Pipeline pigging is a concept in pipeline maintenance that involves the use of devices known as pigs, which clean pipelines and are capable of checking pipeline condition. This process is done without necessarily interfering with the flow of product in the pipe. Pipeline pigs are used in a number of different industries including oil & gas, lube oil, chemical plants and hygienic applications such as pharmaceutical or food. Selecting the right pipeline pig for a particular application requires extensive experience, something that Inline provides.
How Does Pipeline Pigging Work?
The primary purpose of pipeline pigs is to make sure that the pipe is clean and free from obstruction. The pig is usually cylindrical or spherical to aid movement and efficient cleaning. As the pig moves through the pipeline, it can remove and possibly detect any build-ups within the pipe which can often lead to reduced performance, increased energy costs and cause corrosion, which could lead to disastrous leaks and cracks in the pipe.
The Pipeline Pigging Process
The pipeline pig is inserted into the pipe using a pig trap, which is typically oversized to accommodate the tight fitting pig. A similar pig trap or receiver is located at the end of the pipe to receive the pig once it has traveled the length of the pipeline.
How Is The Pig Movement Monitored?
A pig will often make a sound as it travels through a pipe and if it doesn’t, a TX Transmitter can be installed into the pig. The pig can then be tracked through the pipe from above ground using an RX101 Receiver or a GeoAmp XT Geophone. Apache pigPro signalers are a reliable indicator that the pig has passed a certain point on the pipeline.