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Pipeline Routing Using GIS

Pipeline Routing Using GIS

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Published by: Venkatesh Hemadribhotla on Jul 10, 2013
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Pipeline Routing Using Geospatial Information System Analysis

Mahmoud Reza Delavar 1 and Fereydoon Naghibi 2
1-Assistance Professor, Dept. of Surveying and Geomatic Eng., Eng. Faculty, University of Tehran, Tehran, IRAN Email: mdelavar@chamran.ut.ac.ir 2-M.Sc., Dept. of Surveying and Geomatic Eng., Eng. Faculty, University of Tehran, Tehran, IRAN Email: Fereydoon_naghibi@yahoo.com


A prototype least cost pipeline routing was performed using various data and GIS analysis. Ahvaz-Marun oil pipeline in south west of IRAN was chosen for development of the prototype. The Ahvaz-Marun pipeline was about 34-km and carries Ethan gas from Marun Petrochemical Company (MPC) to Ahvaz. A model was developed incorporating pipeline length, topography, geology, land use, stream, wetland, road and a railroad crossings to identify a least cost pathway. Geospatial Information System (GIS) analysis was used for spatial modeling and overlay. Costs associated with terrain conditions, geology and landuse were given from actual costs that are used in the section of pipeline design of Iranian National Petroleum. The length and cost associated with existing pipeline that made by traditional approaches were compared those of the least cost pathway through GIS best path analysis. The existing pipeline path is 34-km long, and the least cost pathway is 35- km long. Although longer in length, the least cost pathway is 29% cheaper than the existing pipeline path. The results of this analysis demonstrate the benefits of integrating data within a GIS environment which acted as a spatial decision support system for pipeline routing.

1 - Introduction
GIS is a science and technology which combines different data from various sources for route design processes through spatial analysis. Also, it is used to unify project processes including environmental characterization and project team decision making [7]. A number of research have already been performed in pipeline route design using GIS which include optimal routing for pipeline [1,9],

This article describes one of the efforts towards investigating innovative approaches to pipeline routing. The site lies in the southern Zagros Mountains near the Persian Gulf and is an area of the low relief along the proposed pipeline route (Figure 1). In sections three and four. . 2 – Data Acquisition Maps and field work are required for pipeline routing. The present study was initiated to demonstrate the use of various data from different sources and geospatial information system (GIS) analysis for developing a least cost pathway for pipeline placement using Ahvaz-Marun pipeline as an example. For this route. The least cost pathway analysis.selection of best route for expansion pipeline [6] and gas pipeline route selection using high resolution remote sensing images[5]. pipeline routing criteria and least cost path analysis will be expressed. The study area selected is in Khuzestan Province in south west of IRAN. The available largest scale geologic map of the area is at scales of 1:250000 and 1:100000. using various data and GIS analysis. Section two discusses data acquisition and input. The area of interest for this analysis is shown in Figure 2. pipeline design and construction. was intended to confirm the best pipeline route within this site. topographic maps at a scale of 1:25000 produced by Iranian National Cartographic Center (NCC) were used.

drainage features. forests and drainage features were derived from the topographic map layer. elevation points. derived from the DEM.…) (Figure 2). In this project. The locations of roads. railways. The slope map.forests . railways . Khuzestan Province in south west of IRAN 2-1-Input of Topographic and Geologic Data Topographic and geologic data of the Ahvaz-Marun pipeline area were prepared in a GIS ready format and used as input to the GIS database. It was used as input to the least cost pathway analysis.wetland . wetland. digital elevation model (DEM) was produced from the elevation data (resolution of DEM is 50m x 50m). . is shown in Figure 3. The map that produced by NCC is the base for national topographic database (NTDB) and has a number of features for instance location of roads.Coordinate In Lambert Ahvaz Marun Km Figure 1: Study area in geologic map at 1:250000 scale. Darker tones indicate greater slopes.

soft rock and very soft rock based on the descriptions in the geological map legend. hard rock.These boundaries between geologic units were extracted in digital form from the geological map and incorporated into the GIS database. .River Forest Building Road Agricultures Wetland Coordinate In UTM Figure 2: Land cover layer at 1:25000 scale Geological formations in area under study are shown in Figure 4. These geologic units were divided as very hard rock.

