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Pre-commissioning and Commissioning of

Petroleum Products Pipelines

Presentation by
Basu Sahu

Methodology for Pre-commissioning of new

Task Forces
Responsibility of Project/Construction
Responsibility of O& M Group
Responsibility of Fire & Safety Group
Handing/Taking Over
Case Study
Methodology for
Pre-Commissioning of
New Pipelines

Preparation of pre-commissioning and commissioning


Safe commissioning of pipeline system

Safe and smooth operation of pipeline after


Proper handing over & taking over of pipeline system

Preparation of check list for all pending activities

Liquidation of check list points in a time bound manner

Task Forces

For efficient startup/commissioning specialized task-force

can be formed including specialists from:

Projects/Construction Group

Operations & Maintenance Group

Fire & Safety Group

Responsibility of Projects/Construction
The group will ensure:

Mechanical completion of pipeline system

Hydro-testing and pigging of entire pipeline

Inertization of pipeline

Ensuring readiness of pipeline system for commissioning

Handing over of pipeline system (including spares, tools,

equipment etc) for operation

Handing over of relevant documents and certificates to

O&M group
Pre-commissioning Activities by Project/
Construction Group
Flooding & Cleaning : Pipeline shall be cleaned by air driven pigs provided with
spring loaded brush and chisel to remove all mill scale rust/sand from the
internal of the pipe sections. For this Purpose, a temporary header for air
cleaning shall be attached to the pipeline. The number of pig runs is depending
upon cleaning result and decided on the basis of site condition. Air driven pig may
be cup pigs or Bi direction. pig.
Pre-commissioning Activities by Project/
Construction Group
Pre-commissioning Activities by Project/
Construction Group
Gauging: As per API 1110, before line filling operation, it is advisable to run a
sizing pig, caliper or deformation tool in an effort to identify any geometry
abnormalities (e.g. excess penetration of weld, dent, ovalities etc.) that may exist
in the line prior to test.
As per OISD STD-141, the gauging plate shall have a diameter equal to 95% of
the minimum internal diameter of the pipeline section. The gauging plate should
preferably be made of minimum 10mm thick Aluminum Plate and shall have
incisions at every 45.
Pre-commissioning Activities by Project/
Construction Group
EGP (Electronic Geometric Pigging): The electronic calliper tools consisted of
multiple arms in contact with the pipe wall coupled to a single sensor, providing
data on the maximum size of any intrusion into the line. Experienced operators
could determine the nature of the out-of-roundness feature encountered (i.e.
whether dent, ovality, etc), and an approximate distance from the end of the line.
More recent tools have independent sensors on each arm and can provide more
detailed profile information on the defect and usually an indication of whether to
expect the feature to be located on the top or bottom of the line.
Pre-commissioning Activities by Project/
Construction Group
Hydrostatic Testing of Pipeline: Hydrostatic testing has long been
used to determine and verify pipeline integrity. Several types of
information can be obtained through this verification process.
However, it is essential to identify the limits of the test process and
obtainable results. There are several types of flaws that can be
detected by hydrostatic testing, such as: (i) Existing flaws in the
material, (ii) Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) and actual
mechanical properties of the pipe, (iii) Active corrosion cells, and
(iv) Localized hard spots that may cause failure in the presence of
hydrogen. There are some other flaws that cannot be detected by
hydrostatic testing. For example, the sub-critical material flaws
cannot be detected by hydro testing, but the test has profound
impact on the post test behaviour of these flaws.
Pressure Criteria:
Pre-commissioning Activities by Project/
Construction Group
Hydrostatic Testing of Pipeline:
Pre-commissioning Activities by Project/
Construction Group

Swabbing of Pipeline: The swabbing operation is

meant to reduce the remaining water in the pipeline
to bring the pipeline into touch dry condition.
Swabbing operation shall be carried out to ensure that
there is no free water left inside the pipeline. This is
done by driving number of swabbing pigs so that the
weight increase in pig before and after the swabbing
operation is not more then 10- 25%. Acceptance
criteria: The swabbing operation is considered to be
completed when it is established that there is no free
water left in the pipeline and the pipeline has achieved
a touch dry condition.
Pre-commissioning Activities by Project/
Construction Group

Swabbing of Pipeline
Based on Density:

