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Engineering Procedure

SAEP-311

29 January, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections


Piping Standards Committee Members
Al-Sannaa, M.S., Chairman
Al-Dossary, M.B.
Al-Nasri, N.I.
Al-Sabti, R.A.
Al-Sharif, T.M.
Al-Teraiki, A.M.
Balhareth, N.M.
Chen, J.T.
Fadley, G.L.
Ismail, A.A.
Khashab, J.M.
Kim, S.U.
Lewis, T.
Mahmoud, K.A.
Mullen, M.A.
Phan, H.C.
Solaiman, M.Z.
Stark, G.D.

Previous Issue: 29 February, 2000

Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Revised paragraphs are indicated in the right margin


Primary contact: Muhsen S. Al-Sannaa on phone 874-6679

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Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards


Table of Contents

Scope.............................................................

Applicable Documents...................................

Instructions.....................................................

Responsibilities.............................................

14

Appendix I - Ultrasonic Thickness


Measurements

17

Appendix II - Hot Tap Checklist..........................

18

Scope
This SAEP provides the installation procedures for hot tapping pipe, pressure vessels and tanks.
It assigns responsibilities for the work required and the safety precautions to be taken. Any
deviation to this procedure requires the approval of the Manager, Consulting Services
Department, Dhahran.

Applicable Documents
2.1

Saudi Aramco References

Page 2 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

Saudi Aramco Engineering Procedure


SAEP-310

Pipeline Repair and Maintenance

Saudi Aramco Engineering Standards


SAES-A-004

Pressure Testing

SAES-L-052

Hot Tap Connections

SAES-L-056

Pressure Testing of Plant Piping and Pipelines

SAES-W-010

Welding Requirements for Pressure Vessels

SAES-W-011

Welding Requirements for On-Plot Piping

SAES-W-012

Welding Requirements for Pipelines

Saudi Aramco Standard Drawings


AB-036719

Reinforcement of Welded Branch Connections

AB-036715

Detail of Heavy Welding Boss for Threaded


Connections

AB-036643

Detail of Heavy Welding Boss for Socket Weld


Connections

Saudi Aramco Forms and Data Sheets


Form SA 7235-ENG

Hot Tap Data and Checklist

Form SA 7627-ENG

Hot Tap/Stopple & Reinforcement Calculation Sheet

Saudi Aramco General Instructions

2.2

GI-0002.100

Work Permits

GI-0002.102

Safety Precautions for Pressure Testing

GI-0002.711

Fire and Safety Watch

GI-1780.001

Atmosphere-Supplying Respirators

Industry Codes and Standards


American Petroleum Institute
API STD 598

Valve Inspection and Test

Page 3 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

API RP 2201

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

Procedures for Welding or Hot Tapping on Equipment


Containing Flammables

American Society of Mechanical Engineers/Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code

ASME SEC VIII D1

Pressure Vessels

ASME B31.3

Process Piping

ASME B31.4

Liquid Transportation Systems for Hydrocarbons

ASME B31.8

Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping Systems

Instructions
3.1

Definitions
Hot Tap: The technique of attaching a welded branch fitting to piping or equipment in
service, and creating an opening in that piping or equipment by drilling or cutting a
portion of the piping or equipment within the attached fitting.

3.2

General Requirements
3.2.1

Hot tap connections shall be designed and installed to meet all requirements
of this SAEP, and SAES-L-052, "Hot Tap Connections".

3.2.2

The hot tapping operations are initiated, designed, and controlled by:

3.2.3

3.2.2.1

Operations Engineering Organization in the case of existing


facilities.

3.2.2.2

Project Manager with the approval of the Area Operations


Superintendent and Operations Engineering General Supervisor/
Superintendent in the case of tying in new installations to
existing facilities.

The appropriate management shall appoint an Initiating Engineer. The


Initiating Engineer shall be made responsible for the overall coordination of
the hot tapping activities. This is to ensure that designers,
construction/maintenance installation unit, hot tap, stopple and valve crew,
operations and/or project management, engineering staff, and inspection staff
cooperate closely during all phases of the hot tapping operations.

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Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

3.2.4

The Initiating Engineer shall identify the equipment in terms of service,


location, pipe diameter, header and branch pressure rating, and material type
and notify the Hot Tap, Stopple and Valve Unit of this information.

3.2.5

The construction or maintenance units are responsible for ensuring that


approved welding procedures and qualified welders are employed. The
Piping & Valves Unit/M&CED/CSD shall verify this.

3.2.6

For carbon steels with minimum specified yield stresses less than or equal to
60 ksi, pre-approved welding procedures may be used.

