PRCI Executive Assembly Approves 2018 Energy Pipeline Research Portfolio


Fri, November 17, 2017

November 17, 2017 —

At its Executive Assembly meeting in September, PRCI approved the final slate of projects for its 2018 Research Portfolio. Member funding contributions of nearly $10 million and numerous in-kind support commitments were allocated to research activities including projects addressing leak detection, pipeline operations & integrity, corrosion prevention & control, design, materials, construction, underground storage, and pipeline facilities.

New this year was the implementation of the Research Bank, which provides members with increased flexibility to fund important research out-of-cycle as opportunities arise. Traditionally, members have been limited to voting their subscription dollars on an annual basis via the ballot, but now they have the opportunity to “reserve” those dollars to spend at their discretion on other research priorities that arise or may not have necessarily been represented on the ballot. Members committed over $1.5 million to the Research Bank and within two months of the closing of the ballot we have already seen opportunities arise to solicit its use.

The 2018 ballot was the thirteenth annual ballot through which PRCI members allocated funds and resources directly to research of importance to their operations and business drivers, as well as to meet key industry needs. This ballot featured projects addressing the following topics, many of which are aimed squarely at enhancing operators' ability to ensure pipeline safety and integrity:

  • Continuing work on ILI and NDE technologies to fully characterize challenging and diffuse features
  • Optimizing cathodic protection methods and practices
  • Leak detection technologies for a variety of scenarios, using multiple approaches and platforms
  • Right-of-way monitoring and design & construction practices that mitigate geohazards
  • Welding practices for dissimilar steels and changing steel chemistries
  • Continuing improvements to pipeline assessment and repair practices and capabilities
  • Characterization of flow-induced vibration on storage cavern brine strings.
  • Standard and alternative thermowell design options
  • Gas contaminant analyzer performance and static mixer performance capabilities
  • A gas transmission-optimized NO2 modeling capability
  • Improved mechanical reliability, reduced O&M costs and optimized emissions performance of gas transmission engines, including under variable fuel gas chemistries