New API Standard to Improve In-line Pipeline Inspections

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 8/5/2005, Location: North America

The American Petroleum Institute has issued a new industry standard that will improve in-line inspections of pipelines. The new standard, known as API Standard 1163 or In-line Inspection Systems Qualification Standard, provides guidance to in-line inspection (ILI) service providers and pipeline operators employing ILI technology. ILI technology is sometimes called “smart pigs.”

Smart pigs move through pipelines detecting physical changes that could compromise pipeline integrity, such as a reduction in wall thickness caused by corrosion. Used properly, the technology can precisely measure the location of problems along miles and miles of buried pipeline as well as their degree of seriousness.

The new standard is an umbrella document that, by reference, incorporates two standards, NACE RP 0102 Standard Recommend Practice, In-Line Inspections of Pipelines, and ASNT ILI-PQ In-Line Inspection Personnel Qualification & Certification. Together, the three standards will help companies select and operate qualified in-line inspection technology as well as interpret the results. They address personnel and ILI systems qualifications. They provide criteria for selecting a particular inspection system based on pipeline materials, operating conditions and types of anomalies to be detected. They also provide guidance to help operators work more effectively with contractors performing the inspections.

API Standard 1163 covers the qualification of in-line inspection systems for onshore and offshore gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. The ILI systems include the hardware, software and personnel required to perform an inspection and analyze the results.


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