Based on Function :
Pre-commissioning Activities by Project/
Construction Group

Swabbing of Pipeline
Pre-commissioning Activities by Project/
Construction Group
Inertization of Pipline:
Air Drying
Vacuum Drying
Nitrogen Purging

The above are requirement of Commissioning of gas

pipeline and will discussed later on.
Responsibility of O&M Group

The O&M group will ensure:

Verification and taking over of all contract, project and

operation related documents before pre commissioning

All checks for ensuring system integrity and functionality

Verification of all statutory permissions

Verification of relevant inspection reports and certificates


Verification of venders documents for material supply

Responsibility of O&M Representative

Verification of agreements and MOUs with product

suppliers and consumers

Preparation of check list with target completion dates for all

contracts works and material POs

Enlisting of all construction surplus materials, and

equipment with all relevant inspection, test certificates and
other documents

Ensure preparation of check list for balance jobs

Verification and taking over the project DFR, concept note

and project approvals etc
Responsibility of Fire & Safety

Verification of Fire network and equipments as per relevant

OISD standards

Check the adequacy of first aid fire fighting appliance as

OISD Std. 117

Ensuring placement of fire fighting equipments/instruments

as per OISD Std. 117

Check the compliance of safety audits, OISD audits and

Pre-commissioning audits

Check the integrity of fire fighting system before start up

and commissioning
The O&M Documentation In-charge shall take over and
ensure proper distribution of documents related to:

A. Statutory clearances/Permissions
Factory License as per factory act 1948
State Pollution Control Board and Ministry of Environment &
Forests (MoEF) clearances
State & Central Electricity Authority Permissions (wherever
Clearance for frequency in case of Radio set, Walky-
Talky/VHF /UHF
Clearance from CCOE
A. Statutory clearances/Permissions (contd..)
Permissions/Agreements executed for Railways, Road
(NH & SH), Canal, OFC and any other crossings
Authorization for hazardous waste rule (Management &
handling - 1989)
B. Revenue and RoU related documents
Detailed RoU Survey Reports with Survey Numbers
Tree & Crop compensation details and documents
Land acquisition documents, ROU Cadastral Map
Field management books (FMBs)
List of disputes / pending complains with detail status
C. Construction Related Documents
Mechanical Completion Certificate
Hydro testing acceptance certificates
Equipments Commissioning Certificate with commissioning
Work order copies and Contracts
Construction QA/QC records, Procedures and inspection
Radiography films and records
MOUs and agreements with product suppliers and
consumers (Copies)
C. Construction Related Documents (contd..)
Agreements with contractors, venders, material / Equipment
All taxes and duties statements
SAT (Site acceptance Test) of all instruments including
certificates and loop
testing certificates
Process Flow Diagram
As-build drawings such as plot plan, cable route drawing,
earthing and P&ID etc.
Commissioning of
New Pipelines
Objective of Commissioning

Commissioning is to bring the constructed / installed

system to deliver the desired function.

Pipeline commissioning means introducing crude/

product/Gas in the pipeline from originating station, filling
the entire length and then start delivering to the planned
receipt system.

In case of crude pipeline, there may be intermediate

storage stations for operational requirement but ultimate
supply is to be made to a refinery

In case of product pipeline/Gas pipeline, there may be

several intermediate delivery stations before
terminal/dispatch station.
What we need prior to
commissioning ?
The pipeline and associated facilities are completed in all
All Fire and Safety equipments / facilities are tested and
Availability of dedicated communication.
Statutory Clearances obtained .
Availability of Product (HSD)/ Crude oil Not less than line-
Required Manpower is placed at all locations.
Availability of water and its disposal plan.
Availability of a dedicated commissioning team.

Preparation of commissioning manual

A document describing the procedure to be followed for
commissioning is to be prepared by experienced persons
The purpose of making the document is to set forth the
objectives of commissioning of pipeline system and to
establish guidelines for safe commissioning in order to
achieve the required goals.
Pre-commissioning check list
A check list is prepared, which covers the technical, safety
as well as statutory requirement before the pipeline and
associated facilities is declared ready for commissioning.
Pre-commissioning (contd..)

