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Offshore Pipelines

Even when regulated by OPS or its certified state agencies, certain aspects of offshore pipelines (such as new construction or modifications) are also regulated by the BSEE, the U.S. Coast Guard, and when located in state waters, by other state agencies.

Offshore Pipelines

Enbridge Offshore Pipelines consists of 11 active natural gas gathering and FERC-regulated transmission pipelines, and three active oil pipelines, that collectively span more than 1,200 miles and travel through four major corridors in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, extending from deepwater developments nearly 200 miles from shore.

The Department of the Interior's (Interior) Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) does not have a robust oversight process for ensuring the integrity of approximately 8,600 miles of active offshore oil and gas pipelines located on the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, BSEE does not generally conduct or require any subsea inspections of active pipelines. Instead, the bureau relies on monthly surface observations and pressure sensors to detect leaks. However, officials told us that these methods and technologies are not always reliable for detecting ruptures. In response to a pair of significant oil leaks in 2016 and 2017, BSEE partnered with industry to improve subsea leak detection, but the technologies identified remain relatively new and cannot be retrofitted to a majority of pipelines. According to BSEE, the bureau's regulations are outdated and do not address how pipelines should be inspected, the complexities of deep water pipeline operations, and changes in technological standards. BSEE has long recognized the need to improve its pipeline regulations, and in 2007 issued a proposed rule that cited the need to enhance safety and protect the environment, but this effort stalled. The 2007 proposed rule addressed offshore pipeline integrity, including new requirements regarding pipeline inspection and subsea leak detection technologies. Since 2013, BSEE has noted plans to update its pipeline regulations but has made limited progress in the interim. Without taking actions to develop, finalize, and implement updated regulations to address identified oversight gaps, BSEE will continue to be limited in its ability to ensure the integrity of active pipelines.

BSEE does not have a robust process to address the environmental and safety risks posed by leaving decommissioned pipelines in place on the seafloor due to the cumulative effects of oversight gaps before, during, and after the decommissioning process. First, BSEE does not thoroughly account for such risks during the review of decommissioning applications. This has contributed to BSEE and its predecessors authorizing industry to leave over 97 percent (about 18,000 miles) of all decommissioned pipeline mileage on the Gulf of Mexico seafloor since the 1960s. Generally, pipelines must be removed from the seafloor. BSEE, however, may allow pipelines to be decommissioned-in-place if certain criteria are met. Such a high rate of approval indicates that this is not an exception, however, but rather that decommissioning-in-place has been the norm for decades. Second, BSEE does not ensure that operators meet decommissioning standards, such as cleaning pipelines, because they do not observe any pipeline decommissioning activities, inspect pipelines after their decommissioning, or verify most of the pipeline decommissioning evidence submitted. Third, BSEE does not monitor the condition and location of pipelines following their decommissioning-in-place, which reduces its ability to mitigate any long-term risks, such as pipeline exposure or movement. Additionally, if pipelines decommissioned-in-place are later found to pose risks, there is no funding source for removal. As discussed above, BSEE has made limited progress in updating what it acknowledges are outdated pipeline regulations. Without taking actions to develop, finalize, and implement updated pipeline regulations, BSEE will continue to be limited in its ability to ensure that its pipeline decommissioning process addresses environmental and safety risks.

GAO was asked to review BSEE's management of offshore oil and gas pipelines. This report examines BSEE's processes for (1) ensuring active pipeline integrity and (2) addressing safety and environmental risks posed by decommissioning. GAO reviewed regulations, procedures, and other documents and data related to BSEE's pipeline management processes. GAO also interviewed BSEE officials and those from other agencies with offshore responsibilities.

Pipelines are a huge scope for any offshore oil and gas project. Subsea pipelines transport oil and gas from subsea wells to the platform and subsequetly gas or oil from the platform to the coast for futher process and distribution. There are also large pipeline for the transportation of gas or oil from one country to another.

