitoring condition and ensuring optimum performance can be even harder if the network is long or complex.

Here is our expert guide on the various challenges engineers can face with pipeline pigging - but most importantly, how they can be resolved.

Unpiggable pipelines

Individual challenges can occur from pipelines that are deemed to be 'unpiggable'. What is an unpiggable pipeline? Simply put, a line that is difficult to pig.

Characteristics include problematic bends/offtakes/tie-ins, small or varying diameters (often with significant diameter changes), old or long pipelines, or pipelines where there are flow (too much, not enough or zero) or access restrictions .

Regular cleaning

Contamination, dirt and wax buildup is an unavoidable feature of pipeline operation, whether liquid or gas. To ensure pipelines operate at optimum efficincy, it is necessary to clean the pipeline. Cleaning prior to inline inspection (ILI) is also a requirement.

So, how can FTL Technology help?

FTL Technology Team- VariPig

We have designed and supplied an extensive range of VariPig systems that have been specially designed with multi-diameter capability for various pipeline diameters. Other design features of VariPig make the system ideally suited for use in complex pipeline systems, long distance pipelines or where complex pigging scenarios are a requirement.

These next-generation pipeline systems accommodate diameter changes in operation, starting within a small diameter pipeline then growing into a larger diameter pipeline, before subsequently re-entering into a smaller diameter section of pipeline.

VariPig System Benefits:

  • Capable of running multi-diameter pipelines with large diameter differentials
  • Centreline running capability, low disc wear
  • Low drive pressure
  • Ability to pass Tee’s and Wye’s
  • Ability to operate in tight bends
  • ‘Self Supporting’ – reduces wear on discs
  • Controlled rotation giving even wear on discs
  • 3D solid modelling ensures functionality
  • Re-deployable asset

With proper and scheduled maintenance of pipelines you decrease the chances of the pipeline failing.

If you’re looking for more information, check out read the following Case Study on a recent pigging project or alternatively, download our VariPig brochure.

To speak to an engineer regarding a pigging strategy, inspection, assessment or VariPig system, please call 0113 252 1061 or visit our Contact Us page.

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