Constituting a pre-commissioning team:

A committee of experienced engineers is constituted to
audit the construction as per pre-commissioning check list
and report to the management regarding readiness of the
system or any shortcomings to be complied before
Procurement of consumable/tools/pigs etc:
As mentioned in the Commissioning Manual, required
consumables, tools, pigs, spares and safety equipments
are to be made available prior to commissioning.
Availability of product/ crude:
As per line fill calculation, the availability of crude oil or the
product, as the case may be, is to be ensured at originating
/ pumping station in coordination with Refinery and

Pipeline sections are generally commissioned in phased

manner / in totality based on the situation and

After hydro-testing and caliper pigging it is expected that

the sections are in a fairly clean condition.
Commissioning action plan

Constituting a commissioning team:

A committee of experienced engineers is constituted to
perform the objective of commissioning.

Scrutiny of audited pre-commissioning check list:

The committee to ensure the compliance of any
shortcomings reported in the pre-commissioning check list.
Identification and deployment of manpower at new
Deployment of security personnel at stations
Arrangement of water and disposal plan
Critical issue in commissioning
a Petroleum pipeline
Movement of Hydrocarbon in empty pipeline can generate a
static current.
Hydrocarbon Vapour mixed with Oxygen may lead to explosion.
There may be formation of Air/ Vapour Pockets that may
compressed leading to pressure mask or sudden change in
Air / Vapour pockets may explode in receiving tank leading to
damage of the tank roof seal.
Leakage of any hydrocarbon may lead to fire or damage to
Pumping into an empty line will cause excessive flow rate &
current in the motors resulting in frequent tripping. May result in
increase of interface length.
Preferred Liquid for Commissioning

pipeline Pumping Liquid Preferred Liquid

Multi Products MS,SKO, HSD, HSD
ATF,LDO, Naphtha


Naphtha Naphtha Naphtha
Crude Oil Crude Oil Crude Oil
Commissioning steps for Multi Product Pipeline

Ensure the pipeline is ready in all respect for the

Ensure adequate product (HSD) is available for the
commissioning (At least more than line-fill of a Pipeline
Pressurization of pipeline section with compressed air up
to 3-5 kg/sq cm.
Injection of about 500 to 1000 kl water into the section
from launching barrel end.
Launching of cleaning (Bi-Di) pig after introduction of
water in the line.
Commissioning steps for Multi Product Pipeline

Introducing about 1000 to 2000 kl of water behind the

cleaning pig.
Launching batching (Bi-Di) pig.
Pump HSD at minimum flow.
Track the movement of pig.
Commissioning steps for Multi Product Pipeline

Vent the air at receiving end and maintain back pressure 3

to 5 kg/
Monitor receipt of water at Receiving end it may be
disposed directly in to a protected pit or in a designated
Receive 1st Bi-Di Pig (Cleaning Pig).
As the pig reaches at receiving end, it is taken out. The
muck & dirt quantity is collected and after analysis it is
disposed off.
Monitor the quantity and quality of water at receiving end
Again draining dirty water to storm water drain.
Commissioning steps for Multi Product Pipeline

Schematic Diagram of scrapper Receiving / Launching

Commissioning steps for Multi Product Pipeline

Receiving of Cleaning Pig and Collection of Muck Sample

Commissioning steps for Multi Product Pipeline

Lining up marketing HSD receipt tank.

Flow to be diverted to HSD receipt tank as soon as oil
traces are observed. Temporary facility for water draining to
be dismantled & putting of permanent blinding.
Receiving 2nd Bi-Di batching pig.
After Receiving of 2nd Bi-Di Pig , all HSD is received in
HSD tank.
Observe flow and pressure, once these become stable,
the operation may be made normal and the pipeline may
be declared as commissioned and handed over to
Commissioning steps for an ATF Pipeline

The procedure is similar to multi-products pipeline except the

following :
Commissioning liquid is used SKO instead of HSD
ATF is not used because it is likely to get contaminated
with water and dirt particles.
Commissioning steps for a Naphtha Pipeline

The procedure is similar to multi-products pipeline except the

following :
Air from entire Pipeline is displaced with Nitrogen column
using a Bi-Di Pig
Commissioning liquid is used Naphtha instead of HSD
Commissioning steps for a LPG Pipeline

The procedure is similar to multi-products pipeline except the

Air from entire Pipeline is displaced with Nitrogen column
using a Bi-Di Pig
Commissioning liquid is used LPG instead of HSD
Commissioning steps for Gas Pipeline

A gas pipeline is treated as Tank.

