Innovative internal pipeline cutter for pipeline abandonments

Corporate Responsibility

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Technology and innovation play an important part of ensuring safe, effective and efficient operations at Canadian Natural. The Three Wheel Internal Pipeline Cutter (IPC) tool is used to cut pipeline risers on inactive well sites and pipeline right-of-ways, without ground disturbance during pipeline abandonment activities.

The novelty of the new design is in the ability to lower the IPC tool inside the pipe to cut inaccessible pipes with three wheels from the inside out. Use of the IPC can be 20% of the cost for riser sites in shallow gas locations in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Savings could be larger in remote areas, providing a portable solution that eliminates the need to mobilize heavy equipment for abandonment activities.

Canadian Natural’s pipeline abandonment team now has an inventory of 30 IPCs, and a total of 14 units have been supplied to consultants and some operators to use on our sites for pipeline abandonment work, removing pipelines with little ground disturbance.

Representation of the IPC tool being trialed in the field.