Ahvaz Slope Map (in degree) Marun Coordinate In UTM Figure 3: Slope map (in degree) Coordinate In Lambert Ahvaz Marun Km Figure 4: Formations derived from the geological map .

Ahvaz Marun Km Figure 5: Faults location derived from the geological map 3 – Pipeline Routing Criteria The factors influencing pipeline route selection are technical and engineering requirements. topography. High relief terrain would result in higher construction costs and increase the need for pump stations [5].Also. these factors are chosen to balance engineering and construction costs against environmental costs and future liability [6]. environmental considerations and population density. percentages over the baseline costs were calculated for construction in rock. Estimates were made of . The engineering and technical considerations used in this research include pipeline length. surface geology. Using cost of an existing pipeline project. river and wetland crossings. Faults were considered in the analysis (least cost pathway) because crossing pipeline over them is dangerous and must be avoided (Figure 5). crossing of rivers. railroads. and passing through agricultural land and wetlands. road and railroad crossings and the proximity to large population centers. clearing of brush and tree. However. Cost factors used in the least cost path analysis were calculated from existing pipeline Iranian Petroleum Company project and its normalized baseline cost.

with the path . sharp choppy and rough that are commonly used by pipeline estimators. The topographic. road. was used to identify agricultural land and urban areas. a value was calculated and assigned for each 50 m x 50 m cell in the study area. wetlands. agricultural land. respectively. crossing of road. produced from NTDB. The analysis was accomplished by entering map data into a GIS. rock. The areas where rock was likely to be encountered were defined from the geologic map. geology and landuse were calculated from actual pipeline construction projects. it is not desirable to route pipelines through urban and industrial areas. and railroad crossings were digitized from the topographic map. The least cost analysis was performed by assigning cost factors associated with the crossing of slopes. Very high values were assigned to urban and industrial areas. rolling.the slope ranges that are associated with four terrain categories including flat. The cost of pump station however has not been considered in this analysis.In the other words. ArcView and Arc/Info software were used for display and the spatial analysis. As generally. The GIS provided a framework for developing and overlaying all the input layers and carrying out spatial analysis. urban and industrial areas. GIS analysis is used for spatial modeling and data overlay. The objective of the cost pathway analysis was to compare the cost of an existing pipeline route to a least cost pathway between the two points. geologic and land use data were used to develop a least cost pathway for pipeline placement. Pipeline construction costs associated with terrain conditions.Least Cost Pathway Analysis The pipeline project had no constrained point for passing except in Ahvaz (destination) and Marun (source). streams. The locations of stream. The analysis was performed using 50-m resolution cells (for raster layers). Least cost pathway analysis is a modification of algorithms that traditionally are used in GIS for drainage basin analysis. A landuse map. developing a cumulative cost surface. these areas extracted from the topographic map were assigned high costs above the baseline value. in each GIS layer. 4 . railway and river features and to areas outside the defined boundary of the layers. and then calculating a path of least resistance across that surface. railroads. roads.

Sums accumulate as they radiate out from the point of origin. least-cost path route can be derived from any designated destination cell or the end point [2. Accumulative cost surface utilizes a single point of origin and accumulates the sum of cells as one moves from the origin. A separate surface has to be generated to returns a surface with a value ranging from 0 to 8 that can be used to reconstruct the route to the origin. based on input layers generated from a table of weights that contribute to the cost of traversing between two points (cells)[2. an accumulative cost surface was generated. Each value (0 to 8) identifies which neighboring cell to move into to get back to the origin. 3. Table 1 shows that the existing pipeline route traversed a larger number of urban. roads and wetlands cells than the least cost pathway. . There are a total of 1084 cells along the existing pipeline route and 1034 cell along the least cost pathway (Figure 7). dry grass. 4. and 10]. Once the accumulative cost and direction surfaces are created. Moderate costs are in forest and wetland with high slope. The accumulative cost surface consists of the sum of cells between any location on the surface and the point of origin. less dense native vegetation and agriculture. The cost surface is shown in Figure 6. The first step in least cost pathway analysis is the generation of a single weighted surface layer. The accumulative cost surface does not show which cell to return to or how to get there. The combined weighted surface is analogous to a topographic surface. The highest costs are in urban areas and in large bodies of water and roads. in that it has peaks (areas of relatively high cost) and valleys (areas of relatively low cost). The darkest tones show the areas with highest costs and the lightest tones indicate areas with lowest costs.constrained to flow through specific nodes to specified endpoints. 4 and 10]. The lowest costs were in areas with bare ground. 3. From the weighted surface. Least cost pathways could follow the resulting surface.

