Robot approves integrity of PDO export flowlines
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has successfully check the integrity of its vital crude-oil export flowlines using a robot. The robot has confirmed that the aging conduits are in fair condition.
The onshore and offshore pipelines through which the country’s oil flows to ocean-going tankers in Mina Al Fahal bay were constructed at the end of the 1960s by PDO. Since then, there had been no satisfactory way of gauging the condition of the interior of the lines – something that has been the source of concern to PDO given the critical job they do.
The problem was that the export lines could not be inspected in the conventional way. The interior of most pipelines is usually checked for flaws with a tool that is inserted at one end of the pipeline and retrieved at another point. As the tool proceeds down the pipeline it measures and records data about the state of the lines. However, the export lines do not have an “end” out of which these tools can be extracted.
The solution came in the form of a crawling robot provided by the firm RTD. The machine could inch its way down the pipeline and then be put into reverse to crawl out again. During its journey the robot emits ultrasonic waves to probe the inner surface of the pipeline for corrosion and other damage, feeding the data back in “real time” to sophisticated computer software for analysis.
PDO plans to use the robotic tool every four or five years from now on to ensure that its knowledge of the condition of these critical pipelines is up to date. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)