Inspection & maintenance of subsea pipeline and offshore, Sigve Hamilton Aspelund
Inspection & Maintenance of subsea
Pipeline and Offshore Structure
Sigve Hamilton Aspelund
• Introduction to Pipelines
• Classifications of Pipelines
• Pipeline System
• Pipeline Trenching and Route Survey
• Welding Considerations
• Pipe Manufacturing Techniques
Why Do We Need Pipelines?
• Everyone knows the location of their local gas station; your home may
be warmed by heating oil or natural gas; and many homes use natural
gas for cooking.
• But did you know that these products – gasoline, home heating oil,
and natural gas – travel long distances from refineries and natural gas
plants to communities all over the nation through underground
• These pipelines are the unsung heroes of many utilities – water,
sewer, telephone lines, liquid petroleum pipelines and natural gas
pipelines – tucked under our streets.
• They safely go through neighborhoods and communities, stretch
across farms, forests, deserts, and everywhere in between.
• These same pipelines provide fuel to generate electricity and the
building blocks for fertilizers to increase crop production.
• Pipelines also collect crude oil from many rural areas to deliver to
refineries and chemical plants to create all the products that come
from petroleum and petrochemicals manufacturing.
• Pipelines are the energy lifelines of almost every activity of everyday life.
• Do you enjoy taking a vacation?
• Have you had to fly to another state for any reason?
• You drive to the airport in your car.
• The gasoline was delivered by pipeline.
• You fly in an airplane that is powered by jet fuel.
• Jet fuel travels by pipeline to every major airport.
• You buy family necessities at the local grocery store, which is stocked by trucks
powered by diesel fuel.
• Diesel fuel is also moved to local supply points by pipelines.
• You turn on the heater on a cold night, and may be using natural gas, heating oil,
or propane, all of which are delivered by pipeline.
• A pipeline near you might supply a refinery or gasoline distribution
• Even destinations far away can support your community and way of
life because of the vast distribution network that gets you the energy
• Energy pipelines – oil, natural gas, gasoline, and many chemicals as
well – are part of the subterranean world, along with water lines,
sewer lines, storm sewers, telephone lines, television cables, and
• Natural resources, like crude oil and natural gases, are the raw
material for energy that the world consumes.
• These are found in completely different locations than where they are
eventually processed or refined into fuels for our lives.
• They are also in very different locations from where they are
• While many forms of transportation are used to move these products
to marketplaces; pipelines remain the safest, most efficient and
economical way to move these natural resources.
• America depends on a network of more than 185,000 miles of liquid
petroleum pipelines, nearly 320,000 miles of gas transmission
pipelines, and more than 2 million miles of gas distribution pipelines
to safely and efficiently move energy and raw materials to fuel our
nation's economic engine.
• This system of pipelines serves as a national network to move the
energy resources we need from production areas or ports of entry
throughout North America to consumers, airports, military bases,
population centers and industry every day.
What Do Pipelines Transport?
Some Examples of Commodities Moved in U.S. Pipelines:
For Transportation: Gasoline
• Diesel Fuel
• Jet Fuel
• Aviation gasoline
• Natural Gas
• To Heat Our Homes: Home heating oil
• Natural gas
For Refiners & Manufacturers (examples: eyeglasses, bicycle tires, life
jackets) Crude oil (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil)
• Raw natural gas liquids
• Propylene (headlights, foam insulation, hoses)
• Ethane (shower curtains, food containers)
• Ethylene (packaging, antifreeze, trash bags)
• Natural Gas (fertilizer, pharmaceuticals)
• Crude oil pipelines are the foundation of our liquid energy supply.
• Crude oil is collected by pipelines from inland production areas like
Texas, Wyoming, North Dakota, Louisiana, Alaska, and western
• Pipelines also move crude oil produced far offshore in coastal waters.
• Crude also arrives in the U.S. from Mexico, Africa and the Middle East,
and South America by marine tankers, often moving for the final leg
of that trip from a U.S. port to a refinery by pipeline.
• Crude oil, also referred to as petroleum, is a resource that is drilled
for throughout the world.
• When refined and processed, crude oil provides the energy resources
we have come to depend on in modern society.
• Crude oil also provides the foundation for many products including
plastics and petrochemicals in addition to the fuel for our cars, diesel
fuel for trucks, and heating oil for our homes.
• Each day, the United States uses millions of gallons of crude oil to
support our daily lives.
• While many forms of transportation are used to move this product to
storage hubs and refineries, pipelines remain the safest, most
efficient and economical way to move this natural resource.
• This is especially important because frequently crude oil is produced
in areas far away from major marketplaces where population and
manufacturing centers are located.
• Pipelines permit the movement of large quantities of crude oil and
product to these areas with little or no disruption to communities
• Most crude oil pipelines are underground, except for pump stations and
• Many people are familiar with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).
• It is the most photographed pipeline because significant portions of the
system are above ground, which is unlike most pipelines.
• Crude oil is produced in Alaska, moves south on TAPS, and then moves by
tank ship to the West Coast.
• From the tank ship, the crude again moves by pipeline to refineries along
the west coast of the U.S.
• There are many places on the internet where you can learn more about the
petroleum industry and crude oil, such as the American Petroleum Institute
Refined Products Pipelines
• The nation's crude oil pipelines transport crude oil from oilfields to
refineries where the oil is turned into dozens of useful products, such
as gasoline, home heating oil, jet fuel, diesel, lubricants and the raw
materials for fertilizer, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.
• Products pipelines then transport refined products to terminals or
local distribution centers.
• Refined products are distributed to the companies and consumers
who rely on a steady and economically transported supply of these
• Most gasoline and diesel fuel supplies are delivered to the marketplace by
pipelines from refineries to local distribution centers.
• Tanker trucks carry gasoline only the last few miles of the trip to individual
• Major American airports rely almost entirely on pipelines, and have
dedicated pipelines to deliver jet fuel directly to the airport.
• Almost all plastics are made from resins and other raw materials derived
• From our office desks to children's toys, we touch some sort of petroleum-
based product almost every moment of our day.
• Pipelines make this possible.
• Natural gas supplies nearly one-fourth or 22 percent of all of the
energy used in the United States.
• There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial
natural gas customers in the United States. Natural gas is found across
the country, and 33 states are now producing or have produced this
• Three major types of pipelines are found along the transportation route
bringing natural gas from the point of production to the point of use.
• Gathering pipeline systems gather raw natural gas from production wells
and transport it to large cross-country transmission pipelines.
• Transmission pipeline systems transport natural gas thousands of miles
from processing facilities across many parts of the continental United
• Natural gas distribution pipeline systems can be found in thousands of
communities from coast to coast, and distribute natural gas to homes and
businesses through large distribution lines mains and service lines.
• Including both onshore and offshore lines, there are approximately
300,000 miles of interstate and intrastate transmission pipelines, and 2.1
million miles of distribution pipelines.
• Natural gas is delivered directly to homes and businesses through
local distribution lines from local distribution companies.
• Large distribution lines, called mains, move the gas close to cities.
• These main lines, along with the much smaller service lines that travel
to homes and businesses account for the vast majority of the nation’s
2.4-million- mile underground pipeline system.
• There are many places on the internet where you can learn more
about the natural gas industry and pipelines, such as the Interstate
Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), the American Gas
Association (AGA), the American Public Gas Association or
the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
• Pipelines are not the only way to move petroleum and refined petroleum
• The real question is: how do they stack up against the other transportation
modes– tank ships and barges, trucks and railroad tank cars?
• Approximately 71 % of crude oil and petroleum products are shipped by
pipeline on a ton-mile basis.
• Tanker and barge traffic account for 22 % of oil shipments.
• Trucking accounts for four percent of shipments, and rail for the remaining
• Essentially, all dry natural gas is shipped by pipeline to end users.
• Pipelines move more than two-thirds of all the crude oil and refined
products in the United States.
• According to statistics retained by the U.S. Energy Information
Administration (EIA), as of December 2012, the United States
produces over 10.6 million barrels of petroleum a day.
• This figure is projected to rise to 27 million by the start of the next
• Liquid petroleum pipelines are usually the only feasible way to transport
significant volumes by land over long distances.
• Without pipelines, our streets and highways would be overwhelmed by the
trucks trying to keep up with the nation’s demand for petroleum products.
• It would take a constant line of tanker trucks, about 750 per day, loading up
and moving out every two minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to
move the volume of even a modest pipeline.
• The railroad-equivalent of this single pipeline would be a train of 75 2,000-
barrel tank rail cars every day.
• Almost all natural gas is moved by pipeline.
• Natural gas can be liquefied and turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) and
moved by ship or truck, but few truck shipments of LNG occur in the United
• There are two general types of energy pipelines – liquid petroleum
pipelines and natural gas pipelines.
• Within the liquid petroleum pipeline network there are crude oil
lines, refined product lines, highly volatile liquids (HVL) lines, and
carbon dioxide lines (CO2).
• Crude oil is also subdivided in to 'Gathering Lines' and ’Transmission
• First, gathering lines are very small pipelines usually from 2 to 8
inches in diameter in the areas of the country where crude oil is
found deep within the earth.
