Fuel Pipeline Abandonment

Fuel Pipeline Abandonment, Richmond, Virginia

Problem:

Three sections of jet fuel pipeline at a military facility required in-place abandonment.  Two of the sections were deadheaded by previous work, and the third stretch of 300 LF of 4″ line only had access at one end.  

Each of the stretches of pipe passed through and around other in use components of the fuel transfer facility.

Constraints:

The pipe abandonment material had to be able to travel through 300LF of 4″ pipe without segregation or plugging.  For the two short sections that were deadheaded, the material had to adequately flow the entire length of the pipes without trapping air.  

Fuel pipeline abandonment using cellular concrte

Fuel pipeline abandonment using cellular concrete

Additionally, there was a potential for some residual petroleum product in the longest line.

Due to continuous operations, and other in-service lines crossing the pipe that needed to be abandoned, no excavation could be done to add access points to the pipe.

Solution:

Low density, lightweight cellular concrete was identified as the most appropriate material for the pipe abandonment.  Because cellular concrete can be pumped long distances through small pipes very easily, it wouldn’t have a problem filling 300LF of 4″ pipe from a single end point.  

Given the high ability to flow, cellular is also an excellent choice for filling deadheaded pipes.

Because of this, no intermediate access points were required.  Intermediate access points would have been required for traditional grout materials, which would have been substantially disruptive to the operation of the facility.  Intermediate access points would have been very expensive to place due to the extensive live piping nearby.

Results:

CJGeo cellular concrete crew successfully abandoned the three stretches of pipe.  The placement took a few hours, and resulted in a stable, uniform material completely filling the pipe.  Residual fuel in the pipeline was displaced by the leading edge of the fill material, and was captured and disposed of.