3.2.7

For carbon steels with minimum specified yield stresses greater than 60 ksi,
the Consulting Services Department shall be contacted for welding procedure
approval.

3.2.8

For hardenable or high strength steels and for piping where pipe or fitting
wall thickness requires preheat, the Consulting Services Department shall be
contacted for welding procedure approval.

3.2.9

Compressed air piping and equipment shall not be hot tapped nor welded
while in service. Refer to SAES-L-052, paragraph 4.3.

3.2.10

Hot tapping lines upstream of rotating equipment shall be avoided unless


such equipment is protected from the cuttings by means of filters or traps.
The normal in-line suction screens are not considered adequate for this
purpose.

3.2.11

Hot tap connections are not allowed for certain cases (refer to SAES-L-052
paragraph 4.1), unless a detailed design and installation procedure has
received prior approval from the Manager of CSD and concurrence from the
Loss Prevention Department.

3.2.12

All hot tap connections, valves, and hot tap machines shall be pressure tested
in accordance with this SAEP. (Refer to Para. 3.8)

3.2.13

Precautions against electric shock, due to induced voltage, shall be taken


when installing hot tap connections on above ground pipelines near high
voltage power lines. Refer to SAEP-310," Pipelines Repair and
Maintenance".

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Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

3.2.14

Adequate support of the hot tap machine shall be provided to prevent


overstressing of the pipe and/or fitting, particularly in cases where the hot tap
sticker is not installed in a vertical position.

3.2.15

Hot tapping shall not be permitted:


a)

within 457 mm (18 inches) of a flange (or threaded connection) as


measured from the toe of the reinforcement sleeve, or split tee
circumferential fillet weld to the toe of the flange circumferential butt
weld (or the closest edge of the threaded connection);
Commentary Note:
If this requirement can not be met the placement of the hot tap
may be positioned closer than 457 mm (18 inches) provided
there is enough room to allow for the installation, operation and
removal of the hot tap machine, and the removal of the piping or
pipeline flange bolts.

b)

within 19 mm (0.75 inch) of a circumferential girth weld seam as


measured from the toe of the sticker weld or split tee circumferential
fillet weld, to the toe of the nearest girth weld.

Existing welds under the hot tap shall be ground smooth prior to fit up of the
sticker and reinforcing sleeve. Care should be taken when cutting across
existing welds since the cutter can be damaged.
3.2.16

Storage Tanks
3.2.16.1

For atmospheric or low pressure hydrocarbon storage tanks, hot


tap connections shall be located at least 1 m (39 inches) below
the liquid level while welding or hot tapping is in progress.

3.2.16.2

The liquid level in a tank shall remain constant at the stated level
and no flow into or out of the tank shall occur while welding or
hot tapping is in progress.

3.2.16.3

Hot tapping is not permitted on cone or floating roofs of inservice tanks.

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Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

3.2.16.4

3.3

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

On tanks, connections larger than 2 inch NPS require written


approval of the Manager, CSD.

3.2.17

When hot taps are being made to obtain coupons for HIC determination, the
Saudi Aramco Form SA 7627-ENG and the ultrasonic scan data shall be
evaluated by M&CED of the Consulting Services Department. The
Consulting Services Department shall designate the location of the hot tap,
type of reinforcement, and other special requirements.

3.2.18

Hot tap connections made to obtain coupons for HIC determination,


according to paragraph 3.2.17 shall not be used for future connections with
process piping unless approved by CSD. Such hot taps shall be marked "Do
Not Use" with a non-corroding metal tag permanently affixed to the hot tap
connection. (Reference para. 3.5.7)
3.2.18.1

Wall thickness above the lamination must be greater than


5 mm (0.2 inch).

3.2.18.2

Reinforcement of the nozzle shall be based on the wall thickness


above the lamination. (Does not apply to split-tee installation)

3.2.19

Appropriate barricades and warning signs shall be posted around the worksite
to minimize the number of personnel in the work area while performing the
hot tapping operation.

3.2.20

Compact steel gate valves with extended body ends shall not be used for hot
tap connections.

Precautions against H2S and other Toxic/Hazardous Materials


3.3.1

If a potential exists for a Hydrogen Sulfide (or other Toxic material) release at
a work site, all personnel involved shall be provided with an appropriate
breathing apparatus. (Refer to GI-1780.001, "Atmosphere-Supplying
Respirators"). The standby person or fire watch, or other person certified as a
gas tester, shall continuously monitor the work site for the presence of
hazardous materials during the work activity using established gas testing
procedures.

