Introduction to Pipeline Pigging 101


What can go wrong with pigging? Everything!


The old adage of failing to prepare becomes the constant slogan if a pigging job is not started properly.


The issues in pigging industry is highly infamous that pigging manufacturers do not want to become the operator of pig execution jobs. They just want to sell the pig tools, maybe supervise and collect the money. This is due to historical misinformation by the pipeline owners.


Here are some steps to minimize any potential catastrophe in pigging:

  1. Always have written record of everything. You will be thankful later.

  2. Specifically ask customer to fill out a survey of the pipeline specifications, diameter sizes, wall thickness sizes.

  3. Require customer to provide the latest pipeline layout, isometric, P&ID and weld map.

  4. Ask customer what media will be used to push the pig tools in the pipeline. E.g. gas, crude, water, diesel, glycol, air, etc.

  5. Ask customer if there is anything else you need to know that they have not mentioned and can affect your performance.

  6. Request customer to review and approve the pig tools you will be using for the project. Their type, design, material, dimension and weight. This includes cleaning pigs, caliper tool, MFL and UT smart pig.

  7. Show all your report templates, and ask customer to agree to the format.

  8. Issue a disclaimer that any unforeseen challenges will not be translated as your and tools' failure, and re-run will be an additional cost in addition to standby time.


These are the simple line items that will help you start your pigging project. Every single advise have its reason to protect you against financial damages.


*Let us know if this article is helpful to you.


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