ENP Technologies

What is Pipeline Information Management System

Pipeline Route, Permits, Consents, Construction & Handover

The three major verticals of Oil & Gas industry operations are Upstream, Midstream & Downstream. Midstream mainly includes activities related to transportation ( by Pipeline, Rail, Oil Tankers, Truck, Barge), storing, processing and wholesale marketing of crude or refined hydrocarbon products.

On today’s ENP Technologies blog, we’ll touch on a few things you can do to make sure your Pipeline Project has a positive outcome.

Onshore Pipeline Route Selection –

Pipeline route selection is a critical milestone in a Midstream project to identify the preferred route. Before coming to the preferred route there are always some alternative routes that are assessed of the critical engineering and environmental issues, permitting requirements and risks associated with those routes.  Publicly available aerial and topographic information from (e.g., Google Earth)are utilized to identify the key areas.  

Proposed pipeline segments in the direction of flow along the line is identified and marked.  The data available from various geospatial and mapping applications are often inserted into such kmz file to be reviewed.

Figure A1.0 – Pipeline Route Mapping Segments

In many cases the Pipeline consists of two segments : Onshore & Offshore. Both pipeline segments must navigate through the areas of greenfield or brownfield. It can be areas of existing oil and gas infrastructure coming out of bay/ Gulf of Mexico. Often that territory / coastline is marsh land areas. The available trace amount of relatively dry land in those area is occupied by either a civil infrastructure (roads) or residential settlements with a multitude of the individual landowners. Such area is perceived to be environmentally sensitive, due to ongoing coastline dissolution and oyster industry.

Pipeline route selection will need to balance aspirations for the most direct path with the necessity to minimize environmental damage, consider interests of multiple landowners, and consider constructability matters including various crossings.

Such reviews facilitate the development of alternate routes and review process to generate review register with the potential questions on that route selection process.

Figure A1.1 – Pipeline Route Alternatives

Aerial Survey

Further to identify potential critical issues and risks. A detailed aerial survey through helicopter overflight is conducted to get clear understanding of the potential engineering and environmental constraints, topographical terrain difficulties, critical waterbody crossings, new construction along the route, access roadways, bridges, and staging areas.

Often the initial topographical data generated is in the form of maps and contours. But these videos of recorded flight route are in HD format and extremely bulky. Often converted into different formats. The pressing need is to be able to view them through different devices. The IM Resources generally convert and upload these files into SharePoint / shared drive to be accessed.

Figure A2.0 – Aerial View of Pipeline Route

Aerial Video Log
FilenameSizeDurationDescription / Transcript
Clip1B20.wmv1,181KB0:00:07In flight Camera Test
Clip1A21.wmv507,590KB0:50:07Aerial Survey –Location A to B1
Clip1A21.wmv152,550KB0:13:19Aerial Survey –Location B1 to B2

Figure A2.1 – Aerial View of Pipeline Route

The aerial video survey helps to evaluate potential construction methods in the project area with the expanded geography for access and staging. Additional review of critical areas on ground drive-by site assessment is conducted to compare between the original route and the alternatives proposed.

These different set of information gathered at every stage is consolidated and alignment determined between different disciplines in the project involved to reduce potential engineering, environmental and land use constraints.

Various applications are used to capture the engineering documents, drawings, and datasheets in the Document Management System. For Pipeline design PipeFlo program is often used to develop the  max flow, temperature elevation profile/ temperature sensitivity, hydraulic studies with mass flow.

Design includes – Inlet pressure, Inlet Temperature,  Outlet Pressure, Outlet Temperature, Pressure Loss, Temperature Increase, etc.

Figure A2.2 – Hydraulic Studies Summary Results

Engineering & Drafting Requirements

A detailed process of Operation drafting requirements is captured early in project to follow the guidelines for check-in & check-out of the existing drawings. That includes any new drawings numbers and types. The drawing naming convention and drawings sizes (8 ½” x 11”; 11” x 17”; 22” x 34”) are followed. It includes naming convention of files, metadata (Date, sample), version, Asset hierarchy to drawing relation. 

