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LessonsLearned

FromNaturalGasSTARPartnersSTARPartners
USINGHOTTAPSFORINSERVICEPIPELINECONNECTIONS

ExecutiveSummary

Naturalgastransmissionanddistributioncompaniesneedtomakenewconnectionstopipelines
manytimesayeartoexpandormodifytheirexistingsystem.Historically,thishasnecessitated
shuttingdownaportionofthesystemandpurgingthegastotheatmospheretoensureasafe
connection.Thisprocedure,referredtoasashutdowninterconnect,resultsinmethaneemissions,
loss of product and sales, occasionally customer inconvenience, and costs associated with
evacuatingtheexistingpipingsystem

Hottappingisanalternativeprocedurethatmakesanewpipelineconnectionwhilethepipeline
remainsinservice,flowingnaturalgasunderpressure.Thehottapprocedureinvolvesattaching
abranchconnectionandvalveontheoutsideofanoperatingpipeline,andthencuttingoutthe
pipeline wall within the branch and removing the wall section through the valve. Hot tapping
avoidsproductloss,methaneemissions,anddisruptionofservicetocustomers.

While hot tapping is not a new practice, recent design improvements have reduced the
complicationsanduncertaintyoperatorsmighthaveexperiencedinthepast.SeveralNaturalGas
STARtransmissionanddistributionpartnersreportusinghottapprocedures,routinelysmalljobs
are performed almost daily while larger taps (greater than 12 inches) are made two or three
times per year. By performing hot taps, Natural Gas Star partners have achieved methane
emissions reductions and increased revenues. Gas savings are generally sufficient to justify
makingallnewconnectionstooperatinglinesbyhottapping.Thepaybackperiodforutilizinghot
tappingisoftenimmediate.

Methodfor Volumeof ValueofNG


Other
Capital Other Payback
2
3
Reducing NGSavings Savings
Savings
Cost
Cost4
GasLoss1

HotTap
Connection

(Mcf/yr)
24,400

($/yr)
73,320

($)

($)

68,403

36,200

($/yr)
43,000

(Months)
12

1 Annual savings and costs are based on an average 320 hot taps (of various sizes) per year.
2Assumesanaturalgaspriceof$3.00/Mcf.
3Othersavingsshownareforinertgas.
4OthercostincludestheO&Mandcontractservicescost

TechnologyBackground

In natural gas transmission and distribution systems, it is frequently necessary to relocate or


expand existing pipelines, install new valves or repair old ones, install new laterals, perform
maintenance, or access lines during emergencies. Historically, it has been common practice to
shut down the portion of the system during the alteration, vent the gas within the isolated
segment,andpurgethepipelinewithinertgastoensureasafeconnection.

The procedure for performing the shutdown interconnects differs slightly depending on system
pressure. In high pressure systems, the surrounding valves are closed to isolate the pipeline

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segmentandadditionalstoppels(insertedplugs)areplacednexttothevalvestopreventnatural
gas leakage and improve the safety conditions at the interconnection site. In a low pressure
system,thelengthofpipelinethatisshutdownistypicallymuchshorter.Ratherthanshuttingthe
surrounding valves, stoppels are used to isolate the portion of the pipeline directly around the
areaofthetap.Inbothcases,thegasintheisolatedpipelinesegmentisventedandthelineis
purged.

The impacts associated with performing a shutdown interconnects are both economic and
environmental. Gas vented from the pipeline segment represents a loss of product and an
increase in methane emissions. In addition, removing a pipeline segment from service can
occasionallycausegasserviceinterruptionstocustomers.Forexample,ashutdownconnection
onasteellinecanrequireonetothreeormoredaysofpipelineoutageandpossibleinterruption
ofnaturalgasshipmentsinadditiontothereleaseofmethanetotheatmosphere.

Hottappingisanalternativetechniquethatallowstheconnectiontobemadewithoutshutting
down the system and venting gas to the atmosphere. Hot tapping is also referred to as line
tapping, pressure tapping, pressure cutting, and side cutting. The process involves attaching
branchconnectionsandcuttingholesintotheoperatingpipelinewithoutinterruptionofgasflow,
and with no release or loss of product. Hot taps permit new tie ins to existing systems, the
insertion of devices into the flow stream, permanent or temporary bypasses, and are the
reparatorystageforlinepluggingwithinflatable,temporaryballoonplugs(stoppels).

