OneSource AS Pte Ltd Singapore Logo Icon
OneSource Asia

Comprehensive Guide to Pigging in Pipeline Systems



In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the concept of pigging in pipeline systems. At OneSource, we specialize in providing expert solutions for efficient pipeline operations. With our vast knowledge and experience in the industry, we aim to provide you with valuable insights and techniques that will help you optimize your pipeline system through effective pigging.

Understanding Pigging

What is Pigging?

Pigging is a highly efficient method used in pipeline systems for cleaning, inspecting, and maintaining pipelines. The term “pig” refers to a device that moves through the pipeline, performing various functions based on its design and purpose. These devices are known as “pipeline inspection gauges” or “pigs.” Pigging operations are crucial for ensuring the integrity and smooth operation of pipeline systems.

Benefits of Pigging

Pigging offers several key benefits for pipeline systems:

1. Cleaning: Pigging efficiently removes debris, sediment, scale, and other contaminants from the pipeline, enhancing its flow capacity and reducing the risk of blockages.

2. Inspection: Pigs equipped with inspection tools enable the assessment of pipeline conditions, such as detecting corrosion, cracks, and other structural issues. This proactive approach helps identify potential problems before they escalate into costly failures.

3. Maintenance: Pigging can facilitate maintenance activities such as coating applications, chemical injections, and internal repairs. By utilizing pigging techniques, these tasks can be executed without interrupting the regular flow of products within the pipeline.

Types of Pigs

There are various types of pigs available, each designed to cater to specific pipeline requirements:

1. Utility Pigs: These pigs are primarily used for routine cleaning and maintenance purposes. They are effective in removing debris, liquids, and sediments from the pipeline.

2. Gauging Pigs: Gauging pigs help measure the internal diameter of the pipeline, identifying areas of erosion, corrosion, or blockages.

3. Cleaning Pigs: These pigs are designed to remove stubborn deposits, such as wax, scale, or other contaminants adhering to the pipeline walls. They are highly effective in restoring the pipeline’s optimal flow capacity.

4. Smart Pigs: Smart pigs are equipped with advanced sensors and technologies to provide detailed information about the pipeline’s condition. They can detect defects, wall thickness variations, and other anomalies.

Pigging Process

The pigging process typically involves the following steps:

1. Preparation: Prior to pigging, thorough planning and preparation are essential. This includes reviewing pipeline schematics, selecting the appropriate pig, inspecting launch and receiving stations, and ensuring safety measures are in place.

2. Launching: The pig is inserted into the pipeline through a launch station. It is then propelled by the product flow or driven by an external source, such as compressed air or water.

3. Pipeline Inspection/Cleaning: As the pig traverses the pipeline, it performs its designated function, whether it’s cleaning, gauging, or inspecting. The pig collects data or removes debris, improving the overall condition of the pipeline.

4. Receiving: Once the pig completes its journey, it is received at the designated receiving station. Here, it is removed from the pipeline, and any collected data is analyzed for further action.

Applications of Pigging

Pigging is widely utilized in various industries that rely on pipeline systems:

1. Oil and Gas: Pigging plays a crucial role in the oil and gas industry for pipeline cleaning, inspection, and maintenance, ensuring uninterrupted flow and preventing product contamination.

2. Chemical and Petrochemical: In chemical and petrochemical plants, pigging helps maintain product quality, prevents cross-contamination, and ensures optimal efficiency by removing residue and impurities.

3. Water and Wastewater: Pigging is employed in water and wastewater treatment facilities to remove sediment, sludge, and other deposits, maintaining the desired flow rates and preventing blockages.


Pigging is a vital process in pipeline systems, offering numerous benefits such as enhanced flow capacity, improved maintenance, and proactive defect detection. By incorporating pigging techniques into your pipeline operations, you can optimize the efficiency, reliability, and safety of your system.

If you have any further inquiries or require expert advice on pigging or pipeline solutions, feel free to contact OneSource. We are committed to providing comprehensive solutions tailored to your specific needs.

Remember, pigging is not just a maintenance task but a proactive approach that ensures the longevity and optimal performance of your pipeline system. Stay ahead of the curve with pigging and reap the benefits of a well-maintained pipeline infrastructure.