Copyright 2004, Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc.
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A cost-effective method of internally repairing pipeline
leaks has been developed that – in many instances – eliminates
the need for expensive and risky external mechanical repairs.
By delivering a pressure-activated sealant between two
pigs to a leak site and pressure activating the sealant to
polymerize as a flexible solid within the leak path, it is
possible to internally repair pipeline leaks without the need for
excavating or replacing defective sections with minor leaks.
According to Department of Transportation’s Office of
Pipeline Safety, there are over 326,000 miles of natural gas
transmission pipelines and over 1,923,000 miles of natural gas
distribution pipelines presently in the United States. With
natural gas consumption projected to increase by 50% over the
next seventeen years, a major focus will be placed on pipeline
integrity management, particularly pipe and joint leak repair
The conventional methods of curing pipeline leaks is to
either perform an external mechanical repair of the leak or
install an internal patch or sleeve that reduces the inside
diameter of the pipe.
What is needed is a cost-effective
method of internally repairing the pipeline leaks without the
need for expensive and risky external mechanical repairs.
The paper will describe the use of a pressure-activated
sealant technology to effect internal repair of pipeline leaks.
This sealant technology has been successfully applied in the
oil and gas industry for nine years, including offshore
gathering lines and pipeline applications.
industry case histories will be outlined.
The described technology is unique in that a differential