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Piping Guide

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4.1.. VALVES
4.1.1 Process Valve Types And Applications
4.1.2 Design Features Internal Sealing Systems And Materials Body/Housing Materials External Sealing Systems And Materials Actuation of Valves Standards of Manufacture Quick Closing Valves
4.1.3 Specific Types Gate Valves Ball/Plug Valves Globe Valves Butterfly Valves Relief Valves Check Valves Twin-Seal Valves Semi-Needle Valves Ball-Check Gauge Glass Valves
4.1.4 Operating Points
4.2.1 Applications Process Service Transportation
4.2.2 Design Features Pipe Materials Pipe Sizes Methods of Joining Pipe
4.2.3 Butt-Welded Systems Fittings Reducing Elbow Return Bends Reducer Flange Tee
4.2.4 Socket-Welded and Screwed Systems
4.2.5 Flanged Joints Flat-Face Raised Face Ring-Type Joint (RTJ) Gaskets Line Isolation and Blinding Pipe Supports
4.2.6 Operation Checks During Operation Maintenance and Inspection

4.3.1 Introduction

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4.3.2 API Classification of Flanges
4.3.3 Pressure Test And Working Pressures ASA Flanges
4.3.4 Flange Physical Characteristics
4.3.5 Flange Make-Up
4.3.6 Line Pipe
4.3.7 Threading Data for Line Pipe

4.5.1 Introduction
4.5.2 Pipeline Design General Liquids Pipelines Pressure Drop Valves And Fittings Heavy Crudes Gas Pipelines Allowable Operating Pressure Looping Two-phase Flow
4.5.3 Sizing Of Pipelines Oil Pipelines Gas Pipelines
4.5.4 Fouling
4.5.5 Pipeline Construction Pipeline Design Codes Grades of Steel Process of Manufacture Seamless Line Pipe Furnace Welded Line Pipe Electric Welded Line Pipe Pipe Diameters Pipe End Connections
4.5.6 Pipe Coating and Protection Land Pipelines Submarine Pipelines
4.5.7 Pipeline Risers General Flanged Connections Hyperbaric Welding Subsea Atmospheric Welding Mechanical Connectors Surface Welding
4.5.8 Pipeline Pigging General Pigging Operations Launching And Receiving Pig Launching And Receiving Procedures Pigging Problems

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4.1.1 Process Valve Types And Applications

Valves are used in both domestic and industrial situations to control the flow of liquids, solids and gases.
The most common and familiar valves are the taps used in the home to control the hot and cold water. In
the oil industry, valves are a major element in the control of operations. In general, valves are used for
one or more of three main purposes:

1. To control the rate of flow (throttle);

2. To shut off/permit flow (ON/OFF function);

3. To isolate systems and protect products.

There are a wide variety of valve types and designs available from many suppliers in a wide range of
materials; the main types and their uses are
Gate Valve: Used for shut off - ON/OFF function.

Ball/Plug Valves: Used for shut off - ON/OFF function

Globe Valves: Used for control of flow and shut off.

Butterfly Valves: Used for control of flow and shut off.

Relief Valves: Spring loaded to open at a given pressure, and used to protect systems from over-pressure.

Check Valves: To allow flow in one direction only.

Fusible Link Valves/Piston Operated Valves: Quick acting and used for emergency shut off.

Twin Sea valves: Used when tight shut off required.

Semi-Needle Valves: Used in conjunction instruments to bleed off part of the flow.

Ball Check Valves: Used with gauge glasses as safety precaution.

There are other less commonly used types of valves.

The actual construction/design of gate valves, for example, may vary widely depending on its application,
the materials used, or the manufacturer’s own special features. The basic principle, however, will be the
Valves can be specially made to work at high or low temperatures (cryogenic), or to very high standards
for use in explosive atmospheres, or when no leakage is permissible.
4.1.2 Design Features Internal Sealing Systems And Materials

All valves are prone to leakage as it is difficult to obtain a perfect seal, although the use of special seal
materials and designs can have very good result If high security is required, use can be made of two
valves in series, one to act as the main valve and the second as a back-up should the first fail.

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Some valves have bleed holes installed to detect leakage across the seal. If two valves are used together, a
bleed hole may be fitted in the pipe between them, which can be opened when the valves are closed to
drain any leakage. (Block and Bleed valves) Body/Housing Materials

A wide range of materials is used in valve manufacture, the particular material depending largely on the
fluids to be handled. Iron and steel are mainly used for oil/petroleum applications with most valves being
made of mild or alloy steel. Brass valves are used for water (as well as cast iron, steel and other alloys).
Stainless steel is used for acids and other corrosive liquids. Bronze is also a commonly used material
which can cope with most liquids. External Sealing Systems And Materials

As well as the main seal between valve and disc, wedge, etc. there are other seals required to prevent
external leaks. Gaskets or ‘0’ rings are used between surfaces such as flanges, where no relative
movement takes place. The main problems occur around the valve stem, which both rotates and, in some
cases, moves vertically as well.
Special glands or packings are used which can be compressed by gland nuts to increase sealing. Special
materials have to be used in corrosive applications, but an asbestos based fibre is a commonly used
packing material with PTFE/Teflon being increasingly common. ‘O’ rings can also be used as shaft seals
and are generally made of rubber. Actuation of Valves

Many smaller valves are hand operated if they are accessible. Larger valves require power
actuators and inaccessible valves of all types require some form of mechanical or electrical
actuator. Pneumatic (compressed air) and hydraulic cylinders and mechanisms are widely used in
larger applications. Smaller valves can be operated with solenoids, but larger valves require more
complex motors and mechanisms for electrical power operation. Standards of Manufacture

There are many standards to which valves can be made:

• Metric/Imperial dimensions;

• British Standards BS;


• German Standards DIN; -

• US Standards ANSI (previously ASA);


• American Petroleum Institution API.


Care must be taken that valves, flanges, etc. and other equipment are compatible, or leakage may occur.
API flanges and other equipment are commonly used in the oil industry. The standards lay down
performance requirements as well as dimensions and material. Valves are rated according to the
maximum pressure and temperature at which they can safely be used.

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Quick closing valves can be installed in pipelines and systems to isolate sections in case of fire, leakage
or other emergencies.

A spring is usually used to operate the valve and can be released by a number of methods:

• Fire melts fusible link;

• Remote manual cable;

• Air operated actuating cylinder;

• Electrical solenoid, etc.

If the valve can be installed so that the line pressure will help to close it, this will increase the sealing
capability. Swinging check valves are often used as the basis of a quick closing valve, although ball
valves, plug valves and butterfly valves are also suitable.

4.1.3 Specific Types Gate Valves

Purpose: gate valves are used when a tight shut-off is required. They must not be used for throttling (i.e.
must be fully off or fully on) as a restricted flow through a gate valve will erode the seat of the wedge
Operation: Refer to Figure 4.1

The wedge-shaped disc is moved up to open the valve by turning the wheel anti-clockwise. To shut off
the flow, the wheel is turned fully clockwise until the disc is properly seated and covers the opening.

One common type is the rising stem type. In other designs, the wheel is fixed to the stem and rises with it.
The position of the stem/stem and hand wheel indicates whether the valve is open or shut. If the stem is
raised, the valve is open. Ball/Plug Valves

Purpose: Ball and plug valves are used to provide a quick, simple shut-off. They are operated by turning
the ball or plug through 90º. Ball and plug valves should not be used for throttling, as a restriction in the
flow will lead to erosion of the valve.
Operation: Refer to Figure 4.2
The ball or plug has an opening through the centre. When this opening is in line with the inlet and outlet
ports, flow will be allowed. When the ball or plug is turned through 90; no flow can take place. Good
sealing can be obtained, particularly when special sealing rings made of PTFE/Teflon are used.
Some ball and plug valves are lubricated to provide a seal and prevent wear, and should be regularly
lubricated with the proper lubricant.

