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Pigs in the Pipeline: Why We Need Them, Where They Fail
New technologies could transform the pipeline sector as operators are now in a position to make huge improvements to safety, moving from "pigging" to other more reliable methods of spotting leaks. But is it sufficient to make regulators and environmental groups change their minds on pipeline projects? The 2010 Kalamazoo spill and the 2013 Exxon leak in Arkansas are the most glaring incidents, but these are just the big leaks that are found right away and reported.Most leaks are found eventually—but there is money to be saved and damage to be avoided by catching them at the smallest rupture. Right now, we rely on pigs in the pipeline to do this.