February 2022, Vol. 249, No. 2


North Dakota System Wins PPI Project of the Year Honors

Special to P&GJ  

To process the extremely hot and corrosive saltwater from oil and gas drilling operations, the Gondor Saltwater Disposal (SWD) facility, in McKenzie County, North Dakota, used a network of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe that required almost 700 Victaulic, couplings even though the system had fewer than 1,800 feet (550 meters) of pipe.   

High-density polyethylene pipe was essential to at the Gondor facility in McKenzie County, North Dakota. (Photos: Crestwood Midstream Partners)
High-density polyethylene pipe was essential to at the Gondor facility in McKenzie County, North Dakota. (Photos: Crestwood Midstream Partners)

In May 2021, the application and complexity of the piping system was named Project of the Year by the Energy Piping System Division of the Plastics Pipe Institute Inc. (PPI). The association’s annual awards program recognizes projects and members for exceptional contributions to the industry.   

Submissions in the association’s divisions are reviewed, evaluated, and voted upon by the PPI members. PPI is the major North American trade association representing the plastic pipe industry.  

Permitted to accept up to 50,000 bpd of produced water, the Crestwood Midstream Partners LP facility in Houston has two wells, two separators, two oil storage tanks, and 10 produced water storage tanks across nearly 3 acres in western North Dakota.   

The project, which was constructed using both on-site installation and in-shop fabrication, consisted of nearly a third of a mile of 2- to 12-inch (50.8 to 304.8 mm), DR 9 HDPE pipe and hundreds of transition couplings.   

Water temperature is typically 120°F (49°C). The facility processes the liquid and separates the oil and water. The water then can be injected back into the ground, and the oil sold to the market.  

“This is one of the most intensive valve and fitting installations that we have ever seen,” stated David M. Fink, president of PPI upon presenting the award to Victaulic, a PPI member company. “Plus, all the pipe was installed above ground in vertical and overhead runs in just three days. The nature of the Gondor facility and the success of the Victaulic couplings in this highly specialized pipe system combined to make this the Project of the Year.”  

Crestwood chose to use HDPE pipe due to its cost certainty, constructability and system longevity. As the team began planning for construction, Crestwood’s producing partners continued to forecast an increase in produced saltwater volume, making it imperative for them to identify an efficient option to keep the project under budget and manage the tight construction timeline demands.   

Crestwood knew they would need to deliver productivity gains and labor efficiencies to meet their requirements and turned to Victaulic for help.   

“HDPE was the best choice from a cost, constructability and longevity perspective,” said Mark Donnelly, a senior project manager at Crestwood. “Gondor is compatible with HDPE because of the way our system is laid out. There is a continuous inlet flow through the pipes that helps keep them warm, so even when we get those really cold North Dakota days, the cold won’t settle into the pipes.”  

Victaulic assisted with the design and fabrication of the Gondor project, cutting weeks off of the original construction estimate. The HDPE couplings were installed with minimal effort, and the on-site assembly required only simple hand tools, without the risk of weather delays.  

The use of Victaulic couplings eliminated challenging fitting-to-fitting connections, and vertical and overhead installation was quickly and easily accomplished. Victaulic mechanical joining solutions also enabled simple field corrections of alignment errors, mitigating on-site delays and schedule interruptions. The Victaulic Style 907 Transition Coupling facilitated the installation of the valves within the system, eliminating  



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