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Overview of Pigging

Pigging is an in-line inspection (ILI) technique in which devices referred to “pigs” are inserted into pipelines to perform cleaning and inspection activities. Pigging can be conducted on a variety of pipelines sizes without having to stop the flow of material through the line. 

A pig is placed into the pipeline at a valve or pump station that has a special configuration of valves and pipes where the tool can be loaded into a receiver. Once the receiver is closed and sealed, the pig is then driven down the line, either being pulled through by a cable or being pushed through by the flow of product.

For inspection, pigs can be fitted with various nondestructive examination technologies that can scan the pipe through which it travels. These are often referred to as "smart pigs." There are several different types of smart pigs utilized in ILI activities, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some are more effective at detecting certain types of corrosion or damage in different types of pipes, depending on their NDE capabilities. More recently though, some manufacturers are combining the various functions of these separate tools into one. This way a single tool can now be used to detect several different types of damage, making it more efficient and effective.


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      Effective pipeline integrity management has been problematic for a large number of pipelines that were not designed for in-line inspection. Quest Integrity understands the complexities involved with this challenging segment and offers a comprehensive pipeline integrity management solution.

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      InVista Subsea, an advanced ultrasonic ILI tool from Quest Integrity, provides a solution for challenging and difficult-to-inspect subsea pipelines.

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