• These gathering lines exist all over the country but the bulk of them
are located primarily in Texas, North Dakota, California, Oklahoma,
New Mexico, Louisiana, and Wyoming with small systems in a number
of other oil producing states.
• The larger cross-country crude oil transmission pipelines or trunk
lines bring crude oil from producing areas to refineries.
• There are approximately 55,000 miles of crude oil trunk lines (usually
8 to 24 inches in diameter) in the United States that connect regional
• There are also a few VERY large trunk lines.
• One of the largest in the U.S. is the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System,
which is 48 inches in diameter.
• The next group of liquid petroleum pipelines is one that carries refined petroleum
products – gasoline, jet fuel, home heating oil and diesel fuel.
• These refined product pipelines vary in size from relatively small, 8 to 12 inch
diameter lines, to much larger ones that go up to 42 inches in diameter.
• There are approximately 95,000 miles of refined products pipelines nationwide.
• They are found in almost every state in the U.S. These pipelines deliver petroleum
products to large fuel terminals with storage tanks that are then loaded into
• Trucks cover the last few miles to make local deliveries to gas stations and homes.
• Major industries, airports and electrical power generation plants are supplied
directly by pipeline.
• Highly volatile liquid (HVL) lines and carbon dioxide (CO2) lines are
also a part of the liquid petroleum pipeline network.
• These liquids turn to gas once exposed to the atmosphere.
• They include ethane, butane and propane.
• Carbon dioxide pipelines allow carbon dioxide to enhance oil
recovery, as CO2 has long done in North America.
• The natural gas pipeline system is organized somewhat differently.
• Natural gas, unlike oil, is delivered directly to homes and businesses
• Natural gas can contain natural gas liquids (NGL) when produced.
• Processors remove water, NGLs, and impurities from the natural gas
stream to lake the natural gas suitable for sale.
• Natural gas and NGLs then travel on separate pipeline systems.
• It is determined to be rich or wet if it contains signiﬁcant natural gas
liquids (NGL); by contrast, natural gas is known to be lean or dry if it
does not contain these liquids.
• The U.S. natural gas pipeline network is a highly integrated
transmission and distribution grid that can transport natural gas to
and from nearly any location in the lower 48 states.
• It consists of more than 210 natural gas pipeline systems.
• This accounts for 305,000 miles of interstate and intrastate
• The network of oil and natural gas pipelines that serve the U.S. is not
owned by a single entity.
• A large and growing group of pipeline systems are owned and
operated by companies who are only pipeline operators and who are
not involved in other aspects of the oil industry.
• Many of these companies operate as publicly traded Master Limited
Partnerships and stock corporations owned by millions of Americans
invested in Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k) accounts, pension
funds, and individual investments.
• There are also those companies, like a power plant or a chemical
plant, which may operate a small pipeline system to bring fuel to the
plant or to move feedstock from one plant to another.
• Natural gas pipelines range from large, regional companies to small,
municipal gas systems and everything in between.
• Pipeline companies do not usually own the products they are
• Pipeline companies are simply transportation service intermediaries
that move the product from the producers and shippers to the
• Producers and shippers, those which actually own the product, pay
pipeline companies to transport their product from oil fields to
refineries, manufacturers, and distribution centers.
• In order to move their product, shippers use a nominations process to
reserve a specific amount of space per month on the pipeline to
transport their products.
• Visit Adventures in Energy, an exciting overview of where oil and gas
comes from, the industry's use of cutting-edge technologies and
environmental practices to find and develop these resources, and the
many innovative products made from oil and natural gas that you use
• Often, the process to design and site a pipeline is longer than the time
needed to actually construct a pipeline.
• The construction phase can only begin after route selection, easement
negotiations, environmental permitting and many other pre-construction
actions have been accomplished.
• Before the line pipe can be buried, the pipeline right-of-way must be
cleared and prepared for construction.
• Once ready, the pipeline is carefully placed in the pre-dug trench or bored
under waterways or roads.
• If trenching is involved, the trench is filled and post-construction
• The post-construction phase of any project addresses several aspects
including restoring the surface of the land affected by the trenching.
• Before the pipeline is placed into service, the pipe and components
are again tested in the field with water pressure, weld x-rays, and a
variety of other inspection tests.
• Each stage of this process is overseen by qualified inspectors to
ensure compliance with the engineering plan, codes, permit
conditions, landowner and easement agreements, and regulatory
• Most gallons of gasoline move a long way by pipeline and a short way
• After a gallon of gasoline is refined from crude oil, it goes into a
pipeline along with millions of other gallons, and is moved the long
distance from a refinery, say one in Texas, to a distribution terminal in
a major city, like Memphis, Tennessee.
• So first the gallon moves 600 miles by pipeline, then a truck picks up
that gallon along with about 8,000 more and moves it the last 20-30
miles to a local gas station.
• Another example is home heating oil that is also produced at a
refinery in Texas and moves over 1,000 miles to Linden, New Jersey.
• There it is loaded onto a barge and taken to Portland, Maine to a
distribution terminal where that gallon makes its final trip of 10-30
miles by truck to a homeowner’s fuel oil tank.
• These are examples of the integrated nature of the petroleum
distribution network in the U.S. Looking at all methods of
transportation and the relative distances each takes, to transport a
single gallon, pipelines move the vast majority – 70% of all petroleum
What Is Batching?
• Many liquid petroleum pipelines transport different types of liquid
petroleum in the same pipeline.
• To do so, the pipeline operator sends different products in “batches”.
For example, an operator might send gasoline for several hours, and
then switch to jet fuels, before switching to diesel fuel.
• The process of tracking the customer’s batch or product through the
pipeline is done through scheduling.
• Once the product has been scheduled and actually transported, a
ticket is written that shows the type of product transported, the
amount, transportation origination and destination points, and the
• Throughout the process, the product is measured at the receipt point
in the pipeline and again upon delivery to document the amount of
product moved from point A to point B.
• Many pipeline systems require the shipper to meet defined common
product specifications for each product shipped. What is delivered
for the shipper at the point of delivery may not be the same fuel
shipped, but it will meet the same specifications (e.g., regular
unleaded gasoline, ultra-low sulfur diesel).
• The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates the rates
charged for interstate transportation services offered by liquid
• Some states also regulate the rates charged by pipelines for intrastate
• A pipeline’s tariff specifies the rates, terms, and conditions that apply
for the transportation services offered by a pipeline.
• The amount charged to the pipeline’s customer may depend on the
amount transported, the distance between receipt and delivery
points, and competition to transport products in the market.
• According to the National Academy of Sciences, on average the pipeline’s
rate comprises about 2.5 cents of the cost at the pump to buy retail
• The rates charged by liquid petroleum pipelines are regulated differently
than natural gas pipelines.
• Natural gas pipeline rates are typically regulated like a traditional
• Because liquid petroleum pipelines face significant competition, they must
operate as efficiently as possible and market forces commonly dictate the
rates that may be charged and the amount of transportation costs
ultimately reflected in the price paid by the retail customer.
• The map above shows major crude oil, refined products and highly volatile
liquids pipelines in the U.S.
• Pipelines exist almost everywhere.
• Natural gas is delivered directly to homes in relatively small diameter
distribution lines buried under the street and even your own yard.
• Larger cross-country transmission pipelines delivering gasoline, home
heating oil, or moving crude oil or natural gas are actually easier to find.
• Nearly the entire mainline pipe is buried, but other pipeline components
such as pump stations are above ground.
• Some lines are as short as a mile, while others may extend 1,000 miles or
• Although a large number of pipeline systems cover distances similar
to these, not all petroleum markets are as distant from the point of
supply as others.
• Some pipelines start from ports, such as San Diego or San Francisco
and serve inland areas in California and the southwestern U.S. region.
• Each region of the country has some unique aspects.
• Very few pipelines actually cross the highest parts of the Rocky
Mountains since the distances are long and the population centers
• But smaller refineries and regional pipelines serve these areas as well.
• The United States has the largest network of energy pipelines in the
world, with more than 2.5 million miles of pipe.
• The network of crude oil pipelines in the U.S. is extensive.
• There are approximately 55,000 miles of crude oil trunk lines (usually
8 - 24 inches in diameter) in the U.S. that connect regional markets.
• Pipeline companies keep in touch with local emergency responders
along pipeline rights-of-way and work with, and sometimes even train
with fire departments or hazardous materials units.
• One useful source of pipeline location information is the National
Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS).
• The NPMS shows pipelines at the county by county scale.
• Government officials and emergency response officials have access to
information at a more detailed scale.
• Pipelines exist almost everywhere throughout the U.S. and chances
are you may live near or drive past one every day.
• Although pipelines are generally buried underground vegetation in
accordance with DOT regulations, there are several ways you can see
if there is a pipeline in your neighborhood.
• Pipelines are marked by aboveground markers (signs, placards or
stakes) to provide an indication of their presence, approximate
location, and product carried, and the name and contact information
of the company that operates the pipeline.
• THE PRESENCE OF THESE MARKERS DOES NOT REMOVE THE NEED
FOR A CALL TO 811 PRIOR TO EXCAVATION!
