The previous post commented on the scale of the International Pipeline Conference in Calgary. It’s actually all a bit overwhelming. The papers cover every imaginable topic related directly or indirectly to pipeline engineering, although some themes attract a lot more papers than others. Fourteen parallel tracks:
- Production pipelines
- Project management
- Design and construction
- GIS/Database management
- Facilities integrity management
- Pipeline integrity management (a very big track)
- Materials and joining (another very big track)
- Operations and maintenance
- Pipeline automation and measurement
- Pipelining in northern and offshore environments
- Strain-based design
- Risk and reliability
- Standards and regulations
My main interests are risk and safety related topics, which don’t all fit neatly under the “Risk & reliability” track so I sample quite a few of the tracks.
It’s quite an exercise each night planning an itinerary for the next day that includes as much as possible of what I want to hear, and there are always clashes and compromises. Unfortunately there are always a few speakers who fail to show up despite the best efforts of the organisers – today I was particularly unlucky and missed three presentations because of no-shows or rescheduling.
Despite the odd mishap it’s all immensely stimulating, and eye-opening.
There are very few Australians here, which is a pity. The Australian industry would benefit from broader participation and the growth in knowledge that would bring. I’m thinking for example of the 102 (!) papers on integrity management (ILI, defect assessment, repair, etc) that would be of interest to any pipeline operator.