Rajahmundry, 19th April 2016: GAIL (India) Limited has completed the first phase of replacement of different sections of the pipeline in the KG Basin regional pipeline network with an investment of more than Rs. 419 crore such as Tatipaka- Chinchinada pipeline section of 20 Km, Tatipaka- Kakinada pipeline section of 74 Km main line, Tatipaka – Kakinada HDD section of the pipeline including Taipaka – K Cheruvu of 4.8 Km length. Work already started in the second phase for replacement of about 183 Km long pipelines with an additional cost of approximately Rs. 515 crore. This exercise is undertaken to ensure pipeline health and safety measures in view of the aging of the pipelines, types of the gases handled by the pipeline, change in population Density and degradation of pipelines as observed through cathodic protection system and intelligent pigging reports. In addition to the replacement of the pipelines installation of additional facilities like slug catcher, knock out drums/ scrubbers, gas de-hydration Units are installed / being installed based on the expert reports in the network. GAIL has already invested an amount of Rs. 90 crore towards repairs and maintenance of the pipeline network and a total of Rs. 9.00 crore on relief and rehabilitation programme in last one year.
The unfortunate incident at Nagaram Village in Tatipaka- Kondapalli region on 27th June 2014 propelled GAIL to take fresh stock of its pipelines and installations in KG basin with respect to integrity, safety and reliability and various measures have been taken since then by the Company for upgradation and strengthening of pipeline network. As per the expert opinion taken from the third party, the quality of gas needed qualitative improvement and installation of devices to improve the health of pipeline for transmission of natural gas sourced from the Upstream Operator in the KG basin network of Tatipaka – LANCO and Tatipaka – Kakinada pipeline sections. Upstream operator in this section has since then progressively installed gas corrosion inhibitor injection for supply of natural gas through the pipeline transmission system. GAIL owns a total of 933 Km of pipeline in the KG Basin network and 617 Km of pipelines are presently under operation, supplying 5.2 MMSCMD of Natural gas to the majority of customers including a few major ones like NFCL, GVK, Lanco, APGPCL, SPGL etc. GAIL receives the same quantity of natural gas from ONGC, RIL and Cairn Energy.
Post incident, intelligent pigging for 617 Km of running pipelines is completed. In-line Inspection carried through intelligent pigging for 365 Km network is already completed and fresh work for 232 Km of the inline inspection is in progress. For monitoring the health of non-piggable pipelines, long range ultrasonic thickness survey is completed to measure the thickness of the pipeline besides continuous potential logging and direct voltage gradient survey of pipeline to monitor external corrosion.
Gas De-hydration Units (GDUs) at five locations like Mori, Pasarlapudi, Narsapur MP, Mandapeta and Gopavaram are installed and GDU for four more locations such as Kesenapalli (West), Enamuru, Tatipaka and KPDA are ordered. One GDU by ONGC off shore is in awarding stage. Fortnightly and monthly cleaning and pigging is being done and residue analysis is being carried out at external labs. All mainline valves are remotely controlled and leak detection system is in place besides liquid separators at source points of the pipeline. Electric Resistance (ER) probes / corrosion coupons are installed in all critical pipelines. Internal corrosion rate is within acceptable limits. Pipe to Soil potential for coating integrity of the pipeline is within limit. Regional Gas monitor Centre (RGMC) at Rajahmundry monitors all transformer rectifier units data with redundant energy back- ups to serve the power requirement of all the installations.
Daily foot patrolling with GPS tracking is being done by dedicated foot patrollers in order to ensure safety and security of the KG Basin pipeline networks and abnormalities observed is immediately informed to RGMC for corrective actions. The initiative has given a desired result. It has acted as an early warning mechanism for any possible disruptions in transportation of the gas and also has enabled in avoiding possible major accidents by ensuring the public safety. An endeavor of spreading awareness to farmers / villagers along the ROU is being carried out by the foot patrollers who also distribute pamphlets explaining the same to the neighborhood dwellers. Daily foot patrolling has not only helped in getting the timely information about encroachments/ leak / exposures, but also has acted as an extended hand of GAIL to spread the pipeline safety awareness in the local populace. GAIL has undertaken awareness drive by using audio clip in FM radio and also conducted awareness programme for police and revenue officials in all the three districts. A local form of Nukkad natak, Burrakatha has conducted 235 out of 300 villages for creating awareness of GAIL pipeline operations with do’s and don’ts.
All the vulnerable locations are being monitored daily. Fortnightly quality of natural gas such as H2S, CO2 and Dew Points are carried out besides, installations of 06 source points’ online moisture analysers. SCADA and communications system is strengthened with back up connectivity and RTU availability. Emergency Response Vehicle with all firefighting gadgets of natural gas is deputed for keeping a vigilant eye for any emergency situations like gas leak redressal in this region. In nutshell, the KG Basin pipeline network is being operated with utmost attention to safety and integrity and compliance of the provisions of the PNGRB guidelines.