Posts Tagged ‘pipeline safety’

Small Leaks Matter

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Water loss management is an important issue that North America is taking seriously. And as part of an effective water loss management strategy, finding small leaks is vital. Current directives on leak detection programs focus on saving the most water and locating and repairing large leaks over small leaks. But in terms of Non-Revenue Water, locating small leaks has greater beneficial effects especially in relation to water loss and pipeline safety condition. One advantage is that it prevents decades of water loss that occur over time as the leak grows. Another advantage is that finding the cracks early preserves the condition of the pipes and prevents bell-split (the crack that forms at the bell end of a pipe which eventually results in the pipe bell breaking off or the pipe splitting lengthwise). Though the detection of large leaks is critical, the use of technological advancements in locating small leaks can actually prevent the large leaks from happening. South Korean bulk water supplier K-water has displayed much success in the use of advanced inline leak detection, and has demonstrated its advantages in pipeline safety network management. To read the full article, click here

PG&E’s underground pipeline safety project

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

The devastating pipeline explosion in San Bruno back in 2010 has led Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to a US$3 billion upgrade of their 70,000-mile natural gas transmission system in addition to conducting a comprehensive review to identify areas of potential safety concerns aboveground (such as commercial buildings, trees, houses etc.) that could end up sitting on top of its high-pressure gas line network. Their community pipeline safety initiative programme includes investing in the installment of 127,000 excess flow (automatic shut-off) valves to their gas lines to immediately detect a change in pressure and restrict excess gas flow if a line is broken or damaged, which will be an added layer of protection for customers and communities alike. In the event of an explosion or other pipe failure, the valves will also improve the pipeline safety as well as reduce methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure and address changes in temperature. 10 out of the 12 recommendations to the company from the National Transportation Safety Board have been accomplished so far with the final two in process. Click here for the full article…

Radiodetection RD8100 Locator Range Keeping you on the Right Line

Monday, August 10th, 2015

RD8100Campaign150pxWith the growth of the population and the increase of urbanisation, subsurface utility infrastructures are also growing denser and more complex. A new range of precision locators from Radiodetection, the RD8100, has been designed to deliver optimized precision for the damage prevention industry. At the heart of each RD8100 is a unique arrangement of five precision ground antennas with optional integrated GPS and usage logging to keep users on the right line while enabling them to ensure quality of work and operate using safe working practices. The RD8100 utilizes Power Harmonics (the use of power signals to identify the presence of multiple cables and distinguish between them) and Customized Frequencies (can be programmed by the user to customise to specific networks and can be used to trace high impedance lines such as twisted pair telecom lines or street lighting power cables when paired with Current Direction). Integrated, automatic GPS and enhanced usage logging options allow for usage pattern analysis to identify training needs or to ensure compliance with best-practice. Read the full article here…


Debate intensifies over the nation’s gas pipeline needs

Friday, August 7th, 2015

A report by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) claimed that current and planned natural gas infrastructure can manage the increased demand created by the federal Clean Power Plan, which also results in a decrease on the reliance on coal power.

But according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the nation will increase its reliance on cheap natural gas for electricity and therefore will need more pipeline and power generation capacity. This will aggravate the problems and the nation’s grid reliability will suffer as well when the federal government’s proposal of reducing carbon emission at existing plants will be implemented this August.

Ed Hirs, a professor of energy economics at the University of Houston believes that there is a need for pipeline expansion to encourage the building of more power plants. The building of the pipelines will address the growing retirement of coal and nuclear plants. Then utilities can begin construction of more gas-fired power plants with confidence that steady supply is assured. Read more about it here

Corrosion Testing and Monitoring in Manufacturing Plants

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Because the performance of metals and their alloys have limited predictability when subjected to changing conditions, it’s important to have proper corrosion testing and corrosion-monitoring programs in place that can prevent costly and damaging breakdown in operations. The possible costs (in terms of machine or plant infrastructure repair, lost or contaminated product, environmental damage, and, ultimately, personnel safety) makes it imperative that a proper risk assessment and corrosion-monitoring technology be integrated into the system to provide early warning or vital information on locations of existing or possible damage. An accurate assessment of the conditions affecting corrosion and the rate of deterioration is essential in evaluating the future integrity of a structure or its parts. Corrosion testing is divided into two broad categories: Laboratory Controlled Tests (made with pure chemicals, or specific combinations of chemicals, under closely controlled conditions) or Field Tests (consists of exposure to corrosive conditions in natural environments, particular industrial applications, and particular substances). It is also further subcategorized according to their basic objectives, which in turn depend on the types of environments and test durations that interest an investigator. Click here for the full article…

Assess & Address – How to Successfully Manage a Pipeline

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

The long term management of pipeline assets is the fourth stage in implementing an effective pipeline management strategy. This includes 3 main functions: monitoring pipe conditions, implementing a strategy to manage assets and planning capital for the future. In Condition Monitoring, continuous management of the system is undertaken to track any decline and provide repair as needed once initial assessment and repairs have been done to deteriorated sections. Asset Management involves the use of asset management software to integrate engineering studies with the condition assessment and monitoring results collected during the first stages of the program to plan rehabilitation programs. And finally, ongoing Capital Planning is vital in the long term rehabilitation of a pipeline network and extending the life of the asset. An action plan to continue assessing pipelines to prevent failures and service disruptions should be created and implemented to help make a justifiable budget and plan for future projects. Read the full article here…

Pipeline Inspection

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Pipelines serve as the bloodline in many countries, carrying with them some very important substances like water, natural gas, crude oil or petroleum. Safeguarding them from corrosion (which is the greatest threat to pipeline safety and their optimum performance) is of primary importance because pipeline incidents can lead to loss of commodity, destruction of the environment and more importantly human injury/death. During construction (when pipelines are still aboveground), companies are able to ensure that welds are of high quality by having personnel conduct pipeline inspections using visual, X-ray, magnetic particle, ultrasonic and other inspection methods. But once a pipeline is placed underground, most companies then turn to “pigs” (devices that carry instruments for detection/inspection which are put into on one end of the pipeline, carried through the pipe by the flow of the liquid or gas, and taken out at the other end in order to collect, store and transmit data for analysis). Most pigs are approximately the same diameter as the pipe but may vary in length and commonly use magnetic flux leakage method or ultrasound to perform nondestructive inspections, detection, or repair. Read the full article here…

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.