Hot tapping equipment is available for almost any pipeline size, pipe material, and pressure
rating found in transmission and distribution systems. The primary equipment for a typical hot
tapapplicationincludesadrillingmachine,abranchfitting,andavalve.Hottappingequipment
isdescribedbelowandshowninExhibit1.

Drillingmachine

The drilling machine generally consists of a mechanically driven telescoping boring bar that
controlsacuttingtool.Thecuttingtoolisusedtoboreapilotholeintothepipelinewallinorder
tocenteraholesawthatcutsoutthecoupon,orcurvedsectionofpipelinewall.

Fitting

Connectiontotheexistingpipeismadewithinafitting,whichcanbeasimpleweldednipplefor
small (e.g., one inch) connection to a larger pipeline, or a full encirclement split sleeve tee for
extrasupportwhenthebranchisthesamesizeastheparentpipeline.Theteewrapscompletely
around the pipeline, and when welded, provides mechanical reinforcement of the branch and
carrierpipe.

Valve

The valve on a hot tap connection can be either a block valve or a control valve for the new
connection,andmustallowthecoupon(sectionofpipelinewallcutoutbythedrillingmachine)
toberemovedafterthecuttingoperation.Suitablevalvesincludeaballorgatevalve,butnota
plugorbutterflyvalve

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USINGHOTTAPSFORINSERVICEPIPELINECONNECTIONS

Exhibit1:SchematicofHotTappingMachinewithProfile

Exhibit2providesageneralschematicofahottappingprocedure.Thebasicstepstoperforma
hottapare:

Connect the fitting on the existing pipeline by welding (steel), bolting (cast iron), or
bonding(plastic)andinstallthevalve.

Installthehottapmachinethroughthepermanentvalve.

Performthehottapbycuttingthecouponfromthepipelinethroughtheopenvalve.A
special device retains the coupon for removal after the hot tap operation. Withdraw
thecouponthroughthevalveandclosethevalve.

Removethetappingmachineandaddthebranchpipeline.PurgeAir,openthevalve,and
thenewconnectionareputintoservice.

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Exhibit2:SchematicofHotTappingProcedure

Hottapscanbevertical,horizontal,oratanyanglearoundthepipeaslongasthereissufficient
roomtoinstallthevalve,fitting,andtappingmachine.Currenttechnologyallowsfortapstobe
made on all types of pipelines, at all pressures, diameters, and compositions, even older pipes
mergingwithnew.New,lightweighttappingmachinesarealsoavailablethatallowahottapto
beperformedbyasingleoperator,withoutadditionalblockingorbracing.

Safety manuals and procedural outlines are available from the American Petroleum Institute
(API),AmericanSocietyofMechanicalEngineers(ASME),andotherorganizationsforweldingon
inservicepipelinesforallsizes,flowrates,andlocations.Thesemanualsprovideinformationon
what to consider during welding, including burn through prevention, flow in lines, metal
thickness, fittings, post weld heat treatment, metal temperature, hot tap connection welding
design,andpipingandequipmentcontents.

Vendormanualsandequipmentcataloguesarealsogoodsourcesfordeterminingwhichsizeand
typeofequipmentismostappropriate.Severalvendorshavepublishedcomprehensiveoutlines
and guides for performing hot tap procedures, including information on tapping on various
materials, job site evaluation and preparation, selection and installation of fittings and other
equipment, and safety precautions. Most importantly, because this is a hazardous procedure,
each potential hot tap must be evaluated on a case by case basis and a detailed, written
procedureshouldbepreparedorreviewedbeforestartingeachjobtoensurethatallstepsare
takenproperlyandsafely

EconomicandEnvironmentalBenefits

Key economic and environmental benefits of employing hot tapping procedures instead of
shutdownconnectionsinclude:

Continuoussystemoperation,shutdownandserviceinterruptionsareavoided.

