(an article by Tim Mally of Citadel Technologies is featured in World Pipeline Magazine – March 2015 issue)
Tim Mally, Citadel Technologies, USA, explores how carbon fiber composite repair systems are rapidly gaining traction in the budget-minded and engineering driven oil and gas industry as an acceptable method to restore pipeline integrity.
With the recent plunge in oil prices on the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropping below US$50/bbl, oil and gas operators are scrambling to thin out labor and trim down the fat on their operating budgets. Meanwhile, lower operating budgets have not absolved their responsibility to maintain a safe and reliable pipeline network managed through a pipeline integrity management program. To add to the chaos many pipeline safety regulators around the world, such as the US’ Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (US DOT’s PHMSA), are cracking down on aging and potentially unsafe pipeline infrastructure within their respective countries. The only item that seems to be increasing as fast as the amount of pipeline regulations is: the cost of the penalties for non-compliance. As these two factors constantly swirl in pipeline owners and operators’ minds, they are daily faced with decisions of which outcomes will directly effect how efficiently and economically they can keep their pipelines safe and intact for the surrounding populations.