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Permits for pigging

  • 1.  Permits for pigging

    Posted 01-07-2018 17:10
    What are the permits/clearances required to be obtained prior to pigging a pipeline ? This includes cross country pipelines. I appreciate that practices may vary among organisations.

  • 2.  RE: Permits for pigging

    Posted 01-09-2018 10:35
    ​I have been working with process pipeline pigging for many years (not transmission lines) and know of no permits or clearances required for pigging.  The only thing I can advise is to be sure the pigging system is well designed and supported by a reputable firm.  We consult with Pigging Solutions (Springfield, MO) for process pipeline pigging.  They are very knowledgeable and market quality components.  My brief engagement with transmission pipeline pigging brought me in contact with TD Williams.  They are very well known in the transmission pipeline industry and could advise on any requirements for pigging transmission pipelines.

    Richard Burkhalter
    Covenant Engineering Services LLC
    Branson MO

  • 3.  RE: Permits for pigging

    Posted 01-10-2018 12:29
    You would need a permit when you are leaving one jurisdiction and going into another.  Example in Saudi Arabia, if you were pigging from the plant into the Royal Commission Area, you would need a permit from the Royal Commission and your submission would include the method of pigging, location of the pig launcher and receiver, type of pig, a piping drawing as a minimum.  Again the same would apply from the Royal Commission area into the next plant.  Hence in short, all the jurisdictions would need your detail and sign off on permits.

    Just FYI, need to make sure that new piping being pigged for the first time is clean and the Piping Inspector has signed off on this as the construction was done,  Years ago when I had to pig a refinery new line in Kuwait (Halliburton was hired to do the pigging) the piping was assumed to be clean but the pig ended up sticking in the pipe.  It took a day pressurizing and de-pressuring the line when the pig finally broke through and what we found at the other end was two lunch boxes and several 2x4 pieces of wood that was left in the pipe when the next section was welded on.  We assumed that this was done intentionally but no way to prove it.

    Kevin Pinto
    Conroe TX

  • 4.  RE: Permits for pigging

    Posted 01-10-2018 22:43
    I would start with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)  of the US Department of Transportation.

    Stephen Brecht, BChE


  • 5.  RE: Permits for pigging

    Posted 01-12-2018 11:29
    I believe "pigs" are cylindrical dividers inserted in large product pipelines to separate different chemical product flows in the pipe used to transport products from producer manufacturer plant to customer manufacturer plant.  Examples of different pipeline products are different gasoline from different refinery and intermediate liquid petrochemicals used as feedstock at a chemical production plant.  I don't know about permit or legal papers having to be filed.  But, companies would have documented safe handling and procedures in their library room or online on a training computer.  

    Sent from my LG Mobile

  • 6.  RE: Permits for pigging

    Posted 01-13-2018 00:12
    Correct, and ... pigs can also be used for checking the pipe is not obstructed (a light soft foam pig - check it comes out in one piece), cleaning the inside of the pipeline (brushes often attached to remove scale, or other types for pushing debris i front of the pig), or measuring internal pipe corrosion (intelligent pigs). And I am sure there are more. 

    Best Regards....
    John Westover (BSChE - Ariz, M Eng Sci - Monash) CEng FIChemE AAIChE
    Chairman and Managing Director, John Westover Pty Ltd
    Phone inside Australia 04-2348-9955
    Phone outside Australia +61-4-2348-9955

    Please visit our website at www.process-engineers.com

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  • 7.  RE: Permits for pigging

    Posted 01-11-2018 09:04
    ​I work for an interstate natural gas pipeline company stretching from Portland, TN to the Canadian border. We are not required from a regulatory and environmental standpoint to obtain pigging permits at the state or federal level. Pigging should be considered normal pipeline maintenance.

    I believe CFR 192 might have requirements for how often pipelines should be SMART pigged or squeegee pigged. Most companies should have their own permits for a pigging operation. Most companies should have their own set of plans or procedures when it comes to pigging. Most companies should have their own sets of work permits, JSA's, and environmental permits that will need to be filled out prior pigging.

    TD Williams is a very reputable contactor that performs our SMART pigging operations. We usually handle cleaning/brush pigging with our own operations teams.

    Clay Stanley
    Field Engineer
    Channahon IL

  • 8.  RE: Permits for pigging

    Posted 01-12-2018 06:30
    ​This discussion thread really breaks down to regulatory compliance vs. corporate risk.  In other words, what is the mechanism that triggers the use of a permit as a layer of protection. I appreciate Clay's response by recommending the use of work permits, JSA's and others in lieu of a regulatory compliance mandate.  If you peel this back one more layer, how beneficial is the permit if it is viewed as a compliance requirement instead of an administrative control to improve EHS performance while carrying out the pigging activities. My vote is for the use of a permit that is value added and not just a series of boxes that have lines drawn through them.  If you like this type of culture and want to extend it further into your organization, refer to CCPS' Risk Based Process Safety.

    David Hurban CPSP,CSP,PE,PMP
    Principal Engineer
    American Electric Power
    Columbus OH