Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pipeline inspection project reaches milestone

We recently completed a major milestone in a natural gas pipeline inspection project, having inspected nearly 139 miles of high-pressure pipeline in the our most populated, urban service areas.

Mandated by the federal government in 2004, owners of natural gas pipelines are required to assess the integrity of their pipelines in areas where a rupture to the line could cause the most harm, endangering customer safety and disrupting system reliability. We met the mandate’s deadline – to complete and report on the assessments by Dec. 17, 2012.

The federal mandate was issued prior to the natural gas-related explosion in 2010 in San Bruno, Calif.

“While we have consistently performed leak surveys and other safety checks on our system, the work associated with this requirement is much more comprehensive as we dig up and physically look at the pipeline,” said Russ Ackerman, supervising engineer – gas operations. “Developing and executing a proactive plan to meet the requirement helps us identify potential problems and address them immediately.”

Use of “smart pig” technology greatly aided the inspection process. The pigs – large pieces of equipment that move along the inside of a pipeline at about 3 to 5 mph – check the physical condition of a pipeline for corrosion, debris and geometric shape. The smart pigs were used to inspect nearly 25 percent of our gas transmission mains as part of the integrity management program.

As a result of the comprehensive inspection project, various components in the natural gas pipeline system were replaced and improved. Throughout the multiyear process, customer service was not disrupted.

1 comment:

Zul said...

Congrats on the job, interesting read. Thanks.

Zul, TesTex NDT