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Pigging Insights: To Pig or to Dig?

Above: Pictures a massive amount of wax pulled out of a line from pigging.

A lot of oil and gas production was shut-in during the past 8 months but as it gets colder and the demand for energy rises, wells are starting to come back on-line.

Bringing a well back on-line is a lot more involved than just flicking a switch and there are several things that need to be considered… Most of these considerations focus on the well and the formation but what about the pipeline?

If you have solids in your production chances are your pipeline maintenance program will need to be looked at and perhaps adjusted. Pipelines that sit dormant, even for a short amount of time, are at greater risk of solids deposition and under deposit corrosion.

Here are 5 key questions we should ask that focus on bringing the pipeline back into service:

  1. Was the line on a regular maintenance program prior to shut-in?
  2. Was the line pigged clean prior to being shut-in? (How clean is clean? What was used?)
  3. Was the line prone to solids deposition prior to shut-in?
  4. Is there a history of under deposit corrosion in this line?
  5. Is plugging the line with solids or having a line failure an option?

If these questions aren’t asked and considered prior to bringing the pipeline back into service you may be at risk of failure or the line becoming blocked with solids.

Pipetech can assist with a review of your pigging history and potential risks.

We recommend that you consider a progressive approach to your pigging program that could prevent a costly plugged line or worse. Pipetech will design a custom progressive pigging program that will reduce the risk of plugging the line, deal with deposits that may have been left in the line during shut-in and get you back to an effective and aggressive maintenance/mitigation pigging program.

So when we ask the question:
Do you want to pig or do you want to dig?
We hope you choose ‘pig’ – it’s worth it.

Give us a call and let us help you out. Contact us.

Craig Ball – President
Pipetech Corporation