• They give an approximate indication of where a pipeline might be and
must be verified through placement of a call to the local One Call
• The signs are generally yellow, black, and red in color.
• The primary function of these aboveground markers is to identify the
location of the pipeline to help the public understand the location of
pipelines and prevent excavation damage accidents.
• Pipelines are generally buried 3 to 4 feet under the ground or deeper.
• Other cases require the pipeline to be buried much deeper to go
under rivers or roads.
• The reason for this is because sometimes these areas become shallow
after years of erosion or newly dug ditches.
• The pipeline lies within an area called the pipeline right-of-way, which
is kept clear of trees and other vegetation, buildings, or other
• To understand more about the ROW, check out the 'What If Pipelines
Cross Private Land' section.
• Another thing you might see out walking in your neighborhood or
driving along the road is a fenced and secured area with some above
• These secured areas often provide access to valves along the pipeline
• These valves are controlled manually or remotely to stop the flow of
products in a pipeline.
• Other functions of the aboveground signs and markers include
identification of the pipeline for routine patrols by foot, ATV, airplanes
and sometimes helicopters.
• Pipeline operators must patrol their pipeline corridors and inspect the
pipelines valves regularly.
• Such surveillance is an important safety tool to ensure that
unauthorized activities, including unauthorized
digging/excavations/building that might damage the underground
pipe, are noticed and can be evaluated immediately.
What If Pipelines Cross Private Land?
• Because pipelines must cross the countryside to deliver products over
long distances, the pipeline has many neighbors.
• Pipelines cross under creeks and rivers, highways and roads, farmers’
fields, parks, and may be close to homes, businesses or other
• As you may suspect, some of the land pipelines cross to get to desired
locations is, inevitably, privately owned.
• Written agreements, or easements, between landowners and pipeline
companies allow pipeline companies to construct and maintain
pipeline rights-of-way across privately owned property.
• Most pipelines are buried below ground in a right-of-way, which
allows the landowner to still use the property.
• The working space needed during initial construction may be
temporarily wider but the permanent right-of-way width varies
depending on the easement, the pipeline system, the presence of
other nearby utilities, and the land use along the right-of-way.
• Many of the rights-of-way range from 25-150 feet wide, but may be
wider or narrower depending on specific locations.
• These rights-of-way are kept clear to allow the pipeline to be
protected, aerially surveyed, and properly maintained though the
property could still be used.
• Pipeline companies are responsible for maintaining their rights-of-
way to protect the public and environment, the line itself and other
customers from loss of service.
• Pipeline rights-of-way are located in urban, suburban and rural
Understanding the Right-of-Way (ROW)
• A strip of land usually about 25 to 150 feet wide containing the
pipeline is known as the pipeline right-of-way (ROW). The ROW:
• Enables workers to gain access for inspection, maintenance, testing,
• Maintains an unobstructed view for frequent aerial surveillance.
• Identifies an area that restricts certain activities to protect the
landowner, the community through which the pipeline passes, and
where the pipeline itself is located.
• Pipelines are an extremely safe way to transport energy across the
• A barrel of crude oil or petroleum product shipped by pipeline
reaches its destination safely more than 99.999% of the time.
• Pipeline releases decreased more than 60 percent from 2001 to 2012.
• The number of releases deemed "significant" and "serious" by the
U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has
decreased, as well.
• Pipeline companies take active steps to ensure that health, safety,
security, and environmental concerns are addressed throughout the
planning, construction, and operational phases of pipeline
• Pipeline companies work to prevent releases by evaluating, inspecting
and maintaining pipelines in a program called integrity management.
• Integrity management programs have produced decreases in
incidents attributed to every major cause of failure.
• Pipeline companies together fund millions of dollars worth of
research into new inspection technologies and spend billions on
safety each year.
• Pipeline incidents, while rare, do still happen.
• Pipeline operators prepare for the unlikely event of an incident
through control room technologies and training to stop the flow of a
pipeline quickly upon a release.
• Operators also develop emergency response plans, deploy resources,
and work frequently with local first responders in order to reduce the
impacts of any release.
• Pipeline operators work with the NTSB and PHMSA to determine
incident causes, fix problems, and pay fines when appropriate.
• Liquid petroleum pipelines are usually the only feasible way to
transport significant volumes by land over long distances.
• Without pipelines, our streets and highways would be overwhelmed
by the trucks trying to keep up with the nation’s demand for
• The safety performance of the oil pipeline industry has improved over
the last 14 years.
• In 2013, pipelines transported over 14 billion barrels of crude oil,
gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel across our nation with more than
99.999% of those barrels reaching their destination safely.
• From 1999-2012, the number of spills from onshore liquid petroleum
pipelines was reduced by about 62% while volumes spilled were
reduced by about 47% based on reports from pipeline operators to
the Pipeline Performance Tracking System, an industry pipeline
release data base.
• All major causes of liquid petroleum pipeline accidents were reduced
over that period:
• Corrosion down 79%
• Third Party Excavation Damage down 78%
• Pipe Material, Seams and Welds down 31%
Improving Performance of All Pipe
• Pipeline releases or spills related to threats that can knowingly
worsen over time declined by 36% from 2002 to 2009.
• The decline was even greater for pre-1950s vintage pipes at 83%.
• This demonstrates that age-related threats can and are being
managed effectively by pipeline operators.
• While these are great advances, the industry continues to strive to
learn and improve from shared incident information and best
practices to make pipelines even safer for the people around them
and the environment.
• "If a pipeline is adequately maintained and inspected properly, its age
is not the critical factor. The condition of the pipe is the critical
factor."—Deborah Hershman, NTSB Chair, January 28, 2013
• U.S. Department of Transportation statistics show that pipelines have
a better safety record than other modes of transportation for
• Pipelines are constructed with safety in mind, using best practices in
anti-corrosion coatings and pipe materials, use of shutoff valves, and
a comprehensive series of construction regulations.
• Every pipeline built today must pass a test of its construction and
materials before it can begin operations.
• In this test, the pipeline is filled with water and subjected to pressures
well above the maximum pressure at which it will be allowed to
• PHMSA and state inspectors oversee major pipeline construction
• Pipeline undergo regular inspection and maintenance, including a major program known as
integrity management intended to identify and treat symptoms long before they become a
• Operators assess the attributes of a pipeline through a variety of inspection techniques.
• The primary inspection method is in-line inspection, in which high-tech devices travel inside the
• Referred to as “smart pigs”, these high-tech diagnostic devices produce information about
features in a pipeline.
• Pipeline operators conduct a physical evaluation of a segment of the tested pipeline in order to
validate the results of the test, and use analytic software to review results and isolate potential
issues for maintenance.
• Operators then decide which pipeline features identified by the test should be addressed by
physical inspection, based on federal regulations and a prioritization of the greatest risks.
• Not all of the features identified by inspections need to be repaired.
• While in-line inspection technology has improved dramatically over
the past few decades, pipeline operators want further improvements.
• As one “smart pig” vendor described, today’s tools may have a 90
percent detection rate.
• Pipeline operators tell “smart pig” companies about their needs, push
these vendors to improve the technology, develop analytic tools to
use when reviewing “smart pig inspection” reports, discuss with other
companies best practices in integrating inspection data, and
contribute millions of dollars each year into pipeline consortium work
on shared pipeline technology goals.
• Most pipelines are continuously managed by control room operators
reviewing information from a sophisticated series of instruments along the
length of the pipeline.
• Using these systems, pipeline controllers can monitor changes in line
pressure and flow rate and other inconsistencies, which might indicate a
• Control room operators are trained to shut down the pipeline during a
suspected release to reduce size of a spill.
• To do so, controllers stop pumps that push liquids through a pipeline, and
close valves to isolate a pipeline segment.
• Pipelines are also monitored by foot patrols, aerial patrols, and the local
• When a pipeline release occurs, pipeline operators work with first responders and
local officials to protect people and the environment, and clean up.
• Pipeline operators develop emergency response plans to prepare for pipeline
releases and conduct drills to be ready.
• Operators maintain regular contact with fire departments and other emergency
response organizations along a pipeline’s length to discuss the resources and
approaches to be used.
• Finally, pipeline operators work to build public awareness of a pipeline along its
route, including by contacting the nearest landowners and residents.
• Operators want the public to know how to contact emergency officials and act
safely during a possible release, and prevent pipeline damage caused by a third
• Pipeline companies are responsible for the safety of pipelines,
operating under a comprehensive series of regulations from
construction to operation and maintenance.
• Federal and state pipeline inspectors evaluate whether operators are
being diligent in meeting regulatory requirements, conducting proper
inspections, and making necessary repairs.
• The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipelines and Hazardous Materials
Safety Administration (PHMSA) issues pipeline safety regulations
addressing construction, operation, and maintenance, inspects pipeline
operators, and enforces against violations of pipeline safety laws and
• PHMSA regulates interstate and intrastate hazardous liquids transmission
pipelines, except that PHMSA approves some state agencies to exercise
interstate inspection authority and/or intrastate inspection and
• States may issue regulations over intrastate pipelines if they are consistent
with federal regulations.
• These state pipeline safety agencies are usually members of the National
Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR).
