Pipelines

Last update: Jan 17, 2017

Pipelines are metal or plastic tubes of varying sizes used to transport crude oil, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids from production areas to refineries and other processing facilities all around the world. Pipelines transport billions of barrels of crude oil and petroleum products each year. These liquids are moved through pipelines by pumping stations placed intermittently along the line. 

There are two main types of energy pipelines: liquid petroleum pipelines and natural gas pipelines. Liquid petroleum pipelines carry materials like crude oil and refined petroleum products. Natural gas pipelines carry natural gas, usually to homes and businesses. In the United States alone, there are roughly 200,000 miles of liquid petroleum pipelines and 2.5 million miles of natural gas pipelines crisscrossing the nation. 

If oil and gas is the lifeblood of our mobile world, then pipelines are the arteries and veins. While these assets are necessary for the continued expansion of the global oil and gas network, they do pose significant challenges. Pipelines can be hundreds, if not thousands of miles long, and not only travel under oceans, rivers, lakes, and mountains, but directly under populated towns and cities. This makes proper pipeline integrity management imperative. Pipeline construction, maintenance, inspection, and cleaning must all be performed using best practices and advanced technologies to ensure they continue to operate safely and reliably.  Advanced pigging and in-line inspection techniques should be utilized. Cathodic protection and coatings are also important for protecting pipelines from corrosion and other forms of degradation.

 

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Advancements in CUI Detection and Overview of MsS Guided Wave
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Adam Gardner at PinnacleART

Beyond the financial hits, undetected degradation from corrosion can also lead to critical safety risks. To effectively manage mechanical integrity, organizations need reliable methods of identifying the current states of corrosion occurring within their assets.

Partner Content

InVista is a lightweight, hand-held ultrasonic in-line inspection tool (intelligent pig) capable of detecting pipeline wall loss and corrosion in unpiggable or difficult-to-inspect pipelines. The pipeline geometry inspection data captured by the InVista tool is exceptionally powerful when combined with the LifeQuest™ Pipeline fitness-for-service capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for the pipeline industry.

November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Michael Turnquist at Quest Integrity Group

This article exhibits how modern inspection methodologies combined with innovative computational analysis practices demonstrate the value of conducting fitness-for-service (FFS) assessments on sectional piping.

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

Joint integrity management remain 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, where leaking gas condensate ignited and killed 167 of the 229 people on board the offshore rig.

Powering Impressed Current Cathodic Protection – Part 2
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Gary Mulcahy at Astrodyne TDI

This is the second article of a two-part series published in Inspectioneering Journal, which is intended to provide a basis for understanding the differences between traditional tapped-transformer, fixed voltage type rectifiers, and High Frequency Switched Mode (HFSM) units, as well as highlight some opportunities for optimization provided by HFSM.

Ultrasonic Phased Array Tools for  High-Resolution Corrosion Inspection
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By André Lamarre at Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas

This article highlights the evolution of corrosion monitoring from conventional ultrasonic to ultrasonic phased array manual and automated solutions and their use for both general purposes and complex applications.

Standardized Pipeline Risk Comparison and Prediction
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Craig Alan Swift, P.E. at Bureau Veritas

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 these technologies to produce a standardized basis of observation for these independently operated systems.

Advanced Pipeline Management Software Can Reduce Risks and Improve your Bottom Line
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Vipin Nair at Meridium

Pipeline management remains fraught with safety risks for operators and the environment. Last year, the Ontario Energy Board determined that a $12 billion oil pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp. would pose more risks than rewards for the province.

November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Rick Eckert at DNV GL - North America Oil & Gas

Understanding the common factors that promote corrosion threats in the oil and gas value chain helps operators create effective inspection strategies.

Composite Repairs for Offshore Pipelines
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By David A. Hunter at Neptune Research, Inc.

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

Proposed API In-Line Inspection System Qualification Standard 1163
January/February 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

A meeting of the API Pipeline In-Line Inspection Standards Group was held in Houston, Texas on October 17, 2002. The following is an excerpt from the Draft Scope of the Standard in the working dated, May 13, 2002.

API 1169 Pipeline Inspector Certification Program –  A Case for Why it Should be the Industry Standard
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Rikki Smith at Oilfield Jobs

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 stringent hiring requirements than just knowing the right person.

Powering Impressed Current Cathodic Protection – Part 1
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Gary Mulcahy at Astrodyne TDI

This is the first article of a two-part series to be published in Inspectioneering Journal and will provide a basis for understanding the differences between traditional tapped-transformer, fixed voltage type rectifiers, and High Frequency Switched Mode (HFSM) units.

A New Trend for Pipeline Integrity Management: How GIS and Risk-Based   Asset Management (RBA) Integration Can Improve Pipeline Management
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dylan Schrader at PinnacleART, Tom Pickthall at EnhanceCo Inc., and Carlos A. Palacios at CiMA-TQ

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 equipment meet strict integrity requirements and comply with regulations in order to avoid unnecessary downtime and mitigate safety and environmental risks.

The Industrial Internet’s Role in the Pipeline Industry
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mauricio Palomino at GE Oil & Gas, Measurement & Control Business

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 and controls that continually monitor the performance of electric distribution and can self-adjust to demand and outage conditions to optimize uptime across the whole network or a combination of networks, the Industrial Internet has opened the door to a new era of efficiency, productivity, and safety for the industrial world.

Gains with Advanced Data Assessment in ILI: Leveraging pipeline data to eliminate risk, prioritize and schedule necessary repairs
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Ian D. Smith, P.Eng. at Quest Integrity Group, and Michael McGee at Quest Integrity Group

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 nearly any pipeline territory.

Partner Content

InVista is a lightweight, hand-held ultrasonic in-line inspection tool (intelligent pig) capable of detecting pipeline wall loss and corrosion in unpiggable or difficult-to-inspect pipelines. The pipeline geometry inspection data captured by the InVista tool is exceptionally powerful when combined with the LifeQuest™ Pipeline fitness-for-service capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for the pipeline industry.