Detecting defects in marine terminal pipelines

Dr. Rainer Schmidt and Basil Hostage, 3P Services, Germany, describe inline inspection technologies used in unpiggable pipelines.

3P Services move to new facility

3P Services will finally move to its new facility in February. The new accommodation has been in development construction since the end of 2014.

It offers new, purpose built office and workshop space with about 5000 m2 (approximately 54,000 sq ft) working area available. More than 100 employees, the entire existing work force, will make the move. The new accommodation will permit many efficiency enhancements to all aspects of the company’s activities and will have space for up to 200 workers. The site is roughly 2.5 ha (approximately 6 acres) with the option for an additional area, which would come to a total of 4 ha (10 acres). The new base is situated in Lohne, just outside Lingen, Germany and not far from the existing facility.

3P Services breaks ground at new base

“We are growing too much” reports Rainer Schmidt, 3P Services’ General Manager with a smile. The specialist In-Line Inspection company is building a new office and workshop building to accommodate the expanding business. With a symbolic groundbreaking, 3P Services made the starting shot for the new facilities in August 2014.
According to the plan, the new building should be ready in summer 2015 and will accommodate more than 100 work places and room for future expansion.

The new base is located in Wietmarschen/ Lohne close to Lingen and the existing facility. You will find the new base directly at the A31 motorway facilitating access for clients and visitors. 3P Services strengthen their ability to respond to rising global demand for high quality pipeline inspection and integrity services with the new base.

3P Services announced new logo and new visual brand identity

3P Services is pleased to reveal its new logo and launch its new visual brand identity. The new logo highlights the strategic focus to set new standards with leading technologies within its core business.

The new logo embodies 3P Services using a contemporary, pure and simple typography. The blue text with grey lines reflects the company´s clear and straight forward style. The new design emphasizes the special service that 3P Services offers to the operator, namely finding a solution for almost every pipeline.
“With our new company logo we want to follow our ambition to provide the pipeline industry with special inspection solutions while maintaining highest regard for safety, quality and the environment!” according to Dr. Rainer Schmidt, General Manager of 3P Services.

Old: New:

3P Services cutting edge technology used during inspection for PG&E in the bay area, California

Thousands of miles of natural gas pipeline are being tested for safety. Pacific Gas & Electric using what it calls a “Smart PIG” to root out problems.

3P Services cutting edge technology used during inspection for PG&E in the bay area, California

PG&E Using Updated Technology to Inspect Natural-Gas Pipelines

Thousands of miles of natural gas pipeline are being tested for safety Pacific Gas & Electric using what it calls a “Smart PIG” to root out problems.

On Thursday, PG&E showed off the so-called “Smart PIGs,” its newest iteration of the utility’s natural gas pipeline inspection tool.

PIG stands for Pipe Inspection Gauge. It travels through natural gas pipelines looking for and precisely recording the location of corrosion, dents, cracks and other potentially disastrous signs of defects or wear and tear.

This newest one — meant for the biggest and potentially most dangerous gas transmission pipelines — can expand or contract.

“The line that we’re testing ranges from 30 to 36 inches in diameter and does have some sharp bends. In the past we’re didn’t have any Smart PIGs that could have inspected that,” said PG&E Spokesman Jason King.

Ever since San Bruno, PG&E has and continues to install more and more Smart PIG portals. The pigs can operate in many more places over much longer distances.

Even if the diameter of the pipe changes somewhere down the line, the Smart PIG can handle that and tell the true condition of the pipe.

Since the San Bruno disaster, PG&E says it has Smart Pigged 1140 miles of big pipelines. It has hydro tested 538 miles of lines, by filling then up with water and pressuring the pipelines up well over their maximum operating pressures.

Additionally, PG&E has replaced 100 miles of major pipelines, but has as many as 5,000 more miles to go. PG&E says those are in areas away from cities, towns, neighborhoods and industrial areas.

Maintenance and cleanliness inside the pipeline will be accomplished by the flexible mop-up PIG.

“That will clean out any debris, any water that’s in the line so that we can get a smooth run with our inline inspection PIG and, in addition, keep it clean and in good condition given the investment,” said King.

It’s an investment aimed at the goal of no more San Bruno fire storms.

By Tom Vacar - KTVU-TV Online on February 27, 2014

PG&E is using new technology to inspect underground natural gas lines.

The utility company on Thursday launched an internal inspection of Pipeline 101, which runs along the Peninsula and into the South Bay, by using what they call “The Smart Pig.”

Pipeline 101 is nearly 100 years old, PG&E said. The inspection, which is being tracked by a computer, will go for 12 miles from Milpitas to Palo Alto.

“It really helps us understand the pipeline from the inside of the pipeline,” said Sumeet Singh of PG&E.