• PHMSA also regulates onshore crude oil gathering pipelines that
could impact highly populated areas, cross commercially navigable
waterways, or affect rural unusually sensitive areas.
• PHMSA regulates gathering pipelines greater than 6 5/8” diameter in
all “non-rural” areas and rural areas (1) within a quarter-mile of an
“unusually sensitive area” and (2) operating above a certain pressure.
• Unusually sensitive areas are determined by PHMSA and include
drinking water sources and ecological resources unusually sensitive to
environmental damage from a liquids release.
• Other gathering lines can be regulated by states or the Interior
• The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates some
pipeline accidents and issues reports and recommendations to
regulators, companies, and industry groups.
• Pipeline operators inspect pipelines regularly in order to identify and
treat symptoms long before they become a problem.
• Most inspections of hazardous liquids pipelines are conducted by in-
line inspection devices known as “smart pigs”.
• These high-tech diagnostic devices travel through a pipeline gathering
information without stopping flow of the product of a pipeline.
• Smart pigs produce terabytes of data about a pipeline, intending to
measure wall thickness and geometric shape, identify dents and
microscopic cracks, and more.
• Then, pipeline operators conduct a physical evaluation of a segment
of the tested pipeline in order to validate the results of the test, and
use analytic software to review results and isolate potential issues for
• Operators next decide which pipeline features identified by the test
should be addressed by physical inspection, based on federal
regulations and a prioritization of the greatest risks.
• In-line inspection devices use electromagnetic acoustic, magnetic flux, and other
• They are generally developed and owned by independent third-party inspection
• While in-line inspection technology has improved dramatically over the past few
decades, pipeline operators want further improvements.
• As one “smart pig” vendor described, today’s tools may have a 90 percent
• Pipeline operators tell “smart pig” companies about their needs, push these
vendors to improve the technology, develop analytic tools to use when reviewing
“smart pig inspection” reports, discuss with other companies best practices in
integrating inspection data, and contribute millions of dollars each year into
pipeline consortium work on shared pipeline technology goals.
• Other technologies are used in pipeline operations. Advanced
telecommunications and computer systems such as SCADA
(Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) continue to improve the
monitoring and remote operation of the pipeline from control rooms.
• Companies also employ a cathodic protection system to control the
corrosion of steel by applying a small electrical current on the
pipeline that inhibits corrosion.
The History of Pipelines
• While iron pipe for other uses in the U.S. dates back to the 1830s, the
use of pipe for oil transportation started soon after the drilling of the
first commercial oil well in 1859 by “Colonel” Edwin Drake in
• The first pipes were short and basic, to get oil from drill holes to
nearby tanks or refineries.
• The rapid increase in demand for a useful product, in the early case
kerosene, led to more wells and a greater need for transportation of
the products to markets.
• Early transport by teamster wagon, wooden pipes, and rail rapidly led
to the development of better and longer pipes and pipelines.
• In the 1860s as the pipeline business grew, quality control of pipe
manufacture became a reality and the quality and type of metal for
pipes improved from wrought iron to steel.
• Technology continues to make better pipes of better steel, and find
better ways to install pipe in the ground, and continually analyze its
condition once it is in the ground.
• At the same time, pipeline safety regulations become more complete,
driven by better understanding of materials available and better
techniques to operate and maintain pipelines.
• They continue to play a major role in the petroleum industry
providing safe, reliable and economical transportation.
• As the need for more energy increases and population growth
continues to get further away from supply centers, pipelines are
needed to continue to bring energy to you.
• From the early days of wooden trenches and wooden barrels, the
pipeline industry has grown and employed the latest technology in
pipeline operations and maintenance.
• Today, the industry uses sophisticated controls and computer
systems, advanced pipe materials, and corrosion prevention
1859: Colonel Drake Strikes Oil
• "Colonel" Edwin Drake, one-time railroad conductor, drilled the first
commercial oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania.
• By the 1880s, the commercial potentialities of oil were just beginning
to be realized.
• In two decades, oil production grew to the point where more than 80
percent of the world’s petroleum consumption was supplied by
Pennsylvania oil fields.
1863: The Teamsters & Pipeline Gathering
• The first discoveries were transported to rail stations by Teamsters using
converted whiskey barrels and horses.
• From the very beginning, transportation was essential with the Teamsters
holding the first regional monopoly position.
• They charged more to move a barrel of oil 5 miles by horse than the entire
rail freight charge from Pennsylvania to New York City.
• Despite considerable ridicule, threats, armed attacks, arson, and sabotage,
the first wooden pipeline, which was about 9 miles in length, was built in
1862; in essence bypassing the Teamsters.
1879: Tidewater - The First Trunk line
• Independent oilmen, in a desperate effort to compete with
Rockefeller’s position in transportation, built the first crude oil trunk
line called Tidewater in 1879.
• Within a year, Rockefeller owned half of Tidewater and was busily
laying pipelines to Buffalo, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and New York.
• Rockefeller looked to export his kerosene lamp oil production to
Northern Europe and Russia.
1880-1905: Gushers and Refineries
• Refineries sprang up near oil fields, and new markets, with the
largest being Rockefeller’s venture on the southern shores of
Lake Michigan, in Whiting, Indiana.
• By the turn of the century, oil was discovered as far west as
• This timeline represents an edited version of text obtained from
the book, the History of The Standard Oil Company, written by
Ida M. Tarbell in 1904.
1905: Crude Oil Pipelines
• At this point in history the oil business was shifting from kerosene
lamp oil to gasoline.
• Edison's electric light bulb replaced oil lamps in many of the cities,
reducing the kerosene market, but Henry Ford had changed the
landscape with mass produced automobiles.
• Crude oil pipelines carrying oil from the prolific fields in Texas,
Oklahoma and Kansas to the refineries in the East began to cross the
• 1900-1915: The Government Acts
• By now Standard Oil controlled over 80 % of the world’s refining and
• John D. Rockefeller was the most powerful man in the world.
• 1890, the U.S. government passed the Sherman Antitrust Act and an energetic
young president, Theodore Roosevelt, challenged the Standard Oil Trust.
• Pipeline regulation went hand-in-hand in 1906, as the Hepburn Act made
interstate pipelines common carriers that were required to offer their services at
equal cost to all shippers.
• In 1912, the antitrust litigation was final and Standard Oil dissolved into seven
regional oil companies.
• In 1913, the Valuation Act was the first attempt at Federal involvement in U.S.
• 1917: Crude Oil Pipelines
• By the advent of WWI, crude oil pipelines were traversing much of
• 1920s: Pipeline Mileage Triples
• During the 1920s, driven by the growth of the automobile industry,
total U.S. pipeline mileage grew to over 115,000 miles.
• 1935: Population Shifts (Product Lines)
• By the 1930s, the population continued to move west across the
Mississippi River, and the first product pipelines were built from
Whiting, St. Louis and Kansas City to the west.
• 1945: Product Lines Grow During WWII
• Throughout WWII, product systems grew rapidly along the eastern
• 48 U.S. oil tankers were sunk in the early stages of the war, showing the
U.S. vulnerability to such an attack.
• This quickly led to the expansion of land-based large-diameter pipelines
carrying crude oil and products from areas, such as Texas and Oklahoma to
East Coast consumer states.
• Near the end of the war, pipeline regulation became the responsibility of
the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission, who introduced the notion of
reasonable returns in the eight percent to 10 % range.
• 1950s-1960s: The Search for Oil Expands Overseas
• In the 1950s and 60s, the balance of supply was shifting rapidly.
• U.S. oil companies became major explorers for oil in far-flung lands.
• Major discoveries were made by U.S. companies in: Egypt, Argentina,
Venezuela, Trinidad, West Africa, the North Sea, Western Canada, the
Caspian Sea, the Middle East and offshore China.
• 1950s-1960s: Shifting crude supply
• As oil production declined in the lower 48 states, and petroleum
supply came increasingly from overseas and Canada, the pipeline
industry responded with major industry systems from the U.S. Gulf
Coast to the Mid-West, Western Canada to the Mid-West, and
California to the U.S. West Coast.
• In 1954, Stanolind, the Indiana Standard pipeline company, became
the largest liquid pipeline carrier in North America- a position it held
until the most recent Enbridge expansion.
• 1968: The population West
• The relentless move westward continued and product pipelines
• Also, the rise of import refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast led to the
construction of Colonial Pipeline to supply the eastern seaboard.
• Colonial Pipeline was the largest privately financed undertaking in
U.S. history in 1968.
• 1970 - 1977: The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS)
• Following the discovery of the Alaskan Prudhoe Bay oil field in 1968,
pipeline designers faced the challenge of building a pipeline to carry
1.6 million barrels per day of oil across 800 miles of frigid, snow-
covered mountains, and frozen tundra.
• Completed in 1977, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline carried over 2 million
barrels per day in 1988.
• It delivered approximately 579 thousand barrels per day in 2012.
• 1970s - 1990s: The Advent of Specialty Pipes
• Modern pipelines became increasingly versatile as they were called
• Gather oil and gas over one mile beneath the ocean surface.
• Transport super critical fluid such, as carbon dioxide for oil recovery.
