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GE Energy’s Cost Effective SCC-Screening Solution Helps Pipeline Operators Comply With U.S. Advisory

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 3/7/2005, Location: North America

HOUSTON, TEXAS, GE Energy has developed a new stress corrosion cracking screening process (SCCScreenTM), that provides oil and gas pipeline operators with a cost effective, reliable method of complying with a U.S. Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) advisory to evaluate SCC-susceptible lines.

The September 2003 OPS advisory bulletin requires all oil and gas pipeline operators to validate the existence, and non-existence, of stress corrosion-cracking (SCC) in susceptible lines. Under this advisory, operators must demonstrate whether their pipelines are susceptible to SCC, validate the threat of SCC, and assess the potential impact on pipeline integrity.

The assessment options available to operators to validate SCC are hydrotesting, direct assessment (SCCDA), and in-line inspection.

GE's three-phase SCCScreen process, which adopts select aspects of both in-line inspection and direct assessment, offers pipeline operators a more cost effective assessment than any of the standard available methods, while reliably assuring safety. This innovative screening process is designed to help operators comply with government regulations with minimal costs, while providing assured, validated safety levels.

This systematic approach is unique as a result of GE's industry-leading crack assessment experience and because the process has been validated using an extensive database of independently field-verified SCC events and measurements.

For liquid pipelines, GE's new SCC screening method utilizes the Ultrascan crack detection (USCD) tool with specially tailored screening analysis. The process for gas pipelines includes a combination of Magnascan (MFL) and Transcan (TFI) runs analyzed with proprietary criteria, improving the identification of critical SCC fields in susceptible pipelines.

"This new pipeline integrity process provides pipeline operators with a product that can address the federal advisory, offering them lower, long-term application costs yet a more accurate picture of the future integrity of pipelines," said Mike Simmons, GE Energy's general manager for global pipeline solutions. "This process assures the integrity of susceptible pipelines with no known history of SCC."

GE began offering these new products in December 2004. It is the first of its type in combining ILI technology and integrity engineering in this integrated manner.


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