Development of an Industry Test Facility and Qualification Process for ILI Technology Evaluation and Enhancements

March 30, 2017

The project “Development of an Industry Test Facility and Qualification Processes for in-line inspection (ILI) technology Evaluation and Enhancements” aims to expand knowledge of ILI technology performance and identify gaps where new technology is needed. Additionally, this project establishes a continuing resource for ILI technology developers, researchers and pipeline operators to be able to test ILI and NDE equipment on a wide range of pipeline defects spanning many pipe vintages. An ILI pull test facility was designed and constructed as a central part of this project. The major ILI vendors, together with pipeline operator team members, reviewed the TDC sample inventory and designed a series of ILI performance tests, culminating in 16 inch and 24 inch diameter test strings being constructed. The ILI vendors proposed testing commercial magnetic flux leakage (MFL) tools based on limited knowledge of the integrity conditions in the test strings, and a series of pull tests of the MFL tools were performed. The vendors delivered reports of integrity anomaly location and physical dimensions for performance evaluation.

PRCI engaged Blade Energy Partners, Ltd. (Blade) to evaluate the ILI data obtained from repeat pull tests on the 16 and 24 inch pipeline strings at the PRCI Technology Development Center (TDC). The resulting data was analyzed, aligned and compared to truth data, with the findings presented in this report. Quantitative measures of detection and sizing performance were disclosed in confidence to the individual ILI vendors. For instances where initial ILI predictions were outside of claimed performance, the vendors were given a limited sample of actual defect data to enable re-analysis, thus demonstrating the potential for improved integrity assessment with partial validation measurements. The testing confirmed that published vendor MFL performance specifications could be attained. The report is available to PRCI members to download or to the public for purchase(PRCI Project NDE-4F)