US Patent No. 10,989,621

ONLINE PIPE INTEGRITY TESTING SYSTEM AND METHOD


Patent No. 10,989,621
Issue Date April 27, 2021
Title Online Pipe Integrity Testing System And Method
Inventorship Kirk Spencer Francis, Richmond, TX (US)
Assignee Trinity Bay Equipment Holdings, LLC, Houston, TX (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 10,989,621

1. A pipeline system comprising:a pipe segment, wherein the pipe segment comprises tubing that defines a pipe bore through the pipe segment and one or more fluid conduits in a tubing annulus of the pipe segment;
a pipe fitting secured to the pipe segment, wherein the pipe fitting comprises a vent port fluidly connected to the one or more fluid conduits in the tubing annulus of the pipe segment;
a testing apparatus, wherein the testing apparatus comprises:
a fluid valve fluidly connected to the vent port on the pipe fitting;
an upstream sensor fluidly connected between the vent port on the pipe fitting and the fluid valve, wherein the upstream sensor is configured to determine a fluid parameter associated with fluid within the one or more fluid conduits in the tubing annulus of the pipe segment to facilitate determining an integrity state of the pipe segment; and
a downstream sensor fluidly connected between the fluid valve and external environmental conditions, wherein the downstream sensor is configured to determine another fluid parameter associated with fluid released from the one or more fluid conduits in the tubing annulus of the pipe segment while the fluid valve is in an opened state to facilitate determining the integrity state of the pipe segment; and
a control sub-system communicatively coupled to the downstream sensor and the upstream sensor in the testing apparatus, wherein:
the upstream sensor comprises a fluid pressure sensor configured to determine first sensor data indicative of fluid pressure present within the one or more fluid conduits in the tubing annulus of the pipe segment;
the downstream sensor comprises a flow meter configured to determine second sensor data indicative of fluid volume released from the one or more fluid conduits in the tubing annulus of the pipe segment while the fluid valve in the testing apparatus is in the opened state; and
the control sub-system is configured to:
determine free space volume in the tubing annulus of the pipe segment based at least in part on the first sensor data determined by the fluid pressure sensor and the second sensor data determined by the flow meter; and
determine the integrity state of the pipe segment based at least in part on the free space volume in the tubing annulus of the pipe segment.