Heavy Rain, Erosion Woes Halt Mountain Valley Pipeline

DOT Awards $7.4M for Pipeline Safety Research Projects

Wed December 01, 2004 - National Edition

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta has announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will award $7.4 million to support 21 research and development contracts for projects that will improve the safety and reliability of pipelines.

“Time and time again we see the vital role transportation plays in moving the American economy,” Mineta said. “Investing in technologies to make pipelines safer and more reliable is one of the best ways to make sure our economy keeps moving into the future.”

The awards, offered through DOT’s Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), brings DOT’s investment in pipeline research and development to more than $15.8 million for 58 projects since 2002.

The grants will go to companies identified by RSPA that propose technologies most likely to improve pipeline safety and performance.

The awards announced will fund the following projects:

• Electricore Inc., of Indianapolis, IN: to develop and test available unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles for right of way monitoring and leak detection ($900,000).

• Technology & Management Systems Inc., of Burlington, MA: to support the development of liquefied natural gas risk modeling ($100,000).

• Northeast Gas Association, of New York, NY: to develop a full-function, self-propelled robotic platform for pipelines incapable of receiving internal inspections ($500,000); a segmented Magnetic Flux Leakage sensor and respective module for integration in a robotic platform ($500,000); tools for corrosion and coating defects in natural gas pipelines incapable of receiving internal inspections ($500,000); and experimental sensor systems for encroachment monitoring ($175,000).

• ITT Industries Inc. of White Plains, NY: to support the development and enhancement of detection systems for small hazardous liquid and refined product leaks ($450,000).

• Battelle Corporation, of Columbus, OH: to use field validations of the newly available direct assessment methodologies for both external corrosion and stress-corrosion cracking; and to develop improved methods for controlling the factors that cause stress-corrosion cracking, approaches for improving the integrity of pipeline systems with wrinkle bends and buckles, and improved approaches to control running fractures to minimize their consequences when ruptures occur ($1 million).

• Edison Welding Institute, of Columbus, OH: to develop factors for standards that control strength and toughness in high-strength girth welds ($300,000) and welding processes and automated technologies for single-sided pipeline girth welding ($400,000); and to determine the effect of electrode drying and arc length on weld metal chemistry in high-strength steels ($150,000).

• CC Technologies Laboratories of Dublin, OH: to develop and expand an electronic pipeline repair manual to aid inspectors ($75,000); to validate above-ground direct assessment methods that locate coating holidays and disbondments ($500,000); and to develop internal corrosion direct-assessment methods for liquid pipelines ($200,000).

• Shell Global Solutions (US) Inc., of Houston, TX: to support enhancement of in-line inspection tools to measure stray currents found in pipelines ($400,000).

• Southwest Research Institute, of San Antonio, TX: to develop external corrosion rates for pipelines exposed to external stray currents from other utilities ($300,000) and a method for characterizing mechanical damage with respect to delayed failures in pipelines ($250,000).

• Battelle Corporation, of Seattle, WA: to develop human factors techniques towards monitoring and control room operations ($400,000).

• BMT Fleet Technology, Limited, of Ontario, Canada: to support the development of mechanical damage repair data for weld seam standards in support of pipeline integrity ($80,000).

• C-FER, of Edmonton, Canada: to model third-party damage and frequency based on existing pipeline conditions ($70,000).

• R/D Technology of Quebec, Canada: to develop and demonstrate an in-line inspection tool for stress corrosion cracking in pipelines ($160,000).

For more information, visit http://primis.rspa.dot.gov/rd.