Discovery™ wins top accolade at Pipeline Industries Guild Awards


World leading technology company Tracerco, part of the FTSE100 Johnson Matthey Plc, has been awarded the top accolade in subsea technology at this year’s prestigious Pipeline Industries Guild Awards for its breakthrough technology, Discovery™ for inspection and flow assurance of subsea coated pipelines.

Tracerco received the Subsea Technology Award for Discovery™, the world’s first subsea CT scanner – which provides oil companies with the capability to scan any subsea pipeline from the outside, to gain an accurate picture of the condition of the pipe and its contents, without removing protective coatings or insulation and without any interference with production.

The research and development team at Tracerco were presented with their prestigious award at a ceremony in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel this week after the judges selected Discovery™ as the most significant contribution to subsea pipeline technology in 2014.

Lee Robins, Head of Subsea Technology at Tracerco said, “This award is great testament to the outstanding subsea innovation of our whole research and development team. Our ethos is to strive for technical excellence in order to add value to our customers and Discovery™ is an excellent example of how our research and development team were able to work with our customers to create a technology solution that overcomes their most significant challenges.”

“We only officially launched Discovery™ mid 2013 so to have its ground-breaking technology recognised as the most significant contribution to subsea pipeline technology this year is incredible.”

“Since launch, the interest in Discovery™ has been phenomenal and we already have a long waiting list of companies eager to use the technology. As a result we are already in the process of manufacturing a second version of DiscoveryTM for ultra-deep-water applications complete with crawler system, as well as rapidly expanding our operations team in order to meet demand. It is a very exciting time for the company.”

The trailblazing technology has resulted in a low risk, rapid solution to gain information on flowlines including pipe-in-pipe and pipe bundle systems.

Discovery™ works in a similar fashion to a CT scanner in a hospital using a radioactive source and an array of detectors. The device takes a set of pictures called projections at different angles and recombines them to create a detailed computer generated tomographic image. This gives a 360 degree image of the pipeline physical conditions accurate to nearly a millimetre resolution, more detailed and accurate than any other non-intrusive inspection technique in the industry, with the additional advantage of zero interruption to pipeline operation and no requirement to remove coatings or insulation on the pipe. Discovery™ can inspect any subsea flowline within its diameter range regardless of complexity (such as caissons) without any risk of damage to the pipe.

Unlike alternative technologies such as ultrasonic and pulsed eddy current, Discovery™ is a more cost-effective way to provide oil companies assurance of the integrity of unpiggable coated pipelines and ensure no build up or blockages as it eliminates the risk of corrosion of pipelines on removing and reapplying coating.

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