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Purpose Globe valves are used to control flow as they can operate quite safely at part openings. A good
shutoff can also be achieved if required

Operation: Refer to Figure 4.3

When the hand wheel is turned clockwise, the disc is against a seat, stopping the flow. Turning the hand
wheel anti-clockwise lifts the disc from its seat and allows flow to continue.
The high pressure is usually on the bottom of the plug, so that the stem, seal, etc. are not under continuous
pressure. Applications are widespread, including domestic water taps.
. Butterfly Valves

Purpose: Butterfly valves are used for controlling flow and can act as a shutuoff ~va1ve, if the sealing
arrangement is designed accordingly.
Operation: Refer to Figure 4.4
The disc or wafer rotates about a vertical axis and can be turned through 90º. The disc seals against the
opening to cut off flow and can be positioned at a point between fully closed and fully open as required.
Some butterfly valves have a direct acting lever, others are operated through gearboxes when finer control
is required. In most cases, a clockwise movement will close the valve. Relief Valves

Purpose: Relief valves are used to protect systems from over-pressure or to control processes by allowing
flow to commence when a certain pressure has been reached.

Operation: Refer to Figure 4.5

A spring holds the valve disc in place against the seat. The valve, therefore, will not open until the force
exerted on the valve disc by the fluid pressure exceeds the force exerted by the spring. When this occurs,
flow can take place through the outlet port until the fluid pressure is reduced to below the valve operating
pressure. The spring force will then release the valve.
Relief valves operate automatically and are usually pre-set to a specified relief setting by the
manufacturers or adjusted when in use, if required. Re-calibration is then required. Check Valves

Purpose: Check valves allow flow in one direction only. One common application is in the discharge
line of a centrifugal pump to prevent reverse suction.

Operation: Refer to Figure 4.6

The two designs operate on the same principle: flow through the valve holds the plug or disc in an open
position. If flow ceases or falls to below the backpressure ahead of the valve, then gravity or the back

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pressure will tend to return the plug to its seat.

Check valves are automatic in action. Twin-Seal Valves

Purpose: Twin-seal valves may be used when an extra tight shut-off is required. They are basically plug
valves, but have an additional action which forces sealing segments against the inlet and outlet ports
providing a positive seal.
Operation: Refer to Figure 4. 7

The opening action consists of two stages:

1. Unsealing the sealing segments.

2. Rotating the plug.

The first stage breaks the seal and retracts the segments from the ports; the second stage allows proper
flow to begin. Usually 1 to 2 1/2 turns are required to withdraw the segments and a further 1/4 turn to
rotate the plug.(Up to 2 ¾ turns to open the valve.) Semi-Needle Valves

Purpose: Semi-needle valves are used to control instruments and can stand high pressures of up to
2,000 psi.
Operation: Refer to Figure 4.8
When used with an instrument, the valve should only be opened enough to permit flow and allow the
instrument to register correctly. One or two turns should be sufficient The valve works by pushing a
“needle” or small rod into a slightly tapered seat When the needle is fully home, then flow is shut off. The
rate of flow can be adjusted as required by raising the needle. Ball-Check Gauge Glass Valves

Purpose: These valves are used to prevent loss of liquid and consequent damage or injury, in case of
breakage of gauge glasses.

Operation: Refer to Figure 4.8

When a reading is required, both valves should be opened slowly 1 to 1 1/2 turns to allow the fluid to find
its level. The tip of the valve stem prevents the ball from seating at this point As soon as flow stops and
the level stabilises, the valves must be opened fully so that the ball can be pushed into the outer seat by
the escaping fluid if the glass should break. To close or reset the valve, the handle should be turned
clockwise until the valve top is firmly against the inner seat, and then re-opened slowly after the gauge
glass has been replaced, if necessary.

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4.1.4 Operating Points

When using valves, the following points should be observed:

Direction of Flow: Direction of flow is usually marked with an arrow in the case of check valves and
globe valves.

Direction of Opening/Closing: Hand wheels and levers - clockwise to close, anti-clockwise to open.

Levers - usually lever in line with pipe - open, lever at 90º to pipe - closed.

Open and close valves slowly.

Valves should always be opened and closed slowly, except in emergencies. Too rapid closing can cause
pressure waves to build up and travel back through the system, possibly causing severe damage, burst or
injuries. This phenomenon is known as “water hammer” in domestic water systems and a loud knocking
noise can be heard in the pipe.
Gate and Ball/Plug Valves: Gate and ball valves must only be used in the fully open or closed positions.
Intermediate setting can cause turbulence, which can wear away the valve very quickly and cause internal
Gauge Glass Valves: Gauge or sight glass valves must be fully opened as soon as the fluid has reached
its level or there will be no protection if the glass breaks.
Interlock/Keys: Some valves are not fitted with hand wheels or levers and can only be operated by
special keys or spanners. This is because the setting of the valve is critical and must not be altered except
by an authorised person.
Similarly, some valves are sealed with wire; locks or other means and must not be tampered with or
altered as serious damage could result.

Do not Open/Close too far or use unnecessary force.

If gate and globe valves are jammed too far open, they may seize or be damaged. This is called
“backseating” and puts unnecessary strain on the disc, which may break off. It is best to re-close gate and
globe valves by 1/2 to 1 full turn after they are fully opened.

Similarly, over-tightening the valve when closing it may damage the disc and seat leading to seizure or

If valves prove stubborn to open, mechanical assistance such as a valve wrench or spanner can be used.
The minimum amount of force should be used and before applying the “persuader”, check that the valve
is not already open.

Do not use persuaders on twin seal valves or on very small valves, which may break off.

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4.2.1 Applications

Pipework is extensively used throughout an offshore installation to move fluids and gases from one
location to another. It can generally be classified into the following three broad groupings: Process

Used to transport the produced fluids and gases between processing units on the platform. Service
Used to convey air, water, etc. to where it is needed for processing, life support and other services or
utility functions. Transportation
Usually large diameter pipelines as used to carry the production products from installation to installation
or from the field to the onshore terminal.

Pumps and compressors are used to drive fluids and gases along pipes and valves to route and control the
various substances and ensure that they are correctly segregated from each other.

The contents of the pipework are carried at widely varying temperatures, pressures and flow rates and,
therefore, different types of pipework and associated equipment are required.
Because of the inherent danger in carrying the oil and gas associated with offshore operations, the design,
installation, testing and inspection of certain pipework is ngourously controlled to exacting standards, so
that leakage and bursting do not occur.

4.2.2 Design Features Pipe Materials

Pipes are made in a number of materials, the particular one chosen being dependent upon pressure,
temperature, resistance to corrosion, cost etc.
The most commonly used is carbon steel and for process work, this is normally of seamless construction.
It is strong, weldable, ductile, and usually cheaper than pipe made from other materials. It can stand
temperatures up to 750ºF and is used whenever it can stand the duty required of it.

Other metals and alloys are sometimes used although they tend to be more expensive. Traditionally, corer
and copper alloys were used for instrument lines although they have largely been replaced by stainless
steel. They are still used for heat transfer equipment because of their high thermal conductivity.
Pipe can be lined or coated with materials such as vitreous substances, to provide resistance to chemical
attack, corrosion, etc.

