Southwest Gas chooses Pipetel for Unpiggable
pipeline inspection as part of its commitment to safety
Pipetel Technologies has recently inspected a section of Southwest Gas Corporation’s (Southwest’s) 6 inch natural gas pipeline in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Southwest serves approximately 1.9 million customers in Arizona , Nevada and California. Southwest has been successful due to its philosophy of excellence in the communities it serves, which is why they are committed to a strict pipeline integrity program that delivers gas safely to their customers.
“Southwest has been one of the supporters in the development of the Explorer technology,” said Tim Cook, manager of Engineering Projects in the Southern Nevada Division of Southwest Gas. “ Since safety is our top prioritiy, we recognize the importance of supporting the development and utilization of state-of-the art technologies that provide accurate information, even for pipelines with difficult configurations, as part of our ongoing maintenance programs.”
The Las Vegas inspection was not the first time Pipetel’s Explorer robots had been inside Southwest’s pipelines. Southwest is a member of NYSEARCH, the Research and Development organization of the Northeast Gas Association. NYSEARCH led the development of the Explorer technology, with some of the multiple field trials conducted in metropolitan Phoenix.
The Explorer robots will inspect pipelines with crossings, tight-radius bends, mitered bends and valves. The pipe being inspected had a crossing that prohibited conventional inline inspection tools from passing. The Explorer 6” robot is capable of navigating crossings while providing high resolution, metal loss data and video footages from inside the pipe. The metal loss sensors look for corrosion both on the internal and external surfaces of the pipe. The video images provide additional picture data to better see what is going on inside the pipe. This combination provides a significant amount of relevant data to help make intelligent decisions for pipeline maintenance.
“The majority of inspections we have completed in our nearly 4 year history were done without shutting down the pipeline since our entire fleet of Pipetel Explorer robots are tetherless and self-propelled,” added Mr. Rod Lee, General Manager of Pipetel. “Every pipeline is unique and in this case, the inspection was done without gas. It is important that we tailor our services to fit the needs of our customers,” he explained.
As the leader in unpiggable pipeline inspection services, Pipetel is committed to improving the safety and reliability of pipeline assets by continuing to develop the latest inspection technology and working closely with our customers to become a valuable partner in their pipeline integrity program.
For more information, please Contact NYSEARCH.