CHINA China completes major oil pipeline inspection


China completes major oil pipeline inspection

Global Times

08:03, January 08, 2019


Workers from Sinopec Pipeline Storage and Transportation Co. applaud as the oil pipeline inspection machine is removed from the ball tube on December 15, 2018. (Photo: courtesy of Sinopec Pipeline Storage and Transportation Co.)

China's State oil giant has completed the longest crude oil pipeline inspection in the most complex sea area in the country which breaks European and US technological monopoly in the field.

The pipeline, located in Hangzhou Bay in East China's Zhejiang Province, is 53.5 kilometers long and 762 millimeters in diameter, according to an article published by Sinopec Pipeline Storage and Transportation Co., which belongs to China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group). 

Inspecting the pipeline involves great technological challenges and a high safety risk in complex maritime conditions. Sinopec listed the pipeline inspection in 2009 as the important technological innovation project.

The bay area's subsea pipeline was in urgent need of examination, as the bay's economy is highly developed and relies in multiple shipping routes.

The detection equipment includes a three-axis flux leakage HD detector, an inertial navigation system (INS), and a pipeline stress detection system based on the weak magnetism technology. They were independently developed by Sinopec and own its patent. 

It can detect the pipeline's defects, such as corrosion and mechanical damage to a minimum length of five millimeter and minimum depth of 0.5mm, accurately locate the defects, and detect unusual conditions of subsea piping stress and piping drift.

The detection was the first successful trial, which is of great significance to the integrity management of China's oil pipeline from land to sea. It also provided the basis for deeper detections in other subsea pipelines.

The pipeline inspection company will immediately carry out a more comprehensive assessment of pipelines, including examining its strength, maintenance coefficient, corrosion and remaining lifespan, which will ultimately develop an integrity management on subsea pipelines based on the internal detection data.

To guarantee the success of the detection, the company revised the technique plan, conducted a free spanning analysis based on ocean wave simulations, and checked the stability of the pipeline's pedestal base, said Sinopec. 

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