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Integrity management for remote pipelines

Emerson has introduced the Roxar FSM Log 48 area corrosion monitor, a new pipeline integrity management system that provides remote, continuous online corrosion and erosion monitoring, enabling operators to track localised corrosion and ensure cost-effective pipeline health even in challenging environments.

The Roxar FSM Log 48 – with 48 referring to the number of pins in the sensing pin matrix –  is a large-area, real-time remote pipeline monitoring solution capable of distinguishing between localised and generalised corrosion, a feature that helps reduce the need for pigging and other costlier inspection methods. The monitor has a total cost of ownership of just one typical smart PIG run of up to 10 kilometers (although this can vary according to the PIG technology).

“Localised corrosion, when undetected, can cause pipeline failures that lead to reduced transportation availability and fines or penalties–not to mention repair costs,” said Chuck Miller, director, Global Midstream at Emerson Automation Solutions. “The [unit] reduces these risks while delivering accurate corrosion detection in remote and hard-to-reach places, making it possible to monitor a larger area of pipeline and increasing capacity.”

The system continuously monitors corrosion in remote areas using WLAN and cellular data transfer protocols and built-in solar power options that reduce maintenance and personnel requirements. Armed with comprehensive, real-time pipeline health information, operators can make better decisions about when and where to conduct pig runs, integrity digs and hydrostatic pressure tests, which helps to increase pipeline availability and transportation capacity.

The system is specifically designed to work for both uncovered and buried pipelines and is easily installed on bottom pipe sections where water collection is most likely. It can be retrofitted to existing uncovered or buried pipelines and several units can be located over a pipeline, minimizing the need for pigging to assess pipeline integrity and increasing transportation capacity.

The Roxar FSM Log 48 uses the non-intrusive field signature method, in which an electric current is fed through the monitored length of pipeline to generate an electric field. The initial measurement sequence measures the voltage drop between pairs of sensing pins installed on the external pipe wall. Later measurements are compared to the field signature, where a uniform increase in voltage drops between all pin pairs indicates generalized corrosion, and a local increase in the values indicates localized corrosion. Typical detection sensitivity for generalized corrosion is 0.1 percent of wall thickness for outer pipeline diameters between six and 48 inches.

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