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Pipeline Inspection Checklists

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What is a Pipeline Inspection?

A pipeline inspection is conducted by pipeline engineers as part of overall preventive maintenance to verify the integrity of a pipeline system and reduce the risks of leaks, pressure surges, and corrosion. Pipeline operators should empower frontline workers to perform routine pipeline inspections with mobile-ready tools for triggered alerts to the right people when potential issues arise.

What is a Pipeline Corrosion Inspection Report?

A pipeline corrosion inspection report is a comprehensive document used by area managers to anticipate corrosion-related problems and mitigate their consequences, such as disruptions in power, transportation, and infrastructure. Automatically generating and submitting pipeline corrosion inspection reports helps site supervisors control corrosion immediately and minimize costs.

This article features: 1) a quick guide to perform in-house pipeline inspections; 2) a powerful mobile inspection app to easily detect, report, and prevent pipeline corrosion; and 3) free, ready-to-use templates to help make pipeline inspections easy and hassle-free.

The Pipeline Inspection Four-step Process

In a report filed by Energy Transfer Partners with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration last July, corrosion ruptured a 30-inch diameter steel pipe near Missouri Highway 15. The pipeline eventually exploded and incurred a total incident cost of $1.4 million. Global pipeline operators can prevent similar incidents from occurring through corrosion risk management and following the pipeline external corrosion direct assessment methodology developed by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International) below:

  1. Pre-assessment

    Pipeline operators should collect historic and current data such as construction records, operation and maintenance histories, and corrosion control procedures to analyze which indirect inspection tools should be used. Select indirect inspection tools such as close-interval survey (CIS), current voltage gradient (ACDVG/DCVG) survey, and/or AC current attenuation survey based on the ability to detect corrosion activity.

  2. Indirect Inspection

    This step covers above-ground inspections and/or inspection from the ground surface to determine the severity of coating faults and other areas where corrosion activity may have occurred or may be occurring. Use two or more indirect inspection tools to provide improved detection reliability, especially for identifying atmospheric corrosion.

  3. Direct Examination

    Integrate the pre-assessment data with the indirect inspection results to determine the segments for pipe surface evaluations and excavations for underground pipes. Inspectors should assess the impact of external corrosion on the pipeline, including its coating performance, corrosion defect repairs, and mitigation of corrosion protection faults.

    After collecting more data to assess corrosion activity, apply the following prioritization requirements accordingly:

    • Immediate Action Required – address all multiple severe corrosion indications in close proximity and isolated moderate corrosion indications in a region during the direct examination
    • Scheduled Action Required – address all remaining moderate corrosion indications and groups of minor corrosion indications in a region during reassessments
    • Suitable for Monitoring – inactive corrosion indications or any indications that have the lowest likelihood of ongoing or prior corrosion activity
  4. Post-assessment

    Pipeline operators should define reassessment intervals and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the pipeline inspection four-step process. Perform direct examinations as needed and proactively seek continuous improvement opportunities for mitigative measures against pipeline corrosion.

Digitizing Checklists and Automating Reports

Collecting, organizing, and managing paper-based pipeline corrosion inspection reports consume too much time, energy, and space. Three resources that can be utilized better by downloading iAuditor, the world’s most powerful mobile inspection app. Used for more than 50 million inspections in over 80 countries, iAuditor has been revolutionizing safety and quality for a variety of industries with its versatile features and user-friendly interface. With iAuditor, you can do the following:

  • Download ready-to-use pipeline inspection checklists or easily create and customize your own via Smart Forms. Use for free with small teams.
  • Perform pipeline inspections on your mobile phone or tablet anytime, anywhere, even if you’re offline. Your data will automatically sync to the cloud once you connect to the internet.
  • Take photos of the pipeline’s poor-quality segments and annotate them for added clarity. Assign corrective actions to immediately address the problem. Set the time, date, and priority level to triage tasks.
  • Automatically generate pipeline inspection reports after completing your maintenance checks and easily deliver them to your site supervisor and co-workers with the tap of a finger.
  • Track inspection frequency and performance via data analytics and gain actionable insights to improve pipeline operations. Unlimited storage and integrations for premium accounts.


Shine Colcol

SafetyCulture staff writer

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.