RP2.4-01 Pipeline intrusion avoidance solutions

Executive Summary

Above ground drilling and excavation are one of the main causes of the failure of underground gas pipelines and networks.  To date, related research and development efforts have led to a myriad of engineering solutions to avoid intrusion from external activities (e.g. boring, drilling and excavating work). What currently is missing, however, is an overview of the effectiveness of technologies in the Australian context.

This project sought to advance understanding of the effectiveness of intrusion avoidance solutions, including one-call systems, and to provide industry with tools and recommendations for how they can systematically evaluate solutions. Its main objective was to develop a new decision support method/approach that enables pipeline owners to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of pipeline intrusion avoidance solutions.

The projects outputs are:

  • An updated overview of existing solutions against pipeline intrusion;
  • An overview of the technological and behavioural aspects that influence their effectiveness in distinctive Australian contexts;
  • A method/approach that supports the decision making on what solutions can be used effectively to avoid pipeline intrusion in given contexts; and
  • Recommendations as to how the industry can use this to assess future technologies.
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Commencement / End Date January 2019 to December 2020
Outcomes / Impact

The project and its outputs provide guidance for a more comprehensive and structured approach to the selection and implementation of pipeline intrusion avoidance solutions.

The pipeline industry has gained broader insight into the extent to which alternative pipeline intrusion technologies can be mobilized to effectively avoid damage and the operational preconditions for these technologies to be effective, including the practical, economic and behavioural implementation aspects. Additionally, the new prototype decision support method/approach can be used by network owners to compare, evaluate and select pipeline intrusion technologies.

Partners RMIT University, University of Twente, APA Group, GPA, Independent consultants, Jemena, SA Gov DEM
Research Contact

Dr Stephen McGrail

Research and Education Program Coordinator