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Inspectioneering Journal

Midstream Engineering Practices: Similarities and Differences to Downstream Engineering Practices

By Joel Andreani, P.E., Senior Vice President, Knowledge Management; Principal Engineer II at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc. This article appears in the March/April 2024 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
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Introduction

Midstream facilities gather, store, and transport crude oil, natural gas, and other related products, covering oil and gas industry facilities between (and sometimes overlapping) the upstream and downstream sectors of the industry (see Figure 1). Some processing and treatment of products may also take place at these midstream facilities. As such, midstream facilities have much of the same equipment and infrastructure needs as downstream oil and gas facilities, but also have their own unique needs, specific Recommended and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices (RAGAGEP), and distinct jurisdictional and regulatory issues.

Figure 1. Midstream Facility Schematic. (From https://www.gpamidstream.org/midstream101 [8].)

Figure 1. Midstream Facility Schematic.

(From www.gpamidstream.org/midstream101 [8].)

Collections of engineering practices have largely evolved from needs in downstream oil and gas facilities, and later petrochemical and chemical plants. These collections are developed to specify corporate preferences, define corporate requirements that enhance or clarify “recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices” (RAGAGEPs), and help transfer corporate knowledge to others in the organization and future generations. They also serve to capture lessons learned that can improve the safety and reliability of these facilities.

In the midstream sector of the oil and gas industry, the motivations for having a collection of engineering best practices are essentially the same as those on the downstream side of these same industries. This article will examine the similarities and differences that may be found in an engineering practices collection for midstream companies.

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