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Oil and Gas Pipeline Maintenance in the Marsh

Unless something changed overnight (and in today’s political climate, it may have!), pipeline operators still have to comply with strict Department of Transportation regulations. This means a big part of their job is inspecting pipelines on a regular basis.

These inspections include checking for the following threats:

  • Pipeline damage
  • Corrosion
  • Mechanical damage or malfunction

Whether your pipelines carry liquid or gas, buildup can cause decreased flow or even complete blockage. Corrosion and cracks can be disastrous. Hence those governmental regulations.

Project managers, pipeline supervisors and inspectors use inline inspection (ILI) tools to maintain pipeline integrity.

Let’s look at the most common methods—then how Stan’s Airboat and Marsh Excavator Service makes oil and gas pipeline maintenance possible even in the hard-to-reach marsh and wetlands of the Louisiana Gulf Coast.

Inspection Methods

Pipeline “pigging” is one of the biggest ways to manually test pipelines. A “pig” is introduced into the pipeline and pushed or pulled by the oil or gas flow or towed by cable.

These cylindrical pigs sweep the line, clearing it of debris. They can also find cracks and breaks via sensors that conduct magnetic flux leakage (MFL) or ultrasonic (UT) testing.

MFL testing inspects the pipeline by sending magnetic flux into the walls of the pipe to sniff out leaks, corrosion or other flaws. UT inspection means using ultrasonic vibrations to gauge the thickness of the pipeline walls.

Some pipeline segments are impossible to inspect internally with pigs. They may be too short, for example, or the closest point of access (where the pig would enter the pipe) may be too far from the area that needs inspection.

If the pipeline runs through wetlands subject to environmental restrictions, it makes inspection even more problematic—not just because of the environmental conditions but due to the special permitting requirements.

How Stan’s Can Help

You want to maximize pipeline throughput and decrease downtime when conducting inspection and repairs. Stan’s can help you inspect and test your pipelines even in difficult-to-access areas.

We’ll get your crew where it needs to be to perform complete MFL or UT inspection on piggable and unpiggable pipeline segments—even when they’re in hidden swamps and deep wetlands.

In fact, Stan’s can help with all aspects of pipeline construction and maintenance, including:

  • Routine valve repair replacement
  • Repairs in and around erosion-prone areas
  • Installation of new pipe sections or equipment

We can also assist with new construction, working with your team to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and permitting requirements. If you need to conduct a preliminary assessment to assess environmental impact related to the easements and right-of-way, Stan’s is here to get you where you need to be star work.

Additional Pipeline Maintenance Work

Trees make it difficult to use overhead (aerial or satellite) to detect pipeline problems. Furthermore, trees within the easement make it harder to respond quickly in the event of a pipeline emergency, putting pipeline workers and the public at greater risk.

Our mini-marsh excavators are designed for right-of-way cleaning. We clear trees and overhanging branches from easement areas in compliance with all federal and state requirements.

Our buggies float on water so that they can be pushed or pulled to the hardest-to-reach job sites, and our airboats can quickly move men and materials over water and to the pipe.

In addition to our machines, you also get our manpower. That means trained and insured operators to work with your team to get the job done right.

Not convinced? Give us a call, and we’ll help you comply with the DOT regulations of today and tomorrow.

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