Capturing the drafting standards of Operations playa vital role to avoid any regrets or rework at later stage. Most common drafting standards are related to colors, layers, text property, symbols, Line Types, boundary lines, text sizes, model space and layout space. For bulk drawings or documents with child relationship those metadata get crucial to retain the relationship between them. Suppose if the main drawing has other documents accompanying then its necessary to create them as child documents.

Document Management System

DescriptionPipeline Business Area
Document Management SystemEngineering
Project and asset documents and drawings. Project Documentation – Engineering  measurement type Documentation
Engineering tool for projects run on pipeline. Project Planning tool for tracking the Pipeline deployment progress

Different Interfaces are documented with other entities including custody transfer.

Estimate Construction Costs

Initially based on rule of thumb overall cost is estimated. With all the changes including construction technique, alternative route proposed. The analysis is between areas of potential cost reduction or additional cost to be incurred due to changes. These changes always have cascading effect. Later identification of open trenches, or revised routing of lines directly impacts the construction costs. Indirectly it impacts the schedule, material cost, availability, engineering, permitting, field surveys, inspection, legal, PR, project management, etc.

These changes highlight the change in cost percentage. With the detailed scope of Work and Execution Plan in place, it sets up the benchmark with various risk register, change log, for further development.

Route Deviation Request (RDR)

The changes in pipeline route are captured as Route Deviation Request (RDR)with confirmation from Project Manager, Team Leads from Environmental, Right of Way, Engineering, Construction, Safety, etc. Various impacts are quantified that includes Cost Impact, environmental, schedule, Construction. The summary is maintained in RDR Cost Register, based on approval either the footage is added or reduced.

During the Project phase, the component (Methane, ethane, ethylene, propane) based various sets of information is generated, hydraulics study , flow assurance, temperature-elevation profile.

Figure A3.0 –  Pipeline Construction

Major Equipment Type associated with Pipelines are
Information Type that are mostly used with these pipeline equipment’s are –
Discipline DescriptionInformation TypeName/ Description
PipelinesAnalysis ReportStability, Upheaval Buckling
PipelinesCalculation GeneralWeight, Design & Other
PipelinesDatasheetEquipment Datasheet
PipelinesDiagram GeneralRouting Diagram
PipelinesGeneralTechnical Note
PipelinesInspection Report Inspection / Compliance Report, Coating Inspection report
PipelinesLayoutGeneral Arrangement, Layout Diagram, Plot Plan
PipelinesListBill of Material, Equipment Summary, Tie-In list
PipelinesMaterial ReportMaterial Selection Report
PipelinesPhilosophyDesign Philosophy
PipelinesPlanVerification Scheme
PipelinesProcedureOther Procedure
PipelinesRegisterEquipment Register
PipelinesReport GeneralRoute Selection Report
PipelinesRequestTechnical Deviation Request, Clarification Request
PipelinesSpecificationRequisition, Pressure Test Specification
PipelinesSpecificationTerms Of Reference, Other Functional Design Specification
PipelinesStrength CalculationStress calculation
PipelinesStudyThermal Expansion Study, Cleaning and intelligent (integrity test) pigging
PipelinesTest ReportPressure Test Procedure, Includes hydrostatic, pneumatic, and leak tests/examinations.
Construction & Fabrication-

Few of the important construction considerations are as follows –

Fabrication works off location reduces the risks, but it requires various interfaces between Project team and contractor to share the latest information in the desired formats. It also introduces the complexity to manage the changes and updating the As-Built drawings & documents.

Field construction – conventional trenching and pipe lay for most of the route.

Material Handling – transport of pipes from storage yards along ROW.

Soil Handling – Right of Way conditions determine the areas requiring topsoil removal and storage.

Major Crossings – ROW survey also determines if major road crossing would require boring or Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD).

Horizontal Directional drilling – convenient option for river, road/ rail crossings.

Testing – As weld tests for Nondestructive and Pipe Integrity established by hydrostatic testing conditions. Pipeline are provided for Cathodic Protection for corrosion protection as per design.

