IOC to replace unsafe Koyali to Viramgam pipeline

Vol 18, PW 8 (04 Dec 14) Midstream & Downstream
     

Not just GAIL and ONGC but IndianOil too is getting serious about health and safety following a lethal explosion at a GAIL pipeline in June.

And it’s about time! IOC is finally thinking of replacing its 18-inch diameter, 141-km pipeline from the Koyali refinery in Gujarat to the Ahmedabad district of Viramgam, which has a long history of mishaps and leaks over its 36 years of operations. This pipeline replacement project was on the agenda of IOC’s October 17 board meeting.

An internal note prepared for the meeting estimates the new pipeline will cost Rs279cr ($46.5m) and take 30 months to lay from the date the order is issued. This pipeline was laid in 1978 to supply oil in the opposite direction from Viramgam to Koyali, after receiving it from Salaya port, but it was converted in 2003 to a product pipeline from Koyali to Viramgam.

IOC’s replacement pipeline will also be 18-inch diameter but longer - 157.3-km. In the Board note, IOC catalogues a “long history” of “seam failures” or leaks from welded seams that join segments of the pipeline together.

For instance, there were 41 seam failures including 28 seam bursts when the pipeline was hydrotested before commissioning as a crude oil carrier. Because of this, the maximum operating pressure was kept at 56-kg/sq cm from day one, instead of the regular 72.9-kg/sq cm.