Pipeline operators rely on a variety of tools and technologies to manage threats to their pipeline assets. For natural gas pipelines, the management of Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) has benefited from the introduction and evolution of in-line inspection (ILI) technologies, specifically Electro-Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) technology, that can reliably detect, identify and size cracking anomalies.
Since its introduction in the early 2000’s, the performance of EMAT technology has been evaluated and documented through many industry research projects and published articles that describe operational experiences. This paper builds upon that body of shared knowledge to provide an update of observed EMAT performance on a gas transmission system that has undergone extensive EMAT ILI assessments, on a large number of pipeline segments, with a specific focus on the practical strategies employed to overcome the challenges unique to EMAT ILI validation. Practical insights into effectively using EMAT ILI validated data as a key input to the SCC management plan are thereby provided.