In the 1950s, the USSR pipeline transportation system grew its industrial facilities and reached the length of 66.7 thousand kilometers in 1991. It was obvious that over the years the problem of ensuring reliability and safety of pipeline operations would become more and more serious, given the said giant sizes.
Transportation at high pressure of huge quantities of an aggressive product such as oil required special attention to preservation of integrity of oil product trunk pipelines, prevention of failures and accidents. Therefore, problems of reliability and safety of the oil pipeline system were a prime focus of Transneft Company which became the legal successor of the Main Production Department of Oil Transportation and Supplies (Glavtransneft) of the USSR Ministry of Oil Industry in 1993.
The accident warning system consisted in regular hydraulic retesting of pipelines under increased pressure, overhauling the line section of oil pipelines with continuous pipe replacement or insulation by larger sections. Sections to be repaired were chosen according to poor information based on visual observations of the route, inspection of suspicious-looking places of a pipeline, measurement of pipe insulation resistance, analysis of accident statistics, and the like. Every year, no more than 1.5% of the total length of oil trunk pipelines was renewed by a continuous overhaul method.
In the middle of the 1980s, overhaul of oil trunk pipelines reached record scales in the entire history of national and global oil supplies: 1.7% of the total length of oil trunk pipelines in the USSR. However, in the early 1990s these measures turned out to be insufficient for maintaining the necessary level of reliability and curbing the growing accident rate. Most oil trunk pipelines were then 20–25 years old. So by 2005, the forecast likelihood of pipeline transportation accidents could be critical for the country’s economy. Besides, more than half of oil trunk pipelines «surpassed» their normal amortization time.
It was necessary to urgently find, in addition to the continuous repair method, a new efficient strategy of technical maintenance based on repair of pipelines depending on their actual technical condition, i.e. begin to prefer selective repair.
The key role in determining the technical condition of oil trunk pipelines should have been played by in-line inspection, which would make it possible to perform a continuous inspection of the pipeline and identify the overwhelming number of defects causing accidents and failures.
A crucial step forward was made in late 1989 when the USSR Government adopted a program of ensuring reliability of oil trunk pipelines «Highly reliable pipeline transportation». It is this document that resulted in the creation of the Diascan Technical Diagnosis Center in the city of Lukhovitsy, Moscow Region, in April 1991; its name combined the derivatives of two words: diagnosis and scanning.
The new strategic area of ensuring safe operation of oil trunk pipelines, reducing the accident rate consisted in continuous in-line diagnosis and selective repairs of defects based on its results. The concept was based on identifying defects in the line section of pipelines via in-line diagnosis, evaluating the technical condition of defective areas, determining safe operation modes based on diagnosis data, applying new efficient methods of repairs without taking pipelines out of operation, and, as a result, extending the life of oil trunk pipelines.
An order to create the Technical Diagnosis Center in Lukhovitsy and employ the first employees was issued on April 23, 1991. The Technical Diagnosis Center (DIASCAN TsTD, JSC) was founded as a subsidiary of the Glavtransneft of the USSR Ministry of Oil Industry.
The Technical Diagnosis Center was supposed to resolve an entire range of problems regarding receipt of source information about the pipeline condition, its technical condition evaluation with determination of safe technological modes of operation, need for repair, as well as any methodical, regulatory, technical, and technological issues.
On November 17, 2014, in line with the Program of Strategic Development of Public Joint Stock Company «Transneft» (before June 30, 2016 - Oil Transporting Joint-Stock Company Transneft), till 2020 (within the second stage of the Company’s rebranding) for the purpose of unification of the names of the subsidiaries operating under the Transneft brand in the Russian Federation, the Center of Technical Diagnostics, JSC (DIASCAN TsTD, JSC) has been renamed as Joint-Stock Company «Transneft Diascan» (Transneft Diascan, JSC).