Hydrostatic testing is a costly, operationally-impactful method of verifying seam integrity in low frequency electric resistance welded (LF-ERW) line pipe. Pipeline operators seek an alternative seam assessment method that provides a sufficiently conservative integrity assessment without the potentially negative impacts of hydrostatic testing. As in-line inspection (ILI) and field nondestructive evaluation (NDE) improve, pipelines that have been historically hydrostatic tested can now use ILI to ensure operational integrity. The improved ILI technology assessed in this work is an enhanced ultrasonic crack ILI tool with higher circumferential resolution and finer axial sample intervals. Magnetic ILI data from previous assessments is used to assist in anomaly identification. In addition to utilizing NDE technologies such as phased array, the emerging full matrix capture (FMC) imaging method that quantifies the size, position, and orientation of seam weld anomalies was examined. This paper discusses the work performed to ensure the efficacy of the improved ILI and NDE methods to accurately detect and quantify all anomalies that could possibly fail a hydrostatic test. An early step in the process was removing three sections of pipe from service for technology calibration and assessment. Each spool was examined with ILI technology in a pump-through facility, inspected using many NDE methods and then destructively tested. These results were communicated to ILI analysts and used to calibrate and improve the interpretation of the inspection results. Then the pipeline was inspected as part of the scheduled integrity assessment. Using field evaluation of anomalies detected by ILI, pipes were selected for removal from service to examine destructively. This paper presents the inspection and destructive testing results in addition to prognosis for the use of the ILI in lieu of hydrostatic testing for LF-ERW pipe.

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