3 Steps to Maximising Pipeline Integrity

Learn how you can leverage advanced technologies and tools to enable greater pipeline integrity for improved asset reliability, operational efficiency and safety performance.

Posted: December 17, 2018

Oil and Gas

3 Steps to Maximising Pipeline Integrity

Today, almost half of the oil and gas transmission pipelines are more than fifty years old. Ageing infrastructure is posing huge challenges for pipeline operators in keeping their pipelines running optimally and profitably in the face of increasing regulatory requirements, maintenance, reliability and safety issues.  As commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences – environmental damage, economic loss and casualties, any pipeline failure may significantly affect the business performance of the pipeline companies.

serious incidents by Cause

To prevent pipeline incidents, ensuring maximum pipeline integrity is crucial for pipeline companies to sustain and profit in this competitive market. Pipeline Integrity management is not only about preventing incidents. It requires a holistic approach to effectively prevent, detect and mitigate pipeline leaks during its lifecycle.

A holistic approach to achieve Maximum Pipeline Integrity

Pipeline integrity requires a comprehensive program to ensure that hazardous commodities are not inadvertently released from pipeline. If a release does occur, steps will be taken immediately to minimise the impact.  The 3-step holistic approach to achieving maximum pipeline integrity is fundamental to improve performance and safety: 

Step 1: Prevention Activities

As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. Prevention is the first and foremost strategy when it comes to pipelines.  The best defense against a release is to proactively minimise the chances of occurrence in the first place. The costs associated with avoiding a release are much less than the eventual costs of clean-up, fines, and other civil liabilities — not to mention the damage to a company’s reputation. Companies can leverage analytics and simulation to help anticipate potential threats to pipelines and identify anomalies or issues before they become problems. A “cradle to grave” approach to Prevention from design to operations can be summarised as follows:

a)     Design & construction 

Pipeline must be properly designed and constructed according to the technical requirements (e.g., hydraulic calculations, physical properties of piping).   Testing of the pipeline prior to commissioning must be thorough and cannot be compromised.  Protective technology can be used to further enhance the pipeline’s structural integrity.

Sim Software tools modelb)     Operation & maintenance

Once the pipeline is operational, monitoring the operational and structural conditions of the pipeline is crucial to identifying circumstances that could lead to a commodity release. Inspection and monitoring technologies provide pipeline companies with the information they need to accurately assess the health of their pipeline and perform proactive maintenance on “at risk” areas.

man by refinery valvesc)     Training & education

Apart from the technology, having a team of competent pipeline operators is equally important to achieve maximum pipeline integrity.  Training operators on how to recognise situations or conditions that could potentially lead to a commodity release is clearly an important step in prevention. Operators can practice standard operating procedures for realistic experiences to be able to handle abnormal conditions in a safe and controlled classroom environment before they get deployed to the facilities.   

Step 2: Detection Activities

As pipelines can stretch to hundreds and even thousands of miles long across different terrains, pipeline operators are facing mounting challenges to monitor and detect pipeline issues before a commodity release starts to occur.   The ability to notice small operating changes that could indicate a release and, if a leak has indeed occurred, enables operators to localise the problem and shut down the pipeline quickly to keep the size of an incident, if any, as small as possible.  This is a key component of pipeline integrity management.  Companies can leverage either an external-based system – sensing, image or patrol-based- or/and internal based system also known as computational pipeline monitoring (CPM) to detect commodity releases after they have occurred; CPM is not a new concept and has been around for more than 30 years.  It uses software that takes a variety of measurements available on the pipeline to detect anomalies or conditions on the pipeline that could indicate a commodity release.  The CPM methods outlined in RP API 1130 that are commonly used today by pipeline companies are as follows:

  • Line balance CPM techniques
  • Real-time transient model (RTTM) CPM
  • Statistical analysis CPM
  • Pressure/flow monitoring CPM and lastly,
  • Acoustic/negative pressure wave technique. 

In general, these technologies are based on satisfying mass balance and signature recognition.  As no one size fits all, deploying multiple detection technology to improve leak detection is often necessary to pick up different types of leaks that may exhibit dissimilar flow patterns and go undetected under a single technology. Identifying pipeline leaks quickly is key to minimising risks.

CPM Alarm graphics

Step 3: Mitigation Activities

Minimising the impact of a commodity release to prevent catastrophic events is the third aspect of pipeline integrity. A release is normally classified as either major or minor. Major releases are emergency situations that result from a rupture to the pipeline that would pose environmental and safety hazards to the surrounding areas.  Whether the commodity release is classified as a major or minor release, the mitigation process begins with identifying the location of the commodity release, recovering from effects and remediation of site.

Are you ready to achieve Maximum Pipeline Integrity in your enterprise today?

Download the whitepaper to learn how a 3-step holistic approach improves Pipeline Integrity Management and empowers companies to improve asset reliability, safety and operational efficiency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

author
Written By
Eddy Lek

Eddy currently manages Industry Solutions marketing at Aveva, driving awareness of new solutions that enable enterprises to stay ahead of the curve. Over the past 15 years, he has been involved with product management, marketing and sales management in the Industrial Automation space. He is a strong advocate for leveraging technology to improve operational processes to enable a profitable and sustainable future for every stakeholder, Eddy holds a MBA from National University of Singapore and a Bachelor in Engineering from Nanyang Technological University.

See how APM 4.0 drives measurable and immediate results to your bottom line. Get Connected

Related Blog Posts

Stay in the know: Keep up to date on the latest happenings around the industry.

Oil and Gas
$1 trillion to be unlocked in Digital Transformation?

Data is the foundation of Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas. Data feeds into predictive analytics, optimises process, predicts machine failures.