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GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) is commonly used offshore on smaller service/potable water lines. Pipe Sizes

The wall thickness of pipe used is determined by the pipework designer, taking into account the internal
pressure, mechanical stresses to which it is subjected (i.e. dead/live loads and expansion stresses), the
corrosion allowance and the safety factor to be applied. Wall thickness is determined in the ANSI system
by ‘Schedule Number”, Schedule 40 being the most generally used.
Pipe size is determined by the design requirements of flow rate and head loss. Pipe sizes are identified by
the Nominal Pipe Size (NPS). It is common practice to refer to Nominal Pipe Sizes 0-12 inches diameter
as Nominal Bore (NB) and greater than 12 inches diameter as Outside Diameter (OD). Methods of Joining Pipe

There are three main methods of joining pipes together and attaching fittings to them. Lines of 2 inch or
larger are usually butt-welded, this being the most economic, leak-proof method. Smaller lines are usually
joined by socket-welding or screwing.
Examples of typical butt-welded, socket-welded and screwed pipe joints are shown in Figure 4. 9
Where larger diameter piping is required to join up with flanged vessels, valves and other equipment, or
where the line has to be opened for periodic cleaning, bolted flange joints are used instead of butt-
These are described more fully later.

4.2.3 Butt-Welded Systems Fittings

Refer to Figure 4.10

Elbows: These are used for making 45º or 90º changes in the direction of the pipe run. Normally
used are “long radius”, in which the centre line radius of curvature is equal to 1 1/2 times the
nominal pipe size (MPS). Also available are “short radius” in which the centre line radius of curvature
is equal to the NI’S. Reducing Elbow

This makes a change in line size together with a change in direction. Return

A return makes a 180 change in direction and is used in the construction of heating coils, etc. Bends
Bends are made from straight pipe and common bending radii are 3 and 5 times the NI’S (indicated by 3R
and SR respectively).

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This joins a larger pipe to a smaller one. Flange
Refer to Figure 4.10 is a welding-neck flange (the most common type) and a slip-on flange. Flanges are
fitted to the ends of pipes, valves, vessels, etc. to enable them to be connected by bolting. Tee
A tee is used to make a 90 branch from a main pipe run. If the branch is smaller than the main run, a
reducing tee is used.

4.2.4 Socket-Welded and Screwed Systems

Some typical fittings used in socket-welded and screwed systems are shown in Figure 4.11 and Figure
4.12. Their uses are similar to those described for butt-welded fittings.

4.2.5 Flanged Joints

Refer to Figure 4.13. As described earlier, flanged joints are used whenever the pipes, valves, vessels,
fittings etc. require to be connected together by bolting for ease of dismantling and reassembly.

This section describes types of flanged joints, which are commonly encountered. Flat-Face
Most commonly used for mating with non-steel flanges on the bodies of pumps, valves, etc. The gaskets
used (see Gaskets below) have an outside diameter equal to that of the flange itself. This ensures an even
pressure distribution across the flange and reduces the risk of cracking of cast-iron or bronze flange on
tightening or from plant vibration. Raised Face

The raised face is the most common type of flange, in which the gasket covers only the raised faces. Ring-Type Joint (RTJ)

This is a more expensive type of joint, but it is the best type for high temperature, high pressure
and corrosive use Gaskets

Gaskets are used to make a tight leak-proof seal between two joint surfaces. For pipe flanges, the
common types of gaskets are the full-face and ring types which are used for flat-face and raised-face

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flanges respectively.
Gaskets are made from compressed asbestos, asbestos-filled metal (spiral-wound) and other materials
dependent on the conditions to which they are subjected. Spiral-wound gaskets separate cleanly and can
often be re-used. They are useful, therefore, if the joint has to be frequently disconnected.
The finish on the joint faces differs according to the type of gasket to be used. A “serrated” face is used
with asbestos gaskets and a “smooth” face with spiral-wound ones.
Typical gasket materials and their uses are shown in Figure 4.14 Line Isolation and Blinding

Refer to Figure 4.15

Frequently, a completely leak-proof means of stopping the flow in a line has to be made. This may be

• The line, or a piece of equipment in it, has to be isolated to allow maintenance work to be carried out;

• A change in the process requires that the line be closed.

Valves do not offer complete security, as there may always be some degree of leakage and therefore, the
line is closed by one of the following methods:
Spectacle Plate and Line Blind: The spectacle plate can be changed over quickly without disturbing the
pipework and gives immediate visual evidence of whether the line is open or blinded. it is generally
preferable to the simple line blind which is only used where frequent changing is not required.
Line Blind Valve: This allows a line to be quickly and simply blinded by a process operator. There are
many types, but a typical one, a spool type line blind, is shown in Figure 15 on page 4/28.?
Removable Spool and Blind Flanges: This method involves removing a complete section of the line
between two flanges (the spool) and fitting blind flanges to close the two ends of the line. This gives a
very positive visual indication that the line is closed. Blind flanges are used to close any pipe end, vessel
entry, etc. Pipe Supports

Refer to Figure 4.16

Methods of supporting pipework vary greatly, but a selection of some of the more common is covered in
this section.
Support: The term “support” refers to any device used to carry the weight of the pipework. Supports are
usually made from structural steel.

Hanger: A hanger is a particular type of support by which pipework is suspended from a structure.
Hangers are usually adjustable for height

Anchor: An anchor is a rigid support, which prevents transmission of movement along pipework.

Tie: An arrangement of rods, bars, etc. to restrict movement of pipework.

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Dummy Leg: An extension piece of pipe or steel section welded to an elbow.

Guide or Shoe: A means of allowing a pipe to move along its length whilst restricting its lateral

4.2.6 Operation Checks During Operation

The operation of a piping system is dictated by the operation of the equipment, which it connects.
Nevertheless, care must be taken at all times to ensure that

• The piping is not operated beyond its design range of pressure and temperature;

• All joints are checked regularly for leaks and any leaks discovered are reported immediately;

• The piping is correctly isolated and purged, if necessary, before any maintenance work is
performed on it;
• Line markings are clearly visible and re-made if not;

• Any abnormal vibration, damage, missing supports, etc are reported immediately. Maintenance and Inspection

Legislative and other statutory requirements dictate the type and frequency of maintenance and inspection
required on piping systems installed on offshore Installations. This maintenance and inspection is
necessary to ensure that the Certificate of Fitness of the installation in question remains valid. The
responsibility for ensuring that these requirements are met does not lie with the process operator.
However, he will be involved in isolating. purging, etc. at the time the maintenance and inspection are
carried out.

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4.3.1 Introduction

Flanges are normally used to connect sections of pipe, valves, vessels or other fittings by forming a seal
with either a ring or flat type gasket. They are assembled with stud bolts, which when tightened, force the
two flange faces towards each other on the gasket to form a pressure tight seal. Flanges in the oil industry
are classified according to their construction, pressure rating and diameter.

The two classifications of flanges are:

1. ASA (ANSI) American Nation Standards Institute.

2. API American Petroleum Institute

4.3.2 API Classification of Flanges

There are three common types of API flanges: API 2000,3000,5000 and there are two high pressure
series, API 10,000 and 15,000. The number of the series indicated corresponds to the maximum working
pressure expressed in psi at a temperature of l00ºF.

This maximum working pressure is affected by temperature. The maximum working pressure of the
flange will be reduced by a factor of 1.8% for each 50ºF increase in temperature above 100ºF to a
maximum of 450’F. The following table gives the maximum working pressure as a function of

Temperature Maximum Working Pressure in PSI

°F API 2000 API 3000 API 5000 API 10000 API 15000
100 2000 3000 5000 10000 15000
150 1964 2946 4910 9820 14730
200 1928 2892 4820 9460 14460
250 1892 2838 4730 9280 14190
300 1856 2784 4640 9199 13920
350 1820 2730 4550 8929 13650
400 1784 2676 4460 8740 13380
450 1748 2622 4370 8560 13110

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4.3.3 Pressure Ratings Test And Working Pressures
The hydrostatic test pressure is equal to twice the maximum working pressures for flanges of diameter
below or equal to 14 inches. The test pressure is equal to 1.5 times the maximum working pressure for
flanges of diameter equal to or greater than 16 inches.

