Kevin Seel Member Name
How can a natural gas pipeline, just a few tens of miles long, produce more headaches, frustration, delays and public opposition – and cost more — than a line of a few hundred miles? It can, if that line is in a dense urban environment.
Learning how to embrace the complexity involved in urban pipeline routing is key to success for many distribution pipeline system operators.
This is because the worldwide growth of cities is causing them to be denser and more compact, with many competing demands on the available space. Yet, those city dwellers also want access to cheap and reliable natural gas, so utilities must provide service where they want it.
Another worldwide problem is that many of the gas distribution systems in city centers are undersized and antiquated – “legacy” systems that may date back to the 1950s or even before. They weren’t designed for the service life being asked of them. Many of these lines may have stress corrosion issues and other risk factors that can put the public at increased risk of a leak, or even explosion.
So, there is an increasing need for new, replacement gas pipelines 20 inches (508 mm) or more, squeezed into tight spaces that are already crowded with other utilities – and aboveground uses as roadways, pedestrian and bicycle routes, green spaces and other purposes.
Our experience with urban pipelines has found that success involves a new, inclusive way of planning, backed by current information technology.
To read the full article, download the full PDF or view is as it originally appeared in Pipeline & Gas Journal’s April 2020 issue.