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Pipeline protests


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5 hours ago, Tortuga said:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/bolt-cutters-expose-vulnerability-of-north-americas-oil-pipeline-grid/ar-BBxkjRd?li=BBnbfcN

 

I worked at oil refineries for nearly 30 years and deadheading a line is not a good idea. It's fortunate the line didn't rupture...

Sounds like they knew their business. Must have been well coordinated not to have had a rupture. Possibly night time turtle business?:ph34r:

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6 hours ago, Tortuga said:

 

 

I worked at oil refineries for nearly 30 years and deadheading a line is not a good idea. It's fortunate the line didn't rupture...

Nigeria has had a rash of pipeline explosions over the years, mostly from theft. The Feds will be all over this one. Some one had some operations procedural experience.

Even normal operating PSI pressures pose risks...weak welds, corrosion, expansion and contraction. Tampering...This could have been a very serious catastrophic event. 

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7 minutes ago, Precision said:

Even normal operating PSI pressures pose risks...weak welds, corrosion, expansion and contraction. Tampering...This could have been a very serious catastrophic event. 

Exactly. It sounds like they were counting on the engineered safeguards but we know that isn't 100% effective.

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5 minutes ago, Tortuga said:

Exactly. It sounds like they were counting on the engineered safeguards but we know that isn't 100% effective.

So true...even ones that work in the industry. I've known, that follow Federal mandated safety procedures to the T have had fatalities on their shifts. Metal fatigue took out the last bunch.

Edited by Precision
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19 minutes ago, Precision said:

Even normal operating PSI pressures pose risks...weak welds, corrosion, expansion and contraction.

That reminded me of an odd situation that we had once. Every time we'd do a certain transfer we had movement and cross contamination in a stilled tank. We walked the lines, verified the lineup, did everything and we'd still contaminate the stilled tank when we did a particular transfer.

 

Someone finally decided to pull and inspect the manifold isolation blinds, sure enough, one of the blinds was pitted and had holed through enough that when a high pressure transfer was started, the blind would leak through to the stilled tank.

 

If there was a situation like that when the protesters deadheaded the line it would have fooled most of the built in safeguards because it would have diverted the flow. Weird stuff...

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I'm not familiar with built in safeguards in a pumping station line, out in the field. In the case of the protesters turning and shutting off valves, would the pressure build, setting off alarms until the expansion valve pops off, diverting product, thus cross-contaminating ? Wouldn't the adverse high pressure cause pump and line failure ? Or is the fluid diverted long distances to the tank farm with built up precautionary containment ?  Just curious...

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Our transfer pumps had a spillback valve that kept the pump above minimum flow to protect the pump in case the discharge gets blocked in , I don't know if all transfer pumps are designed with a spillback and a low flow shut off. Our ship to shore and shore to tankage transfer lines also had pressure transmitters with a high pressure alarm, I think our pumps had a high pressure shut off. Most lines also had flow transmitters with a high/low flow alarms.

 

Usually a transfer is also monitored by verifying the tank movement to ensure it matches the expected transfer rate.

 

All of the transfer lines will have Pressure Safety Valves (PSV) that would relieve excess line pressure to containment or grade. The pressure relief valves (PSV) are usually only 1 inch and designed for thermal relief only. If a line is full of hydrocarbon and is completely isolated without thermal expansion, it will build pressure from ambient heat, the PSV is designed to keep the line from failing due to thermal expansion but isn't big enough to divert the flow.

 

Having said all that, equipment is prone to failure.

 

The spillback is designed to protect the pump but it may fail to respond it time, it could stick, it could be set too low, it could be blocked in (closed), so blocking in against a high volume transfer pump could cause a pump seal failure and huge fire. Instrumentation can fail or be misleading, tank movement relies on instrumentation and could be wrong.

 

The scenario I described earlier was just an odd situation and I mentioned it because most of the safeguards depend on the pump registering a change in pressure or flow,  if the protesters had diverted the flow or a pressure spike had ruptured a line, flange gasket or ruptured an existing blind, the flow at the pump may stay within normal range and none of the safeguards would have activated.

 

With all that said, blocking in (closing) an isolation valve on an active transfer is  risky business even if you think you know what you are doing...

 

Edited by Tortuga
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As an operator did you have to change out flanges and isolation valves ?  We had E & I (electrical & instrumentation) technicians to evaluate and change out flow meters, pressure transmitters, and temperature sensors, etc. Highly technical 

 

Our plant had a decent FCU capacity, but a rather small Alky unit, overall only about 120,000 barrels a day...peanuts in comparison to Fairfield.

 

Just last week the oil -by rail project was cancelled because of low crude prices in the N.D. area Bakken fields. I wouldn't be surprise if the protesters had something to do with that decision too.

 

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22 minutes ago, Precision said:

As an operator did you have to change out flanges and isolation valves ?  We had E & I (electrical & instrumentation) technicians to evaluate and change out flow meters, pressure transmitters, and temperature sensors, etc. Highly technical 

 

Our plant had a decent FCU capacity, but a rather small Alky unit, overall only about 120,000 barrels a day...peanuts in comparison to Fairfield.

 

Just last week the oil -by rail project was cancelled because of low crude prices in the N.D. area Bakken fields. I wouldn't be surprise if the protesters had something to do with that decision too.

 

The fitters man handled the wrenches, I&E did all of the instrumentation and electrical, some guys were cross qualified, some weren't. 

Our FCCU was 70 mbpd I think, I don't remember the Alky rate, total crude was about 165,000 bpd. There were two crude units, the larger unit was designed for ANS, the smaller unit was designed for SJV. We had a hydrocracker, reformer, several desulfurizers and a delayed coker.

 

I rebooted my brain when I retired so I don't remember some of the unit capacity.  Before  I retired I told them that after I retire if someone says 'tanks' I'll say 'you're welcome'

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Richard : I didn't know you speak Zulu !  :notworthy:LOL

Our FCCU was 70 mbpd I think, I don't remember the Alky rate, total crude was about 165,000 bpd. There were two crude units, the larger unit was designed for ANS, the smaller unit was designed for SJV. We had a hydrocracker, reformer, several desulfurizers and a delayed coker

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5 hours ago, Gregexplore said:

Richard : I didn't know you speak Zulu !  :notworthy:LOL

Our FCCU was 70 mbpd I think, I don't remember the Alky rate, total crude was about 165,000 bpd. There were two crude units, the larger unit was designed for ANS, the smaller unit was designed for SJV. We had a hydrocracker, reformer, several desulfurizers and a delayed coker

We also talked about crack, made coke and dropped acid....

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