Structural Integrity Associates | News and Views, Volume 51 | Selective Seam Weld Corrosion Engineering Critical Assessment

News & Views, Volume 51 | Selective Seam Weld Corrosion

ENGINEERING CRITICAL ASSESSMENT

By:  Pete Riccardella, Scott Riccardella and Chris TippleStructural Integrity Associates | News and Views, Volume 51 | Selective Seam Weld Corrosion Engineering Critical Assessment

The Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. Oil and Gas Pipeline group recently supported an Engineering Critical Assessment to assist a pipeline operator manage the Selective Seam Weld Corrosion (SSWC) threat to an operating pipeline.  SSWC occurs when the fusion zone of a certain type of seam weld used in vintage (pre-1970) transmission pipelines experiences accelerated galvanic corrosion relative to the pipe body material.  It has led to numerous pipeline failures because the weld fusion zone often exhibits low fracture toughness.  The ECA included several technical advancements in applying fracture mechanics to this threat.

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SI Presents at PRCI AGA & ASME

Pipeline Integrity Activity and Plans for 2022

Authors: Scott Riccardella and Andy Jensen

2021 marked another successful year for the Structural Integrity (SI) Oil & Gas team with several exciting pipeline integrity projects, industry presentations, training events and research programs.  Some of the key highlights include:

  • Continued regulatory consulting support of new pipeline safety regulation (known as Mega-Rule 1 or RIN 1) for nearly all our gas transmission pipeline clients.
  • Commencement of a systemwide pipeline integrity project to evaluate the impact to pipeline safety and reliability from blending hydrogen with natural gas (at various blend levels) for one of the largest U.S. gas pipeline companies.
  • Several industry presentations and training seminars on fracture mechanics evaluation of crack and crack-like defects in support of Predicted Failure Pressure (PFP) Analysis and Engineering Critical Assessments (ECA).
  • Completion of a PRCI study on state-of-the-art technology and a technology benchmark evaluation of X-Ray Computed Tomography to characterize Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) on full circumferential samples.
  • Development of a Neural Network algorithm and application of Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics to provide insight on the risk of SCC for a large interstate natural gas pipeline operator.
  • Development of an alternative sampling program for Material Verification when using In-Line Inspection tools including development of regulatory submittals.

2022 is also shaping up to be a similarly busy and exciting year.  Below are some of the events, conferences and presentations SI has currently planned (most of which represent ongoing or recently completed projects):

  • At the PRCI Research Exchange on March 8th in Orlando, FL, SI is presenting on two recent projects:

Insights in the Evaluation of Selective Seam Weld Corrosion

This paper will review a statistical analysis of ERW Fracture Toughness and specific challenges in evaluating Selective Seam Weld Corrosion (SSWC).  It also reviews the results of an engineering critical assessment performed on a pipeline system in which several SSWC defects were identified. Fracture Toughness Testing and Finite Element Modeling were performed to develop insights that were used to support Predicted Failure Pressure analysis and subsequent prioritization and remediation activities.

Title: Evaluation of X-Ray Computed Tomography (XRCT) for Pipeline Reference Sample Characterization

This presentation will review the feasibility of utilizing XRCT for nondestructively characterizing full-circumference pipeline reference samples for subsequent qualification and performance improvement of inline inspection and in-the-ditch nondestructive evaluation technologies, procedures, and personnel. This presentation will cover the state-of-the-art in XRCT, reviewing theoretical and practical concepts, as well as empirical performance data, that were evaluated and analyzed to determine the feasibility of using XRCT for this application.

  • SI has two papers that will be presented at the American Gas Association – Operations Conference the week of May 2nd in New Orleans, LA:

Alternative MV Sampling Program

SI will present technical justification in support of PHMSA notification with regards to the following:

  • Alternative sampling for Material Verification Program (per §192.607).
  • Expanded MV Sampling Program that will achieve a minimum 95% confidence level when material inconsistencies are identified.

A Framework for Evaluating Hydrogen Blending in Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines

Operators are establishing programs to blend hydrogen with natural gas.  Structural Integrity (SI) is supporting a local distribution company to ensure safe and reliable blending and transportation in existing pipeline infrastructure.  SI will present a reliability framework to identify pipelines that are best suited at different H2 blend levels.

  • SI will present at the 2022 ASME – International Pipeline Conference on the following topic:

Probabilistic Analysis Applied to the Risk of SCC Failure

This paper will discuss a model developed and applied to evaluate the probability of Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) failure in a large gas pipeline system spanning approximately 5,600 miles.  A machine learning algorithm (neural network) was applied to the system, which has experienced over 500 prior instances of SCC.  Subject matter experts were interviewed to help identify key system factors that contributed to the prevalence of SCC and these factors were incorporated in the neural network algorithm. Key factors such as coating type, vintage, operating stress as a percentage of SMYS, distance to compressor station, and seam type were evaluated in the model for correlation with SCC occurrence.  A Bayesian analysis was applied to ensure the model aligned with the prevalence of SCC.  A Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics (PFM) model was then applied to relate the probability of SCC existing to the probability of rupture.

