SPE91400-1 - SPE 91400 Internal Repair of Pipeline Leaks...

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Copyright 2004, Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc. This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2004 SPE Eastern Regional Meeting held in Charleston, West Virginia, U.S.A., 15–17 September 2004. This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of information contained in a proposal submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Papers presented at SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper for commercial purposes without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to a proposal of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The proposal must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, SPE, P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax 01-972-952-9435. Abstract A cost-effective method of internally repairing pipeline leaks has been developed that – in many instances – eliminates the need for expensive and risky external mechanical repairs. By delivering a pressure-activated sealant between two pigs to a leak site and pressure activating the sealant to polymerize as a flexible solid within the leak path, it is possible to internally repair pipeline leaks without the need for excavating or replacing defective sections with minor leaks. Introduction According to Department of Transportation’s Office of Pipeline Safety, there are over 326,000 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines and over 1,923,000 miles of natural gas distribution pipelines presently in the United States. With natural gas consumption projected to increase by 50% over the next seventeen years, a major focus will be placed on pipeline integrity management, particularly pipe and joint leak repair systems. The conventional methods of curing pipeline leaks is to either perform an external mechanical repair of the leak or install an internal patch or sleeve that reduces the inside diameter of the pipe. What is needed is a cost-effective method of internally repairing the pipeline leaks without the need for expensive and risky external mechanical repairs. The paper will describe the use of a pressure-activated sealant technology to effect internal repair of pipeline leaks. This sealant technology has been successfully applied in the oil and gas industry for nine years, including offshore gathering lines and pipeline applications. These upstream industry case histories will be outlined. The described technology is unique in that a differential
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SPE91400-1 - SPE 91400 Internal Repair of Pipeline Leaks...

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