You might have noticed some large earth-moving equipment in the field and trucks on our Aragon Road, just east off Battersea Road.
The crews were digging-up the ten-inch diameter pipeline that runs from Toronto to Montreal and locally follows the Aragon Road, behind and in front of houses, and through the fields and woods. It crosses the road near the Keirstead farm then across the canal between the River Styx and Colonel By Lake. The pipeline is owned by Trans- Northern Pipelines Inc and dates from the mid 1950-s. It transports refined petroleum products, mostly gasoline. The digging was necessary to repair a weakened section of the pipe.
The trench and the pipe repaired by installing a sleeve, it looks like an fibre reinforced epoxy outer layer over a welded steel sleeve, see below. An email request was sent for more precise information.
Subject: RE: pipeline repair Aragon Road.
Thank you for your inquiry about repair project near Aragon Road. We wanted to provide you with an update on the project.
As you know and describe in your post, we conduct regular inspections of the pipeline as part of our responsibility to ensure we protect the public, the environment and the pipeline. In this case, we identified a feature or anomaly in the pipe that came from the original manufacturing process. The feature was detected by ultrasonic inspection which can detect features through the pipe wall as well as through the steel compression sleeves. As you witnessed, steel compression sleeves were welded over the pipeline to address the situation. There is no welding directly to the pipe, only on the compression sleeves. In addition, between the pipeline and the sleeve there is an epoxy to ensure there is no gap between the sleeve and the pipe. To ensure the integrity of the work, we conduct additional inspections and tests after the weld is complete to ensure a high quality As you may have noticed, the work is now complete.
We noted in your story that you also referenced the Amending Safety Order issued to TNPI by the National Energy Board (NEB) in October 2016. We want to assure you that the work near Aragon Road is not related to the Order. We continue to work with the NEB to meet the conditions outlined in the Order and to be vigilant about monitoring and maintenance activities, including operating below approved pressure ranges until we are confident the pipeline can return to full capacity.
Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc.
How does the company know when and where to repair? The preventative maintenance inspection of the pipe is done regularly by sending a “pig” through the pipe. A “pig” is a cylindrical body loaded with sensors that pickup small cracks, diminished wall thickness as a result more general corrosion and erosion of the 3/8 inch steel wall of the pipe. When the interpretation of the inspection results indicates the need for repair, crews go out and fix it before leakage occurs.
The “pig” is guide by the wheels radially positioned with the magnetic flux coils and the flux pickup sensors located in the middle. The inspection tool is inserted into the pipe at one of the access points at either end and it travels as a discreet package with the liquid in the pipe at high speed from one end to the other of the 500 km plus length of the pipe. All the while picking up data on irregularities in the wall of the pipe.
A so-called “Sleeve B” repair. A steel sleeve of the same thickness, and the same chemical and crystalline structure as the pipe-steel is clamped around the pipe and welded longitudinally, there is no welding onto the pipe itself. Space between the sleeve and the pipe is filled with epoxy. Then the outside of the exposed pipe and the sleeve are covered with corrosion protective layers. Pipeline Repair Manual; for details click HERE.
The nearest site that also requires a repair is near the Sydenham Road about six km west from the Aragon Road.
Of interest to our rural community and Council might be the following quotation, especially where it addresses the water crossing management program. Note that this 2016 Amending Safety Order is referring to previous orders dating 2009, 2010. Does this mean that the Trans-Northern pipeline, that runs along our road, operated with lower pressure for the last seven years? Repair seems a bit late? And more action appears to be required? Questions that might be considered by our elected representatives.
September 27, 2016 – Calgary, Alberta – National Energy Board
“The National Energy Board (NEB) has issued an Amending Safety Order to Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc. (TNPI) that consolidates three previous Safety Orders issued by the NEB to the company between 2009 and 2010. The Amending Safety Order also includes additional requirements to protect the pipeline system while TNPI develops and implements a longer term solution. The company is directed to:
- Implement a 10 per cent further pressure restriction on its pipeline system;
- File annual fitness for service assessments for its pipeline system;
- Conduct and validate a hydraulic analysis, and develop and implement corrective and preventive measures;
- Assess and optimize its over-pressure protection system;
- Reassess its over-pressure incidents;
- Conduct engineering assessments in accordance with the requirements of Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z662-15 Clause 10.1;
- Implement a facility and pipeline integrity management program on its pipeline system compliant with sections 6.1 to 6.5 and section 40 of the Onshore Pipeline Regulations; and
- Develop and implement a water-crossing management program.
“The National Energy Board (NEB) had previously issued three Safety Orders on sections of piping in response to incidents that occurred in 2009 and 2010. The order directed TNPI to restrict the operating pressure but the NEB says TNPI has yet to satisfy all conditions spelled out in the original Safety Orders. As a result, the company is being asked to reduce pressure by another 10% and undertake a number of corrective measures related to the system’s hydraulics and over-pressure protection.”
The repair started on about the 14th of March and is ongoing as of April 6th. The cost of each local repair, is around $100,000. The company that was contracted for this work is
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