Pure Technologies - a Xylem brand

TransCanada Pipelines - Alberta, Canada


Courtesy of Pure Technologies - a Xylem brand

  • Service: SmartBall - Gas Leak Detection
  • Client: TransCanada Pipelines
  • Project Date: 2010
  • Type of Pipeline: Natural Gas
  • Diameter: 16-inch
  • Pipe Material: Steel
  • Length: 68.9 KM
  • Flow Rate: 3 meters/second

Pure Technologies completed a demonstration inspection of a portion of the Grande Prairie Mainline gas transmission pipeline for TransCanada Pipelines. The inspection was conducted as a trial of the capabilities of the SmartBall leak detection tool in gas pipelines. Highly sensitive leak detection capabilities have already been field proven in liquid hydrocarbons pipelines, though few inspections have been conducted in gas lines to date.

The Grande Prairie mainline is a 16-inch natural gas transmission pipeline. The SmartBall inspection covered the distance between the Elmworth compressor station through to the Gold Creek metering station, spanning a distance of some 68.9KM of pipeline.

he 10-inch SmartBall core was placed inside a 14-inch open-cell foam overshell to conduct the inspection. Flow velocities were higher than typical SmartBall inspections at just under 3 meters per second. Standard pig tracking crews and equipment were used to track the tool throughout the inspection.

A generously sized simulated leak was created at a valve location approximately 30KM into the inspection, to test the SmartBall’s leak detection ability in a gaseous environment.

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