3.3.2

When welding sour gas or sour crude lines, the fire watch personnel shall be
clearly instructed that should a burn-thru occur, the fire of the gas jetting from

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Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

the pipe should not be extinquished. If a burn-thru should occur, the


Operations Superintendent should immediately be notified to advise further
action or be included in the emergency instructions as required by para. 3.3.5.
Firewater and extinquishers should be applied as required to workers,
clothing, equipment, etc., exposed to the burn-thru flame.
3.3.3

3.4

The chamber of the hot tap machine and valve shall be purged with nitrogen
after cutting the coupon, retracting the cutter and closing the tapping valve
when any of the following exist:
1.

H2S concentration is greater than 10 ppm.

2.

Gas release may affect others in the area.

3.

Hot tap equipment is larger than 36 inches.

4.

The work is in a confined area.

3.3.4

In enclosed or confined areas, air horns/industrial fans shall be provided to


improve air circulation. However, the air velocity shall not interfere with the
welding arc shielding gases. Fans shall meet the electrical area classification
requirements.

3.3.5

The Operations Engineering Organization should provide written and verbal


emergency instructions (including evacuation procedure) to the hot tapping
crew, fire watch personnel, and other workers who may be in the work area.

Preparation of Hot Tap Specification and Test Calculations


3.4.1

The Initiating Engineer shall provide Form SA 7627-ENG for each hot tap
operation.

3.4.2

Each Form SA 7627-ENG shall be completed in sequence and by the


organization identified:
Form Section #

Person/Organization

Summary
(includes; Hot Tap Location,
Header Info, and Branch Info)

Initiating Engineer

Initiating Engineer

Operations Engineer

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Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

3.5

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

Responsible I.e.,. Unit

Operations Eng. Div.

Summary
(includes: Test & Process Info)

Initiating Engineer
(To be completed with actual
conditions just prior to welding or
cutting)

Locate and Inspect Hot Tap Position


3.5.1

The Initiating Engineer shall make all necessary arrangements for the
preparation of hot tapping (i.e., location, excavation, pipe inspection, surface
preparation, etc.)

3.5.2

The Initiating Engineer shall arrange for a team, consisting of himself,


operations, the responsible inspector, and a representative of the Hot Tap and
Stoppling crew, to survey the general hot tap location in order to specify and
mark the hot tap locations in detail.

3.5.3

The Initiating Engineer shall mark of the exact hot tap locations, and mark
the hot tap number alongside each hot tap location, ensuring the hot tap
locations are at a position where the pipe out-of-roundness does not exceed 3
mm. (Out of roundness criteria only applies to split tee or full encirclement
sleeves).

3.5.4

The hot tap number is obtained from Form SA 7627-ENG developed for each
location.

3.5.5

The Piping & Valves Unit/M&CED/CSD shall inform the Initiating Engineer
if the seam weld or any other projection needs to be ground flush with the
pipe surface for proper UT scanning and fit-up and if the out of roundness
criteria is met for split tees/full encirclement sleeves.

3.5.6

The Piping & Valves Unit/M&CED/CSD shall inspect and determine the
minimum pipe wall thickness at the tie-in weld areas by a continuous UT
scan along the lines to be welded and record this on the Appendix I form.
The area to be scanned shall include the weld zone and 50 mm (2 inches)
each side of it. The minimum remaining wall thickness at the weld
connection area shall not be below minimum thickness, Tm, and in all cases,
no less than 5 mm (0.2 inch). The inspected area shall be permanently
marked for future reference and identification.

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Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

Commentary Note:
When hot tapping components containing non-hazardous material such
as water at less than 1034 kPa (150 psi) and below 65C, then the
components with wall thicknesses less than 5 mm (0.2 inch) may be
hot tapped provided precautions against burn-through are taken.
(THIS CONDITION STILL REQUIRES A WAIVER TO BE
PROCESSED THRU CSD).

3.6

3.5.7

If ultrasonic readings indicate a lamination or evidence of hydrogen induced


cracking (HIC) damage, the hot tap position shall be relocated after
consultation with the Initiating Engineer and the responsible Operations
Engineering Organization. CSD and the proponent group shall be notified of
this condition.

3.5.8

The Piping & Valves Unit/M&CED/CSD shall complete Section 3 of form


SA 7627-ENG and return it to the Initiating Engineer.

3.5.9

The Piping & Valves Unit/M&CED/CSD shall review the welding procedure
specification (WPS) for the installation of the hot tap fittings and assure a
CSD approved WPS is employed.

Approval and Distribution of Form SA 7627-ENG


3.6.1

The Initiating Engineer shall forward the form, when Sections 1, 2, 3 and the
Summary section (excluding the test and process information, are complete
and signed), together with ultrasonic thickness measurements (Appendix I of
this SAEP), to the Project Engineer or responsible Operations Engineering
Supervisor.

