GE O&G Recognizes 2 Customers for Use of Pipeline Inspection Technology

GE Oil & Gas

GE Oil & Gas' PII Pipeline Solutions business has presented recognition awards to two of its valued customers following their pioneering use of MagneScan™, the next generation of MFL (magnetic flux leakage) pipeline inspection technology, now proven on both sides of the Atlantic.

SARPOM, Exxon Mobil's Affiliate Refinery and Pipelines Company in Italy, and Jayhawk Pipeline, the U.S. pipeline operator, were recognized for projects successfully completed in the first quarter of 2009. Representatives of SARPOM received the GE award in Cramlington, U.K., GE's Centre of Excellence for Magnetics, while Jayhawk was presented with the award at GE's Biannual North American Pipeline Conference in Austin, Texas.

The SARPOM inspection in Italy was from Trecate to Malpensa Intercontinental Airport (Northwest region) on a 6-inch diameter jet-fuel pipeline, spanning almost 20.5 miles. The line was last inspected in 2003. The scope of work implemented by GE was to detect corrosion, dents and bends, as well as mapping coordinates acquisition. The inspection was successfully completed in just four hours and 45 minutes, with the expert field support of TECMA Pipeline Services, GE’s partner in Italy. Sarpom operates a network of 720 miles of liquid pipelines in Italy.

Giorgio Tencaioli, Pipeline Integrity Supervisor for SARPOM Italia, said, "To inspect this seamless steel pipeline, partially built in the early 1960s, we had three priorities: we needed the combination of three tools in one, to reduce disruption to our operation; we also needed a very short arrangement of the system due to space restriction at the airport, and we wanted better corrosion assessment than was offered by previously available technology. We also had been waiting for a credible 6-inch mapping capability."

The first new MagneScan inspection project in North America was performed for the National Cooperative Refinery Association (NCRA) in the state of Kansas and consisted of four sections of 6-inch products pipeline, spanning a total length of 227.5 miles. A U.S. company formed in 1943, NCRA operates an 85,000-barrel-per-day refinery, located in McPherson, Kansas, as well the 227.5 mile, refined-products pipeline that runs from the refinery to Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Jayhawk Pipeline, L.L.C., which is 100 percent owned by NCRA, transports approximately 125,000 barrels per day of crude oil through 800 miles of pipeline. KAW Pipeline Company, 67 percent owned by NCRA, transports approximately 30,000 barrels per day of crude oil through 250 miles of pipeline.

Mark Graves, Pipeline Engineer at Jayhawk Pipeline said, "The four, 6-inch pipeline segments were 49, 60, 58, and 60.5 miles respectively, and each run was completed in less than 24 hours in standard configuration. One of our requirements was related to the product speed inside the line, making the run time at the upper specification of the battery life of the tool. This was, therefore, an excellent testing ground for this new technology."

"We are very proud to have such strong partnerships with pipeline operators worldwide who trust GE to deliver leading-edge technology to secure the safe and productive future of their asset. Combined inspection runs mean less digs, less operational disruption and reduced impact on the environment for cost-efficient compliance," said John Bucci, General Manager of GE Oil & Gas' PII Pipeline Solutions.

Launched at the International Pipeline Conference in Calgary in September 2008, the new MagneScan inspection tool simultaneously maps the pipeline and checks it for corrosion, using high resolution MFL sensors that deliver high-quality data to identify and locate metal loss and is suitable for GIS (geographic information systems) analysis. Mapping data is integrated with inspection information during the run, reducing the amount of post-processing required.