However, before taking gas in the Pipeline, it is to be made
moisture and oxygen free.
Drying Purging of super dry air: Compressed Super dry
air is purged using air compressors with accessories viz.
Moisture Separator, Oil Separator and Dryer. The air shall
be supplied in the pipeline at (-) 20 deg. C dew point.
Super dry air with dew point (-) 20 deg. C will have
sufficient capacity to absorb water vapour to the extent of
30 % of the desired capacity.
Commissioning steps for Gas Pipeline

Vacuum Drying: The process utilizes high capacity

vacuum to reduce pressure within the Pipeline to a level
from 760 Torr to 40 Torr. At this pressure (40 Torr), any
water within the pipeline will start boiling and vaporizing.
Air left inside the Pipeline is subjected to a vacuum of 40
Torr, the water vapor will expand approx. 18.8 times, which
will be displaced using high capacity vacuum booster
pumps (rated capacity 5000 CuM/Hr).
When the vacuum of 7.6-10 Torr is achieved, it is
confirmed that whole pipeline system has been dried to
required level.
Commissioning steps for Gas Pipeline

Nitrogen Purging At vacuum level 7.6 Torr and dew point (-)
20 deg.C, the oxygen content inside the Pipeline is 0.20%.
To further dilute the oxygen content, nitrogen purging is
done almost 13 times more than pipeline volume. This will
reduce oxygen content to 0.015%, which is considered

Now the Pipeline system is ready to receive

Handing/Taking Over


NAME OF PROJECT : ______________________

LOCATION : ______________________

PROJECT IDENTIFICATION : ______________________

PROJECT COST : ______________________

PMC : ______________________

CONTRACTOR : ______________________

DATE OF COMMISSIONING : ______________________

Handing/Taking Over


1. _____ INCH DIA. P/L FROM _______ TO ______ (ALONGWITH OFC)


2. ORIGINAL/DISPATCH TERMINAL/ STATION AT : ______________________

3. RECEIVING TERMINAL AT : ______________________

4. SV/IP STATIONS ALONG PIPELINE AT : ______________________

5. ANY OTHER FACILITIES (IF APPLICABLE) : ______________________

6. HDD (IF ANY) DETAIL : _____________________

Handing/Taking Over






Handing/Taking Over


(A) Pipeline & CP
1. Status of ROU, CP test points and Markers OK/ Not OK
2. Checking of mainline & bypass line valves & Actuator OK / Not OK
3. Physical Status of SV/IP, receiving & Pump stations OK / Not OK
4. Performance test of SVs/IP station Done / Not Done
5. Checking of casing shorting at crossings. Done / Not Done
6. Status of Temporary CP Removed./ Not Rmd
7. Status of captive power system Comm / Not comm.
with battery bank (wherever applicable)
8. if pipeline is not charged, is it dried & filled with inert gas Yes / No
Handing/Taking Over


1. Status of communication system Comm / Not comm.

2. OFC Checking Done/Not Done
3. Status of SCADA and telemetry system Comm / Not comm.
(If applicable)
4. Communication between the RTU OK/ Not OK
at maintenance bases
5. Communication between the flow OK/ Not OK
computers to RTU/SCADA for Master Control Centre
Handing/Taking Over


1. Status of metering systems (If applicable) Yes/NO
2. Checking of Instrumentation Panel (If Applicable) Comm/Not comm.
3. Status of Chromatographs (If applicable) Done / Not Done
4. Status of Instruments at SVs/RRs/IPs comm/Not comm.
5. Remote operation of Valves at SVs & Terminals. OK/NOTOK
6. Status of UPS Comm. /Not comm.
1. Checking of Electrical Panel & battery backup (If Applicable) Comm/Not comm
2. Electricity at terminals/distribution stations from S.E. Board OK/NOTOK
3. Earthings system Comm/Not comm.
3. Lighting Comm/Not comm.
4. Lightening Protection System OK/NOTOK
Handing/Taking Over


