Reduction In Risk From Third Party Damage To LPG Pipelines In India
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India is one of the largest consumer of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). For distribution of LPG, there are approximately 4,500km of cross-country LPG pipelines in India. Another approximately 4,500km, is under construction by 2022 total length of LPG pipelines is likely to touch 10,000km. During pipeline transportation LPG behaves like any other liquid, but on release (due to leaks and ruptures) turns into gas expanding 1:270 times, besides, LPG being heavier than air travels on the surface of the earth unlike natural gas that goes up. Also, upon release of LPG from pipeline, atmosphere surround the leak spot turns into a very low temperature zone (due to rapid expansion) and the ground becomes frozen. Under such condition repair of pipeline leak involving soil excavation is nearly impossible till the soil thaws back. Therefore, the best approach is preventing leaks in LPG pipeline. 3rd party interference is one of the primary causes of pipeline failure across the globe. In a country like India with higher population density, human activities like cable laying, water line laying etc., across the pipeline Right of Way (ROW) has increased many fold in the recent years with consequent increase in probability of third party damage to a pipeline. A LPG pipeline operator, therefore, needs an M&I programme that is primarily focused on 3rd party interference prevention. This paper proposes one such M&I programme for LPG pipelines in India with special emphasis on 3rd Party activity monitoring. The proposed M&I programme is developed based on Risk Assessment of an operating LPG pipeline, paper quantifies the amount of risk that can be eliminated by adopting the proposed M&I programme over the present one.
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