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Project Management Considerations of Pipelines Crossing the Andes

[+] Author Affiliations
Alfred M. Pettinger

Exponent Inc., Irvine, CA

Robert Montgomery

Exponent Inc., Washington, DC

Paper No. IPC2010-31303, pp. 15-20; 6 pages
  • 2010 8th International Pipeline Conference
  • 2010 8th International Pipeline Conference, Volume 3
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 27–October 1, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute and the Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4422-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3885-3
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Pipeline operators, contractors and governments face important challenges when planning, designing, constructing and operating pipelines which connect the hydrocarbon reserves in the Amazonian basin with population and shipping centers on the Pacific coast. These pipelines cross portions of the Amazonian rainforest, the mountain rainforest along the eastern flank of the Andes, the Andean plateau, and the rural and urban low lying desert areas along the Pacific coast. The need for these pipelines will continue and offers a tremendous opportunity to promote sustainable economic development. However, there are several challenges in safeguarding the integrity of the pipeline, environment, local population, and socio-economic fabric of the region. Failure to properly address these risks could have significant financial, engineering, environmental and social, or reputational consequences for operators, contractors, financiers and governments. In this context, companies need to understand the specific challenges present and implement an encompassing project and risk management strategy that entails leadership, team work, effective communication and collaboration in a manner that proactively meets anticipated needs and responds to evolving conditions. During design and construction management, engineers and scientists are challenged by geology, topography, limited or no field data, limited access to the right-of-way (RoW), and socio-environmental aspects. Major training efforts are needed for the construction workforce, in a manner applicable to educational and cultural characteristics. Special road safety measures are required and in many instances the right-of-way will be the only means of transporting construction material. Other special logistical challenges are presented by the rich cultural history of the Andes. During operation, special consideration needs to be given to external natural hazards like landslides, soil creep, seismicity, and river scour. Management needs to maintain good communication with all parties affected by the project and proactively promote broad socio-economic development in the project area. The recognition of these specific challenges and upfront investment will facilitate mutually beneficial project advancement and be of particular benefit in instances of anticipatable but uncontrollable events. This paper describes several of these challenges and provides guidance on how to minimize project specific risks and adverse effects to society and environment.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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