• Carry natural gas liquids for growing regional heating and olefins
• Transport specialty chemicals between chemical plants and refineries.
• 1992 - In 1992, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act (EPAct), which
required FERC to establish a "simplified and generally applicable"
ratemaking methodology for oil pipelines.
• In response, the FERC issued a rulemaking in which it adopted the
industry wide oil pipeline rate indexing methodology.
• The indexing methodology is the most frequently used approach to
set oil pipeline rates. FERC reviews the rate index every five years.
• 2010s - ?: The North American Energy Revolution
• Dramatic gains in crude oil and natural gas production in the US and
Western Canada reshaped energy markets. This energy revolution
produced a series of major pipeline projects carrying crude oil,
natural gas liquids, and natural gas.
• Some pipelines were reversed to carry product in the opposite
direction, others were converted from one type of service to another
(i.e., from refined products to crude oil), and still others saw additions
to pump station power to safely transport additional levels of product
on existing pipelines.
• PIPELINE RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
• Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL)
• American Petroleum Institute (API)
• REGULATORY AND SAFETY OVERSIGHT AGENCIES
• U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials
Safety Administration (PHMSA)
• National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR)
• U.S. National Transportation Safety Board
Types of Pipelines
• Learn more about the differences between liquids pipelines and natural
• Liquids Pipelines
• Liquids pipelines are used to transport crude oil or natural gas liquids
from producing fields to refineries, where they are turned into gasoline,
diesel and other petroleum products.
• Some liquids pipelines are also used to transport these finished
petroleum products from refineries to terminals and distribution centres
in or nearby large population centres.
The Crude Oil Delivery Network
This diagram is illustrative of the Liquids delivery network.
Actual delivery network configurations vary.
• Moving liquids through pipelines
• Producing oil fields commonly have a number of small diameter
gathering lines that gather crude oil from the wells and move it to
central gathering facilities called oil batteries.
• From here, larger diameter feeder pipelines transport the crude oil to
nearby refineries and to long-haul pipelines.
• The largest pipelines, called transmission lines, transport crude oil
and other liquids across the country.
• Powerful pumps spaced along the pipeline push the liquid through
the pipe at between four and eight kilo metres per hour.
• Liquids pipelines can be used to move different batches of liquids —
on any given day a pipeline could be used to transport different
grades or varieties of crude oil — with each batch of liquid is pushed
along at the same speed along the pipe.
• Where the two batches do come in contact with each other there is a
small amount of mixing that occurs — these small volumes, known as
transmix, are reprocessed
• Transmission pipelines transport crude oil to oil refineries — these are
the facilities that convert the crude oil into petroleum products
through various refining processes.
• Petroleum products are the useful fuels we use every day.
• Petroleum products include fuels such as gasoline, aviation fuel,
diesel and heating oil, as well as hundreds of products such as
solvents and lubricants, as well as raw materials for manufacturing
• Natural Gas Pipelines
• Natural gas pipelines are used to transport natural gas from gas wells,
to processing plants, to distribution systems throughout Canada.
• Unlike refined petroleum products, natural gas is delivered directly to
homes and businesses through an extensive network of very small
diameter distribution pipelines.
The Natural Gas Delivery Network
This diagram is illustrative of the Natural Gas delivery network.
Actual delivery network configurations vary.
Operating gas pipelines
• In natural gas producing fields, small-diameter pipes gather the raw
natural gas from the producing well and transport it to a gas
processing facility, where water, impurities and other gases, such as
sulphur are removed.
• Some gas plants also extract ethane, propane, and butane, which are
referred to as natural gas liquids or NGLs.
• NGLs are then transported via liquid pipelines to oil refineries for
• Once cleaned at the gas processing plants, natural gas is compressed
prior to moving into large transmission pipelines consisting of steel
• The natural gas flows through the transmission system from areas of
high pressure to areas of low pressure through the use of
compressors — these are large turbines similar to jet engines, placed
along the pipeline to increase the pressure of the gas, “pushing” the
natural gas along the pipe to its destination.
• The compressors often use gas turbines supplied by fuel from the
pipeline, but they can also use electricity where preferable.
• Once the natural gas reaches its destination, local distribution
companies (LDCs) or gas utilities reduce the pressure before the gas
continues on for local delivery through smaller distribution network
• Did you know?
• If laid end-to-end, there are enough underground natural gas and
liquids pipelines to circle the Earth around 20 times at the equator.
Trans-Arabian Pipeline System
• Trans-Arabian Pipeline System, oljeledning som forbinder oljefeltene
ved Persiske bukt i Saudi-Arabia med oljehavnen i Sayda, Libanon ved
• Ledningen er 1720 km lang og ble åpnet i 1950 som verdens lengste
• Begrenset drift (leveranser til Jordan) siden 1970-årene, ute av drift
etter Golfkrigen 1980–88.
Pipeline Trenching and Route Survey
• A trench is a type of excavation or depression in the ground that is
generally deeper than it is wide (as opposed to a wider gully or ditch),
and narrow compared to its length (as opposed to a simple hole).
• In geology, trenches are created as a result of erosion by rivers or by
geological movement of tectonic plates.
• In the civil engineering field of construction or maintenance
of infrastructure, trenches are created to install underground
infrastructure or utilities (such as gas mains, water mains or telephone
lines), or later to search for these installations.
• Trenches have often been dug for military defensive purposes.
• In archaeology, the "trench method" is used for searching
and excavating ancient ruins or to dig into strata of sedimented material.
A gas main being laid in a trench
• In the civil engineering field of construction or maintenance of
infrastructure, trenches play a major role.
• They are used to place underground easily damaged and obstructive
infrastructure or utilities (such as gas mains, water mains or telephone
• A similar use for higher bulk would be in pipeline transport.
• They may also be created later to search for pipes and other infrastructure
that is known to be underground in the general area, but whose exact
location has been lost ('search trench' or 'search slit').
• Finally, trenches may be created as the first step of creating a foundation
• Trench shoring is often used in trenchworks to protect workers and
• An alternative to digging trenches is to create a utility tunnel.
• The advantages of utility tunnels are the reduction of maintenance manholes, one-time
relocation, and less excavation and repair, compared to separate cable ducts for each
• When they are well mapped, they also allow rapid access to all utilities without having to
dig access trenches or resort to confused and often inaccurate utility maps.
• One of the greatest advantages is public safety.
• Underground power lines, whether in common or separate channels, prevent downed
utility cables from blocking roads, thus speeding emergency access after natural disasters
such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis.
• For a comparison of utility tunnels vs. direct burial, see the article referred to above.
• In some cases, a large trench is dug and deliberately preserved (not filled in), often for
• This is typically done to install depressed motorways, open railway cuttings, or canals.
• Route survey [′rüt ‚sər‚vā] (civil engineering)
• A survey for the design and construction of linear works, such as roads and pipelines.
• Route Survey
• A survey of the earth’s surface along a particular route in the compilation and
updating of topographical, geological, soil, and other maps and
the correlation of selected contours and objects with geodetic reference points or land
marks¨during linear surveys, and also in the study of¨the dynamics of natural and socioeco
nomic phenomena in a narrow strip of terrain.
• In a route survey, representations of the actual course of¨the survey and of the plane horiz
ontal features (including the terrain, if necessary) on both sides of it within the limits of dir
ect visibility are plotted on a map board using methods of instrument surveying (plane-
table, tachymetric, and aerial phototopographic surveying) or exploratory surveying.
• Ground¨level route surveying has been extensively used for centuries in map
ping inaccessible areas.
• In the 20th century aerial route¨surveying (instrumental and, less frequently,
exploratory surveying from the air, particularly during aerovisual observations
) has come to be used in addition to ground-level route surveying.
• Route surveys made from aircraft are done principally as sets of survey jobs
to supplement¨a comprehensive areal survey; this is done on a larger scale
and under different surveying conditions (for the purpose of singling outparti
• Aerial route surveying is also done for such specific purposes as recording the
ice conditions at sea, the boundaries of¨river flooding, and the centers of
Pipeline Equipment - Trenching Wheel In Action
• The increasing prevalence of reverse osmosis treatment water projects
which produce aggressive water has led to a commensurate increase in the
specification of stainless steel for process piping.
• Based upon material characteristics alone, stainless steel appears suitable
for many of these environments, but neglecting how these piping
components are fabricated and attached together can lead to otherwise
unexpected corrosion problems.
• This discussion is intended for application to the austenitic stainless steels,
(e.g., UNS S30400, etc.) or more commonly the "300 series."
• Austenitic stainless steels contain about 18 percent chromium and 8
percent nickel as their principal alloying elements.
• They are the most common types specified for waterworks because
of their normally good resistance to atmospheric corrosion.
• Austenitic stainless steels resist corrosion because of the passive
oxide layer that forms on the surface.
• They are readily welded, and the welds are generally tough and
ductile, if properly made.
• However, the passive oxide layer is disturbed during the welding of
• The welding procedure specification, which must be submitted for
review by the engineer of record, will usually include the critical
variables for ensuring that the properly made weld has adequate
• What the welding procedure will not include are the techniques
necessary to allow the weld and heat-affected zone of the base
material to enjoy the same corrosion resistance of the base material.
