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 interference (so perhaps corrosion, or maybe even frost heave – this is winter in Canada).  No-one was injured and supply was more-or-less maintained through other pipelines.  “TransCanada remotely closed the valves from its Calgary gas control centre a few minutes later, cutting off the gas supply”  (although it still took several hours for the linepack to be fully vented).  Calgary is about 2000 km away.

If you’re going to have a major pipeline failure than something like this is what you’d prefer.  Of course luck or lack of it may dominate exactly where, when and how a failure will occur and what the consequences are, but good design and management (such as effective SCADA and remote controlled valves) can help minimise the consequences.

(As an aside, the news article is also interesting because of insights into access problems in the Canadian winter that are completely foreign to Australian pipeliners, apart from one or two I can think of who came here perhaps to escape such conditions!)

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One Response to A “good” failure

  1. Kristy says:

    Does anyone know how much particular coating types increase the SMYS? And the physics behind it?

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