Detection of Pilferage in Cathodically Protected Petroleum Pipelines
Sr. Engineer (Pipelines), Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Allahabad, U.P., India
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The cross country underground pipelines are given Cathodic Protection (C.P.) in addition to epoxy coatings to check any corrosion due to the development of a ‘Pipe-to-Soil Potential’(PSP) in the event of direct contact of the pipe with ground. We are having ‘Test Lead Points’ (TLPs) at regular intervals of around 2 kilometres to check & periodically record the local PSP with the help of a Cu/CuSO4 half cell. If any abnormality in the PSP at a TLP is observed, it’s an indication that the pipeline coating is damaged nearby. This is an established industrial practice. But its scope is limited to checking the health of pipeline coating only, while detection of pilferage location remains a challenge. This paper suggests a methodology to detect pilferage/theft in the pipeline & its location with the help of PSP readings.