Protecting Pipelines and Avoiding Interference

Protecting Pipelines and Avoiding Interference

While you may think that corrosion is one of the biggest risks that marine pipelines face, anchor and net damage actually account for more risk in deeper waters, and vessel collisions account for still more in shallower areas.
There is no sensor technology currently available to help find where pipelines are at a distance. Even with satellite-based technology, there is still no guaranteed method to detect and avoid pipelines in time to prevent causing any catastrophic damage to the pipelines or the vessels that run into them.


Burying Pipelines


To help avoid any damage or possible consequences of pipelines being struck or damaged in shallow water, they need to be properly buried and accurately charted. Regulatory standards need to be followed, which means that the pipelines need to be no less than 200 feet deep.

In areas where there is a large amount of sediment movement with an erosion pattern, the pipelines may become exposed when not properly buried or installed.

Anchor damage is another problem that accounted for more than ninety percent pollution from the pipelines between the years of 1967 and 1990. The pipelines lost a significant volume of oil, while the vessels that struck the oil pipelines only lost some gear and didn’t account for nearly as much damage.

While we discuss the process of burying the pipelines, it does not necessarily mean that they are buried and covered with sediment. Instead, the currents will be what will provide proper coverage for the pipelines over time.
However, this may pose a problem in areas near the shore that may also become exposed because of the movement of sediment within the current. In areas such as these, the pipelines may even need to be weighted so that they stay in place and are not able to ascend back to the surface.


Protecting Pipelines


The only adequate and the most reliable way to protect pipelines and avoid interference is to make sure all the standards and guidelines are followed when it comes to their burial and coverage.

Sometimes avoiding shallow covered or exposed pipelines are not feasible for watercraft, especially in shallow water. Submar can remediate the depth of cover over threatened pipelines by providing site-specific solutions, including concrete revetment mattresses that articulate with the waterway.