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Offshore Oil and Gas Pipeline Basics

John Huang, Ph.D., PE and John Poullain, PE

This three-hour online course summarizes basic information, relevant issues and guidelines for the installation of offshore oil and gas pipelines and describes the potential impacts and mitigation measures. The advantages and limitations of the methods commonly used to lay pipelines in varying offshore water depths are discussed. Also addressed are pipeline inspection, safety issues and maintenance used to provide safe and reliable undersea pipeline transport of products in order to prevent leakage into coastal environments. The functions of various equipment, methods and procedures are described to give an understanding of typical problems encountered such as hydration and wax formation.

Construction and installation of offshore pipelines have special challenges to maintain the pipes and to provide efficient and long-term performance, especially when compared to onshore pipelines. Pipe installations from lay barges and reel barges tests the mechanical durability of the corrosion coatings and welds as the pipes are passed over the barge stingers and rollers or when towed along the sea floor. Offshore pipes must withstand varying operating temperatures, large temperature differences between the inside and outside of the pipe walls and high hydrostatic pressures.

Just as pipe laying has many challenges, recovery and/or removal of damaged pipelines may be required. The integrity of older existing pipelines has been a concern due to the corrosion susceptibility, data from repair histories and knowing the actual existing conditions. The Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service has made studies and published papers regarding the assessment of existing pipelines with attention to corrosion monitoring, leak detection and other related issues.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.