66% of crude oil and refined products in the United States are delivered via pipelines, and nearly all natural gas is moved through pipelines. Products using oil and natural gas include stoves, automobiles, ovens, planes, and dryers. Since pipelines supply the necessary fuel for daily activities to function, ensuring that pipeline systems adhere to the rigorous safety and environmental requirements is of the utmost importance. ASME B31.8-2022: Gas Transmission And Distribution Piping Systems covers specifications for the safe transportation of gas in pipeline facilities.
ASME B31.8-2022 defines a pipeline as:
“all parts of physical facilities through which gas moves in transportation, including pipe, valves, fittings, flanges (including bolting and gaskets), regulators, pressure vessels, pulsation dampeners, relief valves, appurtenances attached to pipe, compressor units, metering facilities, pressure-regulating stations, pressure-limiting stations, pressure-relieving stations, and fabricated assemblies. Included within this definition are gas transmission and gathering lines, which transport gas from production facilities to onshore locations, and gas storage equipment of the closed pipe type that is fabricated or forged from pipe or fabricated from pipe and fittings.”
Basically, pipelines are needed to transport energy safely. They are used to transport raw materials from the (often very remote) areas of production to the refineries and chemical plants across the country. Then, they move the finished products to gasoline terminals, natural gas plants, and other end users. Pipelines are vital to the infrastructure in the United States, as, for instance, each day they transport about 62.4 million barrels per day over the 2.6 million miles of pipelines in the nation.
Other key terms in this standard are:
- Pipeline System: either the operator’s entire pipeline infrastructure or large portions of that infrastructure that have definable starting and stopping points
- Transportation of Gas: gathering, transmission, or distribution of gas by pipeline or the storage of gas
- Pipeline Facility: new and existing pipelines, rights-of-way, and any equipment, facility, or building used in the transportation of gas or in the treatment of gas during the course of transportation
What Is ASME B31.8-2022?
ASME B31.8-2022 covers the design, fabrication, installation, inspection, examination, and testing of pipeline facilities used for the transportation of gas. This includes engineering requirements deemed necessary for the safe design and construction of pressure piping. Additionally, the standard details safety aspects of the operation and maintenance of those pipeline facilities to ensure the safety of the general public and employees.
Specifically, here is what the scope of ASME B31.8-2022 includes:
- References to acceptable material specifications and component standards, including dimensional and mechanical property requirements
- Requirements for designing components and assemblies
- Requirements and data for evaluating and limiting stresses, reactions, and movements associated with pressure, temperature changes, and other forces
- Guidance and limitations on selecting and applying materials, components, and joining methods
- Requirements for fabricating, assembling, and installing piping
- Requirements for examining, inspecting, and testing piping
- Procedures for operation and maintenance that are essential to public safety
- Provisions for protecting pipelines from external and internal corrosion
Managing the Sustainability of Pipelines
Pipelines are the most environmentally friendly way to transport fuel. They help lower carbon emissions by reducing the need to transport fuel by truck, ship, or train, which all have higher levels of carbon emissions. However, pipelines can leak, spill, rupture, and explode—causing devastating crude oil spills and explosions caused by natural gas that harm the surrounding wildlife and communities. Since 2013, data shows that over 99.999% of petroleum product made it end to end in pipelines without incident. This statistically near-perfect safety rate is possible due to the quality assurance, training and qualification of personnel (e.g., engineers), qualification of materials and equipment, operating and maintenance procedures, corrosion control, and more that is detailed in standards like ASME B31.8-2022.
ASME B31.8-2022: Gas Transmission And Distribution Piping Systems is available on the ANSI Webstore. It is available with similar ASME B31 standards in the following standards packages: