Avoiding the Unthinkable

There are thousands of kilometres of oil, bitumen, and natural gas pipelines criss-crossing every inhabited continent, transporting these products to refineries and ports.

On most days, millions of litres pass through safely to their destinations, thanks largely to rigorous inspection schedules and advanced inspection technology.

But, very occasionally and for diverse reasons, pipelines fail, leading to environmental disasters and extensive property damage.

In May 2015, a 24-inch, 10.6-mile long pipeline ruptured off the coast of Santa Barbara. The six-inch breach allowed 101,000 gallons of oil to pollute miles of pristine marine environment and shoreline.

One month later, a pipeline southeast of Fort McMurray spilled an estimated five million litres of bitumen, sand and water over a 16,000 square metre area. In the same area two months after that, another line spilled about 100,000 litres of oil and gas into the environment.

Some spills make headlines because they affect the general public directly. The Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas, for example, saw an oil spill sweep through a residential neighbourhood. A 2007 spill in Burnaby, British Columbia, spewed 250,000 litres of crude into the community. In July 2010, a six-foot breach in an Enbridge pipeline near Kalamazoo, Michigan, resulted in the largest — and costliest — inland oil spill in U.S. history.

Here at Inuktun, we strive every day to develop technology that can detect pipeline flaws and help mitigate harmful and costly breaches. We work with our clients and partners to create new and better solutions to potential problems.

In June, our engineers worked with California’s Pacific Gas and Electric to retrieve debris left in a natural gas pipeline from a damaged inspection tool. While the debris itself didn’t pose a risk for a breach, any loss of data as a result of debris damaging sensor tools did pose an indirect risk. Inuktun deployed a Versatrax 300™ with a manipulator and successfully removed the debris from the pipeline.

Designed for inspections in nuclear reactors, oil and gas pipelines, petrochemical tanks, offshore oil platforms, ship hulls, water mains, sewer lines, and many other applications, our crawlers provide vital visual information or sensory data to help ensure the safety of people and the environment, while mitigating financial loss to the operator.

To solve your inspection challenges, visit our website at www.inuktun.com or phone 1-877-468-5886.