North American Oil & Gas Pipelines

MAY 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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24 North American Oil & Gas Pipelines | MAY 2 018 files (SHP format) and look at them in an Esri type environment to check for gaps or overlaps. We take advantage of the fact that the data comes with a depth and a surface elevation. In many instances, we'll turn it into a profile view to make sure that the depths look consistent down the line and there are no spikes or obvious issues. Then that data is delivered to the client." NEW BUSINESS FROM UNDERGROUND Kuxhausen says that clients are quick to recognize the value of the integrated technologies. In addition to mapping mandated by the PIPES Act, he is hear- ing from people both at large and small construction companies. In many cases when they are designing or upgrading roadways, engineers don't have a lot of leeway on the depth of construction. A utility line may be only 3 ft under- ground and the design subgrade needs to maintain a specified clearance above the line. "It's very, very important for them to know depths when they're reconstruct- ing these roadways," Kuxhausen says. "In a lot of places clients are forced to do Level A excavation. They may need data every 10 ft (3 m) along the road, which makes for a lot of potholing. It can be very costly. The idea behind this technology is wonderful for them. We are able to use the SPAR system to re- duce the frequency of the Level A exca- vations. We could make a Level A exca- vation, say, every 50 ft (15 m) and then use the SPAR information in between those Level A excavations. It's a faster and more cost-efficient approach." In addition to road construction, Kuxhausen sees potential clients in a variety of industries. He cites airports as a good example, where operators need accurate data on the complex web of underground pipes, wires and conduits. "We repeatedly receive requests to per- form mapping and subsurface utility engineering (SUE) services to support the re-design or relocation of naviga- tion equipment" he says. "For instance, we've completed work for airports where they might be deconstructing a control tower or some other site. Our crews will go out and locate the exist- ing utilities, both active and decom- missioned so that no lines are damaged when the deconstruction takes place." Kuxhausen says additional business comes from highway departments that like to see all the existing utilities in their transportation corridors for de- sign mapping purposes. There has been some specialized work as well. "We've also performed locations prior to setting geodetic control marks for the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)," Kuxhausen says. "For a Class C monu- ment we need to dig a four-foot hole, and a Class B monument is a stainless steel rod driven to refusal. So, the utili- ties are required to be designated on those sites." He noted that "Call Before You Dig" location services often might not be re- sponsive on airports or private property, especially for design mapping surveys when construction is not imminent. As a result, it's important that Woolpert be able to provide SUE services. At the end of the day, Kuxhausen is looking for productivity and the ability to meet the needs of Woolpert's clients. "It comes down to how can we streamline our processes," he says. "We need to ask how can we quickly, safely and accurately locate utility data and have accurate data that could be imple- mented into the larger infrastructure mass. I think this is a solution for that. Taking all the information that comes out of the SPAR/GNSS system and cou- pling it with the GIS database and ad- ditional attribution could be invaluable for any client that has a large inventory of underground assets." Erik Dahlberg is a writer specializing in the geomatics, civil engineering and construction industries. Drawing on extensive training and industry experience, Dahlberg focuses on applications and innovation in equipment, software and techniques. A map of major pipelines in the U.S. Recent legislation calls for increased information on the location of buried pipes and utilities.

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