3.6.2

The Project Engineer or the responsible Operations Engineering Supervisor,


shall complete Section 4 of Form SA 7627-ENG when the design and
calculations are complete. Full responsibility for the hot tap design is to be
assumed by the engineering group that prepares the calculations, design
drawings and installation procedures. The responsible engineering group
shall determine and obtain the appropriate approvals on Form SA 7627-ENG.
Drawings and specifications prepared by the responsible engineering group
shall include the length, diameter, wall thickness, flange rating and material
of the new connection plus the type and dimensions of the connection

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Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

reinforcement, if required (Refer to Std. Dwg. AB-036719) and the Weld


Procedure Specifications approved by the Consulting Services Department.
3.6.3

After the responsible engineering group has obtained the appropriate


approvals, a record copy shall be retained in a permanent central file, and the
design package forwarded to the Initiating Engineer for construction.

3.6.4

Once approval is obtained, the Initiating engineer shall distribute copies of


each Form SA 7627-ENG to the following personnel:

3.6.5

1)

Operations Superintendent

2)

Hot Tap and Stopple Crew or Operations Engineering Supervisor

3)

Construction/Maintenance Installation Crew

4)

Responsible CSD/M&CED/Piping & Valves Unit Supervisor

5)

Area Loss Prevention Engineer

6)

Project Manager (if appropriate)

The Initiating Engineer shall prepare and forward Form SA 7235-ENG "Hot
Tap Data & Check List" to the appropriate maintenance group performing the
actual hot tap. For hot taps to be made by Pipelines Maintenance Hot Tap,
Stopple, and Valve Unit, the SA 7235-ENG Form shall be sent to:
Superintendent
Pipelines Maint. Services Div.
Hot Tap, Stopple, and Valve Unit
Bldg. 3071, Old Abqaiq Rd., Dhahran

3.6.6

3.7

The Initiating Engineer is responsible for revising existing Saudi Aramco


drawings, P&IDs, or preparing new drawings, as may be required, as a result
of the hot tap installation.

Safety Requirements
3.7.1

The Initiating Engineer shall ensure that the requirements of SAES-L-052,


"Hot Tap Connections" are followed. The responsibility for the safety of
work crews involved in the hot tapping operation is shared jointly by the
Operator and the Hot Tap Supervisor/Maintenance Foreman.

Page 11 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

3.8

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

3.7.2

Written approval of the detailed hot tap installation shall be obtained from the
Operations Superintendent, or higher, and a copy sent to the Area Loss
Prevention Office and responsible Piping & Valves Unit/M&CED/CSD for
their review and concurrence prior to starting the installation. The
installation package shall be on-site during the entire installation process and
verified, by the Piping & Valves Unit/M&CED/CSD, that it is understood by
the person(s) carrying out the work.

3.7.3

All work shall be in strict compliance with GI-0002.100, Work Permit


System. The Work Permit shall be approved by the Operations
Superintendent, prior to each of the following:
1)

Vehicle entry

2)

Welding

3)

Grinding

4)

Hot Tapping

3.7.4

The Hot Work Permit (Red Saudi Aramco Form SA 924-2) shall have
recorded under the "Other precaution" section the maximum allowable line
pressure, minimum and maximum flow rates, and level limitations during
welding/cutting plus the number of this SAEP.

3.7.5

The Initiating Engineer shall make available to the site a copy of this SAEP
and ensure the area has been sufficiently roped off to prevent unauthorized
personnel from entering the work area.

3.7.6

The Operations Superintendent will assure that both Operations and the
Installation Organization have the proper safety and fire protection equipment
on site and in workable condition prior to the start of the job and that all
relevant personnel are notified of the scheduled hot work. Refer to GI0002.711, "Fire and Safety Watch".

Pressure Test Requirements


3.8.1

The Initiating Engineer shall be responsible for ensuring that the pressure
tests are performed in accordance with this SAEP on the hot tapping
equipment, including the hot tap valve and branch connection prior to and
after installation. The initial pressure testing of the hot tap machine, will take

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Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

place in the shop after the machine has been checked and worn parts
replaced, per paragraph 3.8.2.
3.8.2

The hot tap machine shall have an overhaul of its renewable pressure sealing
components and be subjected to a shop rated pressure test, in accordance with
the following criteria:
3.8.2.1

Pressure test once every four months and overhaul once every 12
months.

3.8.2.2

After it has been used on lines with operating temperatures in


excess of 150C, even if the elapsed time is less than four
months. For a series of consecutive hot taps on a single type of
service (i.e., steam, process stream, etc.) the hot tap machine
shall be shop tested at the end of the series of hot taps.

