EVO-Pig Application

Removing a stuck ILI tool from a 30” line

The Challenge

In 2019, Aubin was approached by a multinational operator to assist with the removal of a stuck in-line inspection (ILI) tool from a 30” oil export line. The blocked tool was preventing the line from being routinely pigged, resulting in a significant operational and financial impact for the operator.

The goal of the client was to use a product that could locate and remove the stuck ILI tool. In the event of the ILI tool not being removed, the client had to ensure the product used would not cause any further blockages.

Aubin proposed and manufactured it’s largest ever EVO-Pig, which totalled a 31.2” diameter and 87” length. This was tested against other options in a series of trials in Germany.

What Happened?

The EVO-Pig LG was proposed to the operator, due to the advantage that there would be no risk of blockage as it can be easily extruded through small ports. Therefore, in the event of the stuck ILI tool not being recovered, it would not further block the line.

The operator commissioned a series of trials at a host vender site in Germany. Aubin was invited to participate and trial the EVO-Pig LG against six different types of foam pigs.

The main tests completed by the EVO-Pig were as follows:

  • Destructive test: a test designed to ensure the proposed pig would not further restrict the line by causing a blockage.
  • Push-out test: designed to show if any of the solutions could remove the stuck pig from the wye piece. This had secondary criteria, that if the proposed solution could remove the tool it would cause a further restriction.
  • Side-on test: this involved the proposed solution hitting the tool in a side-on position.

The Result

The EVO-Pig was the only solution to successfully pass all of the vigorous tests described above. The trials highlighted that Aubin’s EVO-Pig is a low risk and safe option to remove blockages that may occur in the line.

Although the EVO-Pig did not progress to the field trial for reasons outwith our control, the testing conducted highlighted another capability of the EVO-Pig. The trial also assisted Aubin with manufacturing the largest ever EVO-Pig with a diameter of 30”.


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