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TRACERCO Diagnostics™ - Pig Tracking

Pigging of a 16" Pipeline

Tracerco was requested by a North Sea oil company to provide a radioisotope tracking service during the pigging of a 16-inch pipeline within a 20-inch outer pipe, between two platforms by the use of TRACERCO Diagnostics™ Pig Tracking service. The technique relies on a small radioactive source being attached to the pig prior to launching. Pig Tracking units placed on the outside of the pipe can then monitor the pig position as it moves along the pipeline. Benefits of isotope pig tracking over other techniques are that it can be used on any size line, through any wall thickness, including pipe-in-pipe, with a 100% reliable life for upto two years and the ability to locate and position pigs and isolation tools to within 5cm. The radioactive sources are tailored for each individual project, which enables the level of radiation at the outside of pipe to be kept very low so that there is no hazard to divers and other personnel. Sources are loaded into and unloaded from the pig at launch and recovery by a TRACERCO Diagnostics™ engineers.

Pipeline pigging

A TRACERCO Diagnostics™ Pig Tracking instrument mounted on the pipeline was used to confirm the departure of the tool from the launcher and a second pig tracker confirmed the tool’s transition through the topside valves and bends, and finally down the riser.

The arrival of the tool on the receiving platform was confirmed using a Pig Tracker on the riser. The tool was then tracked through the valves and its position in the launcher confirmed using a TRACERCO™ Radiation Monitor. Once the tool was in the launcher and venting operations were complete, the radioactive source was removed to its transport container. On completion of the operations, the isotope was packed and shipped, together with all Tracerco equipment back to the Tracerco office in Aberdeen.

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