The Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management (PPIM) Conference and Exhibition, organised by Tiratsoo Technical, a division of Great Southern Press, and Clarion, drew engineering management and field operating personnel from both transmission and distribution companies concerned with improved operations and integrity management.

The event encompassed training courses, a broad Conference programme, and an Exhibition including 74 companies. Approximately 1,500 people attended, with 400 delegates representing 22 countries enrolled in the Conference and training courses.

A captivating Conference

Tiratsoo Technical Principal John Tiratsoo chaired the Conference sessions, which included topics such as the importance of pig trap assessment, integrity management plans, multi-diameter bi-directional pigging, magnetic-flux leakage (MFL) inspection capabilities, pipeline regulatory updates, performance-management assessments and remediation, and unpiggable pipelines.

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Of particular interest was ViaData LP’s David Bull presenting on recent amendments to US pipeline regulations and their affect on pipeline operations. David Russell and Gordon Short from Pipeline Engineering provided a paper on pipeline cleanliness and how new inspection technologies have improved in accuracy for measuring the depth of debris present on a pipe wall. In addition, Bruce Nestleroth from Battelle spoke of a project for which a new sensor was developed to assess external coating. The sensor is also able to work with currently available in-line inspection tools.

The Conference programme also included a panel discussion on the cleanliness of pipelines from an owner/operator perspective. Six panellists from different parts of the pipeline industry outlined what ‘clean’ means to them, which provided a useful insight for contractors to assess what products would best suit their clients’ needs.

Parading pigs

In conjunction to the Conference, the well-attended Exhibition highlighted the latest products and services available to the pipeline pigging and inspection industry.

Companies displaying products included A.Hak Industrial Services, Apache Pipeline Products, Applus RTD, Baker Hughes Pipeline Management Group, BJ Pipeline Services, DNV, Dresser, Enduro Pipeline Services, GE Oil & Gas, Girard Industries, Hebna Corporation, Knapp Poly Pig, Mears Group, NDT Systems & Services America, Rosen, and T.D. Williamson.

Event gold sponsors BJ Pipeline Services and Rosen provided evening drinks and finger food in the Exhibition area during the event giving Conference delegates and Exhibitors alike a chance to talk shop in a relaxed environment or simply unwind with new and old friends.

A bright future for PPIM

The importance of the pipeline inspection industry continues to grow. As 60 per cent of the world’s major oil and gas transmission pipelines are now more than 50 years old, keeping up with the latest inspection and rehabilitation technology is vital.

The success of the 22nd PPIM Conference and Exhibition echoed this sentiment, with many exhibitors already signing on for Houston’s 2011 PPIM event on 14–17 February, 2011.