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PHMSA Issued Advisory Bulletin ADB 10-033

PHMSA issued advisory bulletin ADB-10-03 to notify owners and operators of recently constructed large diameter natural gas pipeline and hazardous liquid pipeline systems of the potential for girth weld failures due to welding quality issues. Misalignment during welding of large diameter line pipe may cause in-service leaks and ruptures at pressures well below 72 percent specified minimum yield strength (SMYS). PHMSA has reviewed several recent projects constructed in 2008 and 2009 with 20-inch or greater diameter, grade X70 and higher line pipe. Metallurgical testing results of failed girth welds in pipe wall thickness transitions have found pipe segments with line pipe weld misalignment, improper bevel and wall thickness transitions, and other improper welding practices that occurred during construction. A number of the failures were located in pipeline segments with concentrated external loading due to support and backfill issues. Owners and operators of recently constructed large diameter pipelines should evaluate these lines for potential girth weld failures due to misalignment and other issues by reviewing construction and operating records and conducting engineering reviews as necessary.

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