It’s not just clean; it’s CETCOclean - chemical cleaning of 10”and 8” ethane pipelines


Courtesy of CETCO Energy Services

CETCO Oilfield Services Pipeline Division chemically cleaned 10” and 8” ethane pipeline segments prior to an in-line inspection (first time ILI on the 10” pipeline). The operator’s primary concerns were flow interruptions to the receiving plant and ensuring that all line debris was collected prior to entering the downstream 8” section.

CETCO designed and supplied all necessary equipment and chemicals for a cleaning program that called for three pills of CETCOclean™ and a site layout that included a pipeline scrubber, two 24” filter separators, a DOT effluent storage tank, and a 50’ vertical flare stack.

The operator’s concerns about the anticipated debris were well-founded; the first two runs brought significant volumes into the separator. Subsequent test samples taken from the discharge side of the filter separators proved that the pipeline product had been cleaned to a level beyond product quality found at upstream injection. In fact, lab results confirmed a 98% ethane purity vs. 96% taken at the upstream injection point.

The third pill was followed by a sweeper and a Dozer™ pig, after which a tailgate chemical test revealed a final (4th) run was needed to remove remnant compressor oils. Following CETCO’s recommendations, the 4th cleaning run was accomplished using a pill containing 25 barrels of the CETCO aromatic chemical which was followed by a final Dozer™ and foam disc pig run before turning the line back over to the customer for the ILI run.

In addition to improving the ethane’s quality, the operator was so impressed with the line cleanliness that he remarked he had never seen a smart pig come out of any of his pipelines in such pristine condition. Line cleanliness is an important factor since clean lines maximize the probability of first run success and provide the highest quality inspection data.

After chemically cleaning the 10” segment with three batches of CETCOcleanTM and one batch of aromatic, the client had not only a successful ILI run, but it was such a clean run that he didn’t even have to clean the ILI tool!

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