Keywords: Buried pipelines. Seismic response. Strong ground motion. Lifelines. Damage. Wave propagation. Permanent ground deformation. Landslides. Lateral spreading. Settlement. Attenuation. Body waves. Surface waves. Subsurface conditions. Failiure modes. Continuous pipelines. Soil pipe interaction. Fault motion. Segmented pipelines. Damage mitigation.

Provide the BSEE Alaska Region with a comprehensive review and gap analysis of current United States (U.S.), State of Alaska andinternational regulations, standards, and related specifications and technical reports for offshore hydrocarbon carrying pipelines inArctic conditions incorporating the new Federal Arctic Rule and including, but not limited to, American Petroleum Institute (API)documents. Report on the state of the art and emerging technology of offshore hydrocarbon carrying pipelines in Arctic conditions

This research will make use of results obtained during an earlier study that was focused on seabed scour due to ice ridges. Of interest in this project are the states of stress and deformation in pipelines buried in soil scoured by moving ice ridges. Specifically, acomputational tool customized for the analysis of the complete ridge-soil-pipeline system will be developed and applied to a parametric study of pipeline deformation due to seabed scour by ice ridges.This investigation will increase our confidence in pipeline design in pristine settings where failure is intolerable.

The primary objectives of this project are to (1) consider the full suite of environmental data (meteorological and oceanographic) and structural performance data that could be collected during exploration and production operations off the coast of Alaska, and review each type of measurement in terms of its potential value to the design of future offshore infrastructure; and (2) assess alternatives and develop a recommendation for how MMS should go about collecting, archiving and processing this data.

Before offshore oil and natural gas can be extracted, it must be found. Geophysical companies conduct scientific surveys in offshore areas by bouncing soundwaves off the seafloor. In water, the energy source is typically an array of different sized air-chambers, filled with compressed air. The source is towed behind a seismic survey vessel and releases bursts of high pressure energy into the water. The returning sound waves are detected and recorded by hydrophones that are spaced out along a series of cables. Strict mitigation measures are used throughout this process to ensure the health and safety of marine mammals and other marine life.

While geophysical surveys are widely used for oil and natural gas exploration, they are also used for a variety of other purposes including siting for offshore wind farms and locating sand and gravel for coastal restoration.

At the sea floor is the blowout preventer (BOP). The blowout preventer has a pair of hydraulically-powered clamps that can close off the pipe leading up to the rig in the case of a blowout. The BOP is just one of the many overlapping layers of safety precautions the offshore energy takes.

Once a commercial viable well is found, and a company follows the appropriate regulations, operations switch from exploration and drilling to production. The offshore oil and natural gas industry has developed massive engineering marvels that drill at high-temperatures and high-pressures in ultra-deepwater. For every type of offshore environment, there is seemingly a production platform to match.

Offshore pipelines are a key part of offshore oil and natural gas production. Pipelines built on the sea floor transport oil and gas from subsea wells to the platform and subsequently gas or oil from the platform to the coast for process and distribution.

This topic concentrates on pipelines covered by the Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996 (PSR) and in particular on those pipelines known as major accident hazard pipelines. PSR applies to pipelines in Great Britain and to those in territorial waters and the UK Continental Shelf.

Canusa-CPS is the industry leader in field-applied coatings technology for the protection of subsea pipelines where the demands for quality, reliability and proven procedures are of the highest importance. With the unique ability to provide field joint coating solutions that are tailored to match offshore construction methods, pipeline design parameters and service conditions, Canusa-CPS is trusted and relied upon by the world's leading offshore pipelay contractors.

The project was originally proposed by Delfin LNG, a subsidiary of Fairwood Peninsula Energy. In November 2013 Delfin LNG filed an application with the Department of Energy (DOE) seeking to construct, own, and operate a deepwater port with floating liquefaction and export facilities, and related onshore facilities, in West Cameron Block 167 in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 30 miles offshore of Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The facility would produce 657.5 Bcf/yr of natural gas to export to countries with whom the U.S. does not have free trade agreements.[4] It would consist of four semi-permanently moored floating LNG vessels, each capable of storing 210,000 cubic meters of LNG, and with a production capacity of 3.3 mtpa of the chilled fuel each.[5] 041b061a72


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