Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) members have a 99.99 per cent incident-free operating record. And that’s no stroke of luck. Their outstanding operating record comes in part from decades of research and innovation.
Each year, the CEPA Foundation Awards recognize and celebrate the important industry innovations that help make pipelines safer and more reliable – not just in Canada, but globally. This year, TC Energy’s technical teams walked away with two of the prestigious CEPA Foundation Awards for technical advancements that are potential game-changers in the pipeline industry.
While the likelihood of a pipeline leak or failure is low, external corrosion is one of the primary causes. Because pipelines are below the ground, companies must rely on high-tech inline inspection tools and simulation models to monitor the physical condition of the pipes. And if the inspection tools detect a problem, an integrity dig is usually the next step to gather specific information about the type and extent of damage.
Integrity digs are a critically important part of pipeline maintenance. But the digs can be costly and require companies to disturb the ground in which the pipeline operates. And sometimes, a dig can reveal there’s no need for additional maintenance.
So, what if pipeline operators could accurately predict corrosion features without having to uncover the pipe?
TC Energy’s game-changing PSQR Model has that capability. The model provides a more accurate representation of corrosion features in pipelines, allowing operators to make better decisions for preventative maintenance, integrity digs and other pipeline integrity activities. And that’s why the technical team earned the CEPA Foundation’s 2020 award for quality. The PSQR technology also received nominations for other international industry awards. In addition, several global industry experts endorsed it as a major improvement on other models in use to predict corrosion in pipelines.
The CEPA Foundation’s Innovation Award also went to TC Energy for a new tablet-based inspection reporting platform. This is a digital, real-time inspection reporting system that replaces manual clipboard, pen-and-paper style reports. Named the 4D Inspection Tool, the new system will have huge benefits for the inspection activities that take place during pipeline construction. 4D has been instrumental in streamlining inspectors’ reports in one area with intuitive, enterprise-level dashboards allowing TC Energy to closely manage construction activities as they progress.
“We know we can count on our members to submit high-quality submissions for the CEPA Foundation awards,” said Rob Beamish, CEPA Foundation’s Executive Director. “We congratulate the TC Energy teams for their winning entries. And we applaud them for continuing to find new ways to apply advanced technology, so pipelines can deliver energy in the safest and most reliable way possible.”
A huge shout-out to all the teams and companies that took the time to submit projects for consideration for the CEPA Foundation’s annual awards.