our services

Inspections, Certifications & Scans Throughout North America

About Bellhole Examinations

A substantial portion of the world’s crude oil and natural gas is transported by pipelines. This mode of transportation can be cost-effective and very efficient for today’s refineries, storage facilities, and natural gas power plants. However, the risk of public safety and environmental impact associated with pipeline failures can be catastrophic. The in-depth knowledge pertaining to possible failures and their root cause is key for a pipeline operator’s responsibility to public safety, the environment, and financial success.

Corrosion tends to be one of the most extensive types of damage to underground pipelines. Engineers determine the integrity of the pipeline based on the extents and depth of the corrosion in relation to the material diameter, thickness, specified minimum yield strength, and operating pressure.                    

Methods & Approach

While the most advanced technology available today is very extensive, the only definitive method is to use direct assessment and non-destructive evaluation. This method validates the accuracy of in-line inspection tools. Direct assessment of corrosion can provide only so much information. Further analyses must be conducted to ensure proper identification of the root cause.

Degraded coating due to soil stress, poor cathodic protection, and even microbes in the soil can be contributors. Soil properties such as classification, pH, moisture levels, and resistivity play a major role in corrosion and are key components in designing cathodic protection systems. From the beginning of excavation to remediation, Coast to Coast Inspection provides thorough documentation and analysis each step of the way. Our NDE technicians have the required certifications and experience to perform the following integrity assessments including but not limited to the following steps:

Solis Analysis

Soil analysis is performed within each investigation of root cause. The majority of underground transmission pipelines are comprised of carbon steel. The alloys in carbon steel are not at a level to inhibit corrosion. A corrosive environment can be devastating to a pipeline. Inherently, carbon steel undergoes an electro-chemical reaction within its environment that results in loss of ions, resulting in corrosion. This reaction is offset with the use of cathodic protection systems. The design of this system hinges upon other characteristics such as soil type, pH, and resistivity. Cathodic protection systems deemed adequate for one type of soil may not be sufficient for another. Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) can be found in areas of either highly acidic or alkaline. The soil’s resistivity is also taken in to account during the design of a facility’s cathodic protection system. Pipe-to-Soil Potentials are very important in determining the level of protection at a specific location. These potentials may shift depending on the cathodic protection design and soil properties. A pipeline with inadequate cathodic protection will inevitably fail.

Coating Exam

Stress can be put on a pipeline in an area susceptible to soil erosion, therefore can be damaging to certain types of existing coating. Once the protective coating is damaged, the pipe itself can be introduced to moisture, microbes, and potentially a corrosive soil environment. Older asphaltic coating is highly susceptible to degradation and disbondment. Once moisture is introduced under the degraded coating, this moisture now serves as a vehicle for ions to leave the carbon steel and enter the soil resulting in corrosion. Thorough documentation of the existing coating serves as a representative for the existing coating still buried and can help determine the need of additional investigation.

Visual Assesment

Direct visual assessment is another vital process. Determining the presence of damages or stress concentrators can sometimes only be done visually. Arc burns, gouges, and manufacturing anomalies of older facilities can lead to hydrogen cracking and possible propagation of cracking.


While most pipeline operators turn to in-line inspection tools to assess underground facilities without the need for excavation, direct assessment NDE is still needed for validation. Magnetic Particle Inspections are vital to determine the presence of surface linear indications and cracking. While most in-line inspection tools use magnetic flux leakage, SCC and other linear indications could be overlooked. If SCC is present and not remediated, the pipe is subject to failure. Direct assessment ultrasonic inspection is very important to characterize and properly size ID, OD, and mid-wall indications. While MT can determine the presence of an OD indication, volumetric examination using shearwave ultrasound can determine the extent of the indication. If the indication cannot be removed without exceeding safe calculated depths, the indication must be cut out or sleeved.Product information, Lorem Ipsum. Fuga atque qui. Ullam facere quibusdam. Dolorem ut id. Eum ullam laborum et. Aliquam voluptate ut.

Long Seam Characterization

Characterization and identification of long seam welds is another important data point gathered. The type and location of seam welds helps engineers make informed decisions during the design and fabrication of newly added components to existing facilities.Product information, Lorem Ipsum. Fuga atque qui. Ullam facere quibusdam. Dolorem ut id. Eum ullam laborum et. Aliquam voluptate ut.

