How do you prevent fires when welding oil pipelines?

04 December 2011



Nick in Cambridge asked:

“On the subject of the underwater welding, how do you actually obviate, or stop, the fire risk? If you've got inflammable stuff in that pipepline, I know you said you'd put an argon atmosphere in there, but, is that enough?”


We posed this question to Neil Woodward based at Cranfield University....

Neil -  For the repair application, yes, we use a fully inert atmosphere.  There wouldn’t be any product in the pipeline for repair application and potentially, there’d be plugs inside the pipe to make sure there's no risk.  For the hot tapping application, we’re only welding on the outside of the pipe, so we’re not welding anywhere near the middle of the pipe.


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