1. Status of Fire fighting Systems OK / Not OK
2. Status of fire detection system at SVs/RRs/lPs & Terminals Comm/Not comm.
3. Status of on line extinguishing system at SVs/RRs/lPs Comm./Not comm.
4. Safety audit by Fire & Safety personal from O&M Done/ Not Done

1. Status Control Buildings Construction Comp./Not Comp.
2. Status of basic amenities for security guards at the Done / Not Done
permanent establishment
(Security rest room, water, lighting arrangement)
3. Preparation of final checklist before taking over Done / Not Done
Handing/Taking Over

1. Listing & handing over of all procedures, reports, Done / Not Done
certificates, vender manuals, drawings and
related documents which are to be handed
over as per Contractual obligation with the venders
2. Listing & handing over of As builds, Alignment Done / Not Done
sheet, hydro test report, Pigging report,
pipeline route map, pipe book, crossing
details (Hard copy & soft copy)
3. Revenue records & records for permanent land acquisition Done! Not Done
4. Certificates related to Metering system Done I Not Done

1. Commissioning spares Handed over/not handed over
2. Two years spares Handed over/not handed over
Case Study: Commissioning of Sambalpur-
Jharsuguda Section of PRRPL
Name of Pipeline : PRRPL
Name of Section : Sambalpur Jharsuguda
Length : 65.564 km
Pipe Size & Thickness: 12.75 OD x 0.250 WT
Pipe Grade : API 5L-X60
Capacity : 3.4 MMTPA (5.7 Max)
MAOP : 119 kg/cm2
Line fill : 79840 kl
Case Study: Commissioning of SSPL

Activity Time Remarks

duration in
Check that all equipments and valves are --- Const Group
correctly set in position for the commissioning
Install and connect temporary water injection --- Const Group
line at scrapper launching barrel kick off line.
Ensure availability of 28500 kl of HSD for PRRPL- Sambalpur
pumping into Sambalpur Jharsuguda Section
Pressurization of Sambalpur- Jharsuguda Const Group
section with air up to 5.0 kg/cm2.
Isolate discharge piping of Jharsuguda to Prior to O&M Group
Khunti & line up with Marketing HSD Tank pumping of
Filling of water Const Group
Insert first pig (Bi-Di Disc Pig) in SLB. Const Group
Launch of first pig. 1 Const. Group and
Flow to be diverted by opening MOV 423 & 10 Sidhpur & Kot
kicker line HOV and subsequently closing MOV Operations Group.
422. Once the pig is launched, flow to be
normalized by opening MOV 422 and closing MOV
423 & 10" Kicker line HOV
Inject approx 500 kls of water retrieved from 1 Const and Sidhpur &
Sidhpur-Sherpura section during Crude injection in Kot Operations
KBPL. Group.
Insert second pig (Bi-Di Disc Pig) in SLB. 1 Const Group
Launch 2nd pig and pump approximately 1500 kls 4 Const and Sidhpur
of water. Operations Group
Insert 3rd pig (Bi-Di Disc Pig) in SLB. 1 Const Group
Take shutdown. Isolate water injection line and line 2 Const and Sidhpur
up Koyali/Kandla and start KBPL MLPUs to pump Operations Group
HSD from designated tank.
Launch 3rd pig and pump approximately 500 1 Const and Sidhpur
kls of HSD by starting mainline pump. Operations Group
Insert 4th pig (Bi-Di Disc Pig) in SLB. 1 Const Group
Introduce the balance mainline fill of HSD 52 Const and Sidhpur
under controlled conditions. Operations Group
Continue pumping till first pig is received at --- Const and Sidhpur
Kot and pressure at Kot is 30 Kg/ Operations Group
Take shutdown. 1 Sidhpur Operations
Start pumping after confirmation of availability --- Sidhpur Operations
of line fill quantity of 30500 Kls (Kot Bag Group
Stop pumping and take shutdown after receipt 1 PREXPL and
of first pig at Baghsuri. KBPL,Sidhpur
Operations Group
Start pumping after confirmation of availability --- KBPL,Sidhpur
of line fill quantity of 21340 Kls (Bag- Snr Operations Group
Continue pumping based on the operational --- KBPL,Sidhpur
requirement of product delivery at Sanganer Operations Group
through SSPL.
Thank You