The potential to save trillions of BTU’s in energy usage and billions of dollars in cost on an annual basis based on use of higher strength steel in major oil and gas transmission pipeline construction is a compelling opportunity recognized by both the US Department of Energy (DOE). The use of high-strength steels (X100) is expected to result in energy savings across the spectrum, from manufacturing the pipe to transportation and fabrication, including welding of line pipe. Elementary examples of energy savings include more the 25 trillion BTUs saved annually based on lower energy costs to produce the thinner-walled high-strength steel pipe, with the potential for the US part of the Alaskan pipeline alone saving more than 7 trillion BTU in production and much more in transportation and assembling. Annual production, maintenance and installation of just US domestic transmission pipeline is likely to save 5 to 10 times this amount based on current planned and anticipated expansions of oil and gas lines in North America. Among the most important conclusions from these studies were: • While computational weld models to predict residual stress and distortions are well-established and accurate, related microstructure models need improvement. • Fracture Initiation Transition Temperature (FITT) Master Curve properly more » predicts surface-cracked pipe brittle-to-ductile initiation temperature. It has value in developing Codes and Standards to better correlate full-scale behavior from either CTOD or Charpy test results with the proper temperature shifts from the FITT master curve method. • For stress-based flaw evaluation criteria, the new circumferentially cracked pipe limit-load solution in the 2007 API 1104 Appendix A approach is overly conservative by a factor of 4/π, which has additional implications. . • For strain-based design of girth weld defects, the hoop stress effect is the most significant parameter impacting CTOD-driving force and can increase the crack-driving force by a factor of 2 depending on strain-hardening, pressure level as a % of SMYS, and flaw size. • From years of experience in circumferential fracture analyses and experimentation, there has not been sufficient integration of work performed for other industries into analogous problems facing the oil and gas pipeline markets. Some very basic concepts and problems solved previously in these fields could have circumvented inconsistencies seen in the stress-based and strain-based analysis efforts. For example, in nuclear utility piping work, more detailed elastic-plastic fracture analyses were always validated in their ability to predict loads and displacements (stresses and strains). The eventual implementation of these methodologies will result in acceleration of the industry adoption of higher-strength line-pipe steels. « le

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Published on 01/01/2008

Volume 2008, 2008
DOI: 10.2172/939185
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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