Girth Weld Area Strain-Induced Failures


The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) is aware of several incidents outside of Canada where failures have occurred at the girth weld area (deposited weld area and heat affected zone (HAZ)) on high strength pipe. While no incidents associated with this type of failure have been reported on CER-Regulated pipelines in Canada, the CER is of the view that similar incidents could occur under comparable conditions. The CER has reviewed available investigation reports, summaries, and industry presentations dealing with these international girth weld failures where the failure could be attributed to strain accumulation in the girth weld area.

On 12 February 2020, the CER issued Safety Advisory SA 2020-01 to all CER-regulated companies to ensure a broader awareness of these types of incidents to prevent the possibility of occurrences of this nature on CER-regulated pipelines. Safety Advisories are issued periodically to inform the oil and gas industry of an identified safety or environmental concern with the goal of preventing the occurrence of related incidents. A Safety Advisory serves to highlight CER requirements, and to convey the CER’s expectation that regulated companies take appropriate action to mitigate any potential impacts to people or the environment.

In February 2023 the CER held a one-day technical workshop on the issue to discuss and explore the girth weld area starin-induced failure incidents that have occured internationally, their causes, and contributing factors.

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