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Nogasreleasedtotheatmosphere.

Avoidedcutting,realignmentandreweldingofpipelinesections.

Reduction of costs associated with planning and coordinationmeetings, schedules,


paperwork,lostproduction,anddirectmanpower.

Increasedworkersafety.

Eliminationofobligationstonotifycustomersofgasoutages.

Byensuringthatbestpracticesarefollowedwhenperformingahottap,thetimerequiredforthe
procedure,aswellasthepotentialforfailure,isreduced.

DecisionProcess

Operators can assess the economics of performing a hot tap as an alternative to a shutdown
connectionbyfollowingthefivestepsbelow:

I. Determinephysicalconditionsofexistingline.

2. Calculatecostofperformingashutdowninterconnects.

3. Calculatethecostofahottapprocedure.

4. Evaluatethegassavingsbenefitsofhottapping.

5. Comparetheoptionsanddeterminetheeconomicsofhottapping

Step 1: Determine physical conditions of the existing line. In preparation for a hot tap project,
operatorswillneedtodeterminethemaximumoperatingpressure(duringthehottap),typeof
pipe material (steel, cast iron, plastic), and condition of the parent pipeline (internal/external
corrosion,wallthickness)toassureasafeproject.Ahottapconnectioncanbemadeonapipeline
onlywheretheparentpipematerialisingoodcondition.Otherconditionstoevaluateincludethe
location of nearby valves for emergency isolation in the event of an accident, the desired tap
diameter, working space around the connection, location of other pipeline welds, and
imperfections or obstructions. Operators should also determine if the line is looped, as
manygastransmissioncompaniesavoidoperationaldisruptionsbyshiftingtheloadtoaparallel
line.Itisadvisabletodevelopandfollowawrittenplantoassurefullandproperevaluationofa
futureconnection.

Step2:Calculatecostofperformingashutdowninterconnect.Thecostofanactualprojectwould
include direct costs such as material and equipment, welding requirements, quality control,
blowdown and purge costs, labor, and scheduling expenses. Additional indirect expenses or
hiddencostsmightincludethecostofshutoffvalves,advertisingifserviceistobeinterrupted,
relighting of customer services, and excavating for stopples and purge connections. Operators
wouldbeadvisedtoreferencehistoricaldatatodeterminethesecosts.Forthepurposesofthis

LessonsLearned
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USINGHOTTAPSFORINSERVICEPIPELINECONNECTIONS
scoping analysis, material and labor costs for cutting out the line section and welding in a tee
connectionintheshutdownmethodareassumedtobecomparabletothecostofweldingonthe
fittingandperformingthehottapwhenthebranchconnectionisthesamesizeasthepipeline.
However, the costs of the gas lost through venting and inert gas purging are unique to the
shutdowninterconnect.

TheformulasusedtodeterminethecostofashutdowninterconnectsareshowninExhibit3.For
these calculations, low pressure is defined as less than 2 psig. For comparative purposes,
calculatingthecostofashutdowninterconnectsshouldtakeintoconsiderationamultipleproject
scenario.Thismultipleprojectperspectiveallowsforamorecompletecomparativecostanalysis
given the upfront capital costs of owning and operating a hot tap machine and the need to
perform several interconnections throughout a given year. Exhibit 4 illustrates how the cost
calculations in Exhibit 3 can be applied in a multiple connections scenario. The hypothetical
situation presented includes several projects on pipelines of various sizes and pressures. Cost
calculations, however, are only provided for the 4 inch pipeline scenario and only cover direct
costs.

