Pipeliners Dictionary

Top reasons that make a pipeline unpiggable

There are several reasons why a pipeline may be considered unpiggable, including:

  1. Pipeline design: The pipeline may have sharp turns, changes in diameter, or other features that make it difficult or impossible for a pig to traverse.

  2. Pipeline material: Some pipeline materials may be too brittle or have other properties that make them unsuitable for pigging.

  3. Obstructions: The presence of obstructions such as valves, tees, or welds can prevent a pig from passing through the pipeline.

  4. Flow conditions: High-velocity flows or turbulent conditions can make it difficult or impossible for a pig to navigate the pipeline.

  5. Pig compatibility: Some pigs are designed for specific types of pipelines or fluids and may not be suitable for use in other pipelines.

  6. Pipeline age: Older pipelines may have accumulated corrosion, buildup of debris, or other issues that make them unpiggable.

In cases where a pipeline is considered unpiggable, alternative inspection methods such as Current Magnetometry Inspection (CMI) may be used to assess its condition. However, these methods are typically less efficient and may require the shutdown of the pipeline, which can result in significant downtime and increased costs.


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