Oil Pipeline Risks: Issues to consider By Louisette Lanteigne 700 Star Flower Ave. Waterloo Ont. N2V 2L2 firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue #1: Seisemic Risks & Pipeline Welds
Seismic Risks of Eastern Canadahttp://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/zones/eastcan-eng.php
Earthquakes & Oil PipesPipeline damages from earthquakes can result in compression orwrinkling, joint weld cracking or separation, bending or shear fromlocalized wrinkling and tension. Joints made with oxy-acetelyne weldsbreak 100 times more than those with electric arc welded joints . Source: USGS, The Shake Out Scenario Supplemental Study http://books.google.ca/books/about/The_ShakeOut_Scenario_Supplemental_Study.html?id=7PU1A6N3ZOAC&redir_esc=y
An earthquake occurs in the Western Quebec Seismic Zone every five days on average. http://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/zones/eastcan-eng.php
A REVIEW OF NBCC 2005 SEISMIC HAZARD RESULTS FOR CANADA - THE INTERFACE TO THE GROUND AND PROGNOSIS FOR URBAN RISK MITIGATION John Adams and Stephen Halchuk Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada,
Earthquake risks should be identified withinEA applications of pipelines so we can setreasonable design criteria to mitigate therisks, particularly with regards to pipelinewelds.
Issue #2: Bacterium & PE tape
Spingomonas and Pseudomonas Eat Plastic In May 2008, 16 year old Canadian boy named Daniel Burd from Waterloo Collegiate Institute found and isolated two naturally occurring bacterium, Spingomonas and Pseudomonas, that literally eats plastic. He stored Spingomonas and Pseudomonas at 37 degree Celsius with plastic and in six weeks time, 43% of the plastic was consumed.http://wiki.duke.edu/download/attachments/10715770/08burdreport.pdf
Spingomonas and Pseudomonasnaturally occurs in Canadian soil and water. Enbridge pipelines travel across farmlands and waterways. These areas are suitable for Spingomonas and Pseudomonas because the bacterias thrives off nitrates in these locations. To read Daniel Birds study please visit here: https://wiki.duke.edu/download/attachments/10715770/08BurdReport.pdf
Example of a PE tape issue; Kalamazoo Michigan Enbridge Oil Spill, 2010The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determines that theprobable cause of the pipeline rupture was corrosion fatigue cracksthat grew and coalesced from crack and corrosion defects under dis-bonded polyethylene tape coating, producing a substantial crude oilrelease that went undetected by the control centre for over 17 hours .
Questions:Is there any data to either prove or disprove the role that Spingomonas and Pseudomonas may play in regards to “tenting” issues of PE tape?Warmer weather and longer growing seasons associated with climatechange may serve to increase the presence of these bacterium in thenatural environment. If these bacteria are an issue, what measurescan we take to avert risk in existing pipes?How can we monitor for issues related to this?
Issue #3: Climate Change:Plan for hotter, wetter weather
Example: Rain and extream heat expected for the city of Toronto by 2040 Toronto will see almost 40 days per year with a humidex over 40˚C (current average is 9 per year). Heat waves (3+ days of 32˚C) will occur 5 times a year, instead of once every two years. Well see 80% more summer rain in July, 50% more in August. Extreme rain events will almost triple in size to 166mm in 24hrs from the current 66 mm.
Source: TORONTOS FUTURE WEATHER & CLIMATE DRIVER STUDY: OUTCOMES REPORT Summary of the SENES Consultants Ltd Study by Toronto Environment Office October 30, 2012http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2012/pe/bgrd/backgroundfile-51653.pdf
Enbridges Line 9 pipeline exposed in the Rouge River, Toronto. Credit: Adam Scott/Environmental Defence
Pipelines and Aquifers: the need to examinegroundwater influences of subsurface geology
Topography isnt enough to delineate watersheds or prevent water risks..
Draw down effects bring contaminates towards the nearest wellsregardless of topography. Professor Mike Stone: chloride loadings to Waterloo Regional wells reveals this fact.
Understanding the subsurface geology and localized well data in proximity to pipes can help contain spills. Mapping subsurface geology is critical data to have in order to quickly and reasonably isolate and contain spills. It allows us to view which aquifers may be impacted, which wells to shut off to immediately stop the draw down spread of contaminates shoud a spill occur. EA processes could mandate that firms have that data prior to final approvals in order to make sure they are reasonably capable of swift responses should a spill occur along that route.
Arctic Risk #1 Upheaval bucklingThermal expansion occurs when a buried steel pipeline isoperated at a temperature and pressure higher than thatexperienced during installation. In hard frozen areas the pipelineis not free to expand so the axial compressive force serves topush the pipe up leading to risks of ruptures.
Arctic Risk #2: Ice gouging by pressure ridges and icebergs in shallow water depths.
Arctic Risk #3: Permafrost thaw settlement.
Arctic Risk #4 Strudel ScourStrudel scour occurs when fresh water in rivers and streams flows over frozen ice along theshores. The overflow water drains through cracks, holes, even breathing holes in ice sheets eroding supporting sediments underneith pipes.
What is a reasonable depth to avoid these risks?Based on the literature review of the research on subgougedeformations, the industry is still in need of direct rule of thumb thatprovides safe and economical burial depth for pipelines. From onehand, pipes must be trenched sufficiently far beneath the influencezone of soil displaced below ice keel to limit pipe bending toacceptable limits. On the other hand, designers must not go to anover-conservative solution and consequently a non-economicalone. Therefore, the desired burial depth is the minimum depthneeded for the survival of the pipeline during its design life time.Such depth has not been established.Source: The Technical Challenges of Designing Oil and GasPipelines in the Arctic - Basel Abdalla PhD PE, Paul Jukes PhD,Ayman Eltaher PhD PE, and Billy Duron
Issue #5: The Public Finds the Spills. A newly published draft report by the US department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reveals that it is up to the public to find oil and gas leaks. Pipeline leaks, ruptures and spills are “systematically causing more and more property damage…in a bad year you can have up to $5 billion in property damages due to pipeline related accidents.” Given the volume of public property damage, pipeline companies would be “probably justified” in spending $490,000 a year for every 400 miles of pipeline but the reality is that “right now companies might spend a tenth of that figure." Here is a published news article regarding this:http://oilandgas-investments.com/2012/energy-services/leak-detection-pipeline-industry/
Here is the link to the actual Draft report: U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety AdministrationDraft Report: Leak Detection Study – DTPH56-11-D- 000001 Dr. David Shaw, Dr. Martin Phillips, Ron Baker, Eduardo Munoz, Hamood Rehman, Carol Gibson, Christine Mayernik September 28, 2012 https://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/meetings/FilGet.mtg?fil=397This report clearly shows that we need more money invested in prevention and better science to reasonably mitigate the risks!