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Midstream

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One of the three major sectors of the oil and gas business, Midstream refers to the transportation and storage of crude oil and natural gas. After production, petroleum products can be transferred by pipeline, rail, truck, oil tanker or barge for further refining and/or marketing. When not being transported, these products are temporarily held in storage tanks or floating storage vessels. A facility consisting of many storage tanks and transportation pipelines is referred to as a terminal. The other two major sectors of the oil and gas business are Upstream (exploration and production) and Downstream (refining and marketing).

Crude-by-Rail

Crude-by-Rail is the act of transporting crude oil from one location to another by the use of railroads. Crude-by-rail is often used as an alternative to other methods of transportation like pipelines or oil tankers. Railways are able to carry tens of thousands of barrels of crude oil per day. The U.S. crude-by-rail infrastructure stretches across the entire United States, however it is more concentrated in the eastern half of the country.

Transporting flammable crude oil over the rails can be dangerous for both communities and the environment. For this reason the crude-by-rail industry is heavily regulated. Regulations govern train speeds, equipment materials, inspection intervals, and more. In the U.S., many regulations affecting the crude-by-rail industry are issued by Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Association (PHMSA).

There are also strict construction standards in place when it comes to the construction of railcars transporting crude oil. Of course, even with these intensive safety standards in place accidents still happen. This is why it’s essential that crude-by-rail operators follow applicable regulations, stay versed on all safety procedures and best practices, and perform timely and proper inspections.

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Articles about Midstream
July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article examines the quantitative tank RBI method found in API 581 and discusses uses for tank RBI other than deferral of scheduled internal inspections.

Authors: Joel Andreani
July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

The scope of the subject case study reviews an inspection and corrosion control assessment conducted on subsea flowlines and includes evaluating the flowlines’ associated inspection programs and identifying all available NDT technology solutions.

November/December 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Through a combination of new ILI technology and non-destructive in-situ techniques, all the necessary tools and processes are now in place and available to operators around the world to proactively improve their integrity management systems.

Authors: Jason Edwards
July/August 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspectioneering and Pinnacle co-hosted their 6th bi-annual Meeting of the Minds roundtable discussion earlier this year. This meeting’s focus was on how Covid-19 and the decline in oil prices have affected MI programs across the industry.

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
Blog

Who is Inspector Frank? It is a valid question but I don’t want it answered specifically for some obvious reasons. I will share what I can though...

Authors: Inspector Frank
Partner Content

Our proprietary furnace tube inspection system, FTIS is an ultrasonic inspection technology capable of rapid, automated fired heater coil inspection in refinery fired heaters. The data captured by our furnace tube inspection system is...

Blog

Trying too hard to bring attention to the myriad concerns of a robust equipment integrity program can end up backfiring on you. You don’t want to be the “inspector who cried wolf” with no one listening when you actually have a problem.

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

COVID-19 is disrupting all industries including asset management. Here are 6 recommendations to help you align your asset management according to new requirements and turn the challenges into opportunities.

Authors: Frank-Uwe Hess
Blog

In a nutshell, Schwerpunkt means focusing your force in the area it will be the most effective. As a strategy, it means overall strategic intent has to be known and understood by everyone. All levels know their part in the plan.

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

I once worked with a chief inspector who refused to hire anyone who had any National Board inspection certifications. “Why?”, you might ask. I had the same question, and his response was “Because anyone with National Board is gunning for my...

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

At the end of every year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases its annual list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year. Although the list rarely sees...

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
Partner Content

FFS assessment techniques are applicable to a wide range of damage types: LTA's, cracks, creep damage, dents, and more. These are very powerful analytical tools that often allow operators to not only keep the plant running, but to keep it running...

Blog

Critical things often get missed in facilities but are these things being owned and fixed? We get good at reactively solving problems as they appear, but are we proactively working towards examining and fixing the potential larger issues?

Authors: Inspector Frank
July/August 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

Tanks are ubiquitous and essential in industrial societies. When they fail, the consequences can be dire if products/volumes they store are explosive and/or toxic.

