Pipeline companies often reduce the pressure while performing maintenance activities and integrity excavations on in-service pipelines. Despite this practice, pipeline design codes, regulations and industry publications offer little guidance on what factors should be considered to determine how much, if any, the pressure should be reduced from operating levels during excavation activities. Also, it is not commonly understood what level of safety is introduced with these reductions and what historical operating pressure level should be used as the basis for the reductions. A literature survey and an interview process with CEPA member companies summarized common industry practices and determined factors to be considered when assessing if and how much of a pressure reduction is appropriate while excavating an operating energy pipeline.

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