Pipes are an important part of the oil and gas, mining and water well industries.
In fact, they form the backbone of the industries by ferrying liquid elements from one place to another.
The oil and gas industry is probably the most affected by piping failures. The increased demand for oil and natural gas has contributed to the increased production and a continuously monitored piping system to ensure supply. A defect in the piping system can cripple the drilling company and affect the company drastically. To protect their infrastructure, most gas companies are now using innovative piping materials and coatings to ensure pipe protection and supply viability. The latest advances in gas and oil piping systems include the following:
1. Supply pipes are now coated with special anti-corrosion coatings along with optional extra coatings like concrete weight coatings, composite pipes with fusion bonded epoxy, single and double layer FBE, three year polyolefins, thermal insulation coats, etc. to ensure patency. Most pipes are now made from steel and protected with an electrical shield called Cathodic Shielding to prevent corrosion.
2. Advanced planning like computational modeling is carried out to understand the topography. Based on the computations, companies can reduce cracks propagation on pipes by designing and covering pipes in different areas with different coatings. Remote monitoring is also possible with aerial, land or underwater vehicles.
As the gas and oil industry continues to expand, it will require better and newer piping systems and pipe protection materials to ensure a viable piping system. At present, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) is a consortium of companies that run natural gas pipelines in the US and the INGAA members operate and maintain more than 202,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in the US alone.