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Pipeline Surveying

Discussion in 'General Land Surveying' started by ssorcbor, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. ssorcbor

    ssorcbor 4-Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
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    Location:
    Hebron, KY
    What are the differences between pipeline surveying and performing a regular as-built? I am trying to find a job at home, anywhere, and most of the positions I am finding are working in the oil and gas industry and they want pipeline surveying experience.
     
  2. Newtonsapple

    Newtonsapple 4-Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
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    Location:
    Greene, Maine
    > What are the differences between pipeline surveying and performing a regular as-built? I am trying to find a job at home, anywhere, and most of the positions I am finding are working in the oil and gas industry and they want pipeline surveying experience.

    A pipeline is really just a route survey with some xyz stakeout. There is a level of precision expected to stake the pipe, but we are expert measurers after all. :) You'll need to understand GPS and the associated datums (SPC, UTM, etc.)

    It can get very boring, as a typical day can consist of arriving on site, spending an hour staking out a portion of the line, and then waiting 6 or 8 hours while the crew builds the pipe so you can set back up and as-built it. You can expect to travel all over the country and spend a good amount of time living out of a hotel, and more than likely work 6-7 days a week on 10 hour shifts.

    One guy I knew had a dvd player built into is car stereo specifically for pipeline work...
     
  3. Joe-Nathan

    Joe-Nathan 4-Year Member

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    Location:
    St. Martinville, LA
    A lot of the new P/L work is also requiring the Survey crew to record the pipe "index" information: Weld numbers, Heat numbers, pipe ID, etc. Then tie it all to point numbers once the pipe is in the ditch and shot is taken on the welds. So not standing around all day, but a good part of the day.

    But you do spend 10-12 hours a day 6-7days a week until the job is completed.

    Oh and remember it never rains on a pipeline job...you just get wet.
     
  4. mrmagnet

    mrmagnet 3-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    I've surveying pipeline for just over a year now. The line I'm working on is about 420 km. I spent 5 months staking between limits, locating and ditchline. It's tough work but I love it. Plus sometimes I get to fly to work which is always a bonus.
     
  5. Yuriy Lutsyshyn

    Yuriy Lutsyshyn 3-Year Member

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    Sep 18, 2011
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    Location:
    L'viv, Ukraine
    Before P/L construction crews come we were staking P/L C/L for them so they can ditch.

    At the same time when they bring pipes(12m, 24m sections) and lay them down we were collecting pipe data in TCSe Excell, includig pipe S/N, heat number, and also put our own sequential numbers.

    When they weld pipes (not in the ditch) we did so called As-Welded survey, just tieing-in welds with RTK entering weld number in the feature and attribute library, and heat and serial numbers previously collected.

    When they lower the pipe in the ditch, we were tieing welds again but this time in the ditch. Not all weld are accessible now because of water coming in, soil caving in, safety reasons, etc. in these cases the data from As-Welded were used in the office to fill in the gaps,( coordinate transformation from top of the ditch to the bottom).

    The whole idea behind that is when a pipe section blows, sometimes during pipeline operation, all of the pipes (those individual sections 12-24m long) with the same HEAT number have to be found and replaced. The heat number is a steel batch number so if pipe blows - that might mean that steel was not good. Since welds have coordinates on them and heat numbers of adjacent pipes are known the pipes can be easily found.

    I spent few winters in Canada doing that, working in shifts, 24 days in, staying on camps in northern Alberta, 3-4 days off.

    How hard you work depends on how many cats they have to ditch, sometimes they go really fast, and you do have much time because once they lower pipe in they want to immediately fill it back. If the ditching is slow, not enough cats, for example they hit a rock, than you relax :)
     
  6. MightyMoe

    MightyMoe 4-Year Member

    Joined:
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    A lot of the new P/L work is also requiring the Survey crew to record the pipe "index" information: Weld numbers, Heat numbers, pipe ID, etc.

    and my three favorites: pig launchers, pig catchers, and pig washers.
     
  7. ssorcbor

    ssorcbor 4-Year Member

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    Location:
    Hebron, KY
    Flying as in commercial airline or helicopter to a remote site? Both are fun.
     
  8. ssorcbor

    ssorcbor 4-Year Member

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    Location:
    Hebron, KY
    Thanks for the info. Is the recorded information on the pipes or is it in a code that you have to decipher?

    Does anyone know of a firm that is hiring? I really need to get back to working in the US or even North America.
     
  9. Yuriy Lutsyshyn

    Yuriy Lutsyshyn 3-Year Member

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    Sep 18, 2011
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    Location:
    L'viv, Ukraine
    sometimes the numbers are laser engraved inside the pipe at the pipe end, but the surface is rusted, I was carrying a flashlight and a stick to scrape it off. Sometimes it is printed on pipe insulation outside, which makes life easier. We also had sheets for all of the pipes if a digit of a number does not read the number could still be identified by the rest of the digits.

    In northern Alberta P/L construction starts when muskeg freezes, December and ends in March
     
  10. Joe-Nathan

    Joe-Nathan 4-Year Member

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    Location:
    St. Martinville, LA
    I am sure Universal/Pegasus is hiring with all the mid-stream work and interstate p/l being laid in the three current hot spots (Eagleford-SW TX, Bakkan-Wy/N.D. and Marcellus-NY/PENN). Plus the regional survey companies in or near these fields.
     
  11. DavidALee

    DavidALee 3-Year Member

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    Location:
    Huntington, West Virginia
  12. Tom Bushelman

    Tom Bushelman 4-Year Member

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    Location:
    Kentucky
    If you want to try and get work locally, attend your local professional society organization functions. It just so happens that I live 7 miles from your listed town and am the chapter chair for the Northern Kentucky chapter of the Kentucky Association of Professional Surveyors. We have a meeting on the second Thursday of every month at the Cold Springs Barleycorns. Great contacts can be made there.
     
  13. ssorcbor

    ssorcbor 4-Year Member

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    Location:
    Hebron, KY
    What's your email address, Tom? Or you can email me at ssorcbor@gmail.com. I would love to come back to the Cincy area to work and I would love to be able to attend the KAPS meetings.
     
  14. ssorcbor

    ssorcbor 4-Year Member

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    Hebron, KY
    Thank you all for the information. I really do appreciate it.
     
  15. Tom Bushelman

    Tom Bushelman 4-Year Member

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    Location:
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    email sent. I look forward to meeting you.
     
  16. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant 4-Year Member

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    Location:
    Saint Louis MO
    Golden Field Services Tulsa OK
    Shafer Kline and Warren Kansas City KA
     

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