Many newbies in our industry have never been without the ability to ILI a pipeline. ILI is now considered a normal and essential part of owning and operating many pipelines.
However, we should take a moment to make sure we are not losing perspective. Let’s recall our origins. When ILI first became a practical tool, it was generally considered a final confirmation that damage was indeed being prevented. It was the last chance to interrupt a failure sequence—finding and halting damage before it progressed to failure. A useful tool, but recognized as the last chance to interrupt a failure sequence.
There are now some troubling notions emerging, as evidenced by conference presentations and just general conversations among pipeline operators. In some minds, ILI is now no longer the last chance but rather the primary way to prevent failure.