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May 31, 2018 / Fari Mahdavi
Category: Research Update 

Research Update May 2018

May has been a month full of exiting activities for the Energy Pipelines CRC. The steering committees of all four research programs met this month, as well as the the Energy Pipelines CRC offshore users group. In the meetings, researchers and industry advisors discussed the recent findings the 20+ active research projects and identified new research areas for future projects.

A number of new proposals are currently being developed and will be circulated to the APGA research and standard committee (RSC) next month for evaluation.

This month 11 new research reports were issued for industry review and approval. A number of which are now available on the Energy Pipelines CRC Members area of the website. 

In the combined steering committee meeting of research program 1 (materials and welding) and research program 3 (construction and design), Cornelis Van Niekerk, PhD student at UoW, provided an update on the progress of his research on weld metal hydrogen-assisted cold cracking (WMHACC). This project assists the pipeline industry by defining a window of safe working parameters for avoiding WMHACC during girth welding of X70 pipelines using cellulosic consumables. This work will be presented in upcoming Energy Pipelines CRC research seminar in Sydney on 27 June 2018.

Research program 1 also covers research into non-metallic pipe materials. Earlier this month the first milestone report of project ‘RP1-07: Cracking in polyethylene (PE) and other polymer pipelines’ was released by researchers of Deakin University. The research report covers the results on accelerated ageing trials of PE pipes and the link between degradation levels and resultant material properties of PE63 and PE100 grades.

Industry advisors and researchers visiting the drill impact test rig in the University of Wollongong Russell Vale facilities. From left to right: Phil Venton, Graeme Carter, Liz Brierley, Phil Colvin, Scott Mitchell, Klaas van Alphen, John Piper, Xiong Liu, Ajit Godbole, Chris Carter.The RP3 steering committee discussed a new industry guideline developed by the joint research and industry team of project ‘RP3-11B: Gas pipeline vent design and operation’. This guideline which is currently under development will provide engineering guidance for managing noise, gas dispersion and potential ignition hazards when venting natural gas transmission pipelines.

Following to the steering committee meeting, researchers and industry advisors visited the test rig that has been fabricated for project ‘RP6.3-07: Understanding pipeline damage caused by drilling equipment’ located at the UOW Russell Vale warehouse facilities. The work associated with this project will be presented by Ajit Godbole in the upcoming Energy Pipelines CRC / APGA RSC research dissemination seminar in June.

In research program 2 (coatings and corrosion) project ‘RP6.2-05: High voltage holiday testing of dual layer FBE’ was successfully completed this month. The outcomes of this research will benefit the Australian pipeline industry through improvement of the inspection procedure of high voltage holiday testing of fusion bonded epoxy coating. This comprehensive work will be presented at the Australian Corrosion Association (ACA) Corrosion Conference 2018 in November as well as in next month’s Energy Pipelines CRC / APGA RSC research dissemination seminar in Sydney. The final report for this project will be available on the members area of the website shortly.

Researchers from Deakin University and Atteris finalised the work on project ‘RP6.2-04: Shore crossing cathodic (CP) protection’ this month with the report available on the website soon. The outcomes of this project will be used to formulate engineering guidance for CP system design and operation for an onshore pipeline interacting with an offshore pipeline CP system. The recommendations based on this research will be incorporated into the existing Pipeline Shoreline and Waterway Crossing Engineering Guideline. Tom Seeber, the lead researcher of this work, will present the outcomes in APGA 2018 Annual Conference in Darwin in September.

In the RP4 Steering Committee held in Adelaide on 17 May, the committee reviewed the main outcomes of completed RP4 research projects and identified pathways to increase its industry impact. This included the recently completed research reports and projects focussed on pipeline regulation.

In May, the final report of project ’RP4-09: Increasing regulatory effectiveness’ was released. This report summarises research on technical regulatory effectiveness. The research considered where technical regulators obtain their knowledge about pipelines and pipeline safety and consequently any gaps that may exist. Project RP4-26:‘Economic and technical regulation’’ has also been finalised this month. This research investigated the impact of economic regulatory as well as the technical regulation schemes on the safety outcomes in the Australian gas pipeline sector. Both reports are now available in the Energy Pipelines CRC website members’ area.

An overview of all research projects of program 4 (public safety and security of supply) will be presented in upcoming Energy Pipelines CRC / APGA RSC research dissemination seminar in Sydney on 27 June 2018.

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