Erdman Anthony contracted with National Fuel Gas Company in 2015 to handle data management for five projects in New York state that involved the construction or reconstruction of 16 miles of pipeline ranging in diameter from 8 to 24 inches. Due to the aggressive construction schedule, as many as four projects ran concurrently.
The data managers’ duties were wide-ranging and included one or more of the following at any time during the workday:
- 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 receivers to collect geographic positions along the installed pipeline.
- Developing project files (spreadsheets, PDFs, photo logs, etc.) as construction progressed.
- Preparing weekly reports for the owner’s use to track progress and any outstanding issues.
In areas where GPS and/or cell coverage were not possible, the data managers coordinated conventional ground-survey support to obtain the necessary record locations.
Before the pipeline could be put into service, a “smart pig” (inspection device) was sent through the pipeline to check for anomalies, such as dents and obstructions. Using the project file developed by the data manager, the contractor could then identify the location of any discovered anomaly and make repairs as necessary.
The deliverable that Erdman Anthony prepared assisted National Fuel Gas with the expansion of its geographic information system (GIS), thereby improving asset location precision, simplifying the scheduling of periodic maintenance, and identifying potential problem areas in the pipeline.