Tracerco, part of the FTSE100, Johnson Matthey Plc, has announced that development has commenced on a new deep-water application for their trail blazing pipeline inspection tool, Discovery™
Launched last year, Discovery™ is a major breakthrough in subsea pipeline inspection. For the first time oil companies can non-intrusively inspect complex subsea flowlines (including pipe in pipe, risers and pipe bundles) for both flow assurance issues and integrity flaws from the outside of the pipe without removing any protective and insulation coatings.
Discovery™ was needed by the subsea pipeline industry due to its unique ability to take a 360 degree tomographic scan image of pipeline contents and wall conditions. Until now this has not been possible without removing pipelines’ protective coatings. The tomographic scan image produced is accurate to nearly a millimetre radial resolution, more detailed and accurate than anything currently on the market for non-intrusive pipeline inspection, with the additional advantage of zero interruption to pipeline operation. DiscoveryTM can inspect any subsea flowline within its diameter range regardless of complexity (such as caissons) without any risk of damage to the pipe.
The developments will allow Discovery™ to inspect pipelines at depths of up to 10,000 ft and will be fitted with a crawler system in order to self-propel along the pipeline taking measurements. Also planned are further refinements of the already extremely clear tomographic images.
The development is scheduled for completion early summer 2014, ready for first deployment in the Gulf of Mexico with a full inspection schedule expected over the summer. Tracerco received investment from a major Gulf of Mexico based oil company in order to start the development work on the already impressive technology.
Lee Robins, Head of Subsea at Tracerco said, "Discovery™ was developed in response to operational needs of oil companies to diagnose flow assurance issues and inspect a range of different unpiggable subsea piping systems. Due to industry demand Discovery™ is undergoing development for use in ultra-deep water as well as some additional features such as the crawler system which should make inspection subsea even easier. Testament to the quality of the instrument we have today is the large investment received from a major oil company. We are delighted to be working with them on an even more impressive iteration of the already unique technology."
Unlike alternative technologies such as ultrasonic and pulsed eddy current, Discovery™ is a more cost-effective way to provide operators assurance of the integrity of unpiggable coated pipelines as it eliminates the risk of corrosion of pipelines on removing and reapplying coating.
Lee added, "The interest in DiscoveryTM has already been phenomenal and we already have a long waiting list of companies eager to use the technology. As a result we are already deep in the process of developing the technology for ultra-deep water, as well as rapidly expanding our operations team in order to meet demand."
Tracerco will be holding workshops on DiscoveryTM throughout the year to keep updated sign up to the mailing list at http://tracerco.com/subsea/discovery/enquiry.asp
For more information on Discovery™ visit www.tracerco.com/subsea/discovery