A seasoned traveller… RunCom™ comes of age!

Can you believe PII Pipeline Solutions RunCom™ service turns 18 this year? RunCom* is the tool used to determine the location and extent of corrosion growth between two or more in-line inspection (ILI) surveys.  Over the last 18 years, RunCom has been used to evaluate corrosion growth in over 160,000km of pipeline - equivalent to having travelled around the world 4 times!   

Corrosion is still one of the major threats to the integrity of onshore and offshore pipelines.  Realistic corrosion growth rates are essential inputs to safe and effective pipeline integrity management decisions.  The identification of where corrosion is active on a pipeline and how fast it is growing is a complex process which is understood in the general sense but is highly variable. Corrosion is therefore difficult to predict due to the very localised nature of its behaviour and the many parameters that influence the corrosion reaction.

Many pipelines have been inspected using intelligent in-line inspection tools several times.  The use of repeat ILI runs to match and compare defects to estimate corrosion growth rates is now a well-used and established practice in the pipeline industry.  The major advantage over other methods is that ILI can provide size and growth rate information on the detectable corrosion population giving visibility of what is happening along the full length of the pipeline.

Back in the late 1990’s, the advent of more powerful computers and advances in signal analysis software made it possible to develop intelligent and efficient signal matching.  Comparison algorithms could rapidly run through the many thousands of metal loss signals returned from an ILI survey to identify changes in the detected corrosion.  In 1999, PII pioneered the first specialist software tool to perform corrosion growth rate assessment on two or more sets of MFL ILI data and PII’s ILI run comparison service, aka “RunCom” was born. 

Today, pipeline operators order PII’s RunCom service on over 90% of their repeat ILI runs.  Over the course of a year, PII conduct RunCom on upwards of 14,000 km of ILI data, matching, comparing and calculating corrosion rates for several millions of metal loss sites per year. 

Since the start of RunCom in 1999, PII have gained invaluable and unrivalled knowledge and experience from the 160,000+ km of pipeline ILI data they have assessed; using their learnings to improve the algorithms and reporting deliverables enhancing the value and benefit of RunCom to their customers. 

The precise signal matching and data synchronisation that Runcom enables is vital in the determination of relevant and accurate corrosion growth rates.  The signal normalisation process used minimises systematic errors associated with two independent ILI data sets. This is a flexible and sensitive process and is only accurate because RunCom allows local scaling according to the variation in run condition and pipe wall thickness which can change the scaling required along the pipeline.  Micro-alignment and direct subtraction of the scaled signals allows a confident discrimination of unchanged defects vs active defects.  Specialised sizing tools are used on side-by-side signal profiles and measurem

ents allow discrimination of noise variation against true corrosion growth using the most accurate and appropriate sizing model.  The assessment of the synchronised signal profiles uses interpolation of the signal to enable accurate comparison across different inspection vehicles and even different sampling resolutions.

So, what is special about PII’s RunCom service?

The simple answer is twofold;

  1. working with “raw” ILI (signal) data, PII are able to eliminate much of the error associated with defect matching and sizing, comparing data on a like for like basis
  2. PII’s unrivalled and invaluable 18 years of experience, learnings and continuous improvements made to the RunCom algorithms and process have enabled them to lead to way in ILI based corrosion growth assessment. 

How many 18 year olds do you know that have travelled the world 4 times over?

*RunCom is PII’s suite of run-comparison software tooling that is used to analyse repeat in-line inspection data.   The resulting corrosion growth rates give customers the insight needed to measure the effectiveness of the corrosion-control systems and to make sound corrosion-management decisions.  PII Pipeline Solutions operates globally as a joint venture between GE Oil & Gas and Al Shaheen Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum.


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