Vol. 60 No. 3 (2021): Geofísica Internacional

Application of quantitative electromagnetic technology to asses coating integrity of pipelines in México

Omar Delgado Rodriguez
Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, A.C.
Aleksandr Mousatov
Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo
Edgar Kiyoshi Nakamura Labastida
Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo
Vladimir Shevnin
Moscow State University

Published 2021-06-24


  • surface electromagnetic pipeline inspection,
  • pipe coating,
  • coating electrical resistance

How to Cite

Delgado Rodriguez, O., Mousatov, A., Nakamura Labastida, E. K., & Shevnin, V. (2021). Application of quantitative electromagnetic technology to asses coating integrity of pipelines in México. Geofísica Internacional, 60(3), 241-257. https://doi.org/10.22201/igeof.00167169p.2021.60.3.2041


There are several surface inspection methods to evaluate the integrity of the pipe coating, obtaining acceptable qualitative results in some soil types and low complexity pipeline systems. However, these methods do not determine the necessary parameters for a quantitative evaluation of coating quality. The Mexican Petroleum Institute has developed Surface Electromagnetic Pipeline Inspection (SEMPI) technology for the quantitative assessment of buried pipeline coating integrity. SEMPI is a theory-based technology that enables the development of instrumentation, field methodology, as well as data processing and interpretation techniques. The application of SEMPI consists of two stages: regional and local. The regional stage includes magnetic field, voltage and, soil resistivity (rs) measurements, where the main result is the determination of the electrical resistance of the coating (Tc) along the pipeline as an indicating parameter of the coating quality. A scale signalized from Tc data allows classifying the quality of pipe coating as good (green), fair (yellow) and poor (red). The local stage includes detailed electric field measurements of on anomalous pipeline sections (Tc < 50 Ohm.m2), locating damage in the coating with a detection accuracy of the ± 0.5 m. The equivalent unlined (holiday) area per meter of the inspected pipeline is calculated during the local stage. This work presents successful results from the implementation of regional and local stages of SEMPI technology in two pipelines located in the southeast region of Mexico.


  1. Beavers J. A., Thompson N. G., 1997, Corrosion beneath disbonded pipeline. Materials Performance, 36, 13–19.
  2. Chipman R. A., 1968, Theory and problems of transmission lines. McGraw Hill, USA.
  3. DCVG, 2008, Principle of the DCVG Technique. DC Voltage Gradient Technology and Supply LTD. http://dcvg.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/029-Principle-Of-The-DCVG-Technique-2008.pdf
  4. Delgado-Rodríguez O., Shevnin V., Ochoa-Valdés J., Ryjov A., 2006, Geoelectrical characterization of a site with hydrocarbon contamination caused by pipeline leakage. Geofísica Internacional, 45, 1, 63-72.
  5. Geonics Limited, 2010, EM31-MK2 (with Archer), Operating manual, Ontario, Canada. http://www.geonics.com
  6. Kaufman A.A., 1989, Conductivity determination in formation having a cased well. United States Patent No. 4,796,186.
  7. Leeds J.M., Grapiglia J., 1995, The DC Voltage-Gradient Method for Accurate Delineation of Coating Defects on Buried Pipelines. Corrosion Prevention and Control, 42, 4,77-86.
  8. Mckinney J. P., 2006, Evaluation of above-ground potential measurements for assessing pipeline integrity. Thesis for the degree of Master of Science. University of Florida, 71 pp.
  9. Masilela Z. and J. Pereira, 1998, Using the DCVG technology as a quality control tool during construction of new pipelines, Engineering Failure Analysis, 5, 2, 99-104.
  10. Morgan J., 1993, Cathodic Protection. National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), 2nd edition, Houston, TX, USA, 519 pp.
  11. Mousatov A. and E. Nakamura, 2001, Transmission-line approximation of pipelines with cathodic protection. SAGEEP-2001, Denver, USA, Expanded Abstracts, 11 pp.
  12. Mousatov A., O. Delgado-Rodríguez, E. K. Nakamura-Labastida, V. Shevnin, 2012, Technical inspection of pipeline groups using surface electromagnetic methods. Near Surface Geophysics, 10, 2, 129-140.
  13. Putra, R., Yusuf, M., Huzni, S., Ali, N., Fonna, S., 1977, Effect soil resistivity in mapping potential corrosion in underground pipelines area. AIP Conference Proceedings. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5042981.
  14. Radiodetection, 2009, Pipeline Current Mapping system. Operating manual, issue 4, Bristol, United Kingdom, http://www.radiodetection.com
  15. Roberge P.R., 2012, Handbook of Corrosion Engineering. New York, N.Y., McGraw-Hill., 2nd edition, 1088 pp.
  16. Roberge P.R., 2018, Corrosion Basics: An Introduction. National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), 3nd edition, 822 pp.
  17. Schwerdtfeger, W. J., 1965, Soil Resistivity as Related to Underground Corrosion and Cathodic Protection. Journal of Research of the National Bureau of Standards, 69C, I, 71-77.