Exhibit3:CalculatingtheCostofShutdownInterconnect

Given:

D=diameterofpipeline(inches)

T = tap hole diameter (inches) for low pressure shutdown with tap holes for stoppers

L = length of pipeline between tap holes (feet) for high pressure shutdown

P=linepressure(psiaforlowpressure,psigforhighpressure)

Ppgas=currentpurgegasmarketprice($/Mcf)assumed$4/Mcf

Pg=currentgasmarketprice($/Mcf)assumed$3/Mcf

Ce=costofextraexcavation,usecompanyrecords($)

Cp=costofpurgeconnectionsandexcavation

Cs=costofhiddenshutdownexpendituresseeAppendix($)

Cf=costoffittingsseeAppendix($)

TimeTapholeisopen=frompriorexperience(minutes)

CalculateDirectCosts:

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CalculateIndirectCosts:

1.CalculateCe=costofextraexcavationfortiein($)

2.CalculateCp=costofpurgeconnections($)

3.CalculateCs=costofhiddenshutdownexpenditures($)

4.CalculateCf=costoffittings($)

5.CalculateCi=indirectcosts($)=Ce+ C p+ C s+ C f

CalculateTotalCosts:

CalculateCtotal=totalcost($)=Cg+ C pgas+ C i

Source:PipelineRulesofThumb,p.270andp.278

Exhibit4:HypotheticalScenarioandExampleCalculationofLostGasandPurgeGasCostsfor
aShutdownInterconnect

Given:

Apipelinecompanyrequiresnumerousshutdownsorhottapconnectionsasfollows:

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USINGHOTTAPSFORINSERVICEPIPELINECONNECTIONS

PipelineDiameters

PipelinePressures

PipelineLengths1

AnnualTaps3

Inches
4
8
10
18

psig
350
100
1,000
200

miles2
2
1
3
2

number
250
30
25
15

(1)Calculate:Vg=VolumeofNaturalGasLost

2)Calculate:Vpgas=VolumeofPurgeGas

(3)Calculate:ValueofGasLostbyShutdownInterconnects(IncludingPurgeGas

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Cost=$74foreachofthe4inchpipelineshutdowninterconnects

1Isolationlengthbetweenblockvalvesorstoppers
2Formularequireslengthinfeet.1mile=5,280feet.
3Scenarioisbasedonpartnerandvendorinformation
4Inertgasassumedtobenitrogen

Again, individual operators will need to reference company records to determine the exact
procedures and factors to use when performing shutdown interconnects. The procedures
describedabovearegeneralguidelinesforpreliminaryeconomicassessmentandcandifferfrom
companytocompany.Additionalfactorsthatarecompanyspecificincludegasleakagepastthe
pipeline valves on both ends of the shutdown, number of stoppers, tap holes for venting and
purging,andtypeofpurgegas.Leakageisparticularlyimportantaslargepipelineblockvalves
can leak significant volumes of gas because they are used infrequently and the valve seat can
accumulatedebristhatinhibitsatightseal.Thevolumeofleakageishighlyvariable,dependent
on valve type, age, pipeline pressure and service (dry gas causes much less corrosion and
accumulation of debris than wet gas). If a partners individual evaluation following this lesson
learned results in marginal economic justification, then company experience on pipeline valve
leakageshouldbefactoredintoimprovetheeconomics

Step 3: Calculate the cost of a hot tap procedure. When comparing the upfront costs of hot
tapping with shutdown interconnects the only significant difference is the cost of the hot tap
equipment.Theteefittingorfullencirclementsleeve,andthevalvehavenearlythesamecostfor
eithermethodwhenthebranchisessentiallythesamesizeasthepipeline(informationonfitting
typesandcostsisshownintheAppendix).Thecostofweldingafullencirclementsleeveisnearly
thesameasthecostofweldingateefittinginaline.Laborcostforcoldcuttingthepipelineand
hottapcuttingoutacouponaresufficientlycloseforthistypeoffeasibilityevaluation.

Maintenance costs apply only to hot tap equipment, such as drill sharpening and other
equipmentcareandreplacement.

Tappingmachinescomeinseveralsizes,andasinglemachinecanperformhottapsfrom3to12
inches.Lessexpensivemachinescanbepurchasedtoperformsmall(e.g.,1to3inch)taps.

Ingeneral,capitalcostsforpurchasingthehottapmachinestypicallyusedbygascompaniesfor
themostcommonsizedconnectionsrangefrom$13,200to$23,000.Equipmentcostisnormally
aonetimecapitalexpenditureandcanbedepreciatedoverthelifeoftheequipment,typically15
to20years.Eachcompany,however,shouldcalculatethedepreciationinthesamemannerused
for other equipment purchases (e.g., amortized, over a fixed period of time). This should be
considered in conjunction with how often the machine will be used in the future. To make this
determination, operators should look at company records to determine the number of times
similarconnectionshavebeenperformed.

