Construction of the largest-diameter, long-distance pipeline in Australia is ramping up following heavy rain in the gas fields of western Queensland.
The 42-inch (about one metre) diameter steel pipeline, which will be buried for more than 540km, will take gas from fields around Chinchilla to Gladstone as part of QGC’s US$15 billion Queensland Curtis LNG Project.
Some work on the pipeline was temporarily suspended by QGC’s pipeline contractor in January due to the wet conditions.
The QCLNG Project’s Senior Vice President, Alexander (Sandy) Nairn, said all 46,200, 12-metre lengths of pipe had been delivered to sites along the pipeline route in preparation for welding and burial.
“More than 1300 people are involved in preparing the pipeline easement, digging the trench, welding and testing the welds before eventually burying the pipeline,” Mr Nairn said.
“Each of the 46,200 welds on the pipeline is subject to 100% automatic ultrasonic testing to ensure it meets Australian and international standards and that we can be totally confident in the pipeline’s integrity.”
“If any welds fail to meet standards, they are repaired and re-scanned before being accepted.”
The ultrasonic testing is being done by Applus RTD, one of the world’s most experienced and respected international providers of non-destructive weld examination.
Mr Nairn said the pipeline had been designed and was being constructed to Australian Standard AS 2885 which covered safety and engineering specifications for large, high-pressure gas pipelines.
“We rigorously test and inspect work as the pipeline is built and only when we are totally confident that the pipeline can be safely operated will we bury it,” he said.
The pipe has been coated on the outside with epoxy to protect it against corrosion and handling damage, and on the inside to ensure smooth gas flow. The Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate of the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic
Development and Innovation regularly reviews progress and QGC’s adherence to safety, design, and construction standards.
The pipeline is being constructed by a joint venture of McConnell Dowell and Consolidated Contracting Company.
Burial of the first sections of the pipeline is expected to start in March 2012 following safety and integrity testing.
LNG World News Staff, February 17, 2012