GE Oil & Gas has been awarded a contract by a subsidiary of TransCanada Corp. to deploy its UltraScan Duo pipeline inspection tool to evaluate portions of TransCanada's 864-kilometer (537-mile) pipeline that runs across the province of Saskatchewan and ends outside Winnipeg, Manitoba.
GE's PII Pipeline Solutions, a division of GE Oil & Gas, is scheduled to use its UltraScan Duo tool to perform in-line inspections of three sections of the pipeline between June and August 2008. PII has been a longtime pipeline integrity services provider for TransCanada.
TransCanada, based in Calgary, Alberta, is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure. Its network of more than 59,000 kilometers (36,500 miles) of pipeline taps into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America.
GE's UltraScan Duo is one of the most advanced inspection tools ("smart pigs") developed for evaluating the condition of oil pipelines. Featuring ultrasound technology originally designed by GE for use in hospitals, UltraScan Duo utilizes an automated, "phased array" sensor system that allows operators to perform comprehensive - and simultaneous - inspections for both potential cracks and metal loss in a single run-of-the-line.
"We are very pleased that TransCanada has selected the UltraScan™ Duo in recognition of its ability to eliminate the more expensive approach of performing multiple runs of the line that is required with existing, conventional in-line inspection tools," said John Bucci, General Manager PII Pipeline Solutions for GE Oil & Gas.
Compared with the hydrostatic testing method, the UltraScan Duo can help improve pipeline safety and reduce production losses while providing substantial operational savings over the lifetime of a liquid pipeline.
The system's technology is similar in principle to that of high-capacity, phased-array radar units that can simultaneously track a large number of targets. The technology enables detection of smaller cracks of 25 mm in length instead of 30mm, which represents a 17 percent improvement on existing technologies.
GE's Oil & Gas business is a world leader in advanced technology equipment and services for all segments of the global oil and gas industry. Based in Florence, Italy, the company offers complete solutions for production, LNG, transportation, storage, refineries, and petrochemicals, as well as pipeline integrity solutions including pipeline-related software and pipeline asset management. Through its recent acquisition of VetcoGray, GE Oil & Gas has added products, systems and services for drilling, completion and production within onshore, offshore and subsea applications.