As part of the National Fuel Gas Company direction for the 2014 construction season, the utility provider released five projects in New York State. They involved the construction/reconstruction of pipelines ranging from 8 to 24 inches and all necessary appurtenances and tie-ins.
Combined, these five projects totaled more than 16 miles in length. Due to the aggressiveness of the construction schedule, as many as four projects ran concurrently. Collection of material data of the installed assets was critical to the use and operation of the pipeline.
Erdman Anthony contracted with National Fuel Gas to handle data management for these projects. Erdman Anthony’s deliverable now populates the utility's GIS.
The data manager’s duties were wide-ranging. At any time during the day, they might include one or more of the following:
Interacting with the contractor’s representative to review daily/weekly schedules for construction activity.
Interacting with the owner’s representative to receive material data sheets showing items being installed.
Operating GPS receiver to collect geographic positions along the installed pipeline.
Developing project files (spreadsheets, PDFs, photo logs, etc.) as construction progressed.
Preparing weekly reports to the owner, identifying progress and any outstanding issues.
The projects involved tracking the construction as it progressed along the proposed route. As the contractor assembled the lengths of pipe, the data manager assembled component data sheets, recorded weld locations and obtained GPS positions at critical points. In areas where GPS and/or cell coverage was not acceptable, the data manager coordinated conventional ground survey support to obtain the necessary record locations. These data were then compiled into the project spreadsheet, cross-referencing specific assets to specific geographical GPS-derived positions. Quality assurance consisted of inputting the survey location positions collected by GPS.
Before the pipeline was put into service, a “scrubber-pig” was sent through the pipe to chase out debris and dirt. This was followed by a “smart-pig” that sampled the pipe along its run to check for anomalies, such as dents, pipe trueness, obstructions, etc. Using the file developed by the data manager, the contractor could identify the actual geographic location and the assets close to the discovered anomaly.
The deliverable prepared by Erdman Anthony is suitable for expanding the National Fuel Gas GIS. This will allow National Fuel Gas to employ asset placement on a broader scale, such as scheduling period maintenance and identifying potential problem areas.
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