3.8.2.3

A stamped brass tag shall be affixed to the hot tap machine


indicating the test pressure, overhaul date, and the name of the
testing organization.

3.8.3

Maximum hydrostatic test pressure applied to the branch (or hot tap)
connection shall be in accordance with SAES-L-052, paragraph 7.3.b).

3.8.4

Pneumatic testing of hot tap connections on hot lines over 93C is not
permitted unless approved by the Manager, Consulting Services Department.

3.8.5

Hot tap connections installed on hot lines where hydrostatic testing with
water is not practical shall be hydrostatically tested using high temperature
turbine oil or silicone fluid, as follows:
Line Temperature

Hydrotest Fluid

Stock No.

93C to 290C

Turbine Oil

Over 290C

Silicone Fluid 200

26-001-330
26-001-340
26-010-037

Commentary Note:
Check to ensure compatibility of fluids used in hot tapping with that of
the line being hot tapped.

Page 13 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

3.8.6

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

A body and high pressure seat test (on both sides of the seat) shall be
performed in the shop on all hot tap valves prior to installation. Resilient
(soft) seat valves shall have zero leakage. Valves with metal to metal seats
shall meet the leakage criteria of API STD 598. A back seat test and low
pressure seat test is not required. A tag shall be attached to the valve
indicating test date, test pressure and Inspector's name.
Commentary Note:
This seat test does not apply to sandwich valves.

3.8.7

After installation of the branch connection, but prior to installing the


reinforcing pad or full encirclement ring, a full hydrostatic pressure test shall
be applied to the branch connection. This test pressure shall be the lower
value shown in 4.4c or 4.4e on Saudi Aramco Form SA 7627-ENG. During
the test, the branch connection shall have a blind flange installed and pressure
applied through the branch connection boss as shown on Std. Dwg. AB036719.
CAUTION: Header walls can collapse during testing by applying
insufficient internal operating pressure or excessive external hydrostatic test
pressure. This is especially true when large diameter connections are being
tested.

3.8.8

A pneumatic test of 173 kPa (ga) (25 psi) shall be applied to the reinforcing
pad or ring after installation. This pressure will then be reduced to 21 - 35
kPa (ga) (3 - 5 psi) for a tightness test using a soap solution.

3.8.9

Install the hot tap valve and apply another high pressure closure test (seat
test) per para. 3.8.6 above, with the valve in the closed position. The test
pressure shall be the lower value shown in 4.4c or 4.4d on Saudi Aramco
Form SA 7627-ENG, and applied through the branch connection boss.

3.8.10

Return the valve to the open position, mount the hot tap machine and apply
another full pressure test per paragraph 3.8.7 above, however, the MAOP of
the line need not be exceeded.

3.8.11

Ensure that the connection is opened, drained and vented upon completion of
hydrostatic testing to prevent possible build up of pressure from any source of
heat. (Refer to paragraph 3.8.5)

Page 14 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

3.9

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

3.8.12

After completion of the above tests, install a bar stock plug in the branch
connection boss and seal weld. At the option of the Inspector, an MT or PT
may be applied to the branch connection seal weld.

3.8.13

The appropriate CSD Representative shall witness and approve all hydrostatic
testing required for completion of the hot tap connection.

Operating Conditions Requirements


3.9.1

The Operations Superintendent shall ensure that pipeline pressure and flow
are correct as specified on Form SA 7627-ENG and shall arrange for these
conditions to be maintained prior to and during welding, hot tapping, and
testing operations.
Commentary Note:
Operations, Maintenance, and Construction are to ensure that the hot
tap machine operating pressure is higher than the actual header
pressure while cutting the coupon. Hot tap machine operating
pressure is to be provided by the Hot Tap machine operating
Supervisor before starting the job. (The allowable operating pressure
defined by the hot tap crew is different than the test pressure).

3.9.2

Maximum internal pressure of the piping/equipment during welding shall be


in accordance with SAES-L-052 paragraph 5.3 on welding of pipelines under
pressure. A positive pressure and flow shall be maintained at all times while
welding and hot tapping is in progress.

3.9.3

The minimum flow rates per para. 3.9.4 or the maximum attainable flow
under normal working pressure, whichever is less, shall be maintained during
all welding operations.
3.9.3.1

Flow in a line shall be maintained while welding is being


performed, unless approved otherwise by the Operations
Superintendent. In certain cases, such as flare lines with
insufficient or intermittent flow, the line shall be purged with
steam, inert gas, or hydrocarbon gas. This steam or gas shall be
kept flowing through the line during the entire welding operation.