Typically, a company that performs several hot taps a year will find it economical to own the
equipment,especiallyinsizesupto12inches,andtomaintaintrainedpersonneltoperformthe
service. These jobs are usually simpler and require less specialized training than larger hot tap
jobs.Forlargerandlessfrequenthottapsacompanymightconsideritmorecosteffectivetohire

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a contractor who will supply the equipment and trained personnel. Most hot tap vendors will
supply all necessary tapping equipment, including the drilling machine, fittings, valves, cutters,
andrepairservices.Themajorityofvendorsalsooffercontractservicesforlargerorinfrequent
jobs,orwillrentoutthetappingequipment.

Supplyingsupportservices,suchasexcavation,welding,andcranes,canreducethecostsofusing
an outside contractor. Other factors, such as the line material and thickness, system pressure,
andtemperature,shouldalsobeconsideredwhendeterminingthealternativesofpurchasinghot
tapping equipment or hiring contractors. A company should evaluate how often the tapping
equipment would be used and if they would realize savings by owning and maintaining the
equipmentandtrainingoperators.

Exhibit 5 presents ranges of hot tapping costs for both equipment purchase and contracted
services.Thecostrangesshownincludeallmaterials;additionalexpenseswillresultfromlabor
and maintenance expenditures, as discussed above. Vendors state that the operations and
maintenance (O&M) costs can vary greatly, depending on the number of taps performed
andequipmentandproceduralcare.

Exhibit5:HotTapExpenses

Connection
CapitalCost
Contracting
Equipment
Machine1
($)

Material
($)

ServiceCost
($)

O&MCost
($/yr)

SmallTaps(<12)

13,20023,000

5005,000

LargeTaps(>12)

100,000
200,0002

2,0009,1202

1,0004,000

Size
Inches

1Hottapmachinescanlastfrom5to40years.Acompanycanperformasmanyas400smalltapsper
year.
2 Most companies will find it more economical to contract out large hot tapping jobs, and would not
thereforeincurthesecosts.
Note:CostinformationprovidedbyHotTapmanufacturersandcontractors.Pricesareonlyprovidedfor
themosteconomicoptions

Exhibit6showstheequipment,O&M,andcontractorservicescosttoperformthe320tapsper
yearinthehypotheticalscenariofirstdescribedinExhibit4.Theassumptionismadethatthe4,
8, and 10 taps (a total of 305 taps) would be performed by the company. Because few taps
equaltoorlargerthan18inchesareperformedeachyear,thesetaps(atotalof15taps)would
becontractedtovendors.Theequipmentcostincludesthepurchasecostoftwosmall(<12)tap
machines.Forthepurposeofthislessonslearned,theaveragevalueofthepurchase,O&M,and
contracting service costs listed in Exhibit 5 are used to complete the cost analysis for the
hypothetical scenario. Based on these assumptions the total equipment cost is calculated at
$36,200,theO&Mcostat$5,500andthecontractservicescostat$37,500.

10

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Exhibit6:EstimatedAnnualHotTapCostsfortheHypotheticalScenario

Given:

EquipmentCostpermachine=$18,1001

OperationsandMaintenance(O&M)CostperMachine=$2,7501

ContractServicescostpertap=$2,5001

Numberofhottapmachines=2

Numberofcontractedtaps=15(alltaps12inchesandlarger)

Calculate:

TotalEquipmentCost=$18,100*2=$36,200

TotalO&MCost=$2,750*2=$5,500

ContractServicesCost=$2,500*15=$37,500

1AveragecostsfromrangesinExhibit5

Step4:Evaluatethegassavingsbenefitsofhottapping.Exhibit7presentsthenaturalgasand
purge gas savings associated with hot tapping on small and large diameter highpressure
pipelines in the hypotheticalscenarioof320tapsperyear.Thevalues arecalculatedusing the
equations in exhibit 3, multiplied by the number of annual connections. Gas losses associated
withshutdowninterconnectsaretheprimarysavingswhentheseconnectionsaremadebyhot
tapping.

