Case Study: An Efficient Route to Evidence Safe Repurposing of Pipelines to Hydrogen
Proceedings Publication Date
Oliver Burkinshaw
Oliver Burkinshaw, Neil Gallon, Alistair Carvell, Haider Hussain
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Globally, networks are looking to repurpose Natural Gas Pipelines to transport Hydrogen Gas. The difference in interaction between existing network materials and hydrogen has been a key focus. Potential reductions in ductility, fracture toughness and fatigue life pose challenges with respect to pipeline design, operation, and integrity management.

In order to repurpose existing natural gas assets to hydrogen service, operators must conduct assessments to appraise their suitability and, once repurposed, implement effective integrity management programs to ensure continued safe operation. To achieve this, operators require a robust understanding of their pipeline properties, risks and susceptibility to integrity threats.

The importance of complete and accurate data to support these processes cannot be overemphasised. For many pipelines, existing integrity management systems are currently based on secondary data, often without direct reference to the supporting primary records. In order to be certain of the network capability the primary data must be identified and referenced. Hydrogen service also drives the need for new datasets to be established or expanded, with a particular focus on material performance in hydrogen environments.

This paper explores the approach taken by National Gas Transmission, supported by ROSEN, to:

  • Define datasets to support appraisal and engineering assessment of assets
  • Develop a digital GIS database to efficiently manage and represent data
  • Rank perceived risk and completeness of data to support decision-making
  • Digitise pipeline data, supported by development of automated tools to extract data from records, inspection and testing
  • Optimise strategies to close data gaps using a combination of ILI, in-situ and destructive testing
  • Deploy a comprehensive suite of ILI solutions to close data gaps and quantify integrity threats.

This paper will detail the progress and findings to date, with an emphasis on novel solutions and technologies developed or trialled within the project.

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