On June 26, INGAA and the INGAA Foundation hosted a Natural Gas Pipeline Technology Showcase on Capitol Hill, offering members of Congress, federal agencies and their staffs a firsthand opportunity to learn about the technologies and tools used to inspect natural gas pipelines.
Sponsored by Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, the event underlined the natural gas industry’s steadfast commitment to pipeline safety and ongoing working relationship with Congress and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to reauthorize and modernize pipeline safety regulations. On the day of the event, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy held a markup on H.R. 3432, the "Safer Pipelines Act of 2019."
Four service providers, Rosen Group, T.D. Williamson, Baker Hughes – a GE Company, and Enduro Pipeline Services, traveled to Capitol Hill to display their in-line inspection tools, also known as “smart pigs.” These smart pigs are designed to travel through a pipeline, pushed along by the flow of natural gas or towed through by another device or cable, to inspect the internal conditions of the pipeline. Using highly tuned sensors, smart pigs can measure the thickness of pipeline walls and detect flaws such as cracks, dents, corrosion or other problems that could affect the integrity of the pipeline. Each company also provided examples of the data that these tools collect, which is reviewed to determine the condition of inspected pipes.
Service providers also displayed a “cleaning pig,” an in-line tool used to clean the inside of transmission pipelines and ultimately improve product flow, prevent corrosion and prepare the line for inspection by a smart pig to ensure accurate data is collected.
Integrity management technical experts from INGAA’s member companies participated in this showcase to represent pipeline operators. The integrity management program for each pipeline operator uses in-line inspection tools to support the identification of potential safety threats. These experts reinforced the value of using the advanced technology present in these in-line inspection tools in support of pipeline safety.
In-line inspection tools play a critical role in the maintenance and protection of our nation’s pipeline system. INGAA, the INGAA Foundation and our members appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to advance pipeline safety using modern technologies. We look forward to our continued work with the members of Congress and PHMSA to reauthorize important pipeline safety rules and regulations.