• This paper addresses good specification and detailing practices
intended to result in corrosion-free stainless steel pipe installations.
Fact Sheet: Pipe Manufacturing Process
• The manufacture of steel pipe dates from the early 1800’s.
• Initially, pipe was manufactured by hand – by heating, bending,
lapping, and hammering the edges together.
• The first automated pipe manufacturing process was introduced in
1812 in England.
• Manufacturing processes have continually improved since that time.
• Some popular pipe manufacturing techniques are described below.
• The use of lap welding to manufacture pipe was introduced in the
• Although the method is no longer employed, some pipe that was
manufactured using the lap welding process is still in use today.
• In the lap welding process, steel was heated in a furnace and then
rolled into the shape of a cylinder.
• The edges of the steel plate were then “scarfed”.
• Scarfing involves overlaying the inner edge of the steel plate, and the tapered
edge of the opposite side of the plate.
• The seam was then welded using a welding ball, and the heated pipe was passed
between rollers which forced the seam together to create a bond.
• The welds produced by lap welding are not as reliable as those created using
more modern methods.
• The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has developed an
equation for calculating the allowable operating pressure of pipe, based on the
type of manufacturing process.
• This equation includes a variable known as a “joint factor”, which is based on the
type of weld used to create the seam of the pipe.
• Seamless pipes have a joint factor of 1.0.
• Lap welded pipe has a joint factor of 6.
Electric Resistance Welded Pipe
• Electric resistance welded (ERW) pipe is manufactured by cold-forming a sheet of steel
into a cylindrical shape.
• Current is then passed between the two edges of the steel to heat the steel to a point at
which the edges are forced together to form a bond without the use of welding filler
• Initially this manufacturing process used low frequency A.C. current to heat the edges.
• This low frequency process was used from the 1920’s until 1970.
• In 1970, the low frequency process was superseded by a high frequency ERW process
which produced a higher quality weld.
• Over time, the welds of low frequency ERW pipe was found to be susceptible to selective
seam corrosion, hook cracks, and inadequate bonding of the seams, so low frequency
ERW is no longer used to manufacture pipe.
• The high frequency process is still being used to manufacture pipe for use in new
Electric Flash Welded Pipe
• Electric flash welded pipe was manufactured beginning in 1927.
• Flash welding was accomplished by forming a steel sheet into a cylindrical shape.
• The edges were heated until semi-molten, then forced together until molten steel
was forced out of the joint and formed a bead.
• Like low frequency ERW pipe, the seams of flash welded pipe are susceptible to
corrosion and hook cracks, but to a lesser extent than ERW pipe.
• This type of pipe is also susceptible to failures due to hard spots in the plate steel.
• Because the majority of flash welded pipe was produced by a single
manufacturer, it is believed these hard spots occurred due to accidental
quenching of the steel during the manufacturing process used by that particular
• Flash welding is no longer used to manufacture pipe.
Double Submerged Arc Welded (DSAW) Pipe
• Similar to other pipe manufacturing processes, the manufacture of Double
Submerged Arc Welded Pipe involves first forming steel plates into
• The edges of the rolled plate are formed so that V-shaped grooves are
formed on the interior and exterior surfaces at the location of the seam.
• The pipe seam is then welded by a single pass of an arc welder on the
interior and exterior surfaces (hence double submerged).
• The welding arc is submerged under flux.
• The advantage of this process is that welds penetrate 100% of the pipe wall
and produce a very strong bond of the pipe material.
• Seamless pipe has been manufactured since the 1800’s.
• While the process has evolved, certain elements have remained the same.
• Seamless pipe is manufactured by piercing a hot round steel billet with a mandrel.
• The hollowed steel is than rolled and stretched to achieve the desired length and diameter.
• The main advantage of seamless pipe is the elimination of seam-related defects; however, the
cost of manufacture is greater.
• Early seamless pipe was susceptible to defects caused by impurities in the steel.
• As steel-making techniques improved, these defects were reduced, but they have not been totally
• While it seems that seamless pipe would be preferable to formed, seam-welded pipe, the ability
to improve characteristics desirable in pipe is limited.
• For this reason, seamless pipe is currently available in lower grades and wall thicknesses than
• Continual advances in materials and welding techniques have resulted in
dramatic improvements in the reliability of pipes.
• As mentioned, however, there is still pipe in use that is susceptible to
corrosion and seam-related defects.
• These defects are identified through integrity assessments and are repaired
• Pipe manufactured today is subject to non-destructive tests such as
ultrasonic testing and x-ray, as well as pressure-testing.
• Each individual section of pipe must be pressure-tested by the
manufacturer, and new pipelines are also pressure-tested during the actual
• Codes, Standards and Regulations
• Classification Societies doing inspection
• Pipeline Threats
• Pipeline Inspection Technologies
• Pipeline Technologies Under Development
• Internal Failure Mechanism
Oil & Gas Projects
Standards & Construction Codes & Standards
The ISO 9001 family - Global management
standards (International Organization for
Classification Societies doing inspection
Classification Societies doing inspection
• A classification society is a non-governmental organization that
establishes and maintains technical standards for the construction
and operation of ships and offshore structures.
• The society will also validate that construction is according to these
standards and carry out regular surveys in service to ensure
compliance with the standards.
• To avoid liability, they explicitly take no responsibility for the safety,
fitness for purpose, or seaworthiness of the ship.
• Classification societies set technical rules, confirm that designs and
calculations meet these rules, survey ships and structures during the
process of construction and commissioning, and periodically
survey vessels to ensure that they continue to meet the rules.
• Classification societies are also responsible for classing oil platforms, other
offshore structures, and submarines.
• This survey process covers diesel engines, important shipboard pumps and
other vital machinery.
• Classification surveyors inspect ships to make sure that the ship, its
components and machinery are built and maintained according to the
standards required for their class
• In the second half of the 18th century, London merchants, shipowners, and
captains often gathered at Edward Lloyds’ coffee house to gossip and make
deals including sharing the risks and rewards of individual voyages.
• This became known as underwriting after the practice of signing one's
name to the bottom of a document pledging to make good a portion of the
losses if the ship didn’t make it in return for a portion of the profits.
• It did not take long to realize that the underwriters needed a way of
assessing the quality of the ships that they were being asked to insure. In
1760, the Register Society was formed — the first classification society and
the one which would subsequently become Lloyd's Register — to publish
an annual register of ships.
• This publication attempted to classify the condition of the ship’s hull
and equipment. At that time, an attempt was made to classify the
condition of each ship on an annual basis.
• The condition of the hull was classified A, E, I, O or U, according to the
state of its construction and its adjudged continuing soundness (or
• Equipment was G, M, or B: simply, good, middling or bad. In time, G,
M and B were replaced by 1, 2 and 3, which is the origin of the well-
known expression 'A1', meaning 'first or highest class'.
• The purpose of this system was not to assess safety, fitness for
purpose or seaworthiness of the ship. It was to evaluate risk.
• Samuel Plimsoll pointed out the obvious downside of insurance:
• The first edition of the Register of Ships was published by Lloyd's Register in
1764 and was for use in the years 1764 to 1766.
• Bureau Veritas (BV) was founded in Antwerp in 1828, moving to Paris in
1832. Lloyd's Register reconstituted in 1834 to become 'Lloyd's Register of
British and Foreign Shipping'.
• Where previously surveys had been undertaken by retired sea captains,
from this time surveyors started to be employed and Lloyd's Register
formed a General Committee for the running of the Society and for the
Rules regarding ship construction and maintenance, which began to be
published from this time.
The ability of shipowners to insure themselves against the risks they take not only with their
property, but with other peoples’ lives, is itself the greatest threat to the safe operation of ships.
• In 1834, the Register Society published the first Rules for the survey and
classification of vessels, and changed its name to Lloyds Register of Shipping.
• A full-time bureaucracy of surveyors (inspectors) and support personnel was put
• Similar developments were taking place in the other major maritime nations.
• The adoption of common rules for ship construction by Norwegian insurance
societies in the late 1850s led to the establishment of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) in
• RINA was founded in Genoa, Italy in 1861 under the name Registro Italiano, to
meet the needs of Italian maritime operators.
• Germanischer Lloyd (GL) was formed in 1867 and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) in
1899. The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) was an early offshoot of the
River Register of 1913.
• As the classification profession evolved, the practice of assigning different
classifications has been superseded, with some exceptions.
• Today a ship either meets the relevant class society’s rules or it does not.
• As a consequence it is either 'in' or 'out' of 'class'. Classification societies do
not issue statements or certifications that a vessel is 'fit to sail' or 'unfit to
sail', merely that the vessel is in compliance with the required codes.
• This is in part related to legal liability of the classification society.
• However, each of the classification societies has developed a series of
notations that may be granted to a vessel to indicate that it is in
compliance with some additional criteria that may be either specific to that
vessel type or that are in excess of the standard classification
requirements. See Ice class as an example.
Flags of convenience
• For more details on this topic, see Flag of convenience.
• The advent of open registers, or flags of convenience, has led to competition
between classification societies and to a relaxation of their standards.
