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South Texas Pipeline Construction Photos

The following photos of new pipelines under construction were mostly taken in the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas. Below is a photo of one of  the many of the medium sized pipelines being built in the area. This is a 20" line being laid near Tilden, TX, in McMullen county, to gather Eagle Ford shale natural gas and liquids. Here the pipeline workers are preparing to cross a county road and a couple sections have been pre -welded together to help the process go faster, and avoid a long traffic backup. The specs on this pipe are 20" x .375", HFW API 5L x 52 PSL2.   HFW means "high frequency welded". HFW pipe used in pipelines such as this  are made from hot rolled, flat steel strips, which are formed into a tubular shape. The longitudinal seam is then welded by the application of heating the edges.  API 5L means that the pipe is suitable for use to convey oil, gas, and water in an oilfield pipeline. "X 52" number is the grading of the pipe, which in this case has a minimum yield strength of 52,000 psi. PSL2 refers to Product Specification Level 2, which has to do with the chemical composition of the steel.

 Oil and gas pipeline in Eagle Ford shale under construction.

Much of the pipe used in Eagle Ford shale pipelines was brought into the area by rail car. Here is a photo of pipe being unloaded from a rail facility near Cotulla, TX.

Oilfield pipe unloaded from train.

The next image is of a pipeline junction in the Eagleville field of the Eagle Ford shale. Here two large gathering lines come together. This location will include shutoff valves to isolate the other sections of the pipeline and to launch pipeline "pigs", which act like moving sponges to clean the pipe from one end to the other. Two such pipeline pigs may be launched with corrosion preventing chemicals in between them. The first pipeline pig pushes water, oil and other liquids out of the way so that the the corrosion inhibiting chemicals can coats the line. Note the marks left by pipeline welders and inspectors, as well as torque up sequence of the bolts.

Photo of pipeline junction.

Pipeline Right Of Way Reclamation Photos, Before and After: Below is a before and after photo of an Eagle Ford shale pipeline. The first photo is during the construction phase, and shows equipment including a padding machine, which is used to return fill to the trench.  The second photo shows the pipeline right of way in the reclamation process, about a month later. Grass is beginning to cover the right of way after weeks of drought ended and rains came to South Texas. As long as they are in operation, pipeline companies will keep  right of ways such as this one mowed or "shredded",  so that inspectors can freely travel the length of the pipeline, and also to prevent large tree roots from reaching down to the line, disturbing the protective coating. Up and down the line there will be cathodic protection devices, which balance the electrical charges on the line to prevent corrosion. Cathodic protection test points, where pipeline maintenance technicians test for stray voltage on the lines, are located along the line as well.

Pipeline construction photo in Eagleford shale Pipeline reclamation

Another pipeline junction which welders have just finished. Once inspections are done, the exposed pipe will be painted and buried sections will receive a corrosion resistant coating which also acts to electrically isolate the pipeline from the soil.

photo of pipeline junction in South Texas

There are a multitude of pipeline projects underway right now in the Eagle Ford shale. For more info on the Eagle Ford shale play, see EagleFordShaleBlog.com

Previous Pipeline Photos. Page 1

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