Authors: Ana Benz
Blog

Just because you have a technical expert does not mean they will be an expert at managing people. Like any skill set, it takes training, time, and mentoring to become a good personnel manager.

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

This is the first article in a new column. In each article, the author will share technical, thought-provoking, and sometimes humorous or emotional experiences garnered in a career that spans over 20 years inside the gates of facilities.

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

What do you do when you first discover a mechanical failure? Maybe your pipe sprang a leak, a drive shaft snapped, or a welded joint fractured, and you need to find out why. This infographic details some steps you can take to avoid critical mistakes.

Partner Content

Piping accounts for roughly 40% of “accidental releases” at major petroleum facilities. Modern robots can inspect every inch of piping while still in service, giving you a clear picture of your most concerning areas.

Blog

Young asset integrity management professionals need effective tools to create a sustainable future. YPAC surveyed members to establish a baseline measurement of the effectiveness of their professional development and to evaluate perceived gaps.

Authors: Molly Beckel
Blog

The 2019 API Inspection and Mechanical Integrity Summit will be kicking off later this month in Galveston, TX. This four-day event will begin with 14 high level training courses offered Monday, January 28th, and then a top notch conference and...

Authors: John Reynolds
Blog

At the end of every year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases its annual list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year. Although the list rarely sees...

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article details the experience an oil company had when using FEA to evaluate the implications of a damaged pipeline. Specifically, it presents an efficient method that combines analytical techniques with FEA to determine the pipeline’s...

January/February 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

The actions you take immediately after a failure are critical in understanding the cause and appropriate steps to remedy the problem. However, the wrong moves might prevent you from getting the answers you need.

Authors: Neil Burns
Partner Content

Floodlight Software digitalizes inspection and testing operations and eliminates paper forms, filing cabinets, and spreadsheets. Your inspection forms plus our software equals a user-friendly mobile interface for inspectors and a robust reporting...

Blog

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its annual list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations. In 2017 Fall Protection, Hazard Communication, and Scaffolding once again...

November/December 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

This article explains the Statistically Active Corrosion Assessment, which is a tool for determining appropriate and realistic corrosion growth rates which can assist pipeline operators in optimizing the value of in-line inspection data.

July/August 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Composite technology developed for pipeline repair can be a cost-effective method of improving safety while keeping maintenance costs down. However, composite materials present significant challenges to conventional NDT methods.

Blog

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued two reports on the safe management of hazards by small businesses and storage facilities that use highly hazardous chemicals in business processes.

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

This article presents a perspective on the human factor and emphasizes the value of using risk tools at all levels in the organization to help provide management focus during times of severe economic pressure.

Partner Content

Gecko's TOKA Flex robot is designed to give unprecedented access to piping systems with a robust ultrasonic data-collection capability. The Flex, our most advanced RUG robot, is equipped to find and collect the critical inspection data you need....

Blog

At the end of every year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year, comprised from approximately 32,000...

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Joint integrity management remains at the top of many operators’ priority list.  The discipline considers risk and drives safety to ensure we learn necessary lessons from past catastrophic failures, such as the Piper Alpha explosion in 1988,...

Authors: Neil Ferguson
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

The objective of this article is to demonstrate the inherent value of an interactive and detailed GIS landscape, emphasize the importance of industry standardization, and encourage regulatory agencies and operators to systematize and incorporate...

March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

While there are many methods for measuring equipment wall thickness, a predominant method used in the O&G and power generation industries is portable ultrasonic equipment. Ultrasonic testing is non-intrusive because it is applied to the outside of a...

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, published in the July/August 2015 issue of Inspectioneering Journal, I discussed corrosion control methods and some effective techniques for inspecting ASTs, and also identified several root causes of AST failures in...

Partner Content

The OmniScan X3 flaw detector is a complete phased array toolbox. Powerful tools, like total focusing method (TFM) images and advanced visualization capabilities, enable you to complete your inspection with greater confidence.

