Why is third-party intervention a big issue for owners and operators of pipelines? Interference by a third party operating a backhoe or digging equipment can cause damage to nearby pipelines. This is a major risk, particularly when this damage occurs in a populated area where a gas leak can be very dangerous if there is a risk of explosion. In addition to human risk, there is also potential economic risk to the operators’ key asset – the pipeline. The commercial loss caused by the shutdown of damaged pipelines is not good news for the operator’s shareholders.
What kinds of innovations have we seen in detector technology over time? And how do these technologies work with Boddingtons’ products? There are a number of different detection devices on the market. The features and benefits are varied depending on the model that is purchased. In recent years the manufacturers of these detection devices have produced equipment that provides exact depth measurements of buried pipeline detection tape or mesh. In addition, through radio frequency transmission, locators are able to detect the exact location and type of different cable or pipeline services that bare buried together.
How can operators use Boddingtons’ products for best results, or to minimise third-party intervention? We recommend that WAVELAY® and DETECTAMESH® are used for all underground pipeline and cable services for peace of mind. The cost per metre is minimal compared to the risk to the pipeline owner or operator if a third party damages their pipeline. Used in conjunction with above-ground marker posts, they provide the maximum warning to a third party who is digging near the pipeline.
In addition to these products, Boddingtons has a range of heavy-duty extruded mesh products for additional protection of underground pipelines.Article continues below…
PROTECTAMESHTM is a lighter and cheaper alternative to the traditional concrete or heavy plastic covers laid over underground pipelines. The product has excellent impact-resistant properties and because it is light, is easy to transport and install at site.
ROCKSHIELDTM is used for wrapping around coated steel pipelines to protect the coating systems and field joints.
The ROCKSHIELD® product provides added protection to the coated surface of the pipe, particularly where the pipe is being buried in rocky soils where scratches to the surface could lead to corrosion to the steel surface.
What specific features of WAVELAY® and DETECTAMESH® help to decrease the risk of third-party intervention? The gas industry has traditionally used a plastic underground marker tape or mesh laid in the trench above the pipeline with a thin copper wire buried beside it. The copper wire is then subject to corrosion, particularly where the soil has acidic characteristics.
The WAVELAY® and DETECTAMESH® products from Boddingtons are manufactured from a virgin ‘non-rotable’ polyethylene with a stainless steel Grade 316 tracer wire embedded within the product. Our products are an all-in-one solution, which saves time in terms of installation, and provides peace of mind that the plastic – and more particularly the tracer wire – will last for a long time.
In addition, WAVELAY® and DETECTAMESH® can both be found quickly and easily using a handheld electronic location or detection device. The products also act as a warning to a third party who is digging near the underground gas pipeline. As WAVELAY® and DETECTAMESH® are laid approximately 300 mm above the actual pipeline, the person digging will strike or hook into the product before they hit the pipeline. The product is brightly coloured and has a specific warning message printed on it.
Using WAVELAY® or DETECTAMESH® provides the pipeline operator or owner with an all-in-one product that acts as a warning in the case of third-party intervention, as well as enabling easy location with a simple above-ground detection device.