The Re-Emergence of Spherical Pigs

January 2018, Vol. 245, No. 1

By Larry Payne, Director, Pipeline Equipment, Inc., Tulsa, OK

Many years ago spherical pigs were commonly used in natural gas pipelines to remove liquids –  mostly water and condensates. The launchers were designed to only handle spherical pigs, using special valves such as the Wheatley Launch Valve and the Fitzpatrick Launch Valve. These resembled a check valve and were designed to release one spherical pig at a time by movement clapper with a lever. Then, with the implementation of Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requiring that high-pressure transmission lines be routinely inspected to prove integrity with inline inspection (ILI) tools, and with…

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