Abstract

Managing pipelines in operation divisions of PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd (PCSB) always as important as producing a hydrocarbon from its fields. Three (3) PCSB domestic operation regions namely Peninsular Malaysia Operation (PMO), Sarawak Operation (SKO) and Sabah Operation (SBO) are currently operating a total of more than 277 pipelines. Due to aging pipelines that PCSB are currently operating in which some are more than 25 years, a prudent management in term of its risk and consequence as well as cost of operating the aging pipelines need to be re-assessed via a comprehensive management system that can be used as a tool to inform PCSB management in term its integrity.

It is imperative that an integrated pipeline integrity management system (PIMS) to be made available to ensure pipelines integrity always available upon request and are up to date with the latest integrity status. Before the development of the PIMS for PCSB, all the pipeline integrity management for each region is residing with the individual(s)/units that performing specific functions e.g. inspection, engineering and operations. With the development of the PIMS, all those effort related to pipeline integrity are managed and integrated in more effective manner by single point reference i.e. Pipeline Competent Person in PCSB. It was determined that the adoption of an integrated approach in managing pipelines would be the optimal way to facilitate prudent management and surveillance of pipeline integrity.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the effort that had been put in making the PIMS project materialised as well as to share the experience in developing the system with the help of other resources from internal and external of PCSB organisation.

Having the PIMS implemented in PCSB it will reduce considerable amount of time and effort that previously needed to acquire the integrity status of pipelines. Adopting an integrated team effort throughout the company has provided the necessary forum for open and inter-disciplinary exchange of ideas and experiences on PIMS related matters. As a result, it has aided in enhancing cooperative actions and the capturing of synergism, all to the benefit of the PCSB.

Introduction

As of January 2002, PCSB domestic operation is operating more than 277 pipelines, offshore and onshore with a combined length of more than 2000 km with each region has its own pipeline network. Fig 1 is a sample of network for Peninsular Malaysia Operations (PMO). Statically, the age of these pipelines are ranging from 1 year to 35 years with 32 pipelines or 12% of them are already exceeded their 20 years design life. Many more are approaching their design life.

Most of the pipelines in SKO and SBO were taken over from previous operator i.e. Sarawak Shell Bhd (SSB) and Sabah Shell Petroleum Company (SSPC), whereas for PMO, half of the pipelines were taken over from previous operator, ExxonMobil Exploration And Production Malaysia Inc. (EMEPMI), previously known as ESSO Production And Exploration Malaysia (EPMI). Design and operating philosophy of each pipeline is different from operator to the other and this added to the complexity for pipeline operator to standardise with its corporate guideline.

Due to that, some of PCSB pipeline operation guidelines requirement cannot be suited by those affected pipelines and thus giving some integrity issues with regards to PCSB pipeline operation philosophy. Coupled with different pipeline integrity management approaches by each region, this make the pipeline operation is more isolated to each region and thus sharing of best approach and streamlining of inspection and maintenance of pipelines1 become more difficult by PCSB Centre of Technical Excellence (CTE). CTE is a division where discipline experts reside for reference.

Realising those hurdles in pipeline integrity management operation, a team comprising of CTE and PCSB Regional representatives, had proposed a new approach in managing pipeline integrity to PCSB management in May 2002. The proposal was approved to commence in Dec 2002.

The main task of the project team was to develop a Pipeline Integrity Management System (PIMS) framework which later can assist pipeline engineer(s) in managing pipeline integrity in a better approach and which will be able to update PCSB management on pipeline integrity in timely manner.

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