The paper presents the experience 1n full-scale tests of arctic gas pipelines. All tests were conducted by the Pipeline Reliability Laboratory of Scientific Research Institute of Natural Gases. Service life of linear constructions (pipelines) operated in permafrost and transporting gas with variable temperature regimes is a very important problem. One of the ways to make an optimal decision is full-scale tests. A comparison analysis between the North American test facilities (Prudhoe Bay, Sans Sault, Norman Wells, Inuvik and Quill Creek) and the Norilsk pilot-commercial test site (N 70 Latitude, Eastern Siberia) is given. Four methods of pipeline construction are used inclu4ing above-ground, surface, berm and buried. Field tests are being carried out in order to assess and obtain data on soil condition, pile's load-bearing capacity, heave, pipeline foundation, berm stability and environmental impact.


Complex problems which arise during construction and operation of the arctic gas pipelines and their interaction with permafrost require detail investigations, of which field tests are most effective (Kharionovsky, 1990). The results of some investigations were published in the Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Permafrost (Washington, 1gej). Hanna et ala (I98j) and Kinney et ale (1983) analyze the first sections of Alaska highway gas pipeline. According to Hanna et ala (19836, the gas cooled to a temperature below 0°C in the first 214 km section excludes thawing. The gas temperature of the next sections becomes positive, and the predicted estimations of soil settlement are given as a function of moisture and density. Ellwood and Nicon (1983) and Stenley and Gronin (I983) analyse the experience in the Transalaska oil pipeline operation, Stenley and Gronin (1983) noting the pipeline failures in I979 due to thaw settlement and underground water penetration.

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