Series API Maximum Working Test Pressures for Test Pressure for
Pressure (p.s.i.) flanges of 14” & less Flanges above 16”
(p.s.i.) (p.s.i.)
2000 2000 4000 3000
3000 3000 6000 4500
5000 5000 10000 7500 ASA Flanges

With the exception of the ASA 150 series, the number corresponds to the maximum working pressure of
the flange in psi at a temperature of 85OºF for carbon steel flanges.

To obtain the working pressure of the flange at temperature from –20 to + 100ºF, the number is multiplied
by 2.4. For example:

ASA 300 Max WP = 2.4 x 300 = 720psi

ASA 900 Max WP = 22.4 x 900 =2160psi

The following table gives the working pressures of all flanges in this classification. The hydrostatic test
pressure is equal to 1.5 times the working pressure at 100ºF.

Max. Working Pressure Test Pressure

Class A.S.A -20ºF to 100ºF -20ºF to 100ºF
150 275 425
300 720 1100
400 960 1450
600 1440 2175
900 2160 3250
1500 3600 5400
2500 6000 9000
2900 10000 15000

4.3.4 Flange Physical Characteristics

To avoid any confusion when describing or ordering flanges, the following information should be given:

1. Type ASA or API;

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2. Description of connection:

a) Weld neck flange

b) Slip on welding flange

c) Threaded flange

d) Blind flange.

3. Nominal diameter;

4. Number in ASA or API classification;

5. Type of face and gasket;

5. Bore if necessary;

7. Type of steel used for manufacture.

4.3.5 Flange Make-Up

To ensure that the flange will form a good seal, care should be taken when making them up. The studs
should first be made hand tight with the faces of the flanges parallel to each other. The studs should then
be gradually tightened in the sequence shown in the diagram below.

4.3.6 Line Pipe

Line pipe is required by the oil and gas industry to convey oil, gas, water, chemicals, etc. in its operations.

The API with cooperation of the American Gas Association has developed specifications meeting the
needs of the oil and gas industry for steel and wrought-iron line pipe and published these in API standards
5L and 5LX. These provide standard dimensions, strengths and performance properties and the required
thread gauging practice to ensure complete interchangeability.

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4.5.1 Introduction

Pipelines are the most common means of transporting oil or gas.

A pipeline is like any other flowline. The main differences are that pipelines are long and continuously
welded, they have a minimum number of curves, they have no sharp bends, and they are most often either
buried or otherwise inaccessible due to their location over the majority of their length.
These differences mean that small sections of pipeline are not easily removed for maintenance and
consequently great care is taken to prevent problems arising in the first place.
A pipeline is extremely expensive to lay, and in the case of offshore pipelines, costs in the order of
several million pounds per subsea mile have been encountered.
Maintenance on pipelines is also expensive but this expenditure is necessary since, regardless of the
expense, pipelines frequently form the most efficient and cost-effective method of transporting the
quantifies of oil or gas produced. Pipeline sharing agreements may result in the flow from a number of oil
fields being transported through a single pipeline. A problem in a pipeline of this type can mean the shut-
down of all of these fields with a resulting operating loss of several million pounds per day.

This situation can be further aggravated for gas production to gas consumer companies where the
producing company can not only lose operating revenue but can incur fines for failing to fulfill
contractual obligations.

4.5.2 Pipeline Design General

When designing a pipeline, the engineer considers the following factors:

• The physical and chemical properties of the fluid, or to pumped through the pipeline;

• The maximum volume of fluid that will be pumped through the pipeline at any time during the life of
current and future developments likely to be served by the pipeline.

• The nature of the environment through which the pipeline is going to traverse.

• The required delivery pressure.

More specifically the engineer considers

• Pipe diameter required. (The larger the diameter of the pipeline, the more fluid can be moved
through it, assuming other variables such as pump capacity are fixed.)

• Pipe length. (The greater the length of a segment of pipeline, the greater the total pressure drop.
Pressure drop can be the same per unit of length for a given size and type of pipe but total pressure
drop increases with length.)
• Specific gravity and density of the fluid to be transported, (The specific gravity and density of the
transported fluid will affect the potential amount of mass flow available.)

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• Compressibility. (Because most liquids are only slightly compressible, this term is not usually
significant in calculating liquids pipeline capacity at normal operating conditions. In gas and gas
liquids (mixtures of methane, ethane, propane, butane, etc, transported as a liquid) pipeline design,
however, it is necessary to include a term in many design calculations to account for the fact that
gases deviate from laws describing ideal gas behaviour under conditions other than standard or base
conditions. This term, supercompressibility factor, is very significant at high temperatures and
pressures. If in the pipeline, pressure is likely to be in the order of 1000 to 2000 psig then this term
must be included.)
• Operating temperatures and ambient temperatures: (Temperature affects pipeline capacity both
directly and indirectly. In natural gas pipelines, the lower the operating temperature, the greater the
capacity, assuming all other variables are fixed.
Operating temperature also can affect other terms in equations used to calculate the capacity of both
liquids and natural gas pipelines. Viscosity, for example, varies with temperature. Designing a
pipeline for heavy (viscous) crude is one case in which it is necessary to know operating temperatures
accurately to calculate pipeline capacity. The possibility of water freezing and of hydrate formation in
gas pipelines are other temperature considerations.

• Viscosity: (The property of a fluid that resists flow or relative motion between adjacent parts of the
fluid is viscosity. It is an important term in calculating line size and horsepower requirement when
designing liquid pipelines).

• Pour Point (The lowest temperature at which an oil will pour, or flow, when cooled under specific
test conditions is the pour point. oils can be pumped below their pour points, but the design and
operation of a pipeline under these conditions presents special problems.)

• Vapour Pressure.(The pressure that holds a volatile liquid in equilibrium with its vapour at a given
temperature is its vapour pressure; when
page 73 determined for petroleum products under specific test conditions and using specific
procedures it is called the RVP (Reid Vapour Pressure). Vapour pressure is an especially important
design criterion when handling volatile petroleum products such as propane or butane.

The minimum pressure in the pipeline must be high enough to maintain these fluids in their liquid state.
Reynolds Number, which is a dimensionless number, which is used to describe the type of flow
exhibited by a flowing fluid. In streamlined (or laminar) flow, the molecules move parallel to the
axis of flow. In turbulent flow, the molecules move back and forward across the flow axis. Other
types of flow are also possible and the Reynolds number can be used to determine which types of
flow are likely to occur under specified conditions. In turn, the type of flow exhibited by a fluid
affects pressure drop in the pipeline. Strictly speaking. a Reynolds Number below 1000
describes streamlined flow.
At Reynolds Numbers between 1000 and 2000 flow is unstable. At Reynolds Numbers greater than 2000
flow is turbulent These figures are not always used. In general usage, how is considered laminar for
R<2000, unstable for 2000<R<4000, and turbulent for R>4000.
Friction Factor. (A variety of friction factors are used in pipeline calculations. They are determined
empirically and are related to the roughness of the inside pipe wall)
This is not a complete list but represents the basic parameters used. Terms are interdependent; for
example, operation pressure depends on pressure drop, which depends on flow rate, which in turn is
dictated by allowable pressure drop.
Several pressure terms are used in pipeline design and operation. Barometric pressure is the value of the
atmospheric pressure above a perfect vacuum. A perfect vacuum cannot exist on the earth, but it makes a
convenient reference point for pressure measurement.

