May 21, 2024

Intelligent Pigging Market is Expected to Witness Significant Growth Owing to Increased Pipeline Inspection Activities

Intelligent pigging refers to the use of in-line inspection tools, known as smart pigs or intelligent pigs, that are inserted into and travel through pipelines to perform internal inspections without interrupting the product flow. Intelligent pigs help identify defects, metal loss, and other imperfections in pipelines to ensure operational safety and integrity. Some key usages of intelligent pigs include corrosion mapping, crack & crack-like defect identification, geometry assessment, and product mapping. The oil & gas industry extensively uses intelligent pigging solutions to inspect crude oil, refined product and gas transmission pipeline networks.

The global intelligent pigging market is estimated to be valued at US$ 1,408.3 Bn in 2023 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.5% over the forecast period 2023 to 2030, as highlighted in a new report published by Coherent Market Insights. With oil and gas pipeline networks expanding significantly across regions to cater to rising energy demand, pipeline inspection has become increasingly critical. This is expected to drive increased adoption of intelligent pigging solutions over the coming years.

Market Dynamics

Increased Pipeline Inspection Activities: As highlighted in the heading, with stringent safety and regulatory norms mandating regular inspection of oil and gas pipelines, pipeline operators are undertaking frequent intelligent pig runs to assess pipeline integrity. For example, in the US, PHMSA requires pipeline operators to inspect transmission lines at least every 7 years through internal inspection gauges. Such norms are fueling demand for intelligent pigs.

Rise in Pipeline Infrastructure: To transport growing volumes of crude & natural gas from production fields to refineries/LNG terminals, establishment of new cross-country and offshore pipeline networks is underway. For example, construction of Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) connecting Greece and Italy, and expansion of oil and gas pipeline grids in the Middle East & Asia Pacific regions. This is creating conducive environment for deployment of intelligent pigs for inspection of new pipelines.

Segment Analysis

The intelligent pigging market is segmented into pipeline type, technology, application and region. By pipeline type, the crude oil segment dominates accounting for over 35% of the global market. This is because crude oil pipelines require frequent inspection for detecting corrosion, damage and cracks to ensure safety and minimize spillage. By technology, magnetic flux leakage pigging technology dominates with over 30% share as it is economical and can detect metal loss defects effectively in large diameter pipelines transporting crude oil over long distances. In terms of application, crack and leak detection is the largest segment owing to the need to check pipeline infrastructure for preventing spillage and ensuring operational safety.

PEST Analysis

  • Political: Stringent safety regulations for pipeline monitoring by organizations like PHMSA is driving growth. Investments in pipeline infrastructure development globally is further supporting the market.
  • Economic: Rising oil and gas demand is increasing crude oil and natural gas transportation through pipelines requiring frequent inspection. Investments in pipeline network expansion in countries like China and India is fueling market revenues.
  • Social: Environment protection agencies are enforcing regulations to prevent oil spillage during transportation. This is increasing adoption of advanced inspection techniques for early detection of defects.
  • Technological: Progress in sensor technologies, data collection and analysis is aiding development of smart pigs for detailed inspection. Use of technologies like magnetic flux leakage and ultrasonic testing helps detect defects early and avoid accidents.

Key Takeaways

The global intelligent pigging market is expected to witness high growth supported by rising investments in oil & gas pipeline infrastructureglobally.

North America currently dominates the market accounting for over 30% share driven by extensive pipeline network and government mandates for safety. Growing energy needs along with expanding pipeline networks especially in Asia Pacific are facilitating regional market growth at a CAGR of around 7% during the forecast period.

Key players operating in the intelligent pigging market are LIN SCAN, T.D. Williamson, Inc., Baker Hughes Incorporated, GE Oil and Gas, NDT Global, Enduro Pipeline Services, Inc., Petrobras, OMV Group, ConocoPhillips, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.Focus on development of advanced inspection solutions integrated with technologies like magnetic flux leakage and ultrasonic testing to detect pipeline defects early and ensure safety is a key strategy among these players.