Tailored Approach for Inspection of Jet Fuel Feeder Line

The challenge: tricky pipeline conditions plus customer requirements

Saraco S.A. approached the ROSEN Challenging Pipeline Diagnostics Group with a unique inspection need. The challenging assets are two 6" feeder lines that supply fuel to airplanes at the Geneva Airport through a hydrant system from a tank farm. This system is largely considered unpiggable due to low points where water is separated and removed on a weekly basis. The last section of pipe going to the tanks, located on the airport grounds, is located in close proximity to airplanes. Furthermore, these lines cross airport taxi lanes, which consist of extremely thick concrete, making these feeder lines nearly impossible to replace without resulting in extensive costs. These pipelines' integrity must be assessed in order to establish an integrity management plan and avoid the costly construction associated with the replacement of these feeder lines.

Asset Description

  • Location: Onshore
  • Product: Jet Fuel / Water
  • Pipeline Diameter: 6"
  • Survey Length: 1.43 km
  • Outer Diameter: 159 mm / 168.3 mm
  • Wall Thickness: 4.5 mm / 5.6 mm
  • Min. ID: 150
  • Bend Radius: 1.5D / 2 miter bends
  • Operating Conditions: Max 8-12 bar & 0.94-3.02 m/s


The objective of the inspection of these assets was to identify the integrity status of the pipeline by measuring internal and external corrosion. The challenges for this case were abundant, including the following factors:

  • No traps were available
  • Only one point of access was feasible
  • Limited negotiability due to the presence of miter bends

Worker with helmet on a grassy area next to a runway.System tracking as it passes critical installations

In addition to these unique pipeline traits, the customer required a series of boundary conditions to be met, including:

  • No interference with airport operations was permitted
  • Full inspection coverage was required
  • No contamination of product during inspection procedures
  • No daytime-hour access on site due to close proximity to airport runway and taxi lanes

Our solution

ROSEN solution officers worked closely with the customer to tailor a solution package that would allow for the successful inspection of these feeder lines. Technical clarifications resulted in an agreement to use a medium propelled bidirectional UT inspection system. The pipeline was also isolated from the system, as jet fuel supply was guaranteed via the second parallel line. The solution package consisted of a variety of adaptations, including:

  • The installation of a temporary trap
  • System tracking as the tool passed critical installations
  • Propulsion method created by using pumps from the hydrant system (10 bar, 145 psi)
  • A loop installed at the tank farm allowing the tool to be propelled back using the pumps from the hydrant system
  • Flow controlled through a reduced diameter ball valve and flow meter


Worker launching tool in feeder line.ROSEN on-site personnel launching the world's shortest 6" bidirectional UT inspection system
Close up of access of feeder line.Launch site at Geneva Airport
Close up of UT inspection tool.Ultra Compact 6" UT inspection system for bidirectional operation

The timing of this project was ideal, as ROSEN solutions officers had just completed the development of the world's shortest 6" bidirectional UT inspection system, and this was a great opportunity for its debut. The project was executed within the agreed time frame and without any accidents or incidents. Additionally, the quality of the data collected met the expectations of the customer. The successful application of this new system, and the knowledge and experience used to implement it, shows the ability of ROSEN's Challenging Pipeline Diagnostics Group to satisfy truly demanding needs.

Your benefit


The tailored approach required minimal construction, with only minor temporary pipe modifications required. In addition, tool launching and receiving were done by hand, avoiding the need for equipment. Furthermore, no digs were required.


Complete data sets allowed for a full understanding of the pipeline condition and the ability to take measures for its integrity management. This ensures compliance with safety standards and regulations.


The bidirectional approach ensures fail-safe measures were taken into consideration, and the tool could be reversed at any time if needed. Securing the safety of the asset, operators, and surrounding environment.