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Line Class Upgrades

Whether pipeline operators need to make a line class upgrade to meet new regulatory requirements or to prepare for a product change, TDW is available to help with every stage of the process. 

Line class upgrades typically involve preparing lines to accommodate higher pressures. TDW offers the equipment and services necessary to prepare the pipeline, facilitate line modification, and assess the line after the work is completed. Operators also can rely on TDW subject matter experts to help them select the options best suited for their unique pipeline systems.

TDW line class upgrade solutions allow pipeline owners and operators in the Gas Transmission market to:

  • Thoroughly clean the line to help ensure a successful project.
  • Facilitate necessary line modifications.
  • Protect people, the environment, and communities throughout the project.
  • Keep the line in compliance with company, industry, and regulatory requirements.
  • Launch a follow-up line integrity program.

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Because pigs are efficient, effective, and easy to launch and retrieve, they are the preferred tools for a variety of pipeline maintenance and integrity activities related to line class upgrades. That includes preparing pipeline segments for inline inspection (ILI) activities required to confirm or revise the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP).

TDW can help Gas Transmission operators select and deploy the appropriate pig for the purpose, pipeline, and product.

Pigs for cleaning:

  • OptionAll™ cleaning pig – Effective for cleaning, maintenance, batching, and displacement. Can be customized with attachments appropriate for clearing pipeline solids, including discs, cups, magnets, brushes, and blades.
  • VANTAGE® V cleaning pig – Can be equipped with brushes to remove crust-like deposits, urethane blades for removing gummy deposits, scraper discs to clean both hard and soft deposits, and magnet kits to remove ferrous material.
  • PitBoss™ cleaning pig – Designed to remove soft to medium-hard deposits from internal pits.
  • FJR/JRN cleaning pig – Equipped with wire brushes and urethane cups to remove contaminants and deposits from pipelines.
  • VANTAGE®+ cleaning pig – Can remove hard internal pipe deposits such as mill scale, crust, and calcium deposits as well as thick, soft contaminants including sludge and mud.
  • REDSKIN™ foam pig – Available in five different configurations, including the REDSKIN RoughRider® pig for removing hard deposits.
  • WCK cleaning pig – Built to remove pipeline contaminants and deposits, with an outlet port at the pig’s front end to prevent loosened material from piling up. Available in a dual diameter model for cleaning multiple sizes of pipe in one run.
  • Pencil brush cleaning pig – Heavy duty, aggressive, and effective at removing black powder and cleaning deposits from internal pits. Removable bypass plugs provide jetting action to improve cleaning effectiveness.

Pigs for liquids displacement:

  • UNISPHERE™ pig – Heavy-duty inflatable spheres that remove liquid hydrocarbons and water from pipelines and piping systems.
  • OptionAll™ batching pig  Designed for light cleaning, line filling and dewatering, batch separation, and liquid removal.
  • VANTAGE® V batching pig – Used for batching, displacing, and light cleaning.
  • X-Pig® multi-purpose utility tool  Flexible and versatile all-urethane pig that can negotiate tight pipeline turns. Appropriate for cleaning, batching, and displacement operations.
  • VANTAGE® + pig – Can be used for batching and displacement. Flexible in tight bend pipelines and can traverse a 20 percent reduction in interior pipe diameter.   

Technical assistance is available from TDW subject matter experts for special circumstances or if the path to a solution requires consultation.

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Through advanced inline inspection (ILI) technology to detect and characterize defects with a high degree of accuracy, TDW helps Gas Transmission operators avoid multiple inspection runs and unnecessary excavations, saving time while lowering operational risks and costs. Using ILI before a line class upgrade helps determine the current condition of the pipeline, allowing engineers to make critical decisions about whether or not repairs need to be made before the upgrade. 

  • Multiple Dataset (MDS) platform Combines multiple technologies to generate comprehensive, critical information in a single tool run. Technologies include SpirALL® MFL (SMFL), deformation (DEF), magnetic flux leakage (MFL), residual (RES) or low field MFL (LFM), and XYZ mapping (XYZ).  Comprehensive threat assessment includes the detection of metal loss, dents, hook cracks, lack of fusion, selective seam weld corrosion, axially extended metal loss, hard spots, including those with crack-like defects, and mechanical damage.
  • SpirALL® Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) – A tool that optimizes the number of receivers and transmitters through the use of a helical magnetic field. This tool collects data related to axial cracking (i.e., stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen induced corrosion, fatigue cracks, etc.) that are below the detectable limits of SpirALL MFL, as well as coating disbondment.
  • XYZ mapping (XYZ) – Supplies high-resolution pipeline mapping data for the calculation of bending strain and pipe displacement. XYZ also provides highly accurate location information about every defect reported by pairing global positioning system (GPS) coordinates with inertial mapping.

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In the Gas Transmission market, where pipeline shutdown may not be an option, hot tapping and plugging (HT&P) technology allows operators to expand lines, make connections and tie-ins, launch new services, and upgrade capacity – all while their line is in service. TDW HT&P solutions protect operators’ revenue stream while minimizing risk and are available for a wide spectrum of pipelines, environments, and products. 

The HT&P process incorporates a high pressure pipeline fitting, valve, tapping machine, and isolation equipment – all working together to provide a safe and proven isolation solution. Once the area of pipeline that requires work has been safely isolated and evacuated, the line modification can be performed. 

The full suite of isolation solutions offered by TDW plays a critical role in this process. The TDW STOPPLE® Train isolation system, for example, uses double block and bleed technology to help increase efficiency and safety during pipeline modification. The system – which only requires a single pipeline tap – reduces costs associated with fittings, valves, welding, and inspection services. The bleed port affixed on the line ensures that any product bypassing the first seal is contained and evacuated through the bleed port, which creates a safe zone in high-consequence areas.

Because double block and bleed technology plays such a large role in protecting people, the environment, and communities, a number of regulators in Canada now require it for HT&P projects – and American regulators are moving in that direction.

Whether operators purchase equipment to perform their own HT&P jobs or turn to TDW to execute the service for them, they can rely on the broad line of equipment and consumables from TDW. The company engineers and manufactures nearly every component needed for an HT&P project, and TDW tapping and plugging machines are considered the industry standard.

TDW can also partner with operators before the work begins, providing consulting services to help them make optimum use of TDW products and services. TDW application engineers are recognized industry experts, ready to assist operators through each project phase – from start to finish.