Archive for July, 2015

Relieving Pipeline Congestion

Friday, July 31st, 2015

One of the most important revenue and efficiency factors that oil and natural gas operations need to prioritize is to ensure pipeline performance by checking issues like congestion do not interrupt flow assurance or drilling/transporting operations. Any disruption in the process could lead to major losses in both profit and efficiency, so a proper investment in studying safety and reliability is paramount.

There are 3 common issues when it comes to pipeline congestion: Temperature Shifts, Slugging, and Explosions. The problem with changes in temperature is that any large increase might lead to possible explosions of the substance, and any substantial decrease could cause the material to harden and form buildups/obstructions. Appropriate insulation and/or cooling systems are required to prevent these issues from causing harm to personnel/process. For the problem with Slugging, smart “pigs” are excellent tools to help with the inspection, maintenance or repair or pipelines. To avert explosions, water mitigation systems (for offshore operations) and water curtains (onshore) are used to cool down overheating systems. Read the full article here…

Pipeline Inspector Warns of Keystone Leaks

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Evan Vokes had been working as an engineer for TransCanada for five years but was dismissed from his job for filing a report against the company with federal regulators after his concern for their inferior repair and construction practices were disregarded. The Keystone XL pipeline owned by TransCanada traverses Canada and will cross US soil to brings its load of tar sands oil to Texas for export. The company has also had several pipeline incidents where millions of liters of the toxic material have leaked, destroying forests and wildlife. The Keystone XL pipeline is currently waiting for a go-signal from the government to commence construction, but Texans are now expressing their apprehensions about the project due to what they have observed with regards to frequent repairs on the pipeline. This has made them question the pipeline safety practices of the company and want to urge President Obama to vote “No” on the proposal. Read more about it here…


Friday, July 31st, 2015

In the history of pipelines, the biggest threat to pipeline safety and the major cause for most spills, injuries, and deaths within pipeline operations has always been corrosion (both external and internal). It can significantly weaken the integrity of the pipeline by thinning pipeline walls, weakening welds, and causing blockages. That was why The Pipeline Safety Reauthorization Act of 1988 was enacted: to minimize the occurrence of pipeline incidents and improve incident response, including incidents related to external and internal corrosion, and faulty welds and seams. About 20 years prior to that, pigs (instrumented internal inspection devices that pass through oil and gas pipelines) were introduced and were helping the industry to detect pipeline corrosion. But 1994 regulations were what really brought in new technology that could improve detection of potential hazards like dents and gouges, cracks in welds, and disbondment of anti-corrosion coatings. Combined with the advances in hardware and pipeline installation, pigging helps to ensure pipeline incidents are avoided so that the environment, operations and personnel are kept safe. Click here to read the full article.

A Safer Moving Experience

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Transporting highly flammable materials in preparation for construction is obviously a dangerous task to do, but no matter the risk, someone has to do it. People who are in-charge of delivering construction materials like oils and gases must be oriented about the important precautionary measures that needs to be observed when dealing with these kinds of materials. Safety must be observed not only in the construction site alone, but also while working on support tasks such as in the delivery of necessary materials to and from the construction site. With the size and weight of the equipment alone plus the added weight of the materials being delivered, safety and caution must really be a top priority for the handlers of these equipment.

Construction materials vary greatly from each other. Transportation equipment dedicated to handle specific materials are available to avoid accidents and breakages of the materials being transported. For instance, a rough terrain forklift is specially designed to lift, carry, and place heavy pipes. Pipes can extend in lengths, sometimes greater than the machine’s length; making the maneuvering of the machine challenging for the operator. Thus, proper training is needed for each constructor to undergo. Click here to know more safety measures during construction.

Top-Down Demolition Method Removes Need for Scaffolding

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Italian firm Despe has found a way to innovate the demolition business by turning things upside-down. Their method (called the TopDownWay) involves assembling a three-story modular steel platform with retractable walkways and framework on top of the tower and deploying hydraulic support jacks on the existing columns of the building to support the full load. By working in three-story sections, it limits demolition activities to the upper floors of the building until it’s completed and the whole frame can be hydraulically moved down the succeeding three floors to begin the next demolition phase. The whole system can also be fully set up in just 20 days and offers a competitive cost for buildings exceeding 75 m to 80 m in height. It eliminates the need for traditional methods that enclose the whole structure in scaffolding (which can be costly and take a long time to setup) and also gives a better alternative to implosion (which can pose a hazard in dense cities and with active buildings nearby). This system, and it’s equivalent cost, can now give owners of old buildings a reason to consider replacing the old structure with a better one instead of just gutting and renovating it. Read the full article here…

