Reversing pipeline flow affecting infrastructure integrity, new bulletin warns

A federal regulator says reversing pipeline flow can have a “significant impact” on the pipeline’s integrity, and cautions companies to double-check operations.Changes in the U.S. energy market have led pipeline companies to change what they’re flowing and where they’re flowing it. Pipelines that once took natural gas from the west to the east are being reversed as abundant shale gas is drilled in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays.It’s happening elsewhere, too, leading the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to issue a bulletin. The agency mentions two recent reverse-flow pipeline failures last year in oil pipelines in North Dakota and Arksanas.”Flow reversals, product changes and conversions to service may impact various aspects of a pipeline’s operation, maintenance, monitoring, integrity management and emergency response,” the bulletin says.

via Reversing pipeline flow affecting infrastructure integrity, new bulletin warns – Columbus – Columbus Business First.

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