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

Absolute pressure is the pressure of a pipeline or vessel above a perfect vacuum and is abbreviated bara.
Gauge pressure is the pressure measured in a pipeline or vessel above atmospheric pressure and is
abbreviated barg. Standard atmospheric pressure is usualIy considered to be the head pressure of 760 mm
of mercury, but atmospheric pressure varies with elevation above sea level. Many contracts for the
purchase of natural gas, for instance, specify that the standard, or base, pressure will be other than

Formulas describing the flow of fluids in a pipe are derived from Bernoulli’s theorem and are modified to
account for losses due to friction. Bernoulli’s theorem expresses the application of the law of conservation
of energy to the flow of fluids in a conduit To describe the actual flow of gases and liquids properly,
howeyer, solutions based on Bernoulli’s theorem require the use of coefficients that must be determined
As a basic rule, the amount of flow along a pipeline (or across any restriction) will be a function of the
differential pressure. The basic equation is:

%Q = √% Dp x 10


0= Flow (In %)

Dp = Differential pressure (in %)

The theoretical equation for fluid flow neglects friction and assumes no energy is added to the systems by
pumps or compressors. Of course, in the design and operation of a pipeline, friction losses are very
important, and pumps and compressors are required to overcome those losses. So practical pipeline design
equations depend on empirical coefficients that have been determined during years of research and
The basic theory of fluid flow does not change. But modifications continue to be made in coefficient as
more information is available, and the application of various forms of basic formulas continues to be
refined. The use of computers for solving pipeline design problems has also enhanced the accuracy and
inflexibility possible in pipeline design. Liquids Pipelines

In the design of liquids and natural gas pipelines, pressure drop, flow capacity and pumping or
compression horsepower required are key calculations. The design of a liquids pipeline is similar in
concept to the design of a natural gas pipeline. In both cases, a delivery pressure and the volume the
pipeline must handle are known. The allowable working pressure of the pipe can be determined using the
pipe size and type and specified safety factors.
In most pipeline calculations, assumptions must be made initially. For instance, a line size may be
assumed in order to determine maximum operating pressure and the pressure drop in a given length of
pipe for a given flow volume. If the resulting pressure drop, when added to the known delivery pressure
exceeds the allowable working pressure, a larger pipe size must usually be chosen.

It may be possible to change the capacity and spacing of booster pumping stations to stay within
operating pressure. But in the simplest case, if the calculation yields an operating pressure greater than
allowed, a larger pipe size must be selected and the calculation repeated.
It is apparent that many options are available in even a moderately complex pipeline system. But today’s

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

computer programs for pipeline design can analyze many variables and many options in a short time,
greatly easing the design process. Pressure Drop

An equation for the flow of liquids in a pipe was developed by Darcy in the early 18th Century and the
equations, formulae and standards defined by Darçy are still valid today.
The Darcy equation can be derived mathematically (except for a friction factor which must be determined
by experiment) and can be used to calculate for laminar and turbulent flow of liquid in a pipe. Valves And Fittings

In addition to the pressure loss due to fluid friction with the walls of the pipeline, valves and fittings also
contribute to overall system pressure loss. The pressure loss due to a single valve in several thousand feet
of straight piping will be insignificant but in a pumping station, for example, where many valves exist and
many changes in flow direction occur, pressure loss in valves and fittings is important Pressure loss in
valves and fittings is made up of both the friction loss within the valve or fitting itself and the additional
loss upstream and downstream of the fitting above that which would have occurred in the absence of the
fitting. Calculation of the pressure loss in a valve or fitting is based on experimental data. One approach is
the use of a resistance factor for a given valve or fitting. The resistance coefficient is normally treated as a
constant for a given valve or fitting under all flow conditions.

Another term used in determining the pressure drop through valves and fittings is the flow coefficient, Cv
The flow coefficient of a valve is the flow of water at 6OºF, in gal/min, at a pressure drop of one psi
across the valve. The flow coefficients of any other liquid can be calculated using the relation of its
density to that of water. Heavy Crudes

Some crudes with very high pour points or high wax contents that require pipelines of special design
Pipelining such crudes can be especially troublesome offshore where heat loss to the water is great
and any heat added to the crude before it enters the pipeline is dissipated within a short distance
if a conventional pipeline is used. If the crude cools, excessive wax deposits in the pipeline can
lower operating efficiency. In cases of extremely viscous crudes, flow can even be halted if the
temperature is allowed to fail too low. Not only is the baiting of flow a problem, but restarting
flow after such an occurrence can be difficult
To handle these special crudes, pipelines have been successfully installed and operated simply by
insulating the pipelines, but other approaches include:

• Heating the crude to a high temperature at the inlet to the pipeline, allowing it to reach its n destination
before cooling below the pour point (The pipeline may or may not be insulated);
• Pumping the crude at a temperature below the pour point using high pressure pumps;

• Adding a hydrocarbon dilutant such as a less waxy crude or a light distillate;

• Injecting water to form a layer between the pipe wall and the crude;

• Processing the crude before pipelining to change the wax crystal structure and reduce pour point and

• Mixing water with the crude to form an emulsion; Processing the crude before pipelining to change

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

the wax crystal structure and reduce pour point and viscosity;

• Heating both crude and pipeline by steam tracing or electrical heating;

• Injecting wax solvents such as benzene or toluene.

A combination of these methods can also be used and the choice of method will depend upon the physical
properties of the crude and the economics of its production.
If waxy crude is pumped below its pour point, more pumping energy is required and, if pumping is
stopped, more energy will be required to put the crude in motion again than was required to keep it
When flow is stopped wax crystals form, causing the crude to gel in the pipeline.The wax in crude which
is being pumped at temperatures above its pour point will form cohesive lattice structures if it is allowed
to cool down to below its pour point whilst stationary. Experiments have shown that restart pressures can
be five to ten times higher for a pipeline that was above the pour point and cooled after shut-down than
for one that was below its pour point before shut-down. Gas Pipelines

Several formulae can be used to calculate the flow of gas in a pipeline. These formulas account for the
effects of pressure, temperature, pipe diameter, pipe length, specific gravity, pipe roughness and gas
The Darcy equation can also be used in flow calculations involving gases but it must be done with care
and restrictions on its use are recommended. If, for instance, pressure drop in the line is large relative to
the inlet pressure, the Darcy equation is not recommended. Because this is often the case and because
other restrictions also apply to its use in gas flow calculations, other more practical equations are
commonly used for gas flow calculations. Allowable Operating Pressure

An important pipeline design calculation is the maximum pressure at which a given size, grade and
weight of pipe may operate.

Maximum operating pressure determines how much a pipeline may carry . Other factors being fixed and
depends on the physical and chemical properties of the pipe steel. Since standard pipe grades, sizes and
weights are normally used, the maximum operating pressure can usually be obtained from tables
contained in recognised specifications. Looping

This is the term used when laying a pipeline parallel to an existing line in order to increase the total
capacity throughput. Two-phase Flow

The combined flow of oil and gas in a pipeline presents many design and operational difficulties not
present in single phase liquid or vapour flow. Frictional pressure drops are harder to estimate.