Ahvaz Marun Km Figure 6: Cost surface Ahvaz Marun Km Figure 7 : Comparison between proposed and existing route .

These results indicate that the proposed pipeline route is the most cost-effective. Methods also need to be developed to eliminate sharp angles from the least cost pathway. geology. . additional data can be incorporated to refine the model. The existing pipeline path was 34 km long and the least cost pathway was 35 km long. there exist as many cells as there are data layers. In each data layer. However. Table 1: Number of cells that existing and least cost pathway are crossing various features Feature Urban and industrial Crossing of roads Crossing of rivers Wetlands Forest Very hard rock and hard rock Slope < 20° Existing Route 8 23 0 46 0 203 823 Least Cost Pathway 5 9 0 12 0 175 952 5 – Conclusions The results of the least cost analysis are shown in Figure 7 and Table 1. geology and land use from satellite imagery and available maps for an area of interest. and land use were accumulated for these routes (the existing and proposed pipelines) along the cost surface.Incremental costs resulting from terrain. Actual costs should include costs incurred by construction and environmental considerations. specific costs above the baseline cost are associated with each feature listed in Table 1. Although the least cost pathway was longer and the analysis indicated that it would be 29% cheaper to construct than existing pipeline path.For each 50 m x 50 m in resolution element. Most of the cost difference between the existing pipeline route and the least cost analysis can be attributed to be greater cost associated with the larger number of urban. having built a database that includes topography. road and river crossing cells.

2002. Calgary. [7] Naghibi. Apr.However.. of Surveying and Geomatic Eng. . 1993. Eng. Dept. these techniques must he used in conjunction with the many years of field experience of pipeline industry personnel and refined on a case by case basis to obtain the maximum benefits. [3]DeMers. University of Technology. pp.. and Kavouras. Faculty University of Tehran."GIS-based process helps TransCanada select best route for expansion line". pp. John Wily & Sons Inc. 37-51. Environmental Remote Sensing Centre. 1999. 6-9.H. GIM. 1994. [9] Sarkka.Sc. References [1] Anonymous. D. Springer-Verlag. 3. S. pp. June 22. Oil & Gas Journal pp. Oil Gas J. [10] Stefanakis. University of Tehran. Faculty. M. "Application GIS in Petroleum Industry". F. No. 1993. 26.Y. Cartographica. Dept. 2002."Optimal routing of pipeline". L. [2] Berry."GIS Modeling in Raster". M.. [6] Montemurro. and Esko.K... 2000. 81.. E.. "Cartographic Modeling: The Analytical Capabilities of GIS". J. 31. of Surveying and Geomatic Eng. P. [8] Shafiee. 241-257... Research Seminar. MSc. D. 1998. Oxford University. 6 Feb.Series ARC-UWM-004-97. and Gale.. Helsinki. European Conference on Spatial Information Theory: A Theoretical Basis for GIS. 1996. "Least cost path in GIS Using accumulated cost surface and slope lines". pp."GIS lead to more efficient route planning". J. 63-71. Thesis.. 1993.New Mexico University. M. T.. "Evaluation of Usabilities of Raster-Based GIS for Optimum Path Determination". Vol. "Determination of the Optimum Path on the Earth Surface". [4] Douglas. [5] Hicken. "Use of high resolution remote sensing for route selection". Eng. . University of Wisconsin-Madison. 1995. and Krumbach.

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