With the right team, everything is possible. As 2023 comes to a close, Pipe Tek’s Myles Brannelly and Taddam Farrant reflect on the projects, challenges and results they were able to achieve for their clients during the year.
For Pipe Tek, 2023 has been the company’s busiest year yet. The company has tripled its workforce, invested in more equipment, and is setting up new locations with warehouses in Melbourne and Western Australia to help service demand.
Not only that, Pipe Tek is proud to have delivered great results on some of its most important and challenging projects to date.
“Each of the projects that we completed this year has had its own unique challenges – from stringent testing requirements and advanced hydrotesting techniques to remote locations versus busy urban streets – we’re proud to say that our team has adapted to meet – if not exceed – the expectations placed on us,” Pipe Tek managing director Myles Brannelly said.
Operations manager Taddam Farrant agreed, saying that the company’s exclusive partnership with Enduro Pipeline Services has helped them deliver exceptional results on many of the projects.
“Our partnership with Enduro has allowed us to expand our services and provide state-of-the-art pigging tools to Australia, backed by the international support of Enduro’s engineering and design teams,” he said.
In February, Brannelly and Farrant travelled to Houston to catch up with the Enduro team at the pipeline industry’s foremost integrity event, the Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management (PPIM) Conference and Exhibition.
“We’ll do the same next year,” Farrant said.
“Spending time with the Enduro team is invaluable, we learn so much that we can apply to our Australian projects.”
Projects from around Australia
In 2023, Pipe Tek completed:
- Nine hydrotests for MPK on Water Infrastructure Dungowan Pipeline Project in New South Wales (NSW), with diameters ranging from DN63-DN900.
- Hydrotests for Diona on APA infrastructure in Indooroopilly QLD and Melbourne’s CBD (Victoria).
- Emergency response piping and above ground visual tests for TFG on APA infrastructure in Toowoomba, Queensland (QLD), and Young NSW.
- Cleaning and drying of DN150 gas pipelines for Verbrec at Beach Energy’s Beharra Springs Redback Suspension and Wellsites Preservation, Western Australia.
- Nitrogen purging for an underground mainline valve replacement for CPB on Origin Energy infrastructure at Chinchilla, QLD.
- Hydrotests on two 200m DN100 lines for OPEC Systems on Victoria Rail Projects infrastructure.
- Hydrotests for Ventia on an APA DN280 gas pipeline in Upper Coomera, QLD, and a series of hydrotests for APA works around Melbourne.
- A series of hydrotests for piping solutions on RAAF Amberly (QLD) and RAAF Richmond (NSW), NSW Defence Australia and Western Sydney Airport infrastructure, including an 11km jet fuel pipeline requiring hydrotests to be completed in seven sections.
Below, Brannelly and Farrant reflected on some of the larger projects that they’ve been involved with.
- Santos’ Moomba Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project
- Unitywater’s Wamuran Irrigation Scheme (WIS)
- Jemena’s Port Kembla Pipeline.
Moomba CCS Project Pipeline: meeting stringent testing and drying requirements
For Farrant, working on Santos’ Moomba Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project, located in South Australia’s remote Cooper Basin, has been a career highlight.
“We were engaged to test the 53km, 10-inch diameter CO2 pipeline and five aboveground facilities associated with the project,” he said.
“The project required rigorous testing to meet the CO2 pipeline’s unique design and operational requirements, which enabled us to put multiple Enduro tools to use.”
Pipe Tek performed:
- Several cleaning runs using an Enduro pig train before testing to ensure the pipeline internal surfaces were burnished and substantially free of residual dust.
- Filled the pipeline using a bidirectional pig with high-wear discs.
- Pipeline strength and leak testing to 21,000 kPa and AS2885.5 requirements.
- A thorough drying process so that no free water remained in the pipeline which could lead to corrosion or the formation of CO2 hydrates across throttling valves at pipeline depressuring vents and the injection wells.
- Commissioning batch treatment to establish the pipeline corrosion inhibitor.
- N2 purging with a blanket pressure of 350 kilopascals gauge (kPag).
“For the cleaning runs, we chose to use an Enduro bidirectional pig train and pig links,” Farrant said.
“It included cups, brushes, gauge plates and magnets with bypass sealing discs to allow for optimal cleaning and reduce ferrous material left behind from the construction process.”
Farrant also said that the company ran a desiccant dryer with a stage of cleaning and drying pigs to ensure no further water, debris or particles were pushed in front of the pigs as they exited the pipeline during the drying process.
“We were working to an acceptance criteria of less than 15mm for the depth of discoloration of the foam pigs after being cut, but we managed to achieve less than 5mm penetration on the handover acceptance pig – which is an incredible achievement for a 53km pipeline,” he said.
Wamuran Irrigation Scheme: working closely with stakeholders
Brannelly found Unitywater’s Wamuran Irrigation Scheme (WIS) project an exciting challenge.
“We were engaged by Pensar for pigging and pressure testing on a 10km pipeline,” he said.
“The project involved many stakeholders and contractors working closely together on site, which made communication (and patience) really important.”
Pipe Tek used:
- Medium density foam pigs on pipeline sections that had been constructed using horizontal directional drilling and trenching to remove air and debris prior to testing.
- Air valves to bleed out air in high points of each pipeline section of the mainline that couldn’t be pigged.
- A custom-built hydotesting trailer, equipped with an inbuilt air actuated hydrotest pump to pressurise the pipeline.
“Our custom-built hydrotesting trailer is great for testing sites that have limited footprints. It has a compact design but is packed with features, including calibrated pressure gauges and flow meters. It was perfect for this project,” Brannelly said.
Port Kembla Project: advanced hydrotesting techniques
Most recently, Pipe Tek completed work on Jemena’s Port Kembla Pipeline project for NACAP.
“The project involved some advanced hydrotesting techniques, including a process called ‘jumping’,” Brannelly said.
This process involved using the same test water to fill two pipe sections from water bladders installed in the middle of the section.
“It’s a really difficult process but it allows us to use the same water to test both pipeline sections – pushed through to the second section with pigs via break tanks,” Brannelly said.
“We scheduled our team on a 24-hour roster to make sure that the process went off without a hitch.”
Team work makes the dream work
Brannelly and Farrant said that Pipe Tek owed its success to the dedication and experience of its team.
“We’ve worked hard to assemble a great team of problem solvers who love what they do and are committed to safety,” Farrant said.
Brannelly agree, saying it was the dedication and experience of the team that allows the company to use advanced techniques and deliver great results for its clients.
“This includes the local Pipe Tek team, as well as our international partner Enduro.”
Pipe Tek offers a full turnkey pipeline solution, including non-destructive testing (NDT), pre-cleaning, gauging, filling, hydrostatic and pneumatic testing, dewatering, drying with either desiccant or refrigerant dryers, nitrogen purging, pigging, inline inspection (ILI) with dig ups and verification by phase array.
The company also has a range of MFL, caliper and cleaning tools based on the east coast of Australia that can be calibrated and rebuilt to be used for future jobs. Pipe Tek personnel are fully trained to run Enduro’s tools and stay onsite to ensure continuity throughout, reducing costs as overseas technicians aren’t required.
For more information about Pipe Tek, visit www.pipetek.com.au.