Pipelines are an important fabric of the society as they are used to move oil and other materials that are needed to keep the economy running. They are available all over the United States in a vast array of networks that help deliver resources such as water, raw materials, and gas that are important to daily livelihood.

These lines that help move slurries, gas, as well as liquid substances, come in different sizes and are equipped with pumps, valves, and different devices. They are basically made of metal like steel, cast iron, and aluminum. Other materials like asbestos, concrete, plastic as well as clay may also be used to make them.

As they transverse a long stretch of land, different sections of the pipes are usually bolted together with screws and this allows for each easy management as each section can be worked on independent of other sections. Pipelines are most times concealed underground so they are not usually noticeable. You can find out more about them here.

Although they are designed to be tough and withstand even the harshest of conditions, pipelines, like any other facility or infrastructures, will over time experience diminishing returns and deteriorate, necessitating some repairs and maintenance. Because of how sensitive they are and what they carry, there is always a need to ensure their integrity and reliability by making sure they are in top shape always. This can be done through regular maintenance and repairs especially when they are aging.

Regular maintenance will help prevent issues, failure, or downtime. It will also ensure that pipeline owners abide by federal regulations and industry standards. Several intervention services are available for the repair and maintenance of these facilities.

Pipeline Intervention Services and why they are Needed

Pipeline intervention services are those activities that are carried out to make sure a pipeline is in a great state. It involves the maintenance and repairs required to help bring order, eliminate or reduce downtime and other associated risks.

One of the greatest fears of the industry is downtime. A shutdown of your facility can cost you millions of dollars as well as affect thousands, even millions of downstream customers negatively. There is always pressure on pipeline companies to operate quickly, efficiently, and at maximum capacity. Shutting down will result in a revenue loss and may also result in penalty payments and even lawsuits.

Every company wants to avoid this which is why intervention services such as leak repairs, hot tapping, freeze plugs, line stopping etc. can be very helpful. These services can also help strengthen your infrastructure and keep the environment protected from hazards. With these, you can earn more money and avoid lawsuits as well as penalties.

A Look at Common Pipeline Intervention Services

Pipelines intervention can be done using several methods or ways. The best method to use may be dependent on the kind of maintenance or repair work that needs to be done. Some of these include the following:

Hot Tapping

Hot tapping is a pipeline intervention method used for boring holes and connections into active pipelines while it is operating under pressure. It can also be known as under-pressure drilling and it can be performed on all types of piping. Hot tapping uses a pressure containing fitting, a drilling or tapping machine and a valve to create a new connection without disruption to the flow of whatever is in the pipeline.

Hot tapping prevents the release of hazardous chemicals and gases, allows the service to stay online, and helps avoid unnecessary design and planning costs. Note that it is not suitable for use when the piping contains combustible substances or mixtures that can easily be decomposed by heat.

Line Stopping

This is a process or way of blocking flow through a section of a pipe. It can also be known as line plugging. The process typically involves a hot tap and this is followed by a mechanical plugging head inserted in the line. This creates a temporary seal that allows repairs to be easily carried out. It allows for the isolation of a segment of the piping without interruption of service. The head is later replaced by a completion plug and a flange which enables the pipe to be safely unblocked and the hot tap easily re-used. Line plugging can be used on any kind of pipeline.

Pipe Freezing

Pipe freezing fitting a jacket around the sections that are being worked on and then flooding the jacket with liquid nitrogen. At a temperature of -196oC, the liquid nitrogen freezes or solidifies what is contained in the pipe. This forms a secure plug that allows for intrusive repairs and alterations to be carried out.

All these intervention methods and many others are used to enable planned or emergency repair and maintenance work to be carried out on pipelines. These techniques can also be used to allow sampling points, low meters as well as the insertion of visual surveillance devices needed for modifications and re-routing of lines for repairs. All of these occur while allowing operations to stay online.

You can checkout Rj Stacey Company to learn more about companies involved in pipeline intervention services.

When choosing a company to work with, it is very important that you consider factors such as:

  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Availability

The company you choose must be able and ready to respond to emergencies effectively at short notice.

Conclusion

Pipelines are one of the most important infrastructures in any society as they serve as the lifeblood for most daily services and activities that even end-users and consumers rely on. It is therefore important that they are kept in proper operating conditions at all times to avoid disruption to services, loss of revenue, or lawsuits.

Thankfully, doing this is quite easy as there are pipeline intervention services available and rendered by businesses who are experienced in this field. They will bring their expertise and professionalism to bear in making sure your infrastructure is in good shape so you can enjoy fewer downtimes and maximum efficiency and revenue.

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