Yao Wei, president of PetroChina Pipeline Co., noted both China’s pipeline expansion plans and the need for improved safety on its system in addressing the 2012 International Pipeline Conference Sept. 25 in Calgary. There are currently 93,000 km of pipeline in China, 60,000 of which PetroChina operates. This total includes 12,000 km of crude oil, refined products, and natural gas transmission pipelines. Within the next 10 years, Yao said, 100,000 km will be built, including an additional 6,000 km of transmission line by PetroChina.
At the same time, however, some 4,000 km are under risk of failure due to corrosion, Yao said, adding that the density of China’s urban areas makes both treating these and undertaking new construction difficult to due right-of-way constraints.
China does not currently have a “call before you dig” program, but did pass a pipeline safety act in 2010. Even so, Yao recognized that there is “still much work to be done.”
In seeking to improve the safety of its pipeline system, China has joined Pipeline Resource Council International, is working with GE PII on inline inspections, and is engaged in a benchmarking study with Enbridge, among other efforts.
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