New Radiodetection pipe and cable locator models available from TRIO Test & Measurement

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

New-Radiodetection-pipe-and-cable-locator-models-available-from-TRIO-Test-Measurement-278215-l (1)Radiodetection has just released the follow-up to their highly successful RD4000 series: the RD8000 and RD7000 pipe and cable locators. These latest addition to the company’s portfolio feature large, high contrast, backlit LCD screens which provide clear information from the receiver and transmitter in any light condition; and a responsive and intuitive interface for easy operator access. They are also equipped with Centros (a measurement engine that combines new and innovative algorithms with established software to improve the repeatability and accuracy of measurements) and eCAL (a technique that allows the operator to validate the original factory calibration to ensure optimum capability). The RD8000 and RD7000 are designed to be ergonomically light weight, well balanced and energy efficient for extended use. The RD7000 model offers a more cost-effective set of features, while the RD8000 pipe and cable locator are the high-end models. Among the exclusive features for RD8000 are iLOC (an advanced Bluetooth link that allows the operator to control the transmitter remotely to effectively save time and effort) and SurveyCERT (technology that enables the operator to pass survey information to third-party applications for audit, analysis and reporting on a PC or PDA). To read the full article, click here…


Who Oversees Pipeline Safety?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

The safety of pipelines is the accountability of pipeline companies who adhere to a comprehensive series of regulations issued by U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that governs every step of the process from construction to operation and maintenance. Proper inspection procedures, regulatory requirements, and the undertaking of necessary repairs are checked by federal and state inspectors to ensure that they are meticulously followed. PHMSA is also in-charge of enforcing the law against violations of pipeline safety regulations. They generally control interstate and intrastate hazardous liquids transmission pipelines, but may delegate some of the authority to state agencies (which are usually members of the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives) if they are consistent with federal regulations. In the case of pipeline incidents, The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is the agency responsible for investigating and reporting issues. They also produce recommendations to companies, industry groups, and regulators. To read the full article, click here…

Pipeline Installation Process

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Once signatures are completed in the pipeline paperwork, the first thing the pipeline company will do is to survey your property. They often use an estimated linear feet/the length of ROW (Right-of-Way) until a full commitment can be gained for the installation, and to find out how much will be paid and the temporary workspace required. After that, it is necessary to clear the ROW of any crop or timber. The next step is to remove the topsoil and subsoil and keep them separately since they will be replaced after the installation. The pipeline is then positioned on boards just above the subsoil and a trench is dug and filled with a layer of gravel to keep the pipeline steady. Once the pipeline is lowered onto the gravel base, a number of safety checks are conducted and then the topsoil and subsoil are replaced. It is important to seek legal advice when drafting a detailed construction and reclamation plan for your ROW paperwork to address safety issues and proper reclamation. Read the full article here…

How Does a Drill Bit Work?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

A drill bit is the rotating tool with sharp teeth made of tough material (e.g. steel, tungsten carbide, and/or synthetic or natural diamonds) that cuts, grinds, scrapes and crushes the rock when drilling and is attached at the tip of a drilling mechanism. Rotary drilling is commonly used in drilling for oil and gas and includes a prime mover, drill bit, drilling fluid, drill collar, hoisting apparatus and rotating equipment. This type of drilling derives its power from the prime mover, while the rotating equipment is what moves the whole system and the hoisting equipment lifts the drill pipe into or out of the drilling well. The drill collar places pressure and weight on the drill bit to make it drill through any rock or sediment, and the drilling fluid helps to lubricate the drilling process. There are many types of drill bits depending on the material/s used and design employed. In addition, different configurations achieve varying results depending on the formation of the drill bits. To find out more, read the full article here…

Managing Suspected Drug Use at the Jobsite

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

According to research conducted by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), the construction trade ranks the highest among different professions when it comes to heroin use (with a 3.25 standard deviation from the average rate of abuse/dependence). Also, the drugs prescribed to relieve a construction worker’s back pain or any sustained injury, for example, can be extremely addictive. This, coupled with the fact that construction sites now use more technology and heavy machinery to save on work and costs, makes having an opiate-impaired employee around the construction site an extremely dangerous situation. The challenge is detecting crew members who are taking heroin or illegal prescription drugs, and what stage they are cycling through (under the influence or in withdrawal). It is also important to be able to know how to handle these employees and assist them in getting help. Certainly, turning a blind eye is not an option with all the lives that are at stake. To read more about it, click here…