Localized internal corrosion, paraffin/wax deposition, microbiologically induced corrosion or MIC, and solids accumulation are some of the primary issues throughout a pipeline's lifecycle, especially, at low flow conditions. Although significant progress has been made in the development of methodologies and standards for detecting internal corrosion in different types of pipelines, little work has been done on providing cost-effective methods and technologies for the implementation of preventive corrosion strategies. Pigging and chemical inhibition continue to be the first choice of oil and gas producers in addressing asset integrity and flow assurance issues. This paper describes an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that enables operators of oil and gas gathering facilities to transport produced fluids as a sequence of alternating controllable fluid batches to remove stationary beds of solids or soft wax from flowlines and pipelines, including unpiggable lines, without human input. The AI technology is used to determine fluid batch launch times to maximize the system performance. A brute-force search algorithm was developed for this purpose to maximize the number of batches launched during one operation cycle. An example is presented to demonstrate the system operation in an offshore oil gathering system. Pigging and chemical inhibition costs can be substantially reduced, and the useful life of pipeline infrastructure and facilities can be extended using the proposed technology solution at all stages of field development.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.