Welcome to this latest edition of the Pipeline Technology Journal addressing a variety of contemporaneous pipeline topics including improvement in productivity and safety, repurposing old pipelines, advancement in repair techniques and inspections, coating integrity and achievements in under water installation.
I am honored to have this opportunity to address the readers of this edition and share my insights on our pipeline industry and the trends affecting its future.
Unlike other industry segments, pipelines are unique in terms of being invisible structures when completed; they are normally constructed underground in highly challenging terrains and environments with a stretched-out operation area that entails the active engagement of multiple stakeholders and groups. These facts necessitated the need to adopt distinctive construction and inspection techniques that would ensure an efficient and streamlined workflow while also guaranteeing the integrity and longevity of the asset. Unfortunately, this also dictated that the adoption of changes that challenged established methods was an arduously slow process that required extensive examination prior to effectively being incorporated into the field.
The construction industry, in general, still lags other industries in terms of the application of technologies and innovations. However, and with more developing technologies in recent years, the industry –especially Pipelines projects– increasingly started adopting more and more innovations and advanced methodologies capitalizing on the extensive R&D efforts now invested and the industry’s general shift towards digitalization. This has enabled the achievement of better results and records ranging from the use of alternative pipe material, welding techniques, modes of inspections, integrity checks and the like. What was not achievable or doable a few years back is now happening and being successfully incorporated in the standard safe building process.
With the current movement towards carbon capture and green energy gaining more momentum, existing pipeline networks are now being repurposed to transport non-conventional media such as CO2 and hydrogen. The ability to safely re-use existing pipeline networks will be a game changer soon. This further requires the industry readiness to actively engage in adapting modernized techniques and deploying them effectively into their operations. With further progress in Artificial Intelligence, Digital Technologies, and boundary-crossing collaborations, this course is set. It seems inevitable for future successful players in the industry to be on board the earliest possible.
Zahi Ghantous, Vice President - Construction Support & Quality Management
Consolidated Contractors Group S.A.L.