Inspecting and maintaining sub-surface pipelines is always challenging. When the pipelines are located offshore in turbulent seas, the challenge increases exponentially. When the operation is carried out in the dead of winter in subzero temperatures, the task qualifies as, well, heroic.
Every operator understands the need to maintain a pipeline network to the most rigorous standards of productivity and safety. This need demands regular inspections using state-of-the-art methods to generate a comprehensive picture of the condition of the line. The more complex and isolated the pipeline network, the more complicated the task becomes.
In the Bohai Sea, 375 kilometers southeast of Beijing, a lattice of pipelines stretching a total of 21.4 kilometers (13.3 miles) connects six platforms. To ensure that inline inspection of these lines was executed efficiently, while generating the greatest amount of useful data, a major operator called upon global pipeline service provider T.D. Williamson (TDW). The objective was to locate and identify threats to pipeline integrity.