Repairs & Remediation

Documented repairs and remediations help operators satisfy DOT and PHMSA requirements and compliance. As-built drawings and GPS also aid in correlation with future in-line inspection assessments. Where indications observed to be remediated within tolerances provided by engineers, Coast to Coast carefully completes these requests and thoroughly documents the process and results or the removal. Coast to Coast Specialists have the ability to perform removal and remediation of surface indications such as mill scale, gouges and other stress concentrators, SCC colonies, and weld anomalies such as O.D. Lack of Fusion. Additional NDE is performed by the specialist to ensure the removal of such indications. Additionally, Coast to Coast personnel have the capability to provide support and oversight during the installation of Clock Spring and epoxy composite repairs such as DiamondWrap and AquaWrap. When such repairs are not adequate, Coast’s certified welding inspectors provide oversight of welded sleeve repairs and cut-out projects requiring hot-tap bypasses of in-service lines.Product information, Lorem Ipsum. Fuga atque qui. Ullam facere quibusdam. Dolorem ut id. Eum ullam laborum et. Aliquam voluptate ut.

Recoat Examination

Oversight and documentation of the recoat process is the most important factor regarding remediation. An improper application of new coating can be detrimental to the protection of the pipeline. Coast technicians are certified by NACE to perform and document this inspection.            

About Laser Scans

Pipeline operators rely on direct assessment of external corrosion and deformation of their facilities. When manual techniques are not practical or efficient, Coast utilizes the most technologically advanced methods to ensure accurate documentation is provided. Laser Mapping technology has been introduced into pipeline integrity with positive response over the past several years. This technology offers two types of Pipeline applications such as External corrosion mapping and Dent Strain Analysis.


External corrosion mapping is very important for engineers to determine the remaining strength of the affected pipe. With Laser Mapping, the precise dimensions are obtained within 0.0002, and using software designed solely for pipeline assessments, engineers are provided in-depth analysis of burst pressure calculations based on interaction rules and component design; compliant with ASME B31G. With the Dent Strain and Deformation Analysis applications, this technology can provide accurate measurement of deformations as well as analysis of external corrosion that may be associated within the dent where a mechanical pit gauge would not be practical.


Coast to Coast was one of the first companies to specialize in the direct assessment of stress corrosion cracking (SCCDA). Our expertise is specific to locating, identifying and sizing SCC colonies. Stress Corrosion Cracking is a form of corrosion that produces a marked loss of pipeline strength with little metal loss. SCC results in clusters or colonies of cracks on the external surface of the affected pipeline. The cracks vary in depth and length.


Over time, the cracks may increase in depth and length, and link together to form longer cracks. At some point these cracks may reach a critical depth and length combination that can result in a pipeline failure unless the SCC is repaired, the affected pipeline section is replaced, or the operating pressure of the pipeline is reduced. For more information please contact us.

Shearwave ( UTSW )

Shearwave (UTSW) is an Ultrasound inspection method for multiple applications in pipeline, Oil & Gas, Chemical Plants, and Power Plants. Coast to Coast technicians use this volumetric inspection technique to properly characterize and size anomalies within weldiments and pipe bodies. Coast technicians hold certifications with third-party authorities such as the American Petroleum Institute.

Phased Array

Phased Array UT (PAUT) has taken volumetric inspection to the next level. Utilizing multiple signals within the same search unit, PAUT renders an electronic file that can be analyzed after the inspection is completed. With the additional use of encoders, PAUT can provide the client with more detailed information regarding separate indications within the same inspection area.

Automated UT

Automated UT (AUT) is computer operated Ultrasound with injected water as couplant on a magnetic crawling unit. This advanced NDT inspection method can do a variety of UT inspections such as Zero degree, Shearwave, and Phased Array. AUT is one of the best methods for inspecting pipe for internal corrosion or other internal flaws. AUT, in recent years, has become a better choice to weld inspection over traditional Radiography Inspection.

Positive Materials Identification ( PMI )

Positive Material Identification (PMI) also known as Carbon Equivalency (CE) is used to identify the alloy properties and elements of steel for purposes of developing welding procedures and compatibility of steels for repairs on pipeline. Coast to Coast has invested in the latest portable equipment for being able to confirm pipe specifications and Carbon Equivalency of the steel to be welded for our customers.

Get a free quote


Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.