Jan Frowijn
Director General
Rosen Group Mexico
View from the Top

Adopt Holistic Approach to Pipeline Management

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 16:34

Q: Which international best practices for pipeline integrity and management have yet to be introduced to Mexico?

A: One approach that still needs to be introduced is the integration of all the available data on pipeline systems. In the US and Europe there is a more holistic view of pipeline integrity in which the entire life cycle of an asset is considered. In Mexico the process is broken down into different parts that are viewed as separate entities. This holistic approach could be adopted in Mexico.

Q: How does Rosen help companies move toward this holistic approach to pipeline integrity?

A: Some operators in Mexico are better focused on pipeline integrity than others but to further improve the process Rosen is taking two approaches. First, we are trying to provide integrity services earlier in the process. Many pipeline integrity issues can be avoided altogether if preventive measures are taken early on. Rosen can help before a company begins designing a pipeline, ensuring correct purchasing decisions and quality-control processes.

Rosen is also trying to align the objectives of the different stakeholders in pipeline projects who often have differing priorities. Rosen links the interests of the engineering company, construction company, operators and owners around the safety and reliability of the pipeline.

Q: How does Rosen help in the early stage of planning pipelines?

A: Rosen has the engineering capabilities to support customers with the composition and characterization of soil. We also determine what treads can be expected in a certain type of terrain, allowing clients to make the right engineering decisions. Basically, we provide risk assessment, looking at tread corrosion, ground movement and possible damage to the pipe as it is installed.

Q: CENAGAS has stringent budget objectives. Why should it invest in Rosen’s services in the early stages of its projects?

A: Persuading companies to take the long-term view when short-term cost decisions have to be made is not always easy. To confront this, Rosen asks pipeline owners and operators what they want to get out of an asset. We then use their answer to showcase the benefits of early intervention in pipeline integrity management and present the long-term effects of cost-cutting on the safety and reliability of pipelines.

Q: How could Rosen’s services help companies achieve higher efficiency and productivity standards?

A: The reliability of an asset directly and immediately impacts its productivity. If a pipeline is out of service half the time due to technical or operational concerns, productivity will fall. An example of a time when Rosen helped with this was last year. With our integral approach we made several PEMEX pipelines much more reliable and loading lines that were previously out of use for a portion of the year became much more productive. This directly affected the amount of product that could be imported into Mexico through different terminals.

Rosen is also trying to take our client’s decisions and active projects to a higher level. One example concerns pipeline cleaning, which is routine on pipeline projects. If cleaning processes are made slightly smarter, companies can glean a lot of data and useful information about the status of the pipeline at the same time. One way to achieve this is to use more effective cleaning technologies.

Rosen offers a technological solution that allows companies to clean a pipeline without having to reduce the pressure or flow, so it does not interrupt performance like traditional cleaning mechanisms do. We also collect data during cleaning, which the operator can then use to make smarter decisions later. Another benefit of smarter cleaning is knowing where to clean and when. Changing this even slightly can result in less corrosion of the pipeline, thus extending its lifespan and reducing possible downtime.

Q: Which of Rosen’s projects best showcase its capabilities for providing integrity and maintenance services?

A: Our most successful project in Mexico has been our involvement with the Los Ramones pipeline. Our work on the project has allowed us to showcase our ability to link the different goals of the many stakeholders, including the construction company, owner, operator, PEMEX, CENAGAS and the final customer, CFE. Rosen demonstrated that although their objectives may differ, all stakeholders are interested in having a safe and reliable pipeline that operates as originally designed. We effectively mediated the different parties and made integrity management their common goal.

We also showcased our complete knowledge about pipeline integrity management and field verification. We were involved on the engineering side, looking at the immediate and long-term effects of decisions on the future integrity of the asset. Our participation in the Los Ramones pipeline project is an excellent example of Rosen’s capabilities. Rosen is a relatively small company but it takes on a very important task. Our global strategy is to link the different stakeholders of pipelines around the common goal of pipeline integrity management. Successes like the Los Ramones project are used as examples to improve this global strategy.

Q: Where have Rosen’s research and development efforts been focused in the past year?

A: Our R&D efforts in Mexico this year have focused heavily on our e-mat technology, which has very specific applications in natural gas pipelines. Outside of Mexico, we use e-mat technology for crack detection and coating inspection. We also focus on corrosion control systems, which is more on the engineering side of asset integrity.

Q: How do Rosen’s workshops allow the company to introduce new technologies to the field?

A: Rosen never sells its technology through its workshops. Instead technology is a way of bringing the different stakeholders in the pipeline industry together around the topic of integrity management. We have the best tools and are the leaders in this industry, so rather than using the workshop as a sales pitch, we use it to promote the integrity approach.

Q: What role can Mexico play in Rosen’s global R&D efforts as the country moves into high-tech manufacturing?

A: Although Mexico has a relatively small pipeline network compared with the US, the combination of aging and new pipelines in the country is interesting. The challenges this presents, including politically, geographically and environmentally give Rosen the opportunity to show off what we can do.

Q: How do you match strategy to the client’s needs?

A: Rosen is consistent in its strategy regardless of the client or location. We have a long-term approach and invest up to 20 percent of our global turnover in R&D for new diagnostic tools. This is the way we approach the market and our clients, with the goal of delivering high-quality products and integrity management services. Whether the client is PEMEX, CENAGAS or TransCanada, our consistent approach makes us a stable partner.

Q: How will Rosen’s portfolio expand in the next year?

A: Although Rosen has focused on pipeline integrity management in Mexico, as a global asset care company we have a lot of expertise in managing other types of assets. For this we are emphasizing the diversification of the services we offer in Mexico, which we are planning to extend to include integrity management for maritime structures and offshore platforms.

Rosen wants to emphasize the importance of stakeholders working together for the success of the Mexican market. Also, there is a lot of focus on the new players entering the market but we believe PEMEX is an integral part of the industry, which will only be as successful as the NOC is. Rosen can continue supporting PEMEX as we have done over many years.