Enbridge and NDT Global’s new pipeline inspection tool provides a higher level of safety

By Sean Corbett

In April (2017), a cutting-edge pipeline inspection project was unveiled in Banff. Enbridge Canada and NDT Global will be partnering on the new $20 million plan.

The goal is to create an inspection tool that will uncover even the smallest problems with crude oil and liquids pipelines.

Slated for use by 2019, it will be Canada’s next leap ahead in pipeline fitness technology.

How will it Work?

In-line inspection tools are complex pieces of equipment. They move through pipe walls, millimeter by millimeter. State of the art sensors search for dents, defects, metal loss, and corrosion. With this latest tool, NDT Global is looking at a major breakthrough. “We want to get to a point where we can eliminate the possibility of undetected cracking in a pipeline,” says John Fallon, NDT Global’s chief sales officer.

A Team Effort

Enbridge is putting up just over a third of the cost of the project. They have a productive 15-year history with NDT Global. Enbridge often shares data with the ultrasonic pipeline inspection firm. NDT then uses this to validate tool performance and drive improvements. “Generally speaking, Enbridge has the biggest and most complete integrity program of any pipeline operator worldwide,” Fallon says.
Once complete, the new tool (called a “smart pig” in the industry) will provide vast clarity to pipeline inspection.
Trevor Grams, Enbridge’s director of research and development, compares it to the bump from a 1080p TV, or standard high definition television, to a 4K TV, an ultra high definition television with four times the pixels.

That clarity brings more information.

And the more reliable the information, the higher the level of safety.


Pipeline Observer


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