Page 15 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

3.9.3.2

3.9.4

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

In systems where hydrocarbon and oxygen mixtures are


definitely not a possibility, flow is not required (e.g., sea water
injection lines). However, to weld with "NO-FLOW" conditions,
the following must be satisfied:
3.9.3.2.1

For new construction tie-ins to existing lines,


approval shall be obtained from the responsible
Project Manager, General
Supervisor/Superintendent Operations
Engineering, and the Operations Superintendent.

3.9.3.2.2

For normal maintenance tie-ins to existing systems


not involving new construction, approval shall be
obtained from the General
Supervisor/Superintendent Operations
Engineering, and the Operations Superintendent.

3.9.3.2.3

Prior to and during any welding, Operations shall


verify a non-combustible mixture in the line. This
shall be stated in the remarks section of the Work
Permit.

Maximum and minimum flow rates during hot tapping shall be as follows:
a)

b)

Liquid &

0.40 m/sec minimum

Two-Phase

4.50 m/sec maximum

Gas

0.40 m/sec minimum


9.10 m/sec maximum

however, if the branch connection size is less than 50% of the size of the line
being hot tapped, then the minimum values do not apply but a positive flow
shall be maintained.
Commentary Notes:
1)

T.D. Williamson has established the above maximum flow velocity in


lines during the hot tapping operation.

Page 16 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

2)

3.10

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

Small diameter hot taps (i.e., 2 inch and less) have no maximum or
minimum flow limitations. Pressure requirements still apply.

3.9.5

While hot tap work and pressure testing is in-progress, an operator shall
remain in a location where he can control operating conditions such as flow,
pressure, and liquid level within the limits specified in the hot tap design
information. An additional operator shall standby at the job site while the
work is in progress, if deemed necessary by the Operations Superintendent.
Continuous radio communications between the job site operator and the
Control Room is required.

3.9.6

Work shall be immediately stopped when constant flow and pressure as noted
in paragraphs 3.9.2 and 3.9.3 cannot be maintained during the welding and
hot tapping operations. Pressure testing shall also stop if pressure in the
header / equipment is lost.

Hot Tap Fittings/Sandwich Valve Installation Requirements


3.10.1

The Initiating Engineer shall coordinate all activities.

3.10.2

The Operations Superintendent shall ensure compliance with the safety


precautions arranged under paragraph 3.9 of this SAEP, including acceptance
of the work permit.

3.10.3

The Inspector shall perform the following:


3.10.3.1

Verify a CSD approved welding procedure specification is


utilized for installation of the connection (Refer para. 3.5.9).

3.10.3.2

Verify that 3.2 mm diameter cellulose weld electrodes are utilized


only for the root pass and low hydrogen electrodes are used for
all other passes for carbon steel branch connection welds.

3.10.3.3

Inspect the branch connection/split tee, before and during the


installation, for compliance with the approved drawings and
welding procedures.

3.10.3.4

Verify that a calibrated pressure gauge and relief valve are


properly installed for testing.

Page 17 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

3.10.3.5

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

Confirm that the hydrostatic test pressure for the branch


connection is correct at the time of the test, as prescribed in
Section 4 of Form SA 7627-ENG.
CAUTION: Pipe or pressure vessel walls can collapse during
testing by applying insufficient internal operating pressure or
excessive external hydrostatic test pressure. This is especially
true when large diameter connections are being tested.

Responsibilities
4.11

Hot Tapping Operation Procedure


Procedure

Responsibilities

4.11.1

Review the design drawings and requirements for the


branch connection, including an approved welding
procedure in accordance with the applicable
SAES-W-XXX.

Init. Eng/CSD

4.11.2

Ensure all the requirements of paragraph 3.2


"General Requirements" are met.

Init. Eng/Maint/
Constr

4.11.3

Check that the location of the installation is that


location specified by the initiating Engineer with the
concurrence of the Operations Supt.

Opers/Maint/
Constr

4.11.4

Obtain an approved Hot Work Permit, Saudi Aramco


Form SA 924-2 (Para. 3.7.3) from the Operations
Superintendent, or his designee, prior to starting with
work.

Init. Eng/Maint/
Constr

4.11.5

If long seam is under hot tap fitting, grind seam weld


flush with the surface of the pipe taking care not to
reduce the pipe wall thickness. Check pipe wall
thickness ensuring it does not violate para. 3.5.6.

Maint/CSD/
Constr

4.11.6

Ensure the pressure and flow requirements as identified


in section 4 of Form SA 7627-ENG have been established
prior to any welding.

