Currently, inspection and assessment of pipe condition in cased pipelines is mostly limited to direct and in-line assessment methods such as ILI tools, open-cuts, ultrasonic’s inspection and External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA) practices. These methods are expensive, time consuming, and do not fully prevent leaks, failures and damage to life, property and the environment. Corrosion and integrity issues continue to jeopardize public safety and leak detection continues to present a significant challenge, especially for small leaks. While pipelines remain inherently vulnerable to both accidents and deliberate disruption due to their number and dispersion, making pipeline safety and security closely intertwined.
Recent technological innovations offer potential enhancements to pipeline safety, security and reliability with new assessment techniques, including an improved ability to find and eliminate problems before they become hazardous. While new pipeline monitoring technologies, such as continuous leak detection, corrosion monitoring, and motion sensing continue to emerge and improve, the difficulty remains of how to apply such advances to the existing infrastructure of cased pipelines.
While casted containment systems eliminate the need for external cathodic protection and also provide leak containment, traditional designs can only provide a limited capability for leveraging continuous-run monitoring technologies, especially once the pipeline is buried underground, as the internal support structure (sometimes referred to as “spacers”, “spiders”, or “doughnuts”) impede utilization of the available interior space between the carrier and containment pipes.
Subsequently, a gap in technology available is evident. An envisioned solution could comprise an improvement on the existing casement configuration that will enable best in class problem detection and containment over the life of the pipeline by maximizing the utilization of double casing interior space for multiple monitoring technologies in such a way that it is easily accessed once the pipeline is buried.
In this focus area, applications are sought to study, develop and demonstrate new concepts of multi-channel insert and assembly for cased pipelines.
The applicant will study, develop and test a novel pipeline insert and assembly that creates multiple separate and independent linear compartments within the interior space of a cased piping system and that will support the carrier pipe within the containment pipe. Anticipated results will include enabling the use of multiple monitoring technologies, such as leak detection, motion sensing, wall thickness measurement and corrosion monitoring in the same pipeline. Besides facilitating initial installation and ongoing operation of multiple technologies, it should enable forward compatibility of the cased pipeline with future monitoring technologies yet to be developed, as new monitoring systems should be able to be easily run through the annular chambers along the length of the pipe.
Expected Phase I outcomes:
Phase I activities may include a complete feasibility study, including analysis of product and whole solution costs, value calculations, detailed technical and market analysis of target applications, market research and analysis of additional potential applications.
Expected Phase II outcomes:
Phase II activities may include product prototyping, testing then designing and building deployable systems followed by analysis/testing in field environments.