Pipeline Research Limited offers a design, development and simulation service for pipelines and pigging. This allows a better understanding of pigging, safer passage of pigs through pipelines and innovative solutions for the challenges that face pipeline operators and pig users today.
Unfortunately, we can’t see into a pipeline to observe what is happening to the pigs and fluids within. We need indirect ways of assessing the efficiency of the pigging operation, the safe passage of pigs through pipelines, the status of the pipeline integrity and any deposits that may be present in the line. There are various ways in which this is being tackled.
Software aims to complement good design, testing and development, and provide design tools for pigs in general. This is the aim and goal of Pipeline Research Limited and is being implemented in the PIGLAB software.
Piglab can be viewed as a “test facility” to allow an optimal pig to be designed upfront, hence reducing the need for actual testing. It can also be used in the analysis of data from such tests and possibly from Data Loggers. Data Loggers measure, whereas Piglab is used to predict. Finally, the insight gained from such modelling can and be used to generate new product ideas.
Aidan O’Donoghue has a wealth of experience on many diverse development projects in the Oil and Gas industry, with R&D, Pipeline Design, Product Development and now Consultancy.
He joined Caltec/BHRGroup in 1989. Here he worked on a variety of R&D type pigging projects from the basic research (an investigation into cleaning for example) to applied projects such as the development of a bypass pig for Texaco Erskine pipeline. During his time at Caltec, Aidan gained a PhD for his research into sliding seals over rough surfaces which was applied to the pigging problem. Indeed the first software to estimate wear, lubrication and leakage effects in pig seals came from this work
In 1997, Aidan joined JPKenny in Aberdeen. This was a good exposure to pipeline design and in particular to Pipeline Upheaval buckling and the use of ANSYS finite element techniques.
In September 1998, Statoil requested Aidan to lead the development of the Asgard RFO pig for waterfill and dewatering of the Asgard Transport 42″ x 28″ pipeline. This is currently the largest step change ever achieved by a pig whilst still maintaining a good seal, and a number of innovations resulted from this work including FTL’s linked wheel suspension system and the Buckle Inducer disc which where influenced heavily by the previous work at JPKennys on Upheaval Buckling (See Projects).
In January 2000, he set up Pipeline Research Limited with the view to continuing the more scientific approach to pigging adopted at Statoil, see Software. Such methods have since been used in other Projects.
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