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Gas pipeline maps for pipeline safety

By Clint Jhonson

Pipeline safety and risk management are two notions gas pipeline maps regularly deal with. The environmental issues, the cost-effective matters of pipeline management, the influence on human and fauna activities, all these are matters at the core of which lies the need for a secure and productive system of pipelines.

Any gas pipeline map will include elements of geography. This is why GIS is a technology many pipeline industry developers or investors are assisted by. The accurate establishment of the coordinates of a gas pipeline map or of an entire system of gas pipeline maps is a must. Owing to such coordinates, we are able to examine, provide details about and thus moderate and even diminish potential risks that may be brought by the negligence of the mutual impact of pipeline structures and their surrounding areas.

With the adequate organization of gas pipeline maps, the probability of overlooking such a mutual influence is markedly lowered. The advantages a well-designed gas pipeline map will generate are valuable both for the smaller and for the larger gas pipeline operators. Risk management becomes an acute issue when it comes to operators dealing with thousands of miles of pipeline. In other words, a gas pipeline map may be identified as a tool fit for providing the equilibrium needed by the terms of a lucrative business, of secure facility operations, of increasing customer requirements, and of safe environmental management.

All of the data necessary for the accurate assessment of each gas pipeline map coordinate are gathered in geodatabases which will later on be employed in the designing as clear-cut and specific as possible of the complex gas pipeline maps. We think that it is only commonsensical that a large pipeline operator such as NGPL should expect specificity from the series of gas pipeline maps the staff there uses in order to render sure the proper functioning of an operation including entire networks of pipelines over a distance of almost 10,000 miles.

Subsequently, since specificity is the number one helper in the determining of risk management features and of potential responses/solutions to such factors, GIS technology and geodatabases are regularly appropriated by the correct systematization of a gas pipeline map in order to outline the reciprocal spatial dependence of the items represented. Moreover, the same technologies can be used not only to diagnose certain circumstances, but also to render a final, detailed analysis, including the corresponding conclusions and potential recommendations for the solving of acute issues.

If we consider once again NGPL and their insistent, exigent Chicago customers, gas pipeline maps make the key element in the maintenance and risk preventing of highly solicited pipeline systems (consider that the top day deliverability of NGPL will go up to 5.7 Bcf/day). However, how do map creators handle map specificity more precisely?

The answer to this question will bring us again to the advantages of GIS. Any gas pipeline map which employs GIS technology may "benefit" from one particular feature of GIS: the possibility to generate two- and three-dimensional descriptions of land and atmosphere items. Of course, this two- and three-dimensional description is possible after having sampled the corresponding areas (i.e. the pipeline areas of interest). Due to this alternative of representation, the investigations made are obviously more profound, more complex, which will bear a significant impact on the final solutions to potential problems.

In the end, with the help of GIS, the data on gas pipeline maps can be better integrated and more lucratively captured/processed. This means that the objects on the map are positively identified, land boundaries are geographically defined (this means that your map system will "know" to render a distinction between highlands and river shores development) and the relationships between map items are spatially circumscribed. Owing to all these features, risk management is augmented and pipeline safety is improved.
About the Author
If we were to place a gas pipeline map under the looking glass of an evaluator we would conclude that they make one of the greatest advantages of pipeline industry.

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