Eni group is working on a gas transportation project aimed to develop and verify the technology for a “LD-HC-HP-HG” (Long Distance–High Capacity–High Pressure–High Grade) gas pipeline named TAP (Trasporto Alta Pressione). Interest in high pressure and high grade pipe steels is due to the increasing necessity of economic gas transportation on long distances between upstream and downstream in an international context. In the past Eni group has already studied long distance pipeline materials from the economic and pre-feasibility point of view. Now, with TAP project, Eni is going to do an “in field experience” with high pressure and high grade steels to concur and to promote the “gas to market” with the “pipeline” option. Snam Rete Gas competences in the project are related to: • partial contribution to the technical characterization of field welding joints; • analysis of solutions for coating and cathodic protection especially dedicated for long distance pipelines. The building of a pilot pipeline in X100 grade steel is an opportunity to test new technologies and new instrumentations to economically prevent corrosion with coating and cathodic protection in long distance pipelines where there could be logistic problems for the systems inspection and maintenance due also to the extreme environmental conditions. Design of the system solutions according to a “life cycle costing” approach and analysis of the experimental results of the pilot pipeline in X100 grade steel will be both included in the project. Aim of this paper is to suggest an experimental approach to coating and cathodic protection design on long distance gas pipeline in order to minimize inspection and maintenance costs, very relevant for such a type of application.

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