Commissioning and Integration – Facilities setup include the electrical, instrumentation  and SCADA. Often design include overhead power lines, solar panels for back-up power, telephone lines for telecom, satellite antennas and receivers’ data communication, etc. For Onshore the SCADA communication using existing commercial mobile towers is essentially possible.

Preparation for and handover to Operations

Adopting early alignment with Operations for various Information Handover is a key component to ensure compatible, focused, proactive, systematic approach towards smooth handover. Potential needs during Project and Operations phase requires to be identified to be compatible with local operating procedures. A plan in place is necessary to incorporate the project information flowing in and out of vendors, and engineering support organizations.  Contractor collaboration workspace play a vital role.

Project Close Out Checklist

Original Right of Way files are complete and properly filed.

Periodic Payments and renewals updated in rental database.

Notices, As-Built drawings to required agencies, landowners.

Send records to Account and Tax Teams.

Equipment’s and hierarchy updated in ERP & various other databases.

Operations Team

Pipeline Operations Team  monitoring and maintenance activities to be performed. There are various information sets that are required to be updated prior to handover and some of the process flow is listed below-

Functional DescriptionPipeline Business Area
Documenting fixed wing flight findings for Pipeline ROWOperations
Conduct electronic measurements to determine where Operations might need to perform maintenance on the pipe.
Identify right of ways, property owners, setup payments
Electronic Management of Change program
Scheduling helicopter rides to platforms
Pipeline Information Management System, manage and edit pipeline data
Tool to help determine if someone is going to dig near  pipelines. Internet web app that collects tickets based on Zip Codes sent to State where someone requests to dig
Lists API calculations and regulations
Make payments on a timed basis.  Used to ensure irregular payments such as every five or ten years is not missed.
Compiles interpretations and background information on regulations to comply with, and proactively receive alert notification on changes or new  regulations that are proposed

As the Project approaches completion, the Interest/ Support from Project reduces. Post startup and commissioning the influence of Operations increases and Project Influences decreases.

Functional DescriptionPipeline Business Area
Oil Distribution Services (ODS) internet website.Oil Movements
Daily scheduling & reporting tool
Used for Billing and Scheduling.  Track Oil movements to bill shippers.
External site for Shipper’s nomination of crude/product movements.
Tracks quality of crude going in and out of pipeline. Samples are pulled from start and end of movement.
Externally / extranet hosted site required for filing tariffshttps://ferconline.ferc.gov/FERCOnline.aspxTariffs
Extranet site update & displays tariff information
Pipe Utility Database, changes & displaysProcess Control
SCADA database changes, and all point-to-point efforts with visualization/ display of Pipes, Compressor stations.
Asset Hierarchy, Master Equipment Data. Maintenance Plans, etc.Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Work Orders and notifications.
Internet/ extranet site used to display Pipeline Information to 3rd parties.Business Development
Stores emergency response documentationHealth Safety Environment / HSSE
Government ReportingFinance

Commissioning, Operations Philosophy & Assurance –

Operations meetings, reviews and workshops are essential to ensure appropriate level of planning is included in the development and handover. Considering new and existing methods and practices to allow safe and effective operations.

Developing the Asset Hierarchy that facilitates development of Reliability and maintenance plans are updated in the Operations applications. Measurement and metering as per the Production Data management plan is configured. The asset transfer strategy with the overall Hydrocarbon Accounting system enables nomination, allocation, attribution of Hydrocarbon flow.

There are various moving parts and these applications require to be working seamlessly with proper integration and data mapping. 

Our Approach

As a managed Service Provider ENP Technologies provides various services, resources (Project Information Management Lead, Data Controller, Document Controller, CAD Operator/ Draftsman) and solutions.

ENP Technologies strongly believes that in capital projects completion & handover can be highly optimized.

With every previous project our experts have innovated options to reduce cost and improve quality.

Our team members were involved towards successful handover from Project to Operations for various Projects.

We have been developing different ways to improve best practices to channelize handover.

Understand Customer needs – To develop solution that meet the scope, has improved quality and reduce cost to project

Contact Us to discuss more about your requirements.