11

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Exhibit7:EstimatedAnnualGasSavingsfortheHypotheticalScenario

TapScenario1

Annual
Taps

NaturalGasSavings

PurgeGasSavings2

Pipelines

Number

PerTap
Mcf

Annual
Mcf

PerTap
Mcf

Annual
Mcf

4pipeline350psig,2mileline

250

22

5,500

500

18,500

8pipeline100psig,1mileline

30

13

390

120

1,650

10pipeline1,000psig,3mile
line

25

589

14,725

19

475

46,075

18pipeline200psig,2mile
line

15

255

3,825

41

615

13,935

TotalAnnual

320

24,440

1,710

80,160

TotalGas
Savings3

1ThesizesandnumberoftapsfromscenariogiveninExhibit4.
2Examplefor4inchpipeinterconnectshowninExhibit4.
3Naturalgasvaluedas$3perMcf,inertgas(nitrogen)valuedat$4perMcf

Step5:Comparetheoptionsanddeterminetheeconomicsofhottapping.Theeconomicanalysis
showninExhibit8comparesthesignificantcostandbenefitdifferencesbetweenhottappingand
shutdown interconnections for the hypothetical scenario of 320 taps per year. The significant
costsarethepurchase,operationandmaintenanceofhottappingequipmentand/orcontracting
forhottappingservices.Inthisscenario,bothcostsareincluded:thepurchaseoftwohottapping
machinesfor$36,200forthesmallersizesandcontractingthe15largetapsat$37,500peryear.
The purchased hot tap machines are operated and maintained at $5,500 per
year. All these costs are calculated in Exhibit 6. Many expenses, including the cost of fittings,
valvesandbasiclabor,areassumedtobesimilarinbothhottapandshutdownprocedures,and
thereforecanbeexcludedinthecomparativeanalysis.Amorecompleteanalysiscanbedoneby
evaluatingandincludingthecompanyspecifichiddencostsperExhibit3.

Thesignificantbenefitdifferencesarethereductioninnaturalgaslossbyeliminatingventingand
the inert purge gas used in the shutdown interconnect procedure. As summarized in Exhibit 7,
annual natural gas savings total 24,440 Mcf for the hypothetical hot tapping scenario, worth
$73,320 per year at $3 per Mcf gas price. The annual inert gas savings of 1,710 Mcf is worth
$6,840 per year at $4 per Mcf of nitrogen, for a total annual benefit of $80,160. Additional
benefitsfromavoidinggasleakagethroughpipelineblockvalvesduringshutdowninterconnect
wouldfurtherimprovethehottappingeconomics

12

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Exhibit8:EconomicAnalysisofHotTapversusShutdown

Year0

CapitalCost,$

36,200

ContractServiceCost,$

37,500

37,500

37,500

37,500

37,500

O&MCost.$

5,500

5,500

5,500

5,500

5,500

TotalCost.$

36,200

43,000

43,000

43,000

43,000

43,000

NaturalGasSavings.($)

73,320

73,320

73,320

73,320

73,320

InertGasSavings,($)

6,840

6,840

6,840

6,840

6,840

36,200

37,160

37,160

37,160

37,160

37,160

NetBenefit$

Year1

Year2

Payback(months)

Year3

Year4

Year5

12

IRR

113%

NPV

104,665

1NetPresentValue(NPV)basedon10%discountratefor5years.