Init Eng/CSD/
Maint/Constr
Opers

4.11.7

Power wire brush the area for attachment welds to


remove all traces of paint, rust and scale. The fit-up
of the connection to the header shall provide for a
standard pipe bevel and 1/16 inch minimum root gap.
Install the nozzle or boss connection using full
penetration welds in the exact location shown on the
approved drawing, using a qualified welder and a CSD
approved welding procedure. The Piping & Valves Unit/

Maint/Constr/
CSD

Page 18 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

M&CED/CSD will verify proper weld joint fit-up.


4.11.8

Ensure that the nozzle connections are not welded on


the inside unless the hot tap cutter is at least one pipe
size smaller than the nozzle. The cutters sometimes
break if the cut is made through a weld.

CSD/Init Eng/
Maint/Constr

4.11.9

Precheck the tapping valve and the hot tap machine


to assure good operable condition, including the cutter
and coupon retaining device.

Hot Tap Unit

4.11.10 Confirm that the shop rating test of the hot tap machine
is current per para. 3.8.2.

CSD/Hot Tap Unit

4.11.11 Mount the valve on the fitting ensuring that its alignment
is within the manufacturer's tolerance

CSD/Hot Tap Unit

4.11.12 Close the valve and perform the hydrostatic test


according to this instruction.

Maint/Constr/Hot
Tap/CSD

4.11.13 Check the valve by opening and the hot tap machine
for operability and examine the condition of the cutter
and coupon retaining device.

Hot Tap Unit/Maint/


Constr

4.11.14 Mount the hot tap machine on the valve.

Hot Tap Unit/Maint/


Constr

4.11.15 Ensure that the tapping valve is tested in accordance


with paragraph 3.8.9 and will easily pass the hot tap
cutter. This may require grinding of the lugs on the
valve seat rings to provide adequate clearance.
Ensure that the dimension from the face of the valve
flange to the surface to be hot tapped will permit
enough cutter travel to completely cut out the coupon
and not travel to the opposite side of the header.

Hot Tap Unit/CSD

4.11.16 Apply hydrostatic and pneumatic pressure tests to the


hot tap machine, valve, and welded connection in
with the testing procedure specified in this SAEP and
SAES-L-052, paragraph 5.

Hot Tap Unit/ICSD/


Maint/Constr

4.11.17 Install and seal weld a threaded plug in the weld boss
on the connection after all testing has been completed.
Refer to paragraph 3.8.12

Maint/Constr

4.11.18 After assembly of the hot tap machine on the tapping


valve and before the tapping operation is started:
4.11.18.1 Completely close and then completely open
valve to ensure that it Is operable, and that
the cutter can be withdrawn a sufficient
distance to permit closure of the valve.

Hot Tap Unit

Page 19 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

4.11.18.2 Set the cutter travel indicator to prevent over


travel and consequent damage to the opposite
side of the header being hot tapped.
4.11.19 Drill and cut coupon.

Hot Tap Unit

4.11.20 Retract the hot tap machine boring bar.

Hot Tap Unit

4.11.21 Close the valve, purge with nitrogen, if required, and


depressurize the hot tap machine adaptor.

Hot Tap Unit

4.11.22 Remove the hot tap machine from the line.

Hot Tap Unit/


Maint/Constr

4.11.23 Remove the coupon from the pilot drill and tag and
wire the coupon to the tapping valve on the connection
after hot tap is completed.

Hot Tap Unit/


Maint/Constr

4.11.24 The coupon shall be removed only by the Operations


Supervisor and forwarded to the responsible Operations
Piping & Valves Unit/M&CED/CSD.

Opers

4.11.25 Ensure that the completed connection is blinded or


plugged before leaving the job site.

Hot Tap Unit/CSD/


Maint/Constr

1 Decenver, 1996
30 September, 1997
29 April, 1998
29 February, 2000
29 January, 2003

Hot Tap Unit

Revision Summary
Editorial revision to convert document to new format.
Minor revision to paragraphs 2, 3.1, 3.2.9, 3.2.11, 3.2.15, 3.6.1, 3.6.2, 3.8.3, 3.8.6 & 3.9.2
Added GI-1780.001 in the reference.
Added SAES-A-056 in the reference.
Editorial revision to paragraphs 3.2.15(a) (b), 3.2.16.1, 3.2.18.1, 3.5.6 and 3.8.8.
Added four new lines of statements to Appendix II.
Editorial revision to change the Document Responsibility from Inspection Department to
Piping Standards Committee, CSD.