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

The enormous decline in oil prices over the past 14 months has definitely slowed projects and changed the energy and production landscape. Despite this, refineries, petrochemical plants, and chemical facilities must continue to run safely,...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

This study provides valuable information for offshore pipeline operators curious about how composite repair systems could be utilized with their assets.

Authors: David A. Hunter
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

With the increasing demand for oil, gas, and petrochemical products in a highly competitive market, products and services irrespective of their origin must satisfy customer quality requirements. Additionally, the needs to ensure quality control and...

Authors: Neil Ferguson
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Some hiring practices for new employees have been too lax for too long in the pipeline industry. Pipeline inspectors who have ever worked beside someone who was hired via the familiar “friends and family program,” recognize the need for more...

Authors: Rikki Smith
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Pipeline integrity is critical to ensure maintenance and operational efficiency; however it is becoming an increasingly challenging task for the energy industry. Maintenance managers and inspectors must make sure their pipeline(s) and its associated...

Partner Content

Antea delivers highly flexible risk-based asset integrity software with 3D Digital Twin integration to optimize maintenance, reduce risk, and improve mechanical integrity for oil and gas, power generation, and chemical plants and facilities. Whether...

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Machine-to-Machine connectivity combined with advanced computing capabilities and industry-focused software enable a wide range of new capabilities. From smart homes controlled over the internet, to smart electric grids with smart meters, sensors...

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

For traditional in-line inspection (ILI) vendors, considering 21.4 miles of a piggable 4” diesel pipeline is typically not a big deal. However, significant threats like 3rd party damage and external corrosion seem to come with the territory in...

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Historically, regulations regarding dent severity have been governed by one of two metrics: dent depth or strain. In the case of the former, plain dents with a depth up to 6% of the nominal diameter are permitted in both gas and liquid pipelines....

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Verifying pipeline integrity is particularly challenging due to the difficulty of pipeline access, as well as the limitations in available technology to perform subsea wall thickness inspections. These challenges require action rather than reaction.

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Weld inspection using lasers is not new, but doing it 75 meters inside a pipe or streaming inspection data wirelessly is new. As laser technology has improved, more industries such as oil & gas are beginning to require laser inspection as part of...

Partner Content

Pro-Surve recently invested in the latest portable Higher Order Modes Clusters (HOMC) Guided Wave Testing tool, a new concept for the inspection of inaccessible regions using short-range guided waves. Inspection is carried out from the accessible...

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

An issue that arises frequently in the oil and gas industry is poor or missing documentation of pressure vessels. It is common in the industry to repurpose old equipment, bring equipment back into operation after a long period of time out of...

Authors: Paolo Torrado
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Reliability engineering tools and concepts can be used to avoid or delay failures, thus increasing product service life. Design or maintenance teams use reliability engineering techniques to identify failures and their causes.

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

In the Oil & Gas business we have hundreds of event process chains, each of which bears a cost and contains certain elements of risk. So what can we do to reduce our burden and improve our business? Let’s take a look at the current state of...

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Engineered Composite Repair (ECR) systems are moving into mainstream usage at a faster pace than ever. This increased usage and exposure is working to push them into new frontiers and commands a more demanding understanding of their basic functions.

Authors: Matthew Green
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Challenges abounded in 2014 for the process industries, and it does not look like they will let up soon. But then again, that’s life, as they say. After 40 years in the industry the old adages still ring true, “there is nothing new under the...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Online Article

Inspectioneering recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Ray Konet, the Fixed Equipment Reliability Director at Valero Energy, and who also happens to be the Chairman of the Planning Committee for the 2015 API Inspection Summit.

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
Online Article

The bolted connection is a critical and complex component in any pressurized system, on typical Oil and Gas projects there will be many thousands of joints all of which need managing through Design, Fabrication Completion, Commissioning and...

March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

New inline inspections and integrity management systems allow operators to understand the complexities and economics of terminals’ and station’s complex aging pipeline infrastructure.

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