PRCI Expands Inline Research Program

September 2012, Vol. 239 No. 9

Pipeline Research Council International, Inc. (PRCI) expanded and accelerated its research and development program aimed at enhancing inline inspection (ILI) tools and developing the next generation of technology to ensure pipeline safety, integrity, and reliability.

The PRCI ILI Research Program is linked with ongoing initiatives of the natural gas and hazardous liquids pipeline industries to achieve zero pipeline incidents. This objective relies heavily on the performance of ILI tools and technologies.

While current ILI technologies provide high-resolution data that forms the backbone of most integrity management programs, additional enhancements will be a key aspect for achieving the zero incident target, including improvements to sensors and sensor delivery platforms and data processing methods and techniques to better understand the signals/data being collected.

PRCI has begun the first focused project within the larger program with a $1 million investment to evaluate the ability of ILI technology to determine the pipeline metallurgical “fingerprint.” The project is using data from ILI tool runs to determine when there are changes in pipeline materials and/or properties.