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PRCI launches work on its USD 11.4m 2015 research portfolio

09th April 2015

Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) has initiated work on it 2015 Research Portfolio as approved by the board of directors, with member contributions of over USD 11.4m were allocated to programmes and projects addressing pipeline operations and integrity, corrosion control, design, materials, construction, and facilities

Pipeline Research Council International launches work on its USD 11.4m 2015 research portfolio
PRCI has developed a portfolio for 2015 that will continue to address the key challenges facing the pipeline industry

Through the collaborative research planning model that PRCI employs, it has developed a portfolio for 2015 that will continue to address the key challenges facing the pipeline industry and deliver on the organization's core mission of technology development in support of safer and environmentally conscious approaches to operating and maintaining the energy pipeline infrastructure around the world.

"PRCI and our members are committed to developing a research portfolio that will ensure that we have the safest and most efficient pipeline system around the globe,” said Cliff Johnson, president of PRCI. “It is vital that we continue to develop the key tools and solutions for the oil & gas pipeline industry." 

The following highlights a number of specific programs and projects that PRCI will undertake in 2015:

  • Operations & Integrity - Substantial efforts focused on mechanical damage inspection and characterization, and full-scale experimental validation of mechanical damage assessment models; development of an industry test facility for in-line inspection (ILI) technology evaluation and enhancements (with support from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation); non-destructive evaluation research to evaluate capabilities for pipeline girth weld assessment; characterization of in-ditch methods that characterize pipe anomalies and determine repair requirements and fitness for purpose, performance assessment of above the pipe methods for difficult to inspect segments; and continuing the construction and development of the PRCI Technology Development Center in Houston to characterize and house a range of pipeline defect samples.


  •  Design, Materials & Construction - Develop an industry guideline for pipeline operators to evaluate existing and future composite repair systems; an updated PRCI On-bottom Pipeline Stability Software Program to account for additional subsea conditions; a design approach to reduce new weld hydrogen cracking susceptibility; developing a tool that permits pipeline engineers to efficiently consider alternatives for steel pipe conveyance; organization of the basic properties of vintage girth welds into a searchable database for improved vintage girth weld structural integrity assessments; development of a methodology to improve the assessment of the structural integrity of pipes with clusters of cracks, like SCC.


  • Corrosion - Monitor the effectiveness of cathodic protection systems at Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD) crossings; determine the corrosion risk from fluctuations in AC interference on pipelines buried along high voltage AC transmission corridors; minimize model driven uncertainties in current internal and external corrosion assessment criteria; examine the effect of pressure fluctuations on the growth rate of near-neutral pH stress corrosion cracking; determine the drying time of residual hydrotest water in pipe crevices, side branches and dead-legs; validate the existing models and guidelines for internal corrosion threat evaluation in dry gas transmission pipelines.


  • Measurement - Research focused on emerging issues created by the increased production of shale gas and its variable gas compositions; assessing the accuracy of existing protocols for quantifying the sediment and water content in liquid products, which is especially important in heavy crude oils; assessment of the performance of ultrasonic meters in additional upstream piping configurations- with the objective of reducing the installed cost of standards-compliant meter installations; additional evaluation of the next generation ultrasonic meters in compact piping configurations; evaluating turbine and Coriolis meter diagnostics on gas streams with entrained liquids; assessing sample probe and thermowell designs for mechanical integrity and measurement accuracy; additional analysis on determining the recommended recalibration frequency of ultrasonic meters, which is also supported by additional evaluation of ultrasonic meter diagnostics.


  • Compressor & Pump Station - New research to optimize engine controls for rapid changes in fuel gas composition due to shale gas production; a field evaluation of optimized power cylinder lubrication injection; developing field performance testing procedures for liquid pumps; field testing of improved gas turbine lean premixed combustion controls to enable wider load and ambient temperature operating range while maintaining engine emissions; updating test method protocols to include the use of portable emission analyzers. 


  • Underground Storage - Evaluation of the effects of downhole geo-mechanical stresses on the accuracy of MFL inspection tools; assess alternatives to MFL for top joint inspection and identify protocols for MFL use that may alleviate some interference effects.


PRCI is a non-profit research organization that is comprised of energy pipeline operating companies located in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, South America, Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Augmenting the pipeline membership are associate members drawn from companies in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Mexico, Japan, and Australia that serve the industry as pipe and equipment manufacturers, service providers, and vendors. To learn more about PRCI, visit

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