Is an automated pigging system worth it? While it’s not for every line, for the right system the returns can be huge. Here’s an example of how the SureLaunch® system transformed pigging efficiency and economics for one midstream operator’s Bakken pipeline system.
With remote distances and a liquids-rich natural gas line necessitating frequent pigging, this pipeline operator wanted to streamline its pigging program in North Dakota to maximize value for unit holders. The system in question is a 36-mile stretch of 20” line connecting a gathering system to a processing facility in Western North Dakota. The line requires pigging six times daily. Its manual deployment system required technicians to be employed full-time to make three trips up the line and back each day. In addition to the significant expense and crew utilization constraints, the region experiences extreme weather and is a hazardous place to drive five months out of the year.
Upgrading to a SureLaunch® system enabled the operator to launch up to seven pigs automatically at set intervals without a manual reload per single pig launch, which necessitated only one trip up the line each day rather than three. This was a significant upgrade which meant:
Fewer Daily Pig Loading/Unloading Events
Fewer Man Hours For Daily Pigging Operations
Lower Cost For First Year Of Pigging
Fewer Miles Driven Daily
Figures based on: