GE Oil & Gas has expanded its PII Pipeline Solutions technical staff and engineering analysis services in Calgary on behalf of Canadian pipeline operators.
GE increased its pipeline data analysis department by 17 people in 2008 and its integrity engineering department to nine, full-time desk engineers, including a data software engineer to enable the newly enhanced levels of pipeline support services for its Canadian customers.
"While GE has always offered a full portfolio of advanced in-line inspection and data management services, we recognized an opportunity to further enhance our desk engineering, software products and other post-run pipeline integrity solutions for Canadian operators," said Geoff Foreman, Development & Strategy Leader for PII Pipeline Solutions. "Being locally based allows our customers to make fast and accurate maintenance decisions in order to further optimize their pipeline integrity operations."
In 2008, GE's Calgary based operation also improved its pipeline crack management tools and related services as well as its PICA (post-inspection crack assessment) and PIDA (post inspection dent assessment) solutions with the introduction of GE's new generation of caliper tools. GE also improved its data and integrity management software approach with greater functionality, including data loading, alignment and manipulation, which is compatible with an operator's existing enterprise systems or databases.
On the inspection technology front, GE's facility in Calgary has begun investigating the feasibility of developing new inspection tools capable of operating in elevated temperatures (140 degrees Celsius) found in "tar sands" bitumen pipelines.
The Calgary facility also is continuing to coordinate a number of ongoing inspection projects on behalf of Canadian pipeline operators, including a segment of TransCanada's planned Keystone pipeline project.
Illustrating the Canadian pipeline industry's strong support for advanced inspection technology and the use of best practices in promoting pipeline integrity, GE Oil & Gas is utilizing its advanced, UltraScan™ Duo "Phased Array" inspection tool for the Trans Canada Keystone pipeline inspection. GE developed the UltraScan Duo with the evaluation assistance of another leading Canadian operator, Enbridge Pipelines Inc.
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