August 2011 (2)

Pipetel Technologies has inspected 2.5 miles of pipeline operated by Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) using a self-propelled robot in place of conventional internal inspection tools sometimes referred to as “smart pigs.” The stretch of pipeline had been deemed “unpiggable,” due to lack of flow needed to push the inspection tool through the pipeline.

As part of SoCalGas’ pipeline integrity management program, Pipetel was contracted to inspect a previously unpiggable pipeline and to provide the inspection results using their customized Datatel analysis software.

Pipetel inspected an eight-inch diameter pipeline with Pipetel’s Explorer 6/8 robotic inspection technology without shutting down the pipeline or disrupting service to customers. The Explorer 6/8 is a self-propelled and bi-directional robot. Conventional tools were not an option since the pipeline did not have sufficient flow to propel these tools. A cased segment of this pipeline, underneath a railway track, was also inspected.

Pipetel’s Explorer robotic inspection technology was developed under the funding and leadership of NYSEARCH / The Northeast Gas Association with critical financial support from other partners including the Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Operations Technology Development (OTD) NFP.

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