North American Oil & Gas Pipelines

NOV-DEC 2018

North American Oil & Gas Pipelines covers the news shaping the business of oil and gas pipeline construction and maintenance in North America, including pipeline installation methods, integrity management innovations and managerial strategies.

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36 North American Oil & Gas Pipelines | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2 018 napipelines.com pipe at one time. Company Z has a small- er budget and performs spot maintenance to mitigate corrosion as needed. Over the past 10 years, Contractor B has seen the integrity of the coatings sys- tems sustained on Company X's side of the facility with little to no breakdown. While the upfront cost for Company X is more, the long-term cost is less when compared to Company Z. Alternatively, Company Z's upfront costs are lower, but in the long run, they pay more to have repetitive maintenance work done to the same areas, because they are addressing only localized corrosion without ever cov- ering a complete coatings job. From the contractor's point-of-view, a good quality control and quality assur- ance program drives the data analysis to determine which strategy best com- bats active corrosion. The answer is not black and white; neither strategy is right or wrong, as there are many influencers for every coatings project, as demon- strated below. The above chart represents many of the outside forces that can impact decisions on every coatings project. The majority of factors are out of the control of the coat- ings contractor that was hired to perform the work. The domino effect of a single decision by one of the outside forces can directly or indirectly influence the final price and scope of a project. For example, while executive management is far from the actual project work execution, the decisions made at that level, regarding budgets, timing, etc., have a direct impact on the decisions of other departments. The corrosion manager and accounting department may be restricted to only ad- dressing localized corrosion at the highest level of risk-inspection criteria, instead of addressing a more comprehensive issue. For Company Z, the opportunity and timing may have been the right choice for the project; the short-term budget was met, and maintenance was completed. Fit-for-purpose is one of many bench- marks used to determine upkeep of a pipeline's mechanical coatings integrity. Any number of external factors can drive this; however, in the long term, costs and maintenance accrue when a contractor re- turns to perform maintenance on an adja- cent section of pipe year after year. Conclusion This study is not a complete guide to best practices. Each company and proj- ect is unique. For a paint program, logis- tics will almost always be a big factor. If a coatings contractor is the best steward of company expenditures, the small ges- ture of analyzing data and logistics will lead to a more cost-effective paint pro- gram. This enables funding allocations that can produce greater results than planned. It is a win-win for the contrac- tor and the company. Clay Carter is a coatings operation manager at Danos, and Richard Mott is a construction project manager at Danos.

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