Outdated Pipeline Welding Techniques are the Major Cause of Failures in the Oil and Gas Industry!

Outdated Pipeline Welding Techniques are the Major Cause of Failures in the Oil and Gas Industry!
May 10, 2018 Prime Engineering

From 2010 to 2016, almost nine million gallons of crude oil has been spilt from pipelines in the US. There are several causes for these spills, but one outstanding trend appears to be outdated and poor pipeline welding.

Still the safer transportation solution

It is clear that the transportation of oil and gas across the US is still safer by pipeline than by train or truck. There is less allowance for human error or third-party interference. But the spike in pipeline spills and ruptures over the last several years is a cause for concern. Increased quality control in pipeline manufacturing is absolutely essential.

Outdated welding techniques

Unfortunately, outdated welding techniques are still a major cause for seam ruptures in pipelines. Prevalent in the 1970s, low-frequency, electric-resistance welding was frequently used during pipeline manufacturing. This method of welding is now obsolete, but can still be found in an astounding amount of pipeline infrastructure in operation across the World today.

Rigorous inspections

Frequent and detailed inspections of pipeline infrastructure are not only compulsory on a federal and state level, but are also the responsibility of pipeline companies. With the risk that spills and ruptures can pose to the general public and the environment, it can be argued that regular inspections are a company’s moral duty. As the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration states:

“While PHMSA serves as the federal pipeline safety regulator, pipeline operators must know, understand, and manage the risks associated with their own pipeline facilities.”

A study commenced in 2011 unearthed 280 cases of electric-resistance welded pipe failures between 1950 and 2005 alone. Even though the costs are high, most pipeline company’s shut down lines for long enough to carry out inspections.

Servicing old pipeline infrastructure

If a company’s pipeline is found to be at risk of leakage or rupture during inspection, repairs to the line becomes a top priority. Experienced welding crews are hired, using the most modern welding equipment that run on welding bands to carry out the repair. Prime Engineering is able to supply standard welding bands as well as custom-made welding bands to suit any size of pipe.

Contact Prime Engineering today to enquire into how our precision welding techniques can benefit from quality welding bands.