Material Verification for Oil and Gas Clients Pipeline Integrity Solutions

News & Views, Volume 50 | Material Verification for Oil and Gas Clients

PIPELINE INTEGRITY SOLUTIONS

By:  Scott Riccardella and Roger Royer

Material Verification for Oil and Gas Clients Pipeline Integrity SolutionsOn October 1, 2019, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published amendments to 49 CFR Parts 191 and 192 in the Federal Register, issuing Part 1 of the Gas Transmission Mega-Rule or “Mega-Rule 1”.  In advance of Mega-Rule 1, SI developed field protocol and supported leading industry research institutes in validating in-situ Material Verification (MV) methodologies.  SI has continued to provide MV consulting support to our clients in response to Mega-Rule 1, ranging from program development and implementation to in-situ field data collection and analysis. 

Various sections of Mega-Rule 1 require operators of natural gas transmission pipelines to ensure adequate Traceable, Verifiable, and Complete (TV&C) material records or implement a MV Program to confirm specific pipeline attributes including diameter, wall thickness, seam type, and grade. Operators are now required to define sampling programs and perform destructive (laboratory) or non-destructive testing to capture this information and take additional actions when inconsistent results are identified until a confidence level of 95% is achieved. Opportunistic sampling per population is required until completion of testing of one excavation per mile (rounded up to the nearest whole number). 

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News & Views, Volume 49 | Mission Critica-nApplications to Support the Mega-Rule

News & Views, Volume 49 | Mission Critical Applications to Support the Mega-Rule

News & Views, Volume 49 | Mission Critica-nApplications to Support the Mega-RuleBy:  Scott Riccardella, Bruce Paskett, and Steven Biles

On October 1, 2019, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published amendments to 49 CFR Parts 191 and 192 in the Federal Register, issuing Part 1 of the Gas Transmission Mega-Rule.  This new regulation is commonly referred to as the Mega-Rule since it represents the most significant regulatory impact on gas transmission pipelines since the original Gas Transmission Integrity Management Program (TIMP) Regulation was issued in 2003

The original Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued in April, 2016 was split into 3 Parts, with the first Part (Mega-Rule 1) including specific requirements to address congressional mandates in the 2012 Pipeline Safety Reauthorization, and other pipeline safety improvements, including:

  • Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP) Reconfirmation (§192.624),
  • Material Verification (MV) (§192.607),
  • Engineering Critical Assessments for MAOP Reconfirmation (§192.632),
  • Analysis of Predicted Failure Pressure (§192.712),
  • Assessments Outside of High Consequence Areas (HCAs) (§192.710),
  • Additional Requirements to Evaluate Cyclic Fatigue (§192.917(e)(2)), and
  • Additional Analysis of Electric Resistance Welded (ERW) Seam Welds (§192.917(e)(4))

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News & Views, Volume 49 | Digital Elevation Modeling Support Pressure Tests Records and Reduce MAOP Reconfirmation Costs

News & Views, Volume 49 | Digital Elevation Modeling: Support Pressure Tests Records and Reduce MAOP Reconfirmation Costs

By:  Scott Riccardella, Bruce Paskett, and Eric Elder

§ 192.624(a)(1) of the Mega-Rule 1 requires MAOP Reconfirmation for steel transmission pipe segments if records necessary to establish the MAOP in accordance with § 192.619(a)(2) (e.g. pressure test), including records required by § 192.517(a), are not traceable, verifiable, and complete and the pipeline is located in a high consequence area (HCA) or a Class 3 or Class 4 location.

Part 192, Section 192.517(a) requires that natural gas pipeline operators shall make and retain, for the useful life of the pipeline, a record of the following information for any Subpart J Pressure Test (PT):

  1. The operator’s name, the name of the operator’s employee responsible for making the test, and the name of any test company used,
  2. Test medium used,
  3. Test pressur,
  4. Test duration,Pressure recording charts, or other record of pressure readings.
  5. Elevation variations, whenever significant for the particular test, and
  6. Leaks and failures noted and their disposition.

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News & View, Volume 48 | Implementation of Material Verification In Support of Mega-Rule Part 1 Requirements

News & Views, Volume 48 | Implementation of Material Verification – In Support of Mega-Rule Part 1 Requirements

By:  Roger Royer, Scott Riccardella, and David BabbittNews & View, Volume 48 | Implementation of Material Verification In Support of Mega-Rule Part 1 Requirements

Operators are now required to define sampling programs and perform destructive (laboratory) or non-destructive testing to capture this information and take additional actions when inconsistent results are identified until a confidence level of 95% is achieved.