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

Liquid is likely to gather at low points in the pipeline and reduce the pipeline capacity to a point when
slugs of liquid are pushed ahead by the gas.
The movement of large liquid slugs along the pipeline can cause additional pipeline stresses and the
pipeline terminal facilities must be designed to receive such volumes of liquid by provision of large,
specially designed vessels or energy absorbing pipework, known as slug-catchers.
The type of flow in a pipe is known as its flow regime. We have already come across laminar and
turbulent flow regimes. These are single phase flow regimes and which phase will exist can be found by
calculating the Reynolds number.

Pipelines are seldom horizontal, as they have to follow the undulations of the seabed or the countryside,
and often have vertical sections as they rise to join platforms or enter process streams.
In view of this, flows regimes can exist which are considerably more complex than those already
The key difference between single-phase flow and two-phase flow is that it is much more difficult to
determine pressure drops for two-phase flow. This is complicated if you consider that a difference in
incline of several degrees, never mind 90º; can change entirely the nature of the flow regime.
Undulating terrain will generally not be a problem for single-phase pipelines; however, it can materially
affect pressure drop in two-phase pipelines if there are a large number of. rises and falls, which the
pipeline must cross.

Some two-phase regimes are caused by liquid condensation or fall-out from the gas due to reducing
temperature and pressure along the length of the pipeline. For onshore gas lines liquid knock-outs can be
provided at intervals such that liquids can be drained off by blow-down of the line.
Well flow lines often work in a two-phase regime, particularly because the well fluids usually contain
both oil and gas and there may be no facility at the wellhead (E.g. at sub-sea wells) prior to the fluid
reaching the gathering station (or platform).
Despite the problems associated with the prediction of two-phase estimates, more and more pipelines are
being designed for such flow systems.
For example when hydrocarbon condensate is separated from the gas at offshore platforms, it is invariably
spiked back into the gas for transport to the shore in the pipeline. This is mainly because te economics
would not support a separate line for condensate sales.
Several empirical flow patterns have been presented that determine vapour/liquid flow as a function of
fluid proportions and flow rates. Diagrams of these flow patterns are shown Figure 4.27.
Care should be taken in the interpretation of these diagrams, as the regime boundaries of bubble, slug,
annular, mist and wave conditions are strongly affected by pipe inclination. Even very low pipe
inclination of one or two degrees can cause considerable movement of the regime boundaries and, in
addition, adjustment has been observed due to fluid pressure, pipe diameter and surface tension.
In both vertical and horizontal directions, the avoidance of slug flow is desirable. Slug flow might
possibly be avoided by choice of a smaller pipe diameter. This will increase fluid velocities and reduce
the pipeline liquid inventory.

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

4.5.3 Sizing Of Pipelines Oil Pipelines

Pumping a specified quantity of a given oil over a given distance may be achieved by using a large
diameter pipe with a small pressure drop, or small diameter pipe with a greater pressure drop.

The first alternative will tend to a higher capital cost with lower running costs. It is necessary to strike an
economic balance between these two.
There are no hard and fast rules, which can be laid down for achieving this balance. For instance, a
pumping station in a populated area may consist of a simple building, involving the provision of
electrically driven pumps, taking power from outside sources and little else. To obtain the same pumping
power in remote or undeveloped countries would involve a considerably more complicated and expensive
installation. Obviously in this latter case, it is desirable to reduce the number of pumping stations at the
cost of using larger diameter piping.
Similarly, the cost of the pipeline will vary considerably, depending upon circumstances. It will be costly
in highly industrialised areas, environmentally sensitive areas, offshore or in hostile, mountainous or
swamp areas; cheaper in flat, soft but firm, undeveloped terrain. Gas Pipelines

Sizing problems encountered in gas lines differ considerably from those of oil lines. A simplification
results from the negligible weight of the gas as the pressure in the line is virtually independent of the
ground elevation on the other hand, the compressibility of gas introduces the complication of the density
decreasing and consequently the volume rate of flow increasing in the direction of flow. In an oil line of
constant diameter laid on level ground, the pressure decreases uniformly with distance and the velocity
stays constant whereas, in a gas line, the velocity increases as the pressure gradient decreases with an
exponential, which becomes progressively steeper.
The characteristics of pumps and compressors also determine the site of any pipeline booster stations as
well as the initial pipeline conditions which have to be met Pumps need to be sited in positions where
they are receiving the crude oil at a pressure greater than the vapour pressure of the crude oil, whereas
compressors have to be sited at a location where both the pressure and velocity of the gas are at optimum

4.5.4 Fouling
The deposition of paraffin, salt or scale on flowline wells can materially reduce the cross-sectional area of
the pipe and severely restrict flow.
Paraffin can usually be removed by scraping or by pumping hot oil or condensate through the lines. Salt
and/or scale similarly may require removal by a pipeline scraper pig, or in some cases by chemical
treatment. These factors should be carefully considered when designing and sizing the flowlines. If either
of these factors are suspected, it may be wise to weight the estimated cleaning frequency with the cost of
installing slightly larger pipelines.

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

4.5.5 Pipeline Construction Pipeline Design Codes

Most of the codes of practice are derivatives from studies conducted by the American Society of
Mechanical Engineers (ASMIE) and the American Standards Association (ASA), which later changed its
name to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The UK Pipeline Safety Code is Part 6 of the IP Model code of Safe Practice in the Petroleum industry,
which includes and takes note of the British Standard Code of Practice for Pipelines, BS CP 2010, which
relates to pipeline construction in the UK.
Gas distribution lines up to a working pressure of 70 bar are adequately covered by the Institution of Gas
Engineers’ series “Recommendations on Transmission and Distribution Practice. The IIP Code does not
claim to be a design handbook and does not replace the need for appropriate experience and engineering
The IP Code of Practice sets forth general requirements for the safe design, construction and operation of
pipelines for the conveyance of petroleum (crude oil and liquid products) and gas (natural gas and
gaseous products).
It specifies considerations for pipe materials, flanges fittings and valves etc.

Submarine pipelines are designed to internationally accepted codes, such as in Norway the Det Norske
Veritas “Rules for the Design, Construction and Inspection of Submarine Pipelines and Pipeline Risers”.

By definition pipelines normally start at the scraper launcher and ends at the scraper receiver or slug

It should be remembered that wherever national codes are more stringent than internationally accepted
codes, the national codes must take precedence. Grades of Steel

The pipe from which flow lines and pipelines are constructed is known in the oil industry as “1ine pipe”.
As with casing and tubing, line pipe is manufactured from different grades or strengths of steel and in
different wall thickness to enable economical as well as safe design. The physical properties of the
various grades of steels used in the manufacture of most of the line pipe of importance to the industry are
set out in API Standards.

The requirement for high pressure, large diameter, cross-country, oil and gas transmission lines developed
a need for a high strength, field weldable steel. As a result, API grades X-42 through X-65 with yield
strengths of 42,000 psi to 65,000 psi were developed. These higher strength steels are available for use
under the requirements of the IP Code.
The higher working pressures resulting from the use of the higher strength steels enable a substantial
saving in steel tonnage and can be economical in use.
Submarine pipelines are subject to external stresses not considered so far in our discussions. In addition to
hydrostatic pressure due to immersion depth, the motion of the sea introduces currents and swell and
possibly thermal stress. During and after laying greater consideration must be given to the weight and
curvature of the pipe.

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi Process of Manufacture

Three different processes are used to manufacture pipe that is used for line pipe. The properties and
capabilities of the pipe vary with the type of process used. Seamless Line Pipe

Seamless pipe is generally the industries first choice for high-pressure flow lines and pipelines.

Seamless pipe is a wrought steel tube without a welded seam, manufactured by hot working steel and, if
necessary, subsequently cold finished to produce the desired properties.