Chemicals
Are you ready to ride the wave of the petrochemical industry growth?

To overcome business and operational challenges, companies will need to increase their level of digital maturity through value chain optimization.

Oil and Gas
Understanding the Refining and Petrochemical Value Chains to Drive Optimization

Understand the complexity of the refining and petrochemical value chains to create a solid digital transformation strategy that optimizes the entire enterprise.

Oil and Gas
When Digitalization and Transformation are not Enough: Accelerate.

Market-disrupting industrial organizations differentiate themselves by transforming business through innovating and accelerating past the competition.

Oil and Gas
Optimizing my Refinery Blend is Much Harder than Baking Cookies

Refinery products are blended to get final products with desired quantity, quality and schedule specifications. However, rigorous planning, scheduling and ...

Oil and Gas
3 Steps to Maximising Pipeline Integrity

Ageing infrastructure is posing huge challenges for pipeline operators in keeping their pipelines running optimally and profitably in the face of increasing ...

Oil and Gas
How Can Predictive Analytics Reduce Unplanned Downtime in Oil and Gas Production?

Production can increase either by developing new fields or improving asset uptime in existing fields, but asset downtime due to facility maintenance – planned ...

Oil and Gas
My Car Has Predictive Analytics, Why Shouldn’t My Refinery?

Rebroadcast of Air Liquide's experience with predictive analytics and AVEVA

Oil and Gas
How Digital Transformation in Engineering and Design boosts Project Profitability

Low oil prices had sanctioned almost every large Exploration and Production (E&P) projects in the oil and gas industry. Today, with the recent recovery of oil ...

Oil and Gas
The Price of Optimizing Your Process Is Asset Reliability

Predictive maintenance (PdM) strategies enable front-line personnel to act before costly failures occur and maximize value throughout the entire asset ...

Oil and Gas
How Closed-loop Operations Enable Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas Fields

Today, the advancement in technology – cloud platform, analytics and computing power – is revolutionising the way how companies can leverage big data and ...

Oil and Gas
How Pipeline Operators are Working to Improve their Asset Reliability

Asset reliability is a key component of an overall asset performance management strategy. And it plays a big part in helping midstream oil and gas operators ...

Oil and Gas
Maximizing Midstream Profits with OT IT Convergence

Historically midstream oil and gas organizations have kept two critical functions within their businesses almost entirely separate – IT and OT. One of the ...

Chemicals
Operational Excellence: Likely the Most Overused Term in the Process Industries

Operational Excellence isn’t achieved overnight. It is a methodology that takes a commitment to focusing on continually improving the process, and its ...

Oil and Gas
How Virtual Reality Compresses Operators Learning Curve in Oilfields

Unlike a traditional classroom environment, the VR immersive training system facilitates interaction between equipment and environment and scenario simulation ...

Oil and Gas
How Advanced Analytics improve Margins at Natural Gas Processing plants?

mproved fracking technology in oil and gas fields is creating an unprecedented boom in natural gas production, exerting tremendous pressure on natural gas ...

Oil and Gas
Implementing a tiered methodology for pipeline integrity significantly improves business’ chances of preventing leaks

With pipeline operators facing increased scrutiny as of late, the conversation must shift to pipeline integrity. Pipeline integrity encompasses three methods: ...

Oil and Gas
Digitizing the Mobile Workforce

The front-line opportunities to improve plant reliability, safety, and profitability are infinite. Value lies in digitizing the mobile workforce.

Oil and Gas
Why IIoT in Refineries Now?

IIoT in refineries is trending fast and promises great short and long-term results, allowing for smoother refinery optimization.

Oil and Gas
IIoT: Acting on All Big Data

The importance of IIoT, big data and closed-loop operations to bridge the gap between unused data and profitability in refineries.

Oil and Gas
Strategic Implementation of IIoT in Refineries

Delivering Closed Loop Business Operations for the Refinery Enterprise with Schneider Electric Software. Strategic Implementation of IIoT - Refineries.

Oil and Gas
How are you minimizing risk throughout the three phases of pipeline integrity?

Pipeline integrity includes three phases: prevention, detection, and mitigation, which together minimize the chances of a leak and the ensuing repercussions.

Oil and Gas
IIoT: Three Trends Impacting Upstream Producers

Many producers have started looking to IIoT to help them navigate through the digital evolution and create a competitive edge for their operations.

Oil and Gas
How the Internet of Things has Influenced Midstream Pipeline Operations

IoT Internet of Things has provided increased ability to connect, measure and analyze variety of behavioral statistics for midstream pipeline operations.

Oil and Gas
How Big Data and Analytics increase Production Asset Uptime in Oil Fields?

Oil companies must continue to make investments in improving operational efficiencies to sustain and improve their profitability.

Oil and Gas
How Digitalization of Process Design and Operations boosts Profitability in Ethylene production

Learn how to apply impacting digital technologies in ethylene production plant design and operations for higher profitability.

Chemicals
You Must Cross That Bridge Now; Not When You Get to It

A successful Unified Supply Chain and Operations Execution Management solution is a fully functional, bi-directional communicative interface between supply ...

Oil and Gas
Advanced Contractual Risk Management

Reducing cost of capital needed to fund large capex projects

Oil and Gas
China HQCEC uses AVEVA Solutions to Design World’s Largest Coal Liquefaction Construction Plant

Situated in the hi-tech heart of China’s Ningdong Energy Chemical Industry Park, the world’s largest indirect liquefaction processing facility covers 2.8 ...

Oil and Gas
How Digital Operations Management Improves Profitability in this Challenging Oil and Gas Environment

Learn how digital operations management framework enables refineries and petrochemical plants to optimize profitability.

previous next

Sign up for our newsletter and get all the latest information straight from the source.