Various sections of Mega-Rule 1 require operators of natural gas transmission pipelines to ensure adequate Traceable, Verifiable, and Complete (TV&C) material records or implement a Material Verification (MV) Program to confirm specific pipeline attributes including diameter, wall thickness, seam type, and grade. Operators are now required to define sampling programs and perform destructive (laboratory) or non-destructive testing to capture this information and take additional actions when inconsistent results are identified until a confidence level of 95% is achieved.  Opportunistic sampling per population is required until completion of testing of one excavation per mile (rounded up to the nearest whole number) up to 150 excavations (if the population exceeds 150 miles).  Regulators have communicated an expectation that sampling locations or test sites are to be equally spaced throughout the population mileage.

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News & View, Volume 48 | Strategic Evaluation of MAOP Reconfirmation Plans and Options

News & Views, Volume 48 | Strategic Evaluation of MAOP – Reconfirmation Plans and Options

By:  Scott Riccardella and Bruce PaskettNews & View, Volume 48 | Strategic Evaluation of MAOP Reconfirmation Plans and Options

On October 1, 2019, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published amendments to 49 CFR Parts 191 and 192 in the Federal Register issuing the Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines:  MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessment Requirements, and Other Related Amendments Final Rule  (Final Rule). 

The Final Rule requires that for on-shore steel transmission pipelines in an High Consequence Area (HCA), Class 3 or 4 location without  Traceable, Verifiable and Complete (TV&C) records for §192.619(a)(2) (pressure testing, including records required by §192.517(a)) ; or where the Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP) was established based on the Grandfather Clause and the MAOP creates a stress ≥ 30% of the Specified Minimum Yield Strength (SMYS), an operator will need to reconfirm the MAOP in accordance with the provisions of §192.624. 

News & View, Volume 47 | Material Verification Intelligence

News & View, Volume 47 | Material Verification Intelligence

By:  StevenBiles and Scott Riccardella

A new program to help pipeline operators implement the Material Verification requirements in recently released pipeline regulation (Mega Rule)

On October 1, 2019, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the long-awaited Mega-Rule  (Part 1).  One of the major new requirements identified in these amendments is when missing traceable, verifiable, and complete records, operators must implement a Material Verification (MV) (§192.607) program.  MV requires operators of natural gas transmission pipelines, to develop and implement procedures to verify the material properties and attributes of their pipeline system.  Included in the new regulation for MV are:

  • News & View, Volume 47 | Material Verification IntelligenceDevelop procedures for conducting destructive and non-destructive testing
  • Define population groupings and implement sampling programs
  • Implement and document laboratory testing
  • Complete in situ and non-destructive evaluations (NDE)
  • Expand sampling if inconsistent results based on NDE and laboratory testing
  • Document program results and preserve for the life of the pipeline asset

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News & View, Volume 47 | Release of the First Safety of Gas Transmission Pipeline Regulation Mega-Rule

News & Views, Volume 47 | Release of the First Safety of Gas Transmission Pipeline Regulation Mega-Rule

By:  Scott Riccardella, Bruce Paskett, and Andy Jensen

News & View, Volume 47 | Release of the First Safety of Gas Transmission Pipeline Regulation Mega-RuleOn October 1, 2019 the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published amendments to 49 CFR Parts 191 and 192 in the Federal Register issuing Part 1 of the Gas Transmission Mega-Rule1.  This new regulation is commonly referred to as the Mega-Rule, as it represents the most significant regulatory impact on gas transmission pipelines since the original Gas Transmission Integrity Management Program (TIMP) Regulation was issued in 2003.

General Overview
As a result of numerous transmission pipeline accidents in the late 1990’s, the congressional Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 required operators of natural gas transmission lines to create TIMP Plans to identify transmission lines in High Consequence Areas (HCAs), conduct risk assessments and manage the integrity of covered segments in HCAs  by conducting periodic integrity assessments. In 2010 through 2012, multiple incidents (Deep Water Horizon, San Bruno, California, Marshall, Michigan, Sissonville, WV) created a renewed focus on pipeline safety in Congress.

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News & View, Volume 46 | Strategies, Projects and Technologies to Help Improve NDE Reliability in the Pipeline Industry

News & Views, Volume 46 | Strategies, Projects and Technologies to Help Improve NDE Reliability in the Pipeline Industry

By: Scott Riccardella, Jason Van Velsor, and Roger Royer

News & View, Volume 46 | Strategies, Projects and Technologies to Help Improve NDE Reliability in the Pipeline Industry

Pipeline operators face a multitude of threats, including service, environmental, or operational induced degradation to pipelines and related facilities. Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) is often used to characterize the nature and extent of this degradation. Thus, there is a critical need for reliable NDE as pipeline operators rely extensively on NDE as the basis for validating In-Line Inspection (ILI) results, determining fitness for service, and making repair and other operational decisions. Erroneous or inaccurate characterization of these defects can lead to unexpected leaks or failures, unnecessary and costly repairs, the establishment of an incorrect remaining life or re-assessment interval, and inaccurate (in)validation of ILI results.

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