Results from the test will take about two months.

By Cheryl Hurd - NBC Bay Area on February 27, 2014

PG&E uses Smart Pigs to ensure gas pipelines safety

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is inaugurating first-of-its kind “smart pig” inspection technology yesterday to support its pipeline inspections in the Bay Area. The new, customized in-line inspection device which made by a German company allows PG&E to see the inside of its gas transmission pipelines, an additional method for maintaining the safety and reliability of its pipeline network.

PG&E spokesperson Jason King explains the utility has worked with 3P Services, a German company, to create a custom smart pig that would travel 4 mph and navigate tight bends and turns in pipelines ranging from 30-inch to 36-inch diameters. Designed and produced especially for PG&E’s system, the smart pig will provide highly sophisticated data about the pipeline’s condition.

The flexible, multi-diameter smart pig travels through the pipeline, using a combination of sensor technologies to collect information that is then analyzed to assess the condition of the pipe. It can identify dents, metal loss, and other defects that could compromise the safety of the pipeline. If any defects are found on a segment of pipe, PG&E will excavate to repair or replace the segments.

The device was launched from the Milpitas Terminal yesterday morning and travelled 12 miles before reaching its destination in Palo Alto. When the data is captured and analyzed, PG&E will have detailed information about Line 101 that was unobtainable before. Complete analysis will be completed in two months. Further testing will be conducted in the pipeline running through Milpitas to SFO.

Utilities across the nation are trying to cope with the problem of aging pipeline. Public concern raised after the 2010 natural gas explosion in San Bruno. King said the Smart Pig inspection is only part of the utility’s $2 billion investment to upgrade and improve its pipeline system in Northern and Central California. Other efforts include strength testing pipes with pressurized water, verifying records, installing automated valves and replacing Pipelines.

By Weiwei Ren - Sing Tao Daily on February 28, 2014

30″ – 36″ Inspection Tools

Building on its efforts to enhance pipeline safety throughout Northern andCentral California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced that it will add a new, customized In-Line Inspection device to its growing suite of technology used in the field. Working from inside of natural gas pipelines, this cutting-edge “smart pig” provides a highly efficient and accurate way to determine the condition of PG&E’s natural gas transmission system – the arteries of the system that heats and powers customers’ homes and businesses.

Built by 3P Services, the custom “smart pig” is unique and unlike standard inspection tools, navigates tight bends and turns in pipelines ranging from 30″ to 36″ in diameter.  Designed and produced especially for PG&E’s system, the “smart pig” will provide highly sophisticated data about the pipeline’s condition. The tool is currently in development at 3P Services in Lingen,Germany.

“Ensuring that our pipelines are in safe operating condition is our most important job. ‘Smart pig’ technology tremendously enhances our ability to perform routine inspection and maintenance system-wide faster, more efficiently and with greater confidence,” said Nick Stavropoulos, executive vice president, PG&E Gas Operations.

The flexible, multi-diameter “smart pig” travels through the pipeline, using a combination of sensor technologies to collect information that is then analyzed to assess the condition of the pipe. It can identify dents, corrosion, and other defects that could compromise the safety of the pipeline. If any defects are found on a segment of pipe, PG&E will excavate to repair or replace the segments. “Smart pigs” are just one of many tools PG&E is using to monitor for potential leaks and safeguard its natural gas system in Northern and Central California.

“Our work with PG&E is based on the solitary goal of strengthening PG&E’s overall, multi-faceted safety strategy with innovative technology. The highly detailed data obtained from our ‘smart pigs’ provides PG&E engineers with accurate and reliable information in which to make informed decisions about how best to keep their pipeline network safe,” said Dr. Daniel Schaper, Head of Research and Development, 3P Services.

PG&E uses “smart pigs” throughout its service area. Delivery of 3P Services’ multi-diameter “smart pig” is expected late summer 2013 following testing in Germany.

By Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) - PR Newswire on June 26, 2013

In-line Inspection

Core competence of 3P Services is In-Line Inspection services for both onshore and offshore pipelines.

(weiterlesen …)

New pre-inspection tools for massive paraffin, long distance crude oil transmission pipelines

High paraffin content in crude oil may lead to significant build-up of solid wax on the internal pipe surface. This must be removed before an In-Line Inspection tool, whichever technology may be applied. In long distance pipeline sections (>200 km), the overall volume of solid paraffin may be very substantial and its removal a critical operation. 3P Services has recently completed its fleet of specialist tools to cope with this situation.

Tool dirty

Tank inspection

As a spin-off of the in-line MFL inspection tools, 3P Services offers a product range called the HandyScan system.

In general, these are manually operated MFL scanners to locate metal loss on the remote side of a steel wall. (weiterlesen …)