• Flags of convenience have lower standards for vessel, equipment, and crew than
traditional maritime countries and often have classification societies certify and
inspect the vessels in their registry, instead of by their own shipping authority.
• This made it attractive for ship owners to change flag, whereby the ship lost the
economic link and the country of registry.
• With this, also the link between classification society and traditional maritime
country became less obvious - for instance Lloyd's Register with the United
Kingdom and ABS with the United States.
• This made it easier to change class and introduced a new
phenomenon; class hopping.
• A ship owner that is dissatisfied with class can change to a different class
• This has led to more competition between classes and a relaxation of the
standards. In July 1960, Lloyds Register published a new set of rules.
• Not only were scantlings relaxed, but the restrictions on tank size were just
• The other classification Societies quickly followed suit. This has led to the
shipping industry losing confidence in the classification societies, and also
to similar concerns by the European Commission.
• To counteract class hopping, the IACS has established TOCA (Transfer Of
• In 1978, a number of European countries agreed in The Hague on
memorandum that agreed to audit whether the labour conditions on
board vessels were according the rules of the ILO.
• After the Amoco Cadiz sank that year, it was decided to also audit on
safety and pollution.
• To this end, in 1982 the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (Paris
MoU) was agreed upon, establishing Port State Control, nowadays 24
European countries and Canada.
• In practice, this was a reaction on the failure of the flag states -
especially flags of convenience that have delegated their task to
classification societies - to comply with their inspection duties.
• Today there are a number of classification societies, the largest of which
are Bureau Veritas, the American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske
• Classification societies employ ship surveyors,material engineers, piping
engineers, mechanical engineers, chemical engineers and electrical
engineers, often located at ports and office buildings around the world.
• Marine vessels and structures are classified according to the soundness of
their structure and design for the purpose of the vessel.
• The classification rules are designed to ensure an acceptable degree of
stability, safety, environmental impact, etc.
• In particular, classification societies may be authorised to inspect
ships, oil rigs, submarines, and other marine structures and issue
certificates on behalf of the state under whose flag the ships are
• As well as providing classification and certification services, the larger
societies also conduct research at their own research facilities in
order to improve the effectiveness of their rules and to investigate
the safety of new innovations in shipbuilding.
• There are more than 50 marine classification organizations
worldwide, some of which are listed below.
Name Abbreviation Date Head office IACS member?
Lloyd's Register LR 1760 London Yes
Bureau Veritas BV 1828 Paris Yes
RINA 1861 Genoa Yes
American Bureau of
ABS 1862 Houston Yes
DNV GL DNV GL 1864 Oslo Yes
NK 1899 Tokyo Yes
Register of Shipping
RS 1913 Saint Petersburg Yes
HR 1919 Piraeus No
Polish Register of
PRS 1936 Gdańsk Yes
PHRS 2000 Piraeus No
CRS 1949 Split Yes
BRS (БКР) 1950 Varna No
Society CR 1951 No
CCS 1956 Beijing Yes
KR 1960 Busan Yes
Turk Loydu TL 1962 Istanbul No
BKI 1964 Jakarta No
Vietnam Register VR 1964 Hanoi, Vietnam No
ARS 1970 Durres No
RINAVE 1973 Lisbon No
Indian Register of
IRS 1975 Mumbai Yes
INSB 1977 Piraeus No
ACS 1980 Tehran No
RBNA 1982 Rio de Janeiro No
RCB 1982 La Habana No
IROS 1993 Miami No
SCM 1994 Shah Alam No
IBS 1995 Panama No
GBS 1996 Syria No
RU (РУ) 1998 Kyiv No
Orient Register of
ORIENT Class 2000 Philippines No
OMCS 2004 Panama No
ICS Class 2005 Panama No
ICS 2007 Tehran No
Register of Shipping
VRS 2008 London No
TASNEEF 2012 Dubai No
MSR 2012 Great Britain No
ICSM 2008 Kuala Lumpur No
• International Association of Classification Societies
• Category: Classification societies
• Prestige oil spill, an incident and following lawsuit that could have
radically changed the role of class societies.
• European Maritime Safety Agency
• IACS document explaining Classification societies
• ABS American Bureau of Shipping
• ACS Asia Classification Society
• ARS Register of Shipping Albania (Regjistri Detar Shqiptar)
• BKI Biro Klasifikasi Indonesia
• BRS Bulgarian Register of Shipping (Български Корабен Регистър)
• BV Bureau Veritas
• CCS China Classification Society
• CR CR Classification Society (former name: China Corporation Register of Shipping)
• CRS Croatian Register of Shipping (Hrvatski Registar Brodova)
• DBS Dromon Bureau of Shipping
• DNV Det Norske Veritas
• GBS Guardian Bureau of Shipping
• GL Germanischer Lloyd
• HRS Hellenic Register of Shipping
• IBS Isthmus Bureau of Shipping
• ICS Iranian Classification Society
• ICS Class Intermaritime Certification Services
• IRS Indian Register of Shipping
• IROS International Register of Shipping
• KR Korean Register of Shipping
• LR Lloyd's Register
• NK Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK)
• OMCS Overseas Marine Certification Services (ClassOMCS)
• PRS Polish Register of Shipping (Polski Rejestr Statków)
• RBNA Brazilian Register of Shipping (Registro Brasileiro de Navios)
• RCB Registro Cubano de Buques (RCB Sociedad Clasificadora)
• RINA Registro Italiano Navale
• RINAVE Registro Internacional Naval
• RS Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (Российский морской регистр судоходства)
• RU Shipping Register of Ukraine (Регістр судноплавства України)
• SCM Ships Classification Malaysia
• TL Turk Loydu
• VRS Venezuelan Register of Shipping
• VR Vietnam Register
• ICSM International Classification of Ship Malaysia
Pipeline Threat Assessments:
• Monitoring pipeline networks for threats is an ongoing challenge for
• Synodon’s Pipeline Threat Assessment service assists operators by taking a
snapshot in time and identifying potential hazards to a pipeline’s integrity.
• Construction activity in the area, equipment (i.e. backhoes) over top the
line, or new buildings near the Right-of-Way are examples of potential
• High-resolution visual images of the entire surveyed area are captured and
analyzed by Synodon and provide a record of exactly what challenges are
faced throughout time.
• Erosion is another common problem that can lead to exposed pipelines,
which cause a high risk to the operator and citizens in the area.
• Erosion can happen naturally or be caused by large storms, flash floods,
heavy equipment traffic, etc.
• High-resolution images of entire network
• Specific concerns pinpointed with precise GPS coordinates
• Snapshots in time can be overlaid to show changes as time progresses
• Operators often have high consequence areas flown frequently by fixed
wing aircraft but that relies upon the pilot to notice and identify problems;
Synodon’s service done quarterly or semi-annually give indisputable
• Additionally, Synodon is able to deliver the visual images in formats that integrate with
common GIS systems allowing operators to share visual images of their entire network
throughout the organization.
• This can assist with future planning of construction projects, clarity on challenging
terrain, and proper assessment of tools & transportation required for maintenance jobs.
Example of pipeline threat:
construction equipment near the line.
Example of pipeline threat: washout or
flash flood exposed this pipeline.
Pipeline Inspection Technologies
• Aging pipelines and high replacement costs are major challenges
facing pipeline owners and engineers worldwide.
• Pure's leading edge technologies for pipeline inspection and
assessment address this ongoing need and provide valuable
information to maximize the life of these assets.
• All around the world, we all rely on the millions of kilometers of
installed pipelines that are responsible for transporting fluids such as
water, sewage, oil and liquid natural gas.
• While these pipelines are well constructed using high-strength
materials such as steel, iron and concrete, they are also vulnerable to
various environmental and operating conditions such as internal and
external corrosion, cracking, construction damage and manufacturing
• All around the world, we all rely on the millions of kilometers of
installed pipelines that are responsible for transporting fluids such as
water, sewage, oil and liquid natural gas.
• While these pipelines are well constructed using high-strength
materials such as steel, iron and concrete, they are also vulnerable to
various environmental and operating conditions such as internal and
external corrosion, cracking, construction damage and manufacturing
• To ensure reliable product delivery and to maintain pipeline integrity,
asset managers should consider routine pipeline inspection and
holistic management programs to extend pipeline life and prevent
• As a global leader in pipeline inspection and management, Pure
Technologies provides clients with actionable information to fully
understand the condition of their infrastructure and make informed
• Based on these assessments, our clients can establish a meaningful
cost-savings plan for rehabilitation and long-term maintenance.
• Water Pipelines
• With populations increasing and available freshwater resources
decreasing, inspection and management of water transmission
pipelines is critical to prevent water loss and damage to the
Water Pipeline Inspection
• Maintaining aging pipeline infrastructure doesn’t always mean costly
complete pipeline replacement.
• With pipeline inspection services from Pure, water utilities are provided
with all the information needed to fully understand the actual condition of
• Aging infrastructure and replacement costs are major challenges for
municipal and county water utilities.
• With populations increasing and available freshwater resources decreasing,
water and wastewater distribution pipelines need to be maintained to
prevent water loss and damage to the surrounding environment.
