GE Launches New Enhanced Pipeline Inspection Tool

GE Oil & Gas' PII Pipeline Solutions continues to push the boundaries of integrity management offerings with the launch of the new, enhanced EmatScan CD, GE's next-generation inspection tool.

This technology is designed specifically to provide pipeline operators the necessary levels of tool performance and confidence in stress corrosion crack (SCC) and individual crack detection analysis and mitigation management in gas pipelines.

EmatScan CD applies PII Pipeline Solutions' Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) technology to the unique demands of in-line inspection (ILI) runs in gas pipelines by detecting and measuring a greater range of defects compared to existing technologies. The system can detect cracks as short as 1.97 inches (50 mm) and as shallow as .079 inches (2 mm) while utilizing PII's proven software capabilities and reporting techniques.

Thanks to new, advanced sensor technology developed by project partner GE Inspection Technologies, this third-generation EMAT tool also offers operators greater discrimination of serious and non-serious flaws in a given pipeline.

Unlike conventional ultrasonic inspection methods, EmatScan CD does not require a liquid medium for its signals to reach a pipe's wall. As a result, operators no longer need to invest in costly pre-inspection preparation or subject their lines to contamination by foreign liquids, in order to obtain the needed inspection medium, to support conventional ultrasonic data collection.

EmatScan CD offers operators other critical technical and economic benefits, including:

  • The ability to detect even sub-critical SCC colonies. This unique capability gives operators the advanced warning they need to implement effective SCC management programs while avoiding the higher costs and loss of productivity associated with the common but less efficient method of hydrostatic testing.
  • Enhanced data accuracy, which allows for critical SCC and isolated cracks to be more effectively isolated and evaluated in order to prioritize, and therefore minimize, the amount of digging and repair activities, thus reducing the disruption to a given pipeline's normal operation.
  • Repeated inspections with this tool can also be used to determine the growth rates and mechanisms associated with sub-critical crack colonies, thereby assisting in the overall crack management of any gas pipeline.

"EmatScan CD is the first ILI tool that gives gas pipeline operators the same crack detection benefits and confidence levels offered by their liquid pipeline counterparts," John Bucci, General Manager for PII Pipeline Solutions, GE Oil & Gas.

"This leading edge inspection system reinforces GE's mission to offer the global oil and gas industry the most advanced, cost-effective set of technology solutions to support their demanding integrity management program requirements."