Over two million miles of oil and gas pipelines are in operation across the United States. The safety, reliability and environmental soundness of these pipelines are ensured by the Office of Pipeline Safety within the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration—a division of the Department of Transportation.

Due to advances in the construction, inspection and monitoring of our nation’s pipelines, serious accidents and environmental spills are rare. With that said, we have become increasingly aware of the risks to air quality from many pipeline activities. In order to further reduce spills and limit public health exposure from hazardous vapors, the Transportation Secretary has asked Congress for stiffer penalties and stronger enforcement.

Current regulations on existing pipeline maintenance vary considerably from state to state, and the reality is that emissions events during routine pipeline operations are rare. Still, many states are stepping up their enforcement approach across all industries, as Texas has done with its Maintenance, Startup, and Shutdown (MSS) regulations. As a result, the pipeline industry’s current crop of available control devices – such as flares – are becoming less viable. There is a growing need for new safety and environmental control devices to replace or augment these existing technologies.

Vapor Point has designed many pipeline-specific applications to capture hazardous vapors at a pipeline’s most vulnerable points, particularly during maintenance operations. We’re here to help you keep people safe, the environment protected and your pipelines running. Our custom-engineered solutions improve upon our customers’ current best practices through our VaporLockTM technology.

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OUR MIDSTREAM PROJECTS

PROJECT TITLE

Tank Emissions

Pipeline Pigging

De-inventory & De-Gas

Vapor Point Midstream Services

  • Pigging and commissioning

  • Pipeline blowdown / depressurization

  • Pipeline tank operations:

    • Degassing​

    • Dehydrating

    • Cleaning

    • Filling

  • Gas plant amine tail gas

  • CO2 equivalent reductions

  • Pipeline blowdown / depressurization

  • Flash controls for liquid transfers:

    • Vacuum truck​

    • Liquid loading

  • Temporary controls for compressor leaks

  • Permanent controls for outages

The Challenge

During a scheduled inspection, our Gulf Coast client identified three rupture points within 1.2 miles of a 20" natural gas/offgas propane pipeline. In order to repair the breaks, they had to de-inventory and de-gas all 1.2 miles of the pipeline infrastructure. They were particularly concerned they would not be able to do so while remaining within their MSS permit guidelines.

The VaporLockTM Solution

Our client planned to deploy three separate pigs to clear their pipeline. To control the emissions associated with this line clearing, Vapor Point engineered a vessel/chemistry configuration to control the hazardous vapors while simultaneously managing the liquids.

 

To control the vapors, we custom-designed a stainless steel, 100-bbl, high-pressure dual scrubbing tank. We introduced a single vapor stream through this high-pressure vessel, which contained two contaminant-specific chemistries designed to capture both H2S and VOCs.

 

To control the liquids, we employed a diaphragm pump to transfer the liquids to waiting manifolded frac tanks. These frac tanks in turn were outfitted with a second set of dual scrubbers, which thoroughly scrubbed displaced vapors before venting to atmosphere.

 

When a pig became stuck in the pipe, our custom tank withstood a high-pressure (30 psi) nitrogen purge, which allowed our client to push the pig quickly, with no concerns about damaging our vessel's integrity. They were able to focus on clearing the line quickly and efficiently, while Vapor Point safely controlled the liquids and the vapors that were displaced from the pig launch.

Results

  • Our Vapor LockTM system monitored, treated, and recovered VOCs and H2S throughout the pigging process

  • Heavy hydrocarbons were eliminated and safely received into our blowdown tank

  • Scrubbers and KIMRAE performed exceptionally well

  • Dual-containment removal enhanced procedural safety

  • Line-clearing efficiencies yielded significant cost savings
  • Results remained well within client’s MSS permit guidelines

THE CHALLENGE:

A pigging operation that tested our client's MSS permit guidelines.

Case Study:
Pipeline Pigging De-inventory & De-gas
Case Study:
Tank Emissions

THE CHALLENGE:

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The Challenge

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The VaporLockTM Solution

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Results

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Case Study:
Project Title

THE CHALLENGE:

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The Challenge

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The VaporLockTM Solution

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Results

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