Pipeline Pigging, Internal Cleaning and Demolition

Demolition / Internal Cleaning / Pipeline Pigging / Projects

Chesapeake, Virginia ~

The sale of an 11-acre former lubricants bending facility on Virginia’s inter-coastal waterway was, in-part, pending the regulatory closure of environmental issues that included the cleaning and removal of approximately 4,000 ft of steel surface product conveyance piping.  Elite was able to provide superior environmental construction services that ensured project completion on schedule, within budgetary constraints and to project specifications.


The project first required a desktop study of all available as-built drawings that dated into the late 1800’s to distinguish active site infrastructure from piping targeted for abandonment.  This was followed by test-pitting at selected location throughout the facility to verify the results of the initial non-intrusive study.  Upon excavation, each pipe was identified and cold-tapped to assess the chemical nature of the contents and gravity-drained to remove bulk content.  Residual product in each of the piping runs was addressed via pipeline pigging technology.  Challenges to the work schedule were encountered when working in areas where multiple layers of pipe intersected, inhibiting access.  This was addressed by carefully coordinating pipe cutting crews to ensure sufficient and timely access necessary for pipeline pigging preparation and implementation.


Throughout the project a substantial number of undocumented pipes were encountered that had not been properly abandoned and contained unknown hydrocarbon products.  Removal of these pipe required strict adherence to job safety assessment (JSA) procedures addressing health safety concerns.  These procedures were designed to provide the proper level of personal protective equipment and eliminate explosion hazards by prohibiting the use of tools and activities that could provide an ignition source.


Pursuant to PICS and API “Safe Penetration and Cutting of Pipeline” standard operating procedures, all piping was initially pneumatic drilled “Cold-tapped” to gain access for proper internal monitoring.  In the absence of a hazardous atmosphere a hole saw was used to gain ample access for total evacuation of pipe contents via vac-truck. Once all contents were removed, piping was washed by means of self-propelled, high-temp. jet-head.  Intersections removed but most runs were finally injected with approved expansion foam for abandonment in place.  Some 44,000 approximate linear feet of sub-surface piping was addressed.


The project was successfully completed in three phases over a period of approximately one year with no environmental or safety related incidents.  As a result of the successful completion of the project the site was granted regulatory closure by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the property was sold shortly thereafter and redeveloped into a secure holding facility for marine shipping.