Generally speaking, seamless pipe is preferred by the oil industry for use in well flow lines and other high
pressure lines, although welded pipe described below is similarly used for high pressure lines in larger
sizes where seamless pipe is not available. Availability is limited to a maximum diameter of about 20
inches because of the process of forming seamless pipe. Furnace Welded Line Pipe

About the only type of furnace welded pipe available today is manufactured by the continuous welding,
butt-weld process.

In the butt-weld process, pipe is manufactured with one longitudinal seam formed by mechanical pressure
to make the welded junction after the entire steel strip from which the tube is formed has been heated to
proper welding temperature.

The cost of the CW, continuous weld, butt weld line pipe is 15 to 20% lower than Grade B seamless or
electric weld line pipe. Electric Welded Line Pipe

Electric welded pipe has one longitudinal seam formed by electric flash welding, electric resistance
welding or electric induction welding without the addition of extraneous metal. There is probably more
pipe manufactured by the electric weld process than any other method because of the low initial
investment for the equipment and the adaptability to different wall thicknesses. Most electric weld line
pipe is not fully normalised after welding. Some is normalised in the weld zone only. Therefore, there is a
heat runout zone on each side of the weld resulting in non-uniformity of hardness and grain structure.
Like furnace weld, electric weld is not recommended for use where internal corrosion is expected.
Electric weld is the same price as seamless when made from the same grade of steel with the same wall
thickness. Pipe Diameters

Steel pipes are referred to according to their nominal inside diameter up to 12 in. Pipes of above 12
diameter are usually identified by their outside diameter (OD). All classes (weights) of pipe of a given
nominal size have the same OD, the extra thickness for different weights being on the inside.

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi Pipe End Connections
Flow lines and pipelines are normally constructed with plain-end or bevelled and pipe ready for field
welding. Where occasionally flanged connections are required, for example where flanged spools or
block valves are fitted, the flanges will generally be specified raised face to ANSI B16.5, or its equivalent
BS 1560, with weld-neck ends.

4.5.6 Pipe Coating and Protection Land Pipelines

Before being trenched and buried, the pipe is normally cleaned and coated with a1ayer of bitumen,
fusion-bonded epoxy or other type material for external corrosion protection. Many types of coating,
some proprietary, are available and the type of soil influences the choice of coating. The coating is
normally wrapped with tape for physical protection of the coating during subsequent operations. Submarine Pipelines

Subsea immersion causes the pipeline to be exposed to a corrosive environment that is normally very
severe. Pipe coating must be applied under stringent conditions with good mechanical strength to
withstand the subsequent laying operations. Concrete coating is frequently necessary to provide negative
buoyancy. Trenching may be necessary as dictated by the authorities for coastal areas, inland swamp
areas, shallow waters and shipping lanes.

4.5.7 Pipeline Risers General

An important consideration in the design of offshore pipelines is connection to surface facilities. Often,
the pipeline on the seabed is connected to a riser, which extends to a surface producing facility.

Many types of pipeline risers have been used in the past, including risers that can be sat on site and pre-
installed risers that can be connected to the pipe on the seabed by a subsea tie-in arrangement Selection of
a particular installation method is influenced by several factors, including water depth, project schedule,
economics and platform design. Specialised analysis of the pipeline and riser are needed to ensure
flexibility of the connection and safety of the system.

Several methods exist for connecting a subsea pipeline to a pre-installed (existing) riser on a platform.
They include the following: Flanged Connections

Flanged connections are widely used for pipeline-riser tie-ins. Long pipe spools, fabricated in a jig aboard
a work vessel, are usually used with flanges. Alternatively, swivels have been used to accommodate
annular misalignments between the pipe and riser; the spools normally have right angle or Z-bends to
provide flexibility in accommodating thermal and pressure expansion. In some cases, particularly in large
diameter pipelines, rotating flanges are used to ease the installation.

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

Some operators favour flanges, while others favour hyperbaric welding. The advantage of flanges is that
they permit easier repairs in the event of pipeline/riser damage or corrosion. There have been some
reports of leaks and they can take a long time to locate. But this is not generally regarded as a major factor
for eliminating flanges. Hyperbaric Welding

Hyperbaric welding is conducted in an inlet atmosphere (nitrogen, argon or helium) at pressures relative
to the depth of water. It has been used mostly for pipeline-riser tie-ins in the deep waters of the North Sea.

The hyperbaric work chamber and alignment frame are normally handled by a pipe-lay barge, a derrick
barge or a large work vessel. Subsea Atmospheric Welding

Subsea atmospheric welding is carried out inside a caisson, which is maintained at atmospheric pressure
on the seabed. The gas within the caisson may be air, nitrogen, helium or argon, depending upon weld
specification. Higher-quality welds can be obtained than those obtained under hyperbaric welding
An alternative system consists of a habitat chamber, which is a permanent part of the platform and into
which pipe is pulled.

After pipe is pulled into the chamber, the chamber is sealed and pumped dry. Mechanical Connectors

Mechanical connectors clamp two pipe ends together without the need for welding. Surface Welding

The surface welding method is used for simultaneous installation of a pipeline and riser. It is
most widely employed for pipelines up to about 30 in. diameter and in water depths to about 350
In this method, pipe is first laid on bottom near the platform. The lay barge lifts the pipe to the surface
using davits, buoyancy devices, or both. A carefully planned pick-up procedure is used so that pipe is
safely lifted without over-stressing. The riser is then set into position next to the platform leg and clamps
are installed to fasten the riser to the platform legs.

4.5.8 Pipeline Pigging General
Pipeline pigs and spheres are used for a variety of purposes in both liquids and natural gas pipelines.
Pigs and spheres are forced through the pipeline by the pressure of the flowing fluid. A pig usually
consists of a steel body with rubber or plastic cups attached to seal against the inside of the pipeline and to
allow pressure to move the pig along the pipeline. Different types of brushes and scrapers can be attached

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

to the body of the pig for cleaning or to perform other functions. Figure 4.28 illustrates a variety of
pipeline pigs.
Pipeline pigging is done for the following reasons:

• To clean up pipelines before use (foam pigs);

• To fill lines for hydrostatic testing, dewatering following hydrostatic testing, and drying and purging
operations (spheres and foam pigs);

• To periodically remove wax, dirt and water from the pipeline (scraper pigs and brush pigs);

• To sweep liquids from gas pipelines (spheres)

• To separate products to reduce the amount of mixing between different types of crude oil or refined
products (squeegee pigs and “Go-Devil” pigs);

• To control liquids in a pipeline, including two-phase pipelines (spheres and foam pigs);

• To inspect pipelines for defects such as dents, buckles or corrosion (“intelligent-pigs or caliper pigs).
(Figure 4.29 illustrates a caliper pig.)

Differential pressure is required to move a pig or sphere through the pipeline. The force required depends
on elevation changes in the pipeline, friction between the pig and the pipe wall and the amount of
lubrication available in the line. (A dry gas pipeline provides less lubrication tan a crude oil pipeline, for

Cups are designed to seal against the wall by making them larger than the inside diameter of the pipe. As
the cups become worn, the amount of blow-by fluid by-passing the pigs increases because the seal is not
as effective.

In the case of spheres, a certain amount of over-inflation is required to provide a seal. (In two-phase
pipelines, spheres are sometimes under-inflated to allow some blow-by to lower the density of the fluid
ahead of the sphere).

