Pipelines are large pipes which are usually laid underground and used to transport or distribute fluids and gas. These fluids can be oil, oil products, water or other chemicals. These pipes form extensive networks that can stretch and transverse several kilometers of land.
Pipelines vary in size and diameter depending on their use. They are useful in transporting these different materials from the areas of production to where they can be easily accessed by end-users and consumers. This means that they are very important to any society and economy because they are infrastructures that aid growth, advancement, and development.
There are different types including those for oil, water, gas, slurry, and so on. Different sub-categories include gathering lines, feeder lines, transmission lines, and distribution lines, and most are made using metals such as steel though they can also be made with other materials. This is one of the safest ways of transporting substances such as oil and water over long distances when compared to rail or road transport. For easy transport and maintenance, they are sectioned and equipped with valves, pumps as well as other control devices.
Like most infrastructural setups, they require maintenance and repairs to keep them working at maximum efficiency. In their case, this is also important to help preserve the environment. Situations like leakages will affect production and supply and can have negative or adverse effects on the environment.
As an owner of a pipeline facility, it is important to be responsible and think about not only generating revenue but complying with federal laws and ensuring that safety is a top priority. This is why pipelines must be installed properly following industry guidelines and also constantly maintained to avoid unnecessary downtimes, shutdowns, and leakages.
1. Possible Causes of Damages to Pipelines
In spite all the care and steps that may be taken when designing and constructing pipelines, the risk of damage will always exist. These damages could be the result of anything from mechanical defects, corrosion, or operational issues. This means that they must be constantly monitored to ensure structural integrity and operability. There are different techniques that are used for monitoring these. They include:
- Ultrasonic inspection
- Dye penetration tests
- Magnetic flux
- Visual inspection
- Magnetic particle testing
- Cathodic protection survey
One main issue for most pipelines is external corrosion because of the soil that surrounds it as seen in this article. This can be prevented through cathodic protection and external coating even while transporting the pipes to location. Other possible causes can include:
- Internal corrosion which includes Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC).
- Damage by ROW displacement which can be a result of earthquakes, landslides, floods as well as geotechnical factors.
- Mechanical damage also called third-party damage which can be due to construction equipment.
- Material failure
- Equipment failure as well as operational errors.
Damage to a pipeline can result in devastating consequences depending on how severe the damage is. Some of this include:
- Loss of service resulting in a shutdown of plants, processing facilities, and ultimately downtime.
- Revenue loss.
- Inability to meet customer demands.
- Expensive alternative transportation methods e.g. trucking.
- Damage to the environment and threat to the safety of the public.
- Repair and restoration costs.
Preventing damage to a pipeline is preferable to trying to mitigate it after is has happened.Though the total elimination of these situations may not be a realistic expectation,good design and engineering practices as well as constant monitoring, management, and maintenance can help minimize their occurrence.
2. Professional Repair Services
To help prevent these damages or to repair and restore the pipeline when any damage occurs, there are companies that offer professional services in online leak repair and maintenance. These companies will usually make use of different methods and techniques that help prevent a shutdown of your facilities and operations. These methods also help preserve the environment from the adverse effect of damage to a pipeline.
These companies are able to provide professional services such as:
- Hot tapping
- Line isolation or stopping
- Leak repairs
- Freeze stops
- Pipe cutting and other ancillary services.
Considerations for Choosing a Pipeline Professional Company
Maintaining or repairing damaged or broken pipelines is not an easy task. It is a process that requires skills, expertise, and experience to do so in a safe, efficient, and effective manner. It is necessary to hire a reliable, experienced, and trustworthy company when considering working on your infrastructure.
Below are tips that can help you in your selection.
1. Qualifications and Licensing
Being a professional pipeline repair and maintenance company requires several certifications, qualifications, and licensing. A person will not just rise up and say they want to start repairing or fixing pipelines without going through the necessary steps and procedures to do so. There are guidelines, laws, and codes that must be obeyed.
It is a job that can carry certain risks especially when the substance in the pipes is hazardous or harmful to human life and the environment. This necessitates a need for licensing and qualifications. You can ask whatever company you are hiring for their qualifications as a means to ascertain their suitability and credibility.
Asides the qualification and experience, reputation is also another important factor to put into consideration. Trustworthy companies will be able to provide you excellent and high-quality services. You can always check out the reviews about them, read up about them online and on their website.Of equal importance is the need ask around about them and research who they have worked with in the past as well as what they have done.
3. Emergency Services
Pipeline facilities are online all the time and so can have an issue at any given time. A professional service company should be available and be able to respond 24/7 when you need them no matter what time of the day or period of the year.
For their importance and value, pipelines need to be constantly monitored and maintained. Although different steps are taken to ensure they are safe and kept from damages, there are situations where they still need to be attended to and repaired.
Professional pipeline services are always on hand to handle any issue using various techniques and methods to prevent a shutdown, reduce incidences of downtimes and ensure safety as they do this. It is therefore your duty as the owner of the facility to select trustworthy, reputable, and qualified professionals to work on your infrastructure.
Article Submitted By Community Writer