• Pure is in the business of inspecting pipes used in municipal water and sewage
• As the acknowledged global leader in the evaluation of water pipelines, Pure
provides clients with the information needed to fully understand the actual
condition of their infrastructure.
• Based on these assessments, water supply system managers can establish a
meaningful cost-savings plan for the rehabilitation and long-term maintenance of
• Proactive pipeline condition assessment programs such as Assess &
Address™ are now at the heart of many municipalities long-term maintenance
programs – for new and existing lines.
• Utility personnel and others working to preserve their infrastructure are
understanding and utilizing the benefits of modern technologies to assess the
condition of pipelines and take the proper precautions in repairing any flaws.
Pipeline Condition Assessment
• Even though existing piping infrastructure may appear to be
structurally sound, proactive condition assessment at an early stage
can avoid costly future problems resulting in production downtime,
damage to infrastructure, and potential danger to citizens.
• Our inspections have found an average of 2.2 leaks per mile in large
diameter water transmission lines.
• By focusing leak prevention programs on large diameter vs. small
diameter lines, municipalities can conserve more water while
minimizing the risk of major pipeline ruptures.
Pipeline Integrity Monitoring
• We have developed cost-effective continuous monitoring systems
that detects wire breaks, illegal tapping and environmental damage
Pipeline Video Inspection (CCTV)
• Video inspection technologies from Pure allow you to visually inspect
the interiors of your pipeline assets.
• This is a cost effective internal method of inspection for transmission
mains, sewer force mains, gravity mains and storm pipeline.
Oil & Gas Pipelines
• From leak detection to condition assessment services - a complete
package for inspection of oil, gas & product pipelines.
Pipeline Inspection Services For Oil & Gas
• From leak detection to condition assessment ILI services - a complete
package for inspection of of oil, gas & product pipelines.
• Through our combined entity, PureHM Inc., we have a direct
presence in key markets including Alberta, California and Texas, and
we are poised to provide unparalleled services and value to our oil
and gas pipeline customers.
• Why use PureHM's Pipeline Inspection Services?
• Non-destructive ILI pipeline inspection programs help to extend the
useful life of oil and gas pipelines.
• Pipeline safety regulations governing the operation of oil and gas
pipelines are becoming more visible; as a result, requirements for
inspecting and managing the integrity of pipelines are becoming more
• In North America alone, the corrosion-related cost to the
transmission pipeline industry is approximately USD$5.4 - $8.6 billion
• Free-swimming confirmation of containment tool for long inspections
and accurate location of product losses in Oil & Gas pipelines
• Armadillo incorporates an Above Ground Marker (AGM) for Inline
Inspection (ILI or smart pigging) and uses a web page to display the
pig position, velocity and estimated time of arrival in real time.
Surveys & Inspections
• The Spectrum XLI system is a unique survey instrument designed to
meet the needs of industry for the indirect inspection of pipelines, as
part of External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA) programs.
• Integrity & Engineering
• PureHM provides pipeline operators with the necessary tools to make
informed decisions about the fitness for service of a given pipeline.
Featured Pipeline Inspection Projects
• Petrobras - Natal, Brazil
• We completed two inspections of a 12-inch multi-phase product
pipeline in eastern Brazil, owned by Petrobras.
• A 10” Polyurethane coated SmartBall ILI leak detection tool was used
to detect a total of three simulated leaks during two separate runs on
TransCanada Pipelines - Alberta, Canada
• Pure Technologies completed a demonstration inspection of a portion
of the Grande Prairie Mainline gas transmission pipeline for
• The inspection was conducted as a trial of the capabilities of the
SmartBall leak detection tool in gas pipelines.
Bombax Pipeline Development, Trinidad and Tobago
• BP's Bombax and Kapok pipeline development is part of an integrated
initiative to develop BP's gas resources from the East coast of Trinidad and
• BP's existing pipeline infrastructure consists of a 101km, 40 in pipeline from
the Mahogany platform to Beachfield.
• The gas is then delivered by the NGC pipeline system to the ALNG plant at
Point Fortin by means of a 36 in onshore pipeline. The line is designed for a
maximum pressure of 1,440psig.
• The liquids, which condense in the offshore line, are recovered through
normal operation and pigging at Beachfield for processing at BP's Galeota
The Bombax pipeline project
consists of 63km of offshore
• The Bombax pipeline forms the initial link of a long-term expansion
plan and is essentially a loop of the existing 40 in pipeline system.
• The project consists of 63km of offshore pipeline. With a diameter of
48in, this is BP's biggest diameter pipeline in the world.
• The line will double production and transportation of gas from 1.5
bscfd to 3.0 bscfd
The MSV Q4000 used on the Bombax project.
CASSIA 'B' PLATFORM HUB
• As part of the development, the designers also specified a new 2.6
bscfd production platform hub, Cassia 'B', that is bridge connected to
the existing Cassia 'A' platform.
• This pipeline runs from Cassia B to a landfall at Rustville on the East
Coast of Trinidad.
• The plans also envisage a new drilling platform on Kapok.
• There is also a new 26in, multi-phase pipeline linking Kapok to the
Cassia 'B' production hub.
• The Kapok platform was to be ready for production before the Cassia
'B' hub topsides were commissioned.
• In order to maximise profits and allow Kapok to produce early gas the
designers specified separation equipment on Kapok, exporting the
liquids by a tie-in of 6 in line to the existing 12in line from the
Mahogany platform to shore.
• This tie-in required a subsea hot-tap tee.
VALVING AND PIPING MANIFOLD
• To meet safety requirements the 48in pipeline exporting gas from
Cassia 'B' would require a check valve.
• The designers also suggested a subsea isolation valve from the
incoming 26 in line from Kapok as well as a crossover to loop the 48in
from the existing 40 in pipelines.
Bombax barge below the MSV Q4000.
• For ease of use it was decided to accommodate the valving and piping
within a single 400t manifold structure.
• To perform the connections the designers used 48in, 26in and 20in
tie-in spools of up to 300ft long and 270t.
• The 400t subsea manifold is BP's largest offshore marine structure in
Trinidad and Tobago and was fabricated by local contractors.
• Mustang and JP Kenny carried out the project engineering.
• The offshore pipeline installation went to Allseas and the onshore
pipeline installation to ARB.
• The subsea manifold was fabricated by Damus, who also made the
• The manifold was installed by Cal Dive International who also carried
out the tie-ins.
• The dynamic flow simulation was carried out by Scandpower and
Sumitomo manufactured the pipe.
X65 GAS EXPORT PIPELINE
• The X65 Gas Export Pipeline was divided into seven sections.
• All sections had an FBE anti-corrosion coating with either a 0.4mm or
0.7mm thickness, depending on the method of concrete weight
coating application that was used.
• As the outside diameter over wall thickness ratio for most sections
was greater than 45, this pipeline was rated very buckle-sensitive.
The valving and piping is contained
within a single 400t subsea manifold.
• The pipeline was installed by Allseas' Solitaire.
• The 48in concrete weight coated pipeline had to be pulled in at the landfall
site at Rustville and laid down near the future Casia B platform at a water
depth of approximately 67m.
• Allseas used two 500t linear winches.
• The winches had a total length of approx. 12m with a width of approx.
2.2m and a height of approx. 1.6m.
• Each winch weighed approx. 32t.
• ADRA provided two 102mm pulling wires.
• Both wires had a minimum breaking load of 800t and an actual breaking
load of approximately 859t.
The subsea manifold being lowered.
Bombax arrival at landfall.
Southern Gas Corridor
• The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project is a mega gas pipeline
project that aims to transport Caspian natural gas to Europe. 4
1) Shah Deniz II
• Offshore Field Development (Drilling-Subsea)
Shah Deniz II
• Project Description
• Shah Deniz II is the second stage of the Shah Deniz Full Field Development
as well as the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline. It will deliver an
additional 16 bcma of gas and up to 100,000 barrels of condensate, tripling
overall production from the field.
• The Shah Deniz II Project development includes new offshore platforms
constructed in Azerbaijan, up to 30 subsea wells, over 500 km of subsea
pipelines, laid by a fleet of local vessels, a major expansion of Sangachal
Terminal and the expansion of the 700 km South Caucasus Pipeline to
Georgia and Turkey to over 20 bcma per year.
• The new Shah Deniz gas volumes will be exported to Europe as well as to
the existing markets in Georgia and Turkey.
2) South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP)
South Caucasus Pipeline (also known as: Baku–Tbilisi–Erzurum Pipeline, BTE pipeline, or Shah Deniz
Pipeline) is a natural gas pipeline from the Shah Deniz gas field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian
Sea to Turkey. It runs parallel to the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline.
3) Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline
The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) is a natural gas pipeline
from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Europe. It would transport gas from the second phase of the Shah Deniz gas
4) Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)
Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP; Albanian: Gazsjellësi Trans-Adriatik, Azerbaijani: Trans Adriatik Boru
Xətti Greek: Αδριατικός Αγωγός Φυσικού Αερίου, Italian: Gasdotto Trans-Adriatico) is a pipeline project to
transport natural gas from the Caspian sea (Azerbaijan), starting from Greece via Albania and the Adriatic
Sea to Italy and further to Western Europe.