Monthly Archives: February 2011

Yield strength, ageing and coating

Received a good question today: Does anyone know how much particular coating types increase the yield strength? And the physics behind it? There was extensive work in this area sponsored by the APIA Research and Standards Committee.  Members of the … Continue reading

Posted in Pipeline design | 4 Comments

A “good” failure

Of course no pipeline failure is good, but some are less bad than others.  TransCanada have apparently had a major failure in northern Ontario on a pipeline that supplies the northeast USA.  Cause is unknown but it evidently wasn’t external … Continue reading

Posted in Incidents | 1 Comment


I continue to be surprised at some of the pipeline incidents reported in the US.  This recent article talks about two occasions on which pipelines were over-pressured to nearly 160% and nearly 190% of MAOP.  Fortunately there were no further … Continue reading

Posted in Incidents, Risk assessment | 10 Comments

Records and common sense

From the Monterey Herald as part of ongoing coverage of the San Bruno incident: Under federal and state law, PG&E is obligated to have accurate records of its pipelines — on paper, if necessary. The company’s misconception that the San Bruno … Continue reading

Posted in Incidents | 1 Comment

Pipeline isolation

Last week there was an interesting article in the US press which among other things focused on the provision (or otherwise) of remotely operated valves as a measure that can reduce the impact of pipeline failures.  It was written in … Continue reading

Posted in External interference, Standards | 4 Comments

Wisdom and professionalism

Today’s Sydney Morning Herald has an interesting opinion piece by Steven Schwarz, vice-chancellor of Macquarie University.  His topic is wisdom, and his arguments resonate with me because they align with thoughts I expressed earlier in this blog. Schwartz gives a few … Continue reading

Posted in Eng'g philosophy, Standards | 11 Comments

Operator responsibility

8 June 2010 was the official opening of the Energy Pipelines CRC.  It was also the day we received news of a serious pipeline incident in Texas in which one man died and eight were injured.  On 31 August 2010 … Continue reading

Posted in External interference, Incidents, Risk assessment | Leave a comment