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South of France is calling…'If you can’t do it. Nobody can.'

09 July 2020

During these challenging times with COVID-19, we also encountered some extra challenging projects. This particular project was with a client in the South of France, who urgently needed operational expertise. With our operators continual support to our clients throughout these difficult times, the client was confident in requesting our aid in removing a bi-directional (bidi) tool which was stuck and left behind by a competitor in a 42 inch pipeline.

Along with this challenge, the client also requested our cleaning, gauging, and pipeline inspection services as well. For the cleaning and inspection portion, we utilized our newest technology; the Phased Array Large diameter UT-head which has the ability to inspect in crude oil with an optimized beam focus for the highest resolution.

In order to perform this job properly, the appropriate preparations were essential: mechanical adaptations, place approximately 300 meters of temporary 6 inch piping, site 2x ATEX-products pumps and install our 42 inch launching/receiving facility (with all the connections, bypasses, etc.)

Once all necessary items were correctly placed and ready to go(hundreds of meters of temporary piping, 42 inch pigtrap, pumping set and manifolds), the crew began pumping the stuck bidi-tool out of the line.

Due to the experienced crew and the excellent preparation the bidi could be retrieved. After having checked the amount of debris removed from the pipeline; it was decided to run our inspection tool since the pipeline was deemed to be clean.

Section of the inspected pipeline

Also the inspection tool was propelled with success to the end of the pipeline. The data gathered during this inspection run was of good quality. The phased array UT-head proved once again that big diameter pipelines can be inspected with success in product. The tool was stopped at the end of the pipeline and on special request of our client; the inspection tool was propelled back to the pigtrap using hydrant water the day after. Since our client needed to do mechanical works on the pipeline they were very happy to have the line filled with water instead of oil. Also the fact that the "stuck" pig was removed from their pipeline and having finished the pigging operation within the required time was very satisfying.

The client was very pleased by the work that we had done and asked for two extra inspections of 42 inch pipelines later this year…of course we can do that!

Inspection tool after its successful run