In this post you'll learn
The world of pipelines is a little more glamorous than most people know. In the industry, we develop technologies to keep these commodities safe from wells to end-users. Any downturn in oil prices helps shine a spotlight on this growing field and learn about what it takes for engineers entering into pipeline integrity management.
Pipeline integrity management is about being compliant with regulations and having a program that ensures safety and lowers operational costs. Operators have the best programs when they have a good system for managing pipeline integrity. They manage their processes, documentation, metrics, and organization to be more efficient with pipeline integrity.
There are oil pipelines in the United States that are regulated, and there are those that aren’t. Each has its own set of rules, but they all have one thing in common: age decay and corrosion risk.
Because they are so varied, it is difficult to devise the ideal strategy for each pipeline. A plan for a pipeline transporting gas across west Texas, for example, would not be the same as one used by an oil pipeline in Louisiana marshes.
Regulations for integrity programs are always changing and becoming stricter. The best programs usually exceed the minimum requirements of regulations by a lot. They’re also cost-effective, and they can help you get more money in the long run.
Technologies to assess pipeline integrity
The smart pig revolution has changed how we can see the condition of pipelines. The pig is a tool used when looking inside pipes. If you don’t use the pig, the pipes will get clogged up and it will be hard for people to take water from them. It makes a loud sound when it goes through pipes.
In the past, there were pipelines made of wood or metal. The pipelines of wood and metal were replaced with cast iron.
In-line inspections and access to system integrity information help you know if something bad will happen. Pipeline regulatory and safety agencies have accepted smart tool inspections as an acceptable way to check for problems. Previously, they would require a full hydrostatic test before they would let it be used again.
End squareness is a minor aspect of pipe geometry. Pipe experts understand that end squareness is not always achieved.
No end is ever truly square; rather, the truth is that no pipe is ever completely round or straight. Although end accuracy may seem unimportant to many pipeliners, ensuring that all of the little things are correct – especially end squareness – is critical to pipeline integrity.
The most accurate technique to assess pipe straightness is with the OMS Pipe End Squareness Tool. It’s also really simple to use, so you’ll save time on every job site. The tool is also calibrated for accuracy, which means that all of your measurements will be precise and consistent.
Hydrostatic pipeline testing
Hydrostatic testing is when someone tests whether the pipeline can hold up. It is done with water. This makes sure that it will stay strong and not break or burst. Hydrostatic testing is done both at the beginning and before a new pipeline goes into service, and again if it has been in use for some time to make sure that it stays safe to use.
A standard hydrostatic test is performed on pipelines to ensure that the pressure vessels are working properly. First, you fill up a pipeline with water until it reaches an acceptable testing level of pressure. Next, hold onto this liquid for as long as necessary before depressurizing the system and examining any leaks in order to complete exams successfully.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) published the ASME B31.1 and ASME B31.3 codes to define hydrostatic testing requirements for process piping, which specify that test pressure must be at least one-and-a-half times the design working pressure of a pipeline system during all phases of testing.
Then it will have less risk associated with its failure while underusing in high-temperature conditions when tested pressures are close to working ones or higher than them by accident, making necessary adjustments following specifications mentioned in these respective laws.
Pipeline integrity management program
Pipelines are subject to ongoing changes throughout their operating life, which means that the Pipeline Integrity Management Model must evolve. Here are some of the reasons:
- There is new construction next to pipelines and even on top of them
- Weather can be unpredictable (storms, hurricanes)
- Procedures change frequently due to aging equipment or third-party damage
- Corrosion will never stop unless we act fast enough
The program can discuss the challenges, problems, and development trends of pipeline inspection as well as data management. It will educate you on what it takes to efficiently and effectively manage end-to-end data, as well as how to communicate the most important information for senior management.
Challenges in pipe management
Challenges in this industry may include the need for extensive background checks in order to protect employees, their families, customers, equipment, pipelines themselves, and the environment.
Many companies have a lot of people changing their jobs. These changes will bring in new people who don’t know much about what is going on. There will be mistakes made because some things that were learned the hard way will need to be relearned all over again.
Also, many operators still have documents that they keep in both digital and hardcopy formats. This can slow down the ability to manage them as quickly as possible because one might not be able to find all the documentation. It can also make it difficult to analyze and make decisions with the right information.
Pipelines are essentially conduits that play an integral role in the transportation of natural gas, petroleum products, and other energy resources across international boundaries. They can be set up to traverse several different environments with their own respective challenges for damage such as environmental electrochemical reaction (ECR), welding defects/defects from external force or pressure causing issues like metal loss, pitting cracks which ultimately destroy pipeline integrity leading to serious safety concerns.
In conclusion, pipelines need to be constantly monitored and diagnosed to ensure their integrity. This process requires a team of highly trained professionals, state-of-the-art equipment, and analysis software in order to maintain optimal quality and safety within the pipeline system. Pipeline end squareness is just one small aspect that needs attention when it comes to maintaining your pipelines’ health status.