An analysis was performed of the charts that are traditionally employed in the determination of the separation of geotechnical protective structures on rights-of-way, such as cut-offs and trench barriers. An analysis was performed for the specific study area, with information from the existing weather and rainfall stations, which made it possible to characterize more accurately the rainfall figure required for curve fitting. Furthermore, knowledge of the soils in the area made it possible to classify them in terms of erodability. This classification was used to establish curves that better reflect the actual conditions of the soils of the rights-of-way. A conceptual analysis was performed of the need for the implementation of these structures in order to control erosion along the rights-of-way. This analysis made it possible to propose changes in the materials specification, in order to optimize costs during construction.

As a supplement to the study of the protective structures for the rights-of-way, the dimensions of the trench for the installation of the pipelines was analyzed. This analysis included a comparison of the actual construction dimensions of the trench against the dimensions recommended by international standards and the ones contained in the international literature. Certain Colombian projects that supplement the analysis are also cited. The foregoing findings were used in the preparation of certain recommendations regarding the reduction of the dimensions of the trench for certain specific technical, social, and environmental conditions.

Last, based on the analyses that were performed, the study proposes certain changes in the operator’s current standards, primarily regarding items such as cut-offs, trench barriers, and the dimensions of the trench. These changes will lead to a reduction in the construction costs of the geotechnical protective structures for hydrocarbon-pipeline rights-of-way. These items are typical, because the pipelines in question are located predominantly on foothill plains.

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