Inconclusion,hottappinghasbeenfoundtobemorecosteffectivethanshutdowninterconnects.
Evenwhenthesystemmustbetakenoutofservice,hottappingpresentsopportunitiesforboth
time and cost savings. While hot tapping is a practice that has historically been performed by
companies for reasons other than the gas savings, consideration of the methane reduction
benefits can often serve to justify hot tapping over the shutdown interconnect procedure in a
varietyofcircumstances

A vendors reports that, for a Gas Transmission Client, one day of gas service in a 36 inches
naturalgaspipelineoperatingat1000PSIGisworth$360,000ingrossrevenue.Itwouldtake
approximately4daystoperformashutdownconnectionatacostof$1.5million,notincluding
thecostofventingthepipelinecontents,inordertoperformthetieinwithshutdown.AHot
TapConnectionwouldeliminatethislossofrevenuebyenablinguninterruptedservice.
LessonsLearned

Pipelines typically undergo several transformations each year. Performing hot taps to make
these connections and installations can reduce methane emissions from pipelines and increase
savingsandefficiency.Thefollowingareseverallessonslearnedofferedbypartnersandhottap
vendors:

Hottappinghasbeenperformedbytransmissionanddistributioncompaniesfordecades.
By evaluating the gas savings associated with this practice, hot tapping can be used in many
situationswhereitwouldnotordinarilyhavebeenused.

13

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The site for the branch weld must be free of general corrosion, stress corrosion cracking,
andlaminations.

Hot tap should not be performed immediately upstream of rotating equipment or


automaticcontrolvalves,unlesssuchequipmentisprotectedfromthecuttingsbyfiltersortraps.

For tapping on steel pipes, fittings generally consist of a welded branch connection.
However,whentappingintocastiron,asbestoscement,orconcrete,thefittingcannotbewelded
onto the existing header. Alternative fitting attachment techniques, such as a split cast iron
compressionsleeveoramechanicaljointsaddle,mustbeemployed.

Forplasticsystems,theoperatorshouldensurethatthehottappingfittingsarecompatible
withthetypeofplasticpipeinthesystemandappropriatejoiningmethodsareused.Vendorscan
supplysuitablefittingsandtoolsforalmosteverykindofplasticsystem.

If hot tapping has not been performed in the past, a hot tapping procedure should be
developed and personnel trained. Be sure to include instructions concerning possible burn
throughorhydrogencrackingduringwelding.

All equipment must meet minimum industry and federal standards for pressure,
temperature,andoperatingrequirements.

Ifconditionsoftemperature,pressure,pipecomposition,ortapdiameterareencountered
thatareunusualforyoursystem,besuretoconsultthemanufacturerofthetappingequipment
orfittings.

Industry and federal codes and standards should be consulted for more specific
specifications(e.g.,ASMEB31.8,API2201,API1104,APID12750,49CFR192).

Record emissions reductions associated with using hot taps and submit them with your
NaturalGasSTARAnnualReport

Referencies

AmericanPetroleumInstitute.ProceduresforWeldingorHotTappingonEquipmentinService.
APIRecommendedPractice2201,ThirdandFourthEditions,October1985andSeptember1995.

AmericanPetroleumInstitute.WeldingofPipelinesandRelatedFacilities,PublicationNo.1104,
19thEdition,September1999.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). ASME Code for Pressure Piping, B3I, ASME
B31.81995Edition.

Bruce,WilliamA.EdisonWeldingInstitute.Personalcontact.

Burns,David.TransCanadaHotTaps.Personalcontact.

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LessonsLearned
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USINGHOTTAPSFORINSERVICEPIPELINECONNECTIONS

Chaput,James.MichiganGas.Personalcontact.

Chila,Vern.InternationalPipingServicesCompany.Personalcontact.

Davaney,Tom.ConEdison.Personalcontact.

Doig,Deanna.TransCanadaAlbertaSystem,TransCanadaPipelines.Personalcontact.

Hranicka,Anthony.ConEdison.Personalcontact.

HydraStop, Inc. A Pressure Installation Primer: Basic Information and Procedures for Line
TappingandLinestopping.

LaShoto,Paul.BayStateGas.Personalcontact.

McAllister, E.W. Editor. Pipeline Rules of Thumb Handbook. Fourth Edition, Gulf Publishing
Company.

McElligott,JohnA.,JohnDelanty,andBurkeDelanty,UseofHotTapsforGasPipelinesCanbe
Expanded,OilandGasJournal,11/30/98.

McMicken,MikeandBrianBoucher.TeamIndustrialServices,Inc.Personalcontact.

Petolick,DonandGaryVanderhye.HydraStop,Inc.Personalcontact.

