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GE Oil & Gas Helps National Grid Complete Inspection of NYC Gas Pipeline

Posted on February 12, 2009

GE Oil & Gas' PII Pipeline Solutions group has helped National Grid USA complete a challenging inspection of a decades-old natural gas pipeline running under the busy streets of New York City, showcasing the heightened efforts of operators to evaluate the condition of pipelines located in high-population areas around the country.

National Grid hired GE to inspect a two-mile, 24-inch “Backbone” pipeline that runs beneath the busy streets of Brooklyn, N.Y. and under an East River tributary into the borough of Queens. After acquiring the assets of KeySpan Energy in 2007, the UK-based utility worked with multiple state and city government agencies to secure the needed permits.

The Brooklyn project posed a daunting logistical challenge, as National Grid wanted to avoid interrupting the flow of gas for extended periods of time despite the need for crucial excavation work to be performed at a busy intersection. Complicating matters further, the pipeline did not have any standard launch or receive “traps” to accommodate in-line inspection (ILI) tools known as “pigs.”

To avoid the need for extensive excavation work, National Grid turned to GE Oil & Gas’ PII Pipeline Solutions group, which specializes in advanced pipeline inspection technology. For the project, GE deployed its “Smart Launch” system, a patent-pending, hot-tap process to install a permanent, angled launch/receiver fitting in the existing pipeline. This fitting also will allow National Grid to conduct future inspections – an important added benefit. Following the hot tap process, GE deployed its SmartScan in-line inspection tool, a flexible, multi-diameter “intelligent pig” that is able to navigate such previously unpiggable lines to successfully complete the inspection.

For more information: WWW.GE.COM

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