Aging Gas Lines Can Be a Hidden Threat
Pipe Assessment Tools Keep Infrastructure Safe, Efficient
Some of the existing and dated pipelines — whether gas, water or oil — are in the rehabilitation era and should be inspected to ensure efficient operation. This is why design and development engineers are at the forefront of non-destructive testing, CCTV and acoustic technologies that provide pipeline assessment and inspection solutions. Regular condition assessment and inspection helps with ensuring pipe systems are functioning efficiently and safely.
Natural gas contains 20 times the energy of TNT, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. It’s invisible and odorless without the mercaptan that gas companies add to give it a rotten-egg smell.
Pipelines span for miles and are constantly working to deliver natural resources to homes and businesses across the globe. Mismanaging a system can come with many repercussions and ignoring the current state of pipelines is not an option.
According to U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), natural gas companies that supply homes, businesses and other customers must report to the federal government any incident with a distribution line involving death, injury, $50,000 or more in damage or a release of 3 million or more cubic feet of gas. Federal records show that 1,400 such incidents have occurred since 2004 killing 122, injuring nearly 500 and causing more than $774 million in damage.
For these reasons and many others, there is no time like the present to assess your pipelines and take the proactive approach to avoid unnecessary damage and death.
Pipeline inspection and assessment technologies can investigate pipe wall conditions, material validation, sediment issues, blockages, contamination and quality issues and life expectancy of the pipe.
Launched in 2013, the Investigator by United Kingdom-based company JD7, is an assessment and inspection device that can be inserted into live gas pipelines and incorporates not only high-resolution CCTV camera sensors, but also a highly sensitive hydrophone and high-powered sonar system. The hydrophone is used for precise leak detection and pinpointing purposes that are sensitive enough to detect the smallest of leaks within low-pressure gas distribution systems. Full leakage acoustic signatures can be displayed graphically and with HD CCTV live images, the operator can validate the full survey.
Northern Gas Networks in the United Kingdom has had great success using the JD7 Investigator Gas system, which has found at least one leak in 77 percent of insertions. This high statistic proves that no pipeline operation can be ignored.
Although the inspection solutions are not yet capable of inspecting oil lines, companies such as JD7 are open to pilot projects with the oil industry to develop a technology that meets their requirements.
By developing a comprehensive plan with pipeline assessment and inspection technologies to ensure optimal performance, pipeline and utilities companies can rest assured that their systems are performing their best.
2015 January Issue, Gas Lines, JD7, safety
Alyscia Sutch works in marketing and PR for Aquam and Nu Flow.