Intelligent Pigging Market Propelled by Increasing Need for Inspection of Oil & Gas Pipelines


Intelligent pigs or smart pigs are autonomous robotic inspections tools used to check the integrity and flaws such as corrosion, cracks and defects in oil and gas transmission pipelines without interrupting the flow. They help detect issues to prevent costly repairs and disasters. Intelligent pigging allows pipeline operators to inspect internal pipelines safely for accurate assessment of asset integrity and extend pipeline life by detecting problems early. 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 2023-2030, as highlighted in a new report published by Coherent Market Insights.

Market key trends:

The increasing need for inspection of oil and gas pipelines is one of the major drivers of intelligent pigging market. Pipeline networks transport around 65% of energy resources globally and undetected flaws can cause catastrophic failures resulting in huge financial and environmental losses. Intelligent pigs provides critical data for pipeline condition without stopping the flow and helps operators detect corrosion, cracks or other defects in real-time to avoid failures. They analyze changes in pipelines over time and extended inspection intervals from years to decades thus significantly reducing inspection costs. The automated technology is widely adopted by major oil and gas companies to ensure safety and integrity of critical pipeline assets.

SWOT Analysis

  • Strength: Intelligent pigging helps detect corrosion, cracks, damage and other defects within pipelines thereby enhancing pipeline integrity and safety. It allows operators to prioritize repairs and maintenance work.
  • Weakness: Intelligent pigs require considerable preparation time before launching into pipelines. Correct launching and receiving procedures are critical for success. Data analysis can be complex.
  • Opportunity: Growing natural gas and crude oil production will drive demand for pipeline network expansion and integrity management programs. Advanced data analytics capabilities offer opportunities to maximize insights from intelligent pigging inspections.
  • Threats: Low crude oil prices may temporarily reduce investment in integrity driven pigging programs by operators. Technology developments by competitors can challenge existing intelligent pigging solutions.

Key Takeaways

The global intelligent pigging market is expected to witness high growth over the forecast period supported by increasing pipeline network length as well as stringent regulations regarding pipeline safety and integrity management.

North America currently dominates the market owing to vast pipeline infrastructure and proactive pipeline safety policies set by regulatory agencies in the region. The massive shale developments have also driven large investments in pipeline infrastructure augmenting demand for intelligent pigging solutions.

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. Significant focus on research and development of advanced technologies such as ultrasonic test equipment, magnetic flux leakage equipment and caliper pigs is observed among key players to aid pipeline surveys. Partnerships with oil and gas operators are also focus areas for technology development and commercialization.