Page 20 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

Appendix I Ultrasonic Thickness Measurements


Hot Tap #_________________
J.O./W.O. ______________PLANT #_______________ DWG. # ________________
Description (Job, Location, etc.) ___________________________________________

Diameter

Grade

Schedule

Flange Rating

HEADER: _____________

______________

_____________

____________

STICKER _____________

______________

_____________

____________

HEADER MEASUREMENTS
(CONTINUOUS SCANNING)
Point A

Min:__________

Max.:_________

Circle B

Min:__________

Max:__________

Circle C

Min:__________

Max:__________

Line D-D

Min:__________

Max:__________

Line E-E

Min:__________

Max:__________

180 deg. from Pt. A

Min:__________

Max:__________

STICKER MEASUREMENT
Min:__________

Max.:__________

Page 21 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

C
FLOW

LOCATION-------DESCRIPTION

Point A------------Branch Center

Circle B-----------Branch Diameter


Circle C-----------Reinfr. Pad Dia.

RESPONSIBLE PIPING & VALVES UNIT/M&CED/CSD:

Line D-D----------Reinf. Sleeve Ends


ENGINEER:

REFERENCE: SAES-L-052, STD. DWG. AB-036719


NOTE:

For connection reinforcement requirements refer to ASME B31.3, ASME B31.4, ASME B31.8, ASME SEC VIII, and
STD. DWG. AB-036719.

Page 22 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

Appendix II Hot Tap Checklist


This checklist should be used as a reminder to accomplish the steps in order, but should not be
considered as including all preparation steps which may be dictated by the particular
circumstances of the job. It should be kept as a part of the final documentation package.
LOCATION:________________________________
DATE:____________________
Before Starting Hot Tap
1.

Has the properly approved work permit been obtained?

2.

Does the tapping machine have a suitable pressure and temperature rating for the job?

3.

Has the exact location of the hot tap on the line or vessel been identified or marked?

4.

Has the area to be welded been inspected for thickness and freedom from lamination or
HIC?

5.

Has the need for stress relieving the weld area been considered?

6.

Do the flanges, bolts, gaskets, pipe, and valve to be installed meet the piping code for the
line or vessel to be hot tapped?

7.

Is there sufficient clearance to accommodate the operation of the hot tap machine and
sufficient clearance to retract the cutter through the valve?

8.

Is the hot tap fitting of the proper length to accommodate operation of the hot tap
machine?

9.

Have combustible and/or toxic gas tests been conducted in the area of hot tapping?

10.

Has the chemical composition of the contents in the line or vessel been considered to
avoid welding or equipment containing flammable mixtures, hydrogen or chemicals
which could affect metal strength?

11.

Is the contents in the line stable under heated conditions and free of oxygen?

12.

Has fire fighting equipment been provided?

Page 23 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

13.

Has suitable protective equipment been provided to all exposed personnel in the hot tap
area?

14.

Is the area to be hot tapped located below the liquid level of a tank or on a line or piece of
equipment in which fluid flow has been established?

Before Starting Welding


1.

Is preheat of the weld area required?

2.

Is the fitting properly positioned so misalignment of the hot tap machine will not occur?

Before Starting Cutting


1.

Has the weld been tested?

2.

Have the hot tap valve, gaskets, and bolts been checked for possible leakage?

3.

Has the packing on the hot tap machine been checked?

4.

Has the bleed off valve been checked to be sure it will hold and is not stopped up?

5.

Are all bolts on the cutter and pilot bit tight and is the coupon catcher on the pilot bit?

6.

Is the valve centered on the flange?

7.

Has the cutting depth been calculated to avoid cutting the opposite side of the pipe?

8.

Has the boring bar been run through the valve several times to ensure free passage?

9.

Has the pressure and temperature of the contained material been reduced as much as the
process operations will allow?

10.

Is there liquid or flowing gas in contact with the area to be hot tapped?

Before Removing the Hot Tap Machine


1.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to be sure the boring bar is fully retracted before
closing the valve.

2.

Close the valve.

Page 24 of 25

Document Responsibility: Piping

SAEP-311

Issue Date: 29 January, 2003


Next Planned Update: 1 March, 2003

Installation of Hot Tapped Connections

3.

Make sure any necessary nitrogen purging is completed.

4.

Open the bleeder valve and be sure all pressure is off the hot tap machine before
removing bolts from the flange. If flow or pressure persists, the main valve is probably
leaking.

5.

Remove the hot tap machine from the tapping valve.

6.

Remove the coupon and from the pilot drill and wire to the tapping valve.

7.

Ensure the completed hot tap is blinded or plugged before leaving the jobsite.

8.

Operations Supervisor is to ensure that the coupon is forwarded to the responsible


Operations Piping & Valves Unit/M&CED/CSD to verify wall thickness or corrosion
patterns.

Page 25 of 25