Pipeline pigs are devices that are inserted into and travel throughout the length of a pipeline driven by a product flow. They were originally developed to remove deposits which could obstruct or retard flow through a pipeline. Today pigs are used during all phases in the life of a pipeline for many different reasons.

Although each pipeline has its own set of characteristics which affect how and why pigging is used, there are basically three reasons to pig a pipeline:

  • To batch or separate dissimilar product.
  • For displacement purposes.
  • For internal inspection.

The pigs which are used to accomplish these tasks can be divided into three categories:

  • Utility Pigs – which are used to perform functions such as cleaning, separating, or dewatering.
  • In Line Inspection Tools – which provide information on the condition of the line, as well as the extent and location of any problems.
  • Gel Pigs – which are used in conjunction with conventional pigs to optimize pipeline dewatering, cleaning, and drying tasks.







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