July 2016, Vol. 243, No. 7


A Chance to Network and See Solutions to Pipeline Integrity Issues

Special to Pipeline & Gas Journal

Is my pipeline piggable? How clean is clean? What’s the safest way to do a hot tap? Is there a better way to find more defects the first time? Those were some of the questions asked by over 200 pipeline professionals who gathered to learn more about ensuring pipeline integrity at T.D. Williamson (TDW) Technology Day, May 12, at the Marriott Westchase in Houston.

The answers came in the form of equipment demonstrations, break-out technical presentations, and plenty of individual and group discussions. At Technology Day, participants can see, touch, and gain a better understanding of products and processes that improve integrity. As one pipeline engineer explained, it was the first time he’d had a chance to observe the products that he orders on a daily basis.

Technology Day also includes a traditional crawfish boil that helps create a relaxed and congenial atmosphere. Participants freely exchange information and ideas with one another, and TDW can find out what’s on the minds of pipeline operators.

A chief issue was keeping integrity high while commodity prices are low. Said one pipeline integrity engineer at a company that operates pipelines, terminals, and storage facilities, in a down economy companies may have to cut back on capital spending, but integrity management remains steady.

“Everyone is working to be as prudent as possible,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to understand our pipe, including inline inspection (ILI), corrosion control, and damage identification.”

He said that Technology Day enabled him to gain a more thorough understanding of how various components work together to better integrate data, improve inline assessments, and provide a clearer picture of what needs to be done in terms of maintenance and repair.

Consultant Brent Phelps, P.E., said that although prices are down and new construction has slowed, problems like corrosion don’t take a holiday. Maintenance goes on, he said, and regulations don’t change with oil price. As a result, knowing what’s in the market to aid maintenance and integrity is as important as ever, and seeing it in person is better than just reading or hearing about it.

For Brent Solomon, TDW pipeline integrity sales manager, Technology Day is an opportunity to listen to operators without distractions. “The value is in the conversation,” he said. “I’m learning as much from the operator as he is from me – probably even more.”

Technology Day began as an open house held in conjunction with the launch of the TDW sales and service center in Pasadena, TX in 2007. Since then, the event has become an annual tradition that attracts hundreds of attendees from the Gulf Coast area.


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