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04 Pipeline Repair and Rehabilitation - Pipeline Repair and...

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Pipeline Repair and Rehabilitation presented by Gunavel Rathinam Regional Sales Manager T.D. Williamson Asia-Pacific Singapore
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1. INTRODUCTION In light of recent government regulations, the importance of a pipeline integrity program has become a priority for pipeline asset owners. The United States Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) published a ruling in December 2000 requiring all pipeline owners and operators to establish pipeline integrity plan. Part 195 of the Federal Register (U.S.A.) states, "... A pipeline operator must assess the integrity of the line pipe by (a) internal inspection tool or tools capable of detecting corrosion and deformation anomalies, including dents, gouges and grooves; (b) pressure test conducted in accordance with subpart E of this rule; or (c) other technology that the operator demonstrates can provide an equivalent understanding of the condition of the line pipe. The Office of Pipeline Safety must approve this method of assessing pipe integrity." The requirement goes on to say that damage to the top of the pipe must be repaired within 60 days and the pipeline operator must establish a plan for continual assessment not to exceed five years. The process of pipeline rehabilitation is part of a larger pipeline integrity management program, which every pipeline owner and operator needs to develop. Included in the pipeline integrity action plan should be the preparation, assessment and rehabilitation. But in addition, pipeline safety and security should be addressed. The potential for a pipeline to become a target for terrorism is stronger now than ever before. When considering the pipeline security, take a look at the communication system being used, how the piping system is identified and named, whether a sufficient employee/contractor identification system is in place, and if the pipeline has a remotely operated valve. 2. PIPELINE REHABILITATION / REPAIR Depending on the type of pipe damage or flaw found during the assessment phase, assortments of repair methods are available. It must first be decided that the dent, gouge or flaw is classified as an "injurious defect." This is done in the assessment stage according to the guidelines of ASME B31.8, B31.4 or one of the other pipeline codes. Generally, this means the remaining wall thickness is below the design wall thickness, that the dent or groove contains a stress-riser scratch or sharp groove or the location of the defect on the pipe or bend is detrimental to the strength of the pipe. Repair (or rehabilitation) of these defects is permissible with one of four different types of repair sleeves - welded sleeve, mechanical sleeve, Composite wraps or hot tap fitting. All four repair sleeves can provide the added reinforcement required to keep the defect from failing.
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