GE Partners with Norway's AGR Pipetech in Pipeline Inspection

GE Oil & Gas' PII Pipeline Solutions division has signed a pipeline inspection alliance with AGR Pipetech AS of Bergen, Norway as part of the companies' strategy to expand the breadth of inspection service offerings and compete for more projects around the world.

Based in Houston, Texas, PII Pipeline Solutions is a leading provider of pipeline inspection technology and integrity management services for the global oil and gas industry.

AGR Pipetech, a specialist in the inspection of un-piggable pipelines, is part of the AGR Group, a leading provider of essential services and technologies to the international petroleum industry.

Both companies are leading developers of advanced ultrasonic pipeline inspection tools used to evaluate pipelines for flaws that can lead to cracks and possible ruptures. PII and AGR Pipetech also share other core competencies, including inspection data transmission.

The alliance comes at a time that government regulators around the world and the oil and gas industry are putting a greater emphasis on improving pipeline integrity to enhance regional energy security and protect the environment.

While the two companies have worked together on specific inspection projects in the past, the new partnership is expected to enhance their ability to compete around the world for a broader range of inspection projects.

"This partnership will benefit both PII and AGR Pipetech because we are leveraging our complementary portfolios to offer customers 'one-stop shopping' access to an enhanced array of pipeline inspection service offerings," said Claudi Santiago, president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas.

"For example, while AGR specializes in tethered inspections primarily of offshore pipelines, PII Pipeline Solutions is a leading provider of free-swimming inline inspections and integrity management solutions for a broad range of applications," he added.

"Through our new partnership, AGR Pipetech and PII will be able to offer a far broader range of services to customers, thus enhancing our competitive positions as more operators around the world seek outside experts to help them implement more effective pipeline integrity management programs," said Johan Warmedal, Executive Vice President of AGR Field Operations.

Officials from GE and AGR Pipetech signed their formal partnership agreement in April.