Leak detection, air pockets and pipe network mapping.
We are representatives for Colombia in the Oil & Gas sector of the SmartBall platform, it is a free swimming inspection tool to detect leaks and gas pockets, it also allows mapping pipeline networks. It is a multi-sensor ILI tool that can evaluate pipelines 4 inches in diameter or larger. The tool is an important part of a best-in-class leak detection and integrity program, and collects a variety of information, including containment confirmation and continuous pressure and temperature data, all in a single implementation.
How does it work?
The tool is deployed and retrieved from existing pig traps and launches and tracked using PureHM's patented Armadillo AGMs. Unlike most ILI tools, the SmartBall platform can also be initiated and retrieved using alternative methods. When deployed, the tool travels with the product flow and is able to traverse bends and tees in the pipeline that many ILI tools cannot. During any inspection, the SmartBall tool collects confirmation of containment, temperature and pressure data simultaneously. To detect leaks, the tool uses an acoustic sensor that identifies the sound generated by product escaping from the pipeline, which is easily distinguished from other noise sources present in the pipeline. Unlike conventional CPM systems, the SmartBall tool can identify pinhole leaks down to 0.03 GPM (115 ml/min). The tool's acoustic sensor is typically magnitude more sensitive than conventional leak detection systems.
When to use the tool?
Confirmation of containment surveys can be performed independently, at regular intervals, as part of a routine integrity management program, or as an added value to inspection programs in conjunction with hydraulic testing, other ILI tools or direct assessment. The SmartBall platform is a complementary ILI tool that should be used to improve the reliability of existing integrity programs. Periodic surveys that can identify pinhole-sized leaks are an important aspect of a leak detection and ILI program; a pinhole-sized leak can cause significant environmental damage before it is detected by other methods, and is a preliminary indicator that the pipeline is compromised and may fail. Identifying pinhole leaks also allows the pipeline owner to confirm ILI results by ensuring that none of the identified defects are 100% through the wall. A continuous temperature profile can be used for river scour testing, which is a growing area of regulation and concern for pipeline owners.
SmartBall key technical specifications
- Acoustic principle. Free displacement. Locates leaks and air/gas pockets in pressurized pipelines.
- It is inserted through existing fittings.
- The service in the inspected pipeline is not affected.
- Long stretches. Good performance.
- Works for 8' (200 mm) diameter and larger.
- Can identify accessories relevant to the operation and perform mapping
- Indicates the position of leaks and air/gas pockets with reference to known points.
- Autonomy of more than 18 hours of duration.
- Accuracy: within 6 feet (1.8 meters)
- Identifies leaks as small as 0.028 gal/min (0.11 Liters/minute)
- There is a version of SmartBall for Oil and Gas pipelines: OilBall.
- Multiple insertion and extraction options
- 15 years and 7,000 miles of experience (operation, analysis and reports)
- Live tracking from surface locations (actively locating the tool inside the pipeline)
- Classify leaks according to their location: in the seal, in the body, or related to an accessory.
- Pipeline mapping (X-Y alignment) - optional service
- The SmartBall tool can provide continuous temperature and pressure profiles over an entire in-line inspection (ILI) distance.
- Ability to collect temperature and pressure measurements hundreds of times per second.
- The data collected can be used to help improve pipe flow modeling for ICDA.
- Without the use of GPS or external intervention, the SmartBall tool can confirm alignment or generate pipeline maps in systems without information