Valero Utilizes Advanced Inspection Technology

By Michelle Howard
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Photo courtesy of Valero

Imagine a pipeline network that stretches for miles, running through the countryside, under rivers, towns and busy streets. Then think about what it takes to maintain it, making certain that it operates smoothly and safely. It’s an around-the-clock responsibility; one that requires vigilance and meticulous attention to make certain that every line is carefully inspected on a regular basis.
 

For Valero Energy Ltd, a subsidiary of international refiner and marketer of transportation fuels Valero Corporation, inspecting pipelines with efficient methods that generate data that offer a comprehensive picture of the condition of the line is critical. In the United Kingdom, Valero owns and operates the Pembroke Refinery on the west coast of Wales, the Mainline Pipeline, and associated feeder pipelines in Wales and England. Maintaining this complex refinery and vast network is demanding, calling for ongoing inspections to make certain every line is maintained to the highest standard.
 
To ensure that inline inspections of the lines are executed efficiently while generating the greatest amount of useful data, Valero recently retained global pipeline service provider T.D. Williamson (TDW). Valero’s main objective was to rule out or identify threats to pipeline integrity.
 
TDW was to carry out inline inspections of several sections of the pipeline network using its Multiple Dataset (MDS) inline inspection platform with SpirALL® Magnetic Flux Leakage (SMFL) technology. Because the MDS tool generates multiple datasets in a single inspection run, it not only reduces inspection time, it closes the gaps inherent in individual inspection technologies. To illustrate, axial MFL is unable to detect anomalies that are located within the same magnetic field orientation. These include defects such as axial grooving and slotting; i.e., crack-like anomalies and preferential seam corrosion located in the long seam. SpirALL MFL technology was designed to locate anomalies with these narrow characteristics. In addition, by combining axial and SpirALL MFL, distinguishing between volumetric and planar or crack-like anomalies is much easier.  
 
By using this technology to collect a wide range of in-depth data in a single inspection run, Valero would be able to assess the condition of each line, confident that they had a complete set of data upon which to formulate plans to repair or replace damaged or corroded sections.
 
Collectively, the three diesel lines extend for 181 km, from Pembroke – running 16 km east – to nearby Waterston, from Seisdon – stretching north for 113 km – to Manchester, and from Seisdon – running east for 52 km – to Kingsbury in England. Due to the substantial length of the two Seisdon lines, launch of the tool was carefully planned to make certain that it took place in daylight hours so that its location would be properly pinpointed at critical monitoring points and at the receiver at the end of the line. The TDW team also carried out gauge runs on each line to ensure that the line was clear of any blockages that would prevent the inspection tool from completing the run.
 
Multiple datasets generate valuable information in one run
Working in close cooperation with the Valero team, TDW executed the inline inspection runs on all three lines on various dates during a 10-month period. Throughout the inspection campaign, pipeline pressure was closely monitored.

 

The inspection runs were conducted at a constant speed of one to two meters per second to prevent the tool from becoming lodged in the line and to ensure that data gathered was of the highest quality. All data was validated and analysed before being forwarded to Valero for review and assessment. The three inspection runs were completed on schedule in a total time of just five days.
 
Given the quality and variety of data produced by the technology employed during this recent inline inspection campaign, TDW is preparing to inspect the 226 km Waterston to Seisdon line, the longest in Valero’s UK pipeline network.
The recent inspection program is not the first time that Valero has sought out TDW to carry out inline inspection services in the UK. In 2013, the Pembroke to Waterston line was successfully inspected with the same technology, providing Valero with useful data to maintain pipeline integrity.


“It is very rewarding that Valero was able to benefit once again from the comprehensive data generated by the MDS platform and the reduction in downtime and overall cost,” said Matthew Blackham, Project Manager for TDW. “We attribute much of the success of the project to the Valero planning and onsite teams, which were extremely dedicated to getting the job done safely and professionally. By working together with the TDW onsite technicians and data analysis team, the operation was an outstanding achievement. We look forward to working with them again this year,” he added.

 

Maritime Reporter October 2013 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Henderson, Hanes & Associates Opens Doors in Miami

Ocean Engineering/ Naval Architecture Firm Brings Innovation to the Mega Yacht Community The Miami-based ocean engineering and naval architecture firm of Henderson & Associates, Inc.

DOF Installer Sells Offshore Vessel

DOF Subsea AS subsidiary, DOF Installer ASA, reported the sale of one of its three sister ships, an anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel, to an international buyer.

Scanjet Secures 30-ship Tank Management Order

Scanjet Group has followed up its Tank Management order from Stolt-Nielsen with a series of contracts for its ITAMA Intelligent Tank Management concept including Tankcleaning,

Technology

NAVTOR, AWT Agreement Marks Next Step in E-navigation

NAVTOR has signed an agreement with maritime weather routing specialist Applied Weather Technology (AWT) that will see the two companies integrating their services

BCG Upgrades Virtual GMDSS Simulator

Buffalo Computer Graphics (BCG) Inc. released an updated version of its Virtual Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (VGMDSS) Simulation software. BCG’s VGMDSS

Australia, US Order Anti-ship Missile Decoys

Design of the next generation of anti-ship missile decoys is set to commence following the signing of two contracts between the Australian Defense Force and BAE Systems Australia Pty Ltd.

Energy

Leak May Sideline New Mexico Nuclear Waste Site

It may be five years before a nuclear waste dump in New Mexico closed by a radiation leak is fully operational again, and the facility will need at least $240

Imperial Oil Completes Maintenance at Kearl Oil Mine

Imperial Oil Ltd said on Tuesday it has completed a two-week major maintenance turnaround at its 110,000 barrel per day Kearl oil sands mine in northern Alberta.

Swissco Doubles Rig Fleet

SGX Mainboard-listed Swissco Holdings Limited an integrated, international marine services provider, today announced having completed the acquisition of four additional mobile offshore drilling units,

Fuels & Lubes

Going Big for Sustainability

Orkot Marine Bearings, developed and manufactured by Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, contribute to the build of the world’s largest and most efficient containerships,

Kounalakis Joins OW Bunker N. America

OW Bunker, a reseller and physical supplier of marine fuels, announced the appointment of Georgia Kounalakis to its physical supply operation in North America.

Louisiana to Get Natural Gas Liquefaction and Fueling Facility

Tenaska Bayou LNG expected to meet growing marine, transportation and oil and gas exploration and production demand on the Gulf Coast Tenaska NG Fuels, LLC and Waller Marine, Inc.

News

Henderson, Hanes & Associates Opens Doors in Miami

Ocean Engineering/ Naval Architecture Firm Brings Innovation to the Mega Yacht Community The Miami-based ocean engineering and naval architecture firm of Henderson & Associates, Inc.

Austal Launches Trenton (JHSV 5)

Second Joint High Speed Vessel to be launched at Austal in 2014 On September 30, 2014, Austal USA successfully completed the launch process of Trenton (JHSV

DOF Installer Sells Offshore Vessel

DOF Subsea AS subsidiary, DOF Installer ASA, reported the sale of one of its three sister ships, an anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel, to an international buyer.

Maritime Safety

NAVTOR, AWT Agreement Marks Next Step in E-navigation

NAVTOR has signed an agreement with maritime weather routing specialist Applied Weather Technology (AWT) that will see the two companies integrating their services

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

MOL Merges Group Companies; Upgrades Bridge Simulator

MOL adds DPS and enhances safe operation by integrating expertise through merger Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) announced the merger of MOL Marine Consulting, Ltd.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3072 sec (3 req/sec)