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New mobile specialist non-destructive pipeline testing laboratory brought into operation at Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz

A new specialist non-destructive pipeline testing laboratory has been brought into operation at Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz. Cutting-edge equipment allows the remote monitoring of the operational status of major trunk pipelines, through the use of X-ray equipment, ultrasonic flaw detection appliances, and thickness-testing apparatus. To ensure a comfortable working environment under the conditions of the Russian Far North, the laboratory is built around an all-terrain KAMAZ vehicle. The laboratory is manned and serviced by four employees.

Operating its own unit to monitor pipeline status optimises outgoings and significantly increases the reliability of information received. A cutting-edge flaw-detection system further enhances Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz’s pipeline reliability improvement programme. Thanks to pre-emptive diagnostics depressurisation within the intra-field oil transportation system is expected to halve. This new equipment has been introduced following independent assessment and certification consistent with the state industrial, environmental, energy and construction safety standards.

This year has seen Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz implement a range of initiatives directed at improving pipeline reliability. In particular, the company is successfully applying intra-tubal robot-assisted defect-detectors in proving the effectiveness of non-detachable pipe-coupling technology. In addition to this, Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz is also monitoring territory throughout its own license blocks through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (“drones”), allowing the earlier detection of possible defects within intra-field pipeline system.

Notes for editors

A centre of excellence for pipeline maintenance and operation exists within Gazprom Neft, operating out of Gazpromneft-Murvalenko. This centre brings together all experience in the implementation of innovations in pipeline transportation, allowing this to be further disseminated throughout other divisions within Gazprom Neft. Gazpromneft-Murvalenko has become the main enterprise for the testing of new steel blends, pipeline connectors, equipment and technology.

A new pipeline at the Ety-Purovsk field was constructed in 2014 using a new steel, HGB‑05, with improved anti-corrosion properties coupled with no loss of functionality. The same year saw three pipeline sections commissioned at the Gazpromneft-Murvalenko Zapadno-Sutorminskoye and Sugmutskoye fields, made of a special material — fibre glass (i.e., a fibre-glass pipe made from glass-reinforced epoxy resin). This material has the strength and durability of metal, coupled with the biological stability of a polymer (i.e., it does not rot and does not become brittle). The weight of such pipes is four times less than steel, and their useful life twice as long.

This year has seen the commencement of pilot testing of new corrosion inhibitors (which significantly reduce the risk of pressure loss in pipeline systems) on high-pressure water conduits and oil gathering lines throughout Gazpromneft-Murvalenko. has begun. The objective of this half-yearly programme is to test new forms of oilfield chemicals under the conditions of the Russian Far North, in order to investigate the possibility of extending the range of corrosion inhibitors used.

Summer 2015 also saw the commencement of pilot testing in pipeline rehabilitation. This allows the technical repair and reconstruction process to be speeded up, while minimising the environmental impact of repair works. This method essentially involves the placement of a polyethylene pipe within the cavity of a worn steel pipe, extending the life of the restored pipe by a factor of 2.5.