The Well sites of the "Villano" oil field are located on abundant biodiverse areas, part of the primary rain forest of the Upper Amazonas Basin. Due to its geological, geomorphological and climatic situation, the flowline that transports crude oil outside of this highly sensitive sector and the secondary pipeline that transports dehydrated oil to the Trans-Andean pipeline, are strongly susceptible to the affects of landslides, which can break the pipeline causing a serious environmental impact.

To assess the landslide hazards of the whole oil-pipeline route, the topographic basis maps were based on the aerial photographs utilizing aerial photogrammetric, restitution and rectification. Geological and landslide inventory maps were elaborated through photo-geology and fieldwork. For each identified landslide, the cinematic, intensity of the process and probability of occurrence was evaluated. These parameters were charted by degree of danger. All this information was integrated into a Geographic Information System (GIS). On the second phase, main active and potential landslide areas are being investigated in detail and are being monitored with inclinometers, stand piezometers, crackmeters and survey monitoring. They are numerically modeled and stabilized.

After more than ten years, since the operation began, there have been no pipeline ruptures. One of the case-examples is the landslide of kilometric point K-25 of the flowline, where a preventive action was taken to construct a variant of the oil-pipeline-route based on various analyses. It was also necessary to perform stabilization works on another unstable hillside within an ecological Reserve. A cable bridge was constructed to support a portion of the pipeline.

This methodology could be applied in other pipeline systems. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that timely identification of hillside instability is very important. For this reason, preventive maintenance of the right-of-way must be performed constantly.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.