Pressure cycling can result in integrity concerns for pipeline operators. Pressure monitoring is commonly used by pipeline operators to assess the effect of pressure cycling on existing assets. For new pipeline assets, however, the evaluation process for potential cycling is less mature. Enbridge Pipelines employs a pressure cycling evaluation process for new pipelines.
A process mapping professional was engaged by Enbridge Pipelines to perform a mapping exercise on the existing pressure cycling process. A process flow chart was developed which identified key decision points during the development of a new pipeline. A gap analysis identified areas where process definition or enhancement was required. The newly created process flow was piloted on two development projects for new pipeline assets. After completing the process mapping exercise, a design standard was created.
The design standard provides assessment procedures for pressure cycling on a new pipeline design. The timing for executing the process housed in the design standard is critical to ensuring that correct information is available early enough in the process to facilitate key design-related decisions. The process flow in the design standard illustrates the process used to determine and evaluate the anticipated fatigue life of a new development pipeline. In addition, this process flow illustrates the evaluation of mitigation strategies to improve anticipated fatigue life of a new development pipeline.
Additionally, key learnings will be highlighted from the development and execution of the pressure cycling process on new development pipeline assets. The paper will address the future implication of the mapping exercise and the relevance of application of process mapping to other areas of Enbridge operations.