Pigs and spheres travel at about the same velocity as the fluid in the pipeline and travel speed is relatively
constant. Pigging Operations

Pigs are used in all types of pipelines to increase efficiency and avoid problems at pump or compressor
stations that could result from the presence of unwanted materials. Brushes and scrapers on a cleaning pig
remove dirt and scale from the pipeline walls. Brush and scraper pigs feature longitudinal boles, which
pass through the body of the pig. The holes allow a flow of fluid through the pig to prevent the build-up
of wax or debris in front of the pig.
A pig can remove very large amounts of debris if it is run over a long distance.
For example, assume a pig is run in a 24 in. pipeline, 100 miles long, and removes 0.016 in. of wax
material from the wall of the pipeline. After 100 miles, a plug about 1,450 ft long would form. For this
reason, pipelines are operated to very definite pigging programmes.
Pipelines are often pigged first during testing following construction. Most pipelines are tested with water
(hydrostatic testing) either in sections or over the entire length. A foam pig or pigs is normally sent ahead
of the water when filling the test section to prevent mixing the test water with air in the line. Internally

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coated pipelines are often flushed with water ahead of a pig to prevent debris from being dragged along
the inside surface, damaging the coating.
After testing, the water is usually displaced with the fluid to be transported in the pipeline. A pig is run
between the two fluids to separate them. In gas pipelines, the pig is used to “dewater” the pipeline by
running it behind the test water. Additional pigs may also be run to ensure that as much moisture as
possible is removed from the line. Launching And Receiving

Equipment is required to introduce the pig into the pipeline and to retrieve the pig at the end of the
segment being pigged. A launcher is required at the upstream of the section and a receiver at the down-
stream end.
The distance between these pig “traps” depends on service, location of pump or compressor stations,
operating procedures and the material used in the pig.

The design of pig launchers, pig traps and related equipment is done in accordance with standards
developed by several organisations. Traps for brush pigs, squeegees and foam pigs include a barrel, short
pup joint, a trap valve, a side valve and a bypass line. The barrel holds the pig for loading and unloading
and is equipped with a quick-opening closure or blind flange. A barrel diameter larger than the diameter
of the pipeline served is required in order to allow the Pig to be successfully launched or retrieved. Barrel
length depends on operating procedures, service and available space. Figure 4.30 and Figure 4.31
illustrate a pig launcher and a pig receiver respectively.
Sphere launchers are often designed for multiple sphere launching and recovery duties and the barrels for
sphere launchers are typically longer than those for other types of pigs. The operator can load these
magazines with several spheres that can be launched automatically. This approach is often used in two-
phase pipelines where the barrels may be designed to accommodate over lo spheres. The sphere launcher
consists of the barrel, a launching mechanism, an isolation valve, an equaliser valve and a reducing tee. A
drain can serve as an equalizing line. Figure 4.32 illustrates a sphere launcher/receiver system and
Figure 4.34, shows a sphere being filled with antifreeze solution.

Combination pig and sphere launchers can also be designed if both cleaning pigs and spheres for liquid
control are needed. Pig Launching And Receiving Procedures

Pig launching and receiving procedures are often supervised by senior operations staff and fully
monitored by all pipeline users but the actual procedures laid down for each pig launching/pig receiving
facility will vary. Pigging Problems

The pig launcher-receiver is probably the only high-pressure vessel on the facility, in hydrocarbon
service, which is regularly opened to the atmosphere and then pressured as a normal operating procedure.

If the launcher/receiver is incorrectly purged and pressured, an explosion becomes a major possibility. To
reduce the chances of such an incident, the relative procedures are commonly backed up by an “interlock-
system”, which prevents the movement of valves and door closure devices until certain criteria have been

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

met within the system. Figure 4.33 illustrates the logic of a simple interlock system.

In the last decade at least two launchers have been involved in major explosions in Britain.

When pigs are launched into a pipeline there is always the possibility that the pig will stop or reduce the
flow of fluid through the pipeline. The most common incidents and their causes are:

The pig fails to launch (this only becomes apparent alter the launch procedure is at its final stages. The
possible causes are:

1. The pig is too small (wrong pig or under- sized) and the flow cannot pick up the pig in the launcher

2. The pig is too large, wrong pig or oversized and it is jammed in the exit to the launcher.

3. The pig is too far back in the launcher.

The pig indicator, Figure 4.35 should show that the pig has launched. They are, however, not always

The pig is launched successfully but fails to arrive on time with no major changes in pipeline pressures or
flows. The possible causes are:
1. The pig is too small (wrong size) and cannot climb the riser into the receiver.
2. The pig has disintegrated into its component parts.
3. The pig is hung on a bend and the cups have “flipped” forwards to allow full flow.

The pig is launched successfully but fails to arrive on time and there is an increase in pipeline pressure
drop in pipeline flow. The possible causes are:

1. The pig has hung up on a bend or ’T ’piece (pig is too long for bend radius).

2. The wrong size of pig was launched (too large in diameter).

3. The pipeline has been dented and the pig is stuck at the damaged section.

The pigs “leap-frog” each other in the pipeline; (usually foam pigs). The possible causes are:

1. The operator launched them 1, 3, 2 but did not realise (most common);

2. The front pig hangs up on an obstruction and is only cleared by the second pig rolling over it.

Spheres arrive with huge chunks missing. The most likely cause is that the launcher valve has taken a bite
out of the sphere as it was launched.

Launcher valves are often half-cup ball valves, which rotate through 180º to launch the sphere. Oversized
spheres hang over the side of the cup and are sliced as the cup rotates.

Pigs and spheres go into by-pass lines, junction ‘T pieces or other pipelines. Operator error or process
upsets may often create situations where the sphere or pig can deviate from its normal path. In one known
instance a 28” diameter neoprene sphere travelled into a 12” diameter pipe for some considerable distance
before flow was stopped.
Whatever the “Causes” of pigging problems, the “effects” can be severe and in some instances the
pipeline has had to be cut out to remove the offending pig.

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

Figure 4.1 Gate Valve
Figure 4.2 Ball/taper Plug valve
Figure 4.3 Globe Valve
Figure 4.4 Butterfly Valve
Figure 4.5 Spring-Operated Relief valve
Figure 4.6 Swing and Lift Check Valves
Figure 4.7 Twin Seal valve
Figure 4.8 Semi-Needle Valve and Ball-Check gauge Glass Valve
Figure 4.9 Methods of joining Pipe
Figure 4.10 Fittings Used with Butt-Welded Joints
Figure 4.11 Fittings Used with Socket Welded piping
Figure 4.12 Fittings Used with Screwed Pipework
Figure 4.13 Flanged Joints
Figure 4.14 Typical Gasket materials and their use
Figure 4.15 Line isolating and Blinding
Figure 4.16 Pipe Supports
Figure 4.17 Choke Erosion Cutting Action
Figure 4.18 Choke opening Correlation Chart
Figure 4.19 Choke Tungsten Carbide Inserts
Figure 4.20 Sub Surface Safety Valve
Figure 4.21 Wellhead
Figure 4.22 Xmas Tree Main Valves
Figure 4.23 Oil Production manifolds
Figure 4.24 Wellhead Module
Figure 4.25 Typical Test Separator
Figure 4.26 Typical Well Test Facility
Figure 4.27 Pipeline Flow Patterns
Figure 4.28 Types of Pipeline Pigs
Figure 4.29 The “Kaliper” Pig

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

Figure 4.30 Pig Launcher Schematic
Figure 4.31 Pig Receiver Schematic
Figure 4.32 Gas Service Sphere launcher Schematic
Figure 4.33 Pig Launcher Interlock schematic
Figure 4.34 Sphere Pig
Figure 4.35 Pig Indicator
Figure 4.36 Not Used – Spare
Figure 4.37 Bi–Directional Prover Loop
Figure 4.38 Orifice Plate Principal

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi

Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi
Prepare and Arrange by Reza Manafi