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Remaining Life Assessment of ERW Flaws: A Case Study

[+] Author Affiliations
Pablo Cazenave, Samarth Tandon, Katina Tinacos, Ming Gao

Blade Energy Partners, Houston, TX

David C. Katz, Sergio Limon, Michael Van Hook

Williams – Northwest Pipeline, Salt Lake City, UT

Paper No. IPC2012-90472, pp. 469-474; 6 pages
  • 2012 9th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 2: Pipeline Integrity Management
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 24–28, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute, Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4513-4
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Recent failures in seam weld pipe have raised concerns within the pipeline industry over the integrity of such welded pipe. Low-Frequency (LF) Electric Resistance Welded (ERW) pipe manufactured prior to 1970, in particular, can be susceptible to failures caused by hook cracks, lack of fusion and other planar defects should the weld area exhibit low toughness.

Integrity management regulations and Pipeline operators are evaluating potential methodologies to address and mitigate the LF-ERW seam weld threat. A program has been initiated at Williams Northwest Pipeline GP (NWPGP) to address the integrity management of its pre-70s ERW pipelines.

In this case study, as part of an overall integrity management program, a hydrostatic test and fatigue analysis based methodology for addressing the LF-ERW seam weld threat is presented. The methodology was applied to 15 pre-1970’s natural gas pipelines. The results and findings are summarized in terms of the integrity threat mitigation and maintenance strategies.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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