RP3.2-04B: Cohesive Gas Impurities – Phase 2

Executive Summary

This project establishes a conclusive link between the presence of conductive deposits and the electrical failure of pipeline isolation joints, and provides natural gas producers a quantitative method to reduce glycol contamination rates within the gas transmission network

The project aims to continue the body of work of RP3.2-04, which identified significant operational and safety impacts associated with the build-up of low level (ppm) contamination within high pressure natural gas transmission systemsIn particular, RP3.2-04 revealed the presence of widespread triethylene glycol contamination within transmission network and identified a lack of detailed understanding around contributing processes. Since high levels of triethylene glycol contamination requires extensive pigging regimes, there is a need to understand the quantitative contribution of glycol vaporisation towards the volumes of liquid contaminants found in transmission pipelines. 

This project develops and executes a laboratory method for:

  • the analysis of deposit conductivity under pressure
  • measuring triethylene glycol solubility in methane

This contributes to updated design guidelines for incorporation into Australian Standards, in order to improve the robustness of pipeline cathodic protection systems by prioritising the cleanability of electrical isolation joints during mechanical design. 

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Commencement / End Date November 2020 to December 2022
Outcomes / Impact

The project will result in revision to AS 2885.1 (Pipelines – Gas and liquid petroleum Design and Construction) and AS 2832.1 (Metallic Pipes Cathodic Protection) which helps industry to reduce the amount of liquid contamination in gas transmission pipelines, reduce the frequency of hazardous liquid management activities such as pigging, and allow for better modelling of glycol condensation rates within pipelines.

Partners University of Melbourne, APA Group, Jemena, Origin Energy, Santos
Research Contact

Douglas Proud

Research & Utilisation Program Coordinator