Integrity 2020

June 18, 2020

An online conference focusing on the latest developments and innovations in pipeline integrity


Paradigm busted - pinhole detection utilising UHR Axial MFL and Caliper ILI

Shifting paradigms is difficult. In a past life (late 1990s/early 2000s), the ENTEGRA® team experienced this, when they commercialised the first XHR Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) tools that could reliably differentiate plain dents from dents potentially containing metal loss. Industry then had to adapt its thinking regarding the assumed limitations of In-line Inspection (ILI) technology development. With the advent of ENTEGRA’s UHR MFL/Caliper combination tools, the detection, characterisation, and sizing of true pinhole anomalies is a new frontier for axial MFL ILI. The paradigms to be challenged are that:

  1. Existing MFL technology is not capable of sufficient detection/accuracy for true pinholes.
  2. In-the-ditch NDE techniques are more reliable than MFL ILI results for internal pinholes.

ENTEGRA’s presentation will discuss the past 4 years of experience with UHR MFL ILI. Pull testing on machined defects demonstrated that 3mm (~0.125” inch) defects could be reliably detected, characterised, and sized to depths of 10% internally and 20% externally at lower ILI speeds (20%/25% at full tool specification speeds). Subsequently, field correlation on hundreds of internal and external pinhole corrosion features validated the sizing specifications. Regrettably, this exposed the real-world challenges facing in-the-ditch NDE techniques, and technician experience locating the pits and reliably measuring the true pit depths. Further laboratory testing compared the effectiveness of various in-the-ditch NDE techniques and identified recommended best practices.



Mark Olson

Mark Olson
President/Founder of ENTEGRA

Mark Olson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ENTEGRA®, has 28 years’ experience in oil and gas pipeline engineering, design, maintenance, and integrity management. Prior to founding CPIG, Mr. Olson managed the ‘pigging and digging’ programme for a major US liquid pipeline operator, personally managing approximately 15 smart pig runs per year and totaling more than 2000 rehabilitation digs.

In 2001, Mr. Olson and several (former Pipetronix) colleagues founded CPIG and were the first to broadly commercialise XHR MFL ILI tools with the brushless floating magnet design and were the first to standardise on MFL/Caliper combination ILI tools. Eventually acquired by Baker Hughes, the CPIG tools are still in mainstream use today.

In 2015, Mr. Olson and his colleagues had the opportunity to develop the latest in MFL ILI technology. Backed by private investors, ENTEGRA was formed. The result being the highest resolution MFL/Caliper ILI System yet created.