Pipelines transport an immense volume of oil, gas and water every day. However, if one leaks it can have devastating consequences for the environment.
Spills of oil can kill and suffocate animals, damage delicate ecosystems and alter the health of our planet. That is why leak detection is so critical.
Pipelines that transport oil, gas, chemicals, water and other essential materials are vital for the economy and must be regularly maintained to prevent deterioration or leaks. Corrosion – a natural process where metals oxidize or rust – poses one major threat to these vital pipelines.
Internal pipeline corrosion can occur for various reasons. These include aging pipes, chemical and moisture accumulations, as well as corrosion-inhibiting additives added to the liquid moving through the system.
Another major cause of internal corrosion is microbially-induced corrosion (MIC). This process occurs when bacteria increase the toxicity of a fluid and accelerate its corrosion rate by producing waste products like CO2 and H2S. MIC can often be seen in the form of pitting and nodules that appear on the surface of the pipeline.
Internal pipe surfaces are less vulnerable to corrosion than external pipeline surfaces due to lower pressures, but still require similar protection methods such as fusion-bonded epoxy coatings for protection.
Additionally, you can use lubricants to help prevent corrosion in the first place. This is accomplished by coating the inside of the pipe with a safe lubricant suitable for transporting liquids.
Other methods for preventing corrosion include cathodic protection, which shields pipes against corrosive elements by using a cathode to transfer electrons to the steel and thus slow down corrosion.
Finally, abrasion-resistant wraps can also help prevent scratching in the coating caused by ground shifting and settling around pipes. This is especially crucial for pipes located in rocky soil.
Corrosion in pipes can be costly and complex to manage, so the oil industry must take proactive measures to prevent it. To do this effectively, proper materials and design must be utilized from the beginning of a project.
Human error is one of the greatest hazards in the oil industry. Not only can it result in costly financial losses and irreparable reputation damage for a company with an inadequate safety record, but it’s also one of the greatest potential sources for gain.
Human errors can have many causes, but there are a few consistent themes that help identify them. The first one is usually the nature of the error itself.
Errors occur when a planned activity fails to produce its intended result. This can be due to mistakes, slips or failure to execute a task correctly.
Errors can be caused by a number of factors, such as training issues and equipment malfunction. It’s also possible that there’s an absence of communication between management and workers which causes them to overlook important rules and procedures.
Some mistakes can be as simple as forgetting to put a pipe cap back on or not tightening bolts securely enough. Fortunately, these errors are easily avoidable with proper training and supervision.
A common error in pipeline construction is using the wrong material, which can lead to corrosion and leaks. Steel, for instance, is not recommended as it’s difficult to work with and prone to cracking.
Another common human error is burying the pipeline too shallow, leading to water accumulation and corrosion. To avoid this issue, place the pipeline at a higher elevation and ensure it’s securely fastened with bolts.
The third major human error is operator error, which can be caused by failing to follow safety protocols or using inappropriate tools. This could lead to catastrophic accidents like explosions and fires.
Error management is an essential aspect of safety management and should be approached in a structured, proactive way with just as much rigor as technical aspects of safety. To accomplish this, employees can be involved in designing tasks and procedures, improving detection methods, providing better training programs and introducing new technologies that reduce errors.
Pipelines are essential for transporting liquid and gaseous energy products. Every year they move hundreds of billions of tons of petroleum and natural gas, as well as electricity and other forms of alternative fuels. Without pipelines such transport would be economically inefficient.
When designing a pipeline, several elements must be taken into consideration: route selection and operational velocity; calculation of pressure gradient; selection of pumps and other equipment. It is also essential to take into account safety issues, leak prevention techniques, government regulations and environmental concerns.
When designing pipelines, it is essential to take into account the nature of the fluids being transported and their sensitivity to temperature fluctuations. This is particularly true for viscous substances like crude oil where vapor pressure will increase with temperature, making it impractical to efficiently transport through a pipeline.
Increased energy requirements to drive a given volume of fluid through a pipe can significantly impact its efficiency, as can other fluids.
Another critical factor is the medium’s viscosity, which can vary significantly from fluid to fluid. This is especially true for highly viscous liquids like crude oils and tar sands oil.
Pipelines are designed to compensate for temperature expansion by elongating sections of the pipe, either by bending it in one plane or using offshoots.
Pipelines that cross rivers or creeks must either be attached to a bridge or laid directly on the streambed underneath it. Pipelines may also be bored through the ground beneath rivers, creeks and roads in order to reach areas where conventional transportation is difficult or impossible.
Finally, pipe wall thickness must be considered when selecting a pipeline; it should be kept as low as possible while still providing strength inside. This is especially critical in rocky soils where dents can occur easily.
No matter how hard we try to design leak-proof pipelines, accidents still happen. These events are costly and can cause considerable harm to public health, property and the environment; often leading to media attention or federal investigations. These tragedies could have been avoided with increased pipeline safety measures as well as government regulation.
Regulation is the set of requirements private firms and individuals must fulfill in order to reach government objectives, such as cleaner air, safer workplaces, and superior yet cheaper goods and services. Without regulations these goals would not be achievable.
To achieve these objectives, government imposes regulatory requirements on businesses and individuals through various forms of intervention such as licensing systems, taxes, fines, and penalties. While these requirements can be effective in stimulating innovation and lowering prices, they also often produce many unintended negative outcomes.
Government-imposed regulatory environments can often discourage companies from investing in costly improvements to products and facilities, as it’s more costly to comply with regulations than innovate. Furthermore, they may obstruct the development of new technologies which could make pipelines safer – like improved welding or monitoring systems – due to cost concerns.
Another common issue with regulation is its complexity and incomprehensibility. It may take considerable time and energy to comprehend what rules are meant to accomplish or why they were implemented.
To avoid confusion, agencies must conduct a rigorous analysis of the systemic problems they seek to solve and request public comment before making decisions. Ideally, all underlying research and data should also be published so interested members of the public can comprehend, replicate, and critique those analyses.
In countries with abundant oil resources, such as the United States, regulations are necessary to manage and safeguard them. This holds particularly true when those resources are situated on land or in ocean waters.
Federal regulation of offshore petroleum resources necessitates a variety of safety and environmental controls to maintain their natural resource in good condition and safe for use. In addition to regulations on production and transporting these resources, regulators are accountable for overseeing the safety and performance of pipelines that carry oil and gas from shore to shore or from inland fields to coastal ports.