Rodgers,Erick.TopazInc.Personalcontact.

Smith,Sharlye.MuellerCo.Personalcontact.

Vandervort,DalandT.D.Williamson.Inc.Personalcontact.

Venugopal,Shrikanth.TransCanadaTransmission.Personalcontact.

Tingley,Kevin.EPANaturalGasSTARProgram.Personalcontact.

U.S.CodeofFederalRegulations.Title49,Part192(49CFR192),SubpartD,Transportationof
Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline: Minimum Federal Safety Standards; Design of Pipeline
Components.

Appendix:

SupplementalInformation

15

LessonsLearned
FromNaturalGasSTARPartnersSTARPartners
USINGHOTTAPSFORINSERVICEPIPELINECONNECTIONS

Valves

Valvesusedinhottappingaretypicallyfullopeningballorwedgegatevalves.Pipesupplierscan
usually supply prices for valves and fittings, if provided with the scenario information including
pipesize,outletsize,andlinecontent,pressure,andmaterial.

Tees/Fittings

There are several different types of mechanical and welded fittings applicable to hot tapping
includingweldolet,threadolet,scarfednipple,tappingtee,orfullencirclementsaddle.Themost
common tapping fitting is a split cast iron sleeve. Fittings are typically priced by size, flange
(ANSI/pressure)rating,andanyspecialcharacteristics.Typicalvendorfittingcostsarepresented
below.

TDWilliamsonFullSplitTeeCosts($)

Size(pipeline FullSplitTee
xoutlet)
Costs($)
16x16
$2,000
18x18
$3,000
20x20
$5,000
24x24
$6,000
30x30
$9,000
40x16
$2,500
60x16
$2,500
Priceestimatesarefora300#rating.
Fittingsarealsoavailablefor150#,400#,600#,900#,and1,500#flangeratingsandsizes1x1to96
x96

TopazTappingTeeCosts($)

Size(pipeline 150#Flange 300#Flange 600#Flange


xoutlet)
Rating
Rating
Rating
2x2
$386
$399
$443
4x4
$407
$428
$481
12x12
$1,394
$1,484
$1,624
20x20
$3,645
$3,857
$4,290
12x4
$1,248
$1,251
$1,347
20x8
$1,428
$1,468
$1,521
Fittingsareavailableforothersizes

16

LessonsLearned
FromNaturalGasSTARPartnersSTARPartners
USINGHOTTAPSFORINSERVICEPIPELINECONNECTIONS

TopazFullEncirclementSaddleCosts($)

Size(pipeline
xoutlet)
2x2
4x4
12x12
20x20
12x4
20x8
40x16

Part1
$227
$227
$645
N/A
$594
$1,303
N/A

Part2
$189
$189
$539
$1,306
$495
$1,076
$3,493

Fittingsareavailableforothersizes

One of the possible hidden costs of a shutdown connection, if gas cannot be supplied from
alternatesources,canbethecostofrelightingcustomers.Thisprocesswouldrequiretwovisits,
onetoshutdownandthesecondtoturnonandrelight.Typically,avisittoaresidentialcustomer
would take 15 to 30 minutes, and a visit to a commercial or industrial customer would take
approximately1 hour.According totheBureauofLaborStatistics,an employeewould be paid
approximately$9.75perhourforthiswork.

CostofRelighting=[(No.ofresidentialcustomers)*(0.38hrs)]+[(No.ofcommercial/industrial
customers)*(1hr)]*$9.75/hr

Itmightnotbepossibletoperformashutdownconnectionduringoptimalhours.Schedulingand
additional planning might have to be completed to arrange the construction and additional
excavation necessary to shut down the line, pay employees overtime, and advertise the
shutdown to customers. These costs are variable and will depend on the company and
internalfactors.

Otheradditionalcostsexist,suchasscheduling,labor,overtime,andadvertising,butareunique
to each company, and beyond the scope of this study. These costs can be estimated based on
pastshutdownexperience.Anoperatorshouldexaminepastrecordstodeterminewhat,ifany,
costsarebeingavoidedbyperformingahottapversusashutdownconnection.

17