Linear Facilities of Public Joint Stock Company “Gazprom”: How to reduce the environmental risk

Sergey Vlasov, Alex Demyanov, Samvel Melkumyan, Eugeny Stepanov, Roman Romanenko, Valery Snakin, Inna Vlasova & Irina Chudovskaya

January 2, 2017

Improving the safety and environmental efficiency of natural gas pipeline systems is critical given the current public focus on energy projects and the evolving global dialogue around climate change, says a Moscow-based technical diagnostic firm. Proven cost-effective methods include environmental monitoring during construction and establishing multi-year pipeline damage control and prevention programs, says Energodiagnostika LLC. Over the past decade, the firm has also developed a remote diagnostic monitoring system that is now widely used across Russia to monitor pipeline facilities in areas that are difficult to access or with challenging climates. Recently, the firm applied for a patent to use a natural microorganism to “collar” methane that can escape from underground storage facilities. Read more about the recommendations from Energodiagnostika LLC through the four articles below:

Environmental monitoring valuable during pipeline construction

Environmental monitoring during natural gas pipeline construction is an effective way to decrease environmental risk, especially as pipeline systems move closer to more densely populated areas, says a leading technical diagnostic firm.

During the construction of a Gazprom pipeline in Russia’s Stavropol region in 2013/14, specialists from Moscow-based Energodiagnostika LLC were engaged to ensure the project had a minimal environmental impact. The firm provided preventative measures including soil and water monitoring and ensured compliance with environmental regulation requirements. Thanks to the preventative measures, there was no ground or water contamination that exceeded allowable limits.

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Multi-year programs most effective for damage control and prevention

Multi-year programs are the most effective way to manage pipeline damage control and prevention, a leading technical diagnostic firm says. Major pipeline defects can occur as a result of corrosive and mechanical damage, and can cause safety and environmental issues, as well as significant expenses. In-line inspections using “smart pig” fault detectors are the most accurate and cost-effective way to identify any defects in pipe surfaces and bends, as well as locating foreign objects that can be left behind during construction, says Moscow-based Energodiagnostika LLC. Using electric currents to inspect for corrosion is also an effective technique. The firm recommends a multi-year approach to inspection and maintenance to control costs and ensure all pipelines are inspected regularly.

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Remote diagnostic monitoring useful for inaccessible and challenging pipeline sections

Remote diagnostic monitoring has been adopted in hundreds of pipeline facilities across Russia – from main pipelines to gas supply systems, particularly those in inaccessible areas and challenging climate zones. The monitoring system was developed by Energodiagnostika LLC, a Moscow-based technical diagnostic firm. It was originally designed to monitor difficult-to-access pipelines with a high corrosion risk. The tamper-proof SKP21system can operate on its own power, in a wide range of temperatures and in high humidity. In 2010, it was recommended the system be installed as a safety measure where oil and gas pipelines crossed under public railroads.  Today, the system – which has a life span of more than 60,000 hours even in adverse climate conditions – has been installed at hundreds of pipeline facilities across Russia. 

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Bugs used to “collar” methane leaks from underground storage facilities

A leading technical diagnostic firm has come up with an interesting approach to the challenge of methane leakage: using natural microorganisms that feed on methane to “collar” those leaks. Moscow-based Energodiagnostika LLC recently applied for a patent to build soil collars around critical areas in underground storage facilities. The collars would be filled with methanotrophic bacteria suspended in a saltwater solution. Because methane is the bacteria’s sole energy source, the collars would reduce the amount of one of the most hazardous greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. The firm is proposing to install the technology at Gazprom facilities as well as the facilities of other natural gas companies.

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