Pipeline Industry Guild Awards 2014

Johnson Matthey‘s Tracerco has received the Subsea Technology Award at the 2014 Pipeline Industries Guild Awards for its breakthrough technology ‘Discovery’, which was designed for inspection and flow assurance of subsea coated pipelines.

With the help of Discovery subsea CT scanner, oil companies can scan any subsea pipeline from the outside to gain an exact picture of the pipe condition and its contents, and will be assured of the integrity of unpiggable coated pipelines.

The scanning can be done without removing protective coatings or insulation and without any interference in production.

Tracerco subsea technology head Lee Robins said: "We only officially launched Discovery mid-2013, so to have its ground-breaking technology recognised as the most significant contribution to subsea pipeline technology this year is incredible.

"As a result we are already in the process of manufacturing a second version of Discovery for ultra-deep-water applications complete with crawler system, as well as rapidly expanding our operations team in order to meet demand."

According to the UK-based company, the launch of the trailblazing technology has resulted in a low-risk solution to obtain information pertaining to pipe-in-pipe and pipe bundle system flowlines.

Discovery uses a radioactive source and an array of detectors to take projections at different angles.

"Discovery uses a radioactive source and an array of detectors to take projections at different angles."

To create a detailed computer generated tomographic image, the technology recombines the projections to produce a 360 degree image of the pipeline’s physical conditions to nearly a millimetre resolution.

Irrespective of complexity, the technology can inspect any subsea flowline within its diameter range without causing any risk of damage to the pipe.

Discovery also eliminates the pipeline corrosion risk on removing and reapplying coating, while ensuring no build-up or blockages.

Image: L-R Tracerco scientific manager Emanuele Ronchi, Tracerco subsea head Lee Robins and Tracerco subsea business director Kim Thye. Photo: courtesy of Tracerco.