Inline Inspection By TDW Generates Multiple Datasets For Valero Energy Ltd

September 16, 2013

T.D. Williamson (TDW), a supplier of pipeline services and equipment, performed an inline inspection (ILI) using its Multiple Data Set (MDS) inspection tool with SpirALL® MFL (SMFL) technology in the United Kingdom (UK) for Valero Energy Ltd (Valero), the company reported in a news release.
The inspection was carried out in a 16-inch, 9.94 mile (16 kilometer) pipeline that runs between the Pembroke Refinery and Waterston in Wales. The Pembroke Refinery has a total throughput capacity of 270,000 barrels per day (BPD), including 220,000 BPD of crude, and 50,000 BPD of other feedstocks. The refinery is one of the largest, most complex refineries in Western Europe. It makes products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas and petrochemical feedstocks. Valero owns and operates the Mainline Pipeline and associated feeder pipelines, which range from 10-inch to 16-inch, and total 289 miles (466 kilometers).
With such a high volume of throughput and an inability to experience downtime, it is imperative to Valero that it maintains its network at the highest standards. To do this, they require constant comprehensive assessments of their assets. The purpose of this particular inspection was to utilize a single inspection vehicle to rule out or identify various threats. The TDW MDS tool would allow Valero to effectively accomplish its goal.
“TDW’s advanced ILI technology effectively provided Valero with enhanced characterization of numerous pipeline integrity threats, with a single platform,” said Chuck Harris, Manager -Strategic Commercialization for TDW.
The TDW MDS ILI tool features Deformation, axial Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL), patented SMFL technology, Low Field MFL (LFM) and XYZ Mapping. Combining multiple datasets in a single inspection closes the gaps inherent to individual technologies. For example, axial MFL is unable to detect anomalies that are located within the same magnetic field orientation. These include geometries such as axial grooving and slotting; i.e., crack-like anomalies and preferential seam corrosion located in the long seam. SpirALL MFL technology was designed to locate anomalies with these narrow characteristics. Additionally, by combining both axial and SpirALL MFL, distinguishing between volumetric and planar or crack-like anomalies becomes clear.
Source: TDW, 2013.