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Sakhalin Energy to build pipeline fault crossings

Gazprom-led Sakhalin Energy is preparing to build the onshore pipeline segments that cross tectonic faults this winter, the chief engineer for the pipeline construction told a conference, according to local reports.

The pipeline route crosses the Garomai and Klyuchevsky faults at 19 points. Work is currently under way at a number of them. The pipeline project is unique, given that the pipeline is designed to withstand powerful earthquakes and difficult climatic and geological conditions.

The pipeline is designed to withstand a shift of 5.5 meters at the Garomai fault and 4.2 meters at the Klyuchevsky fault, with an earthquake measuring 6.1-6.2 on the Richter scale.

The pipeline design was modeled in laboratories at leading universities and various trench designs were tested, as were the reactions of the pipeline under various scenarios: in the strength-level earthquake that can be expected once every thousand years, in torrential water flows, etc. Various materials to be used in the given segments were also tested.

The majority of the fault crossings will be built in waterproof trenches. The trench segments will be wrapped in geo-membrane to prevent water from entering the trench where the pipeline is located, embedded in a mixture of large-grain sand and clay pellets. This arrangement will prevent the bottom of these segments from freezing. The clay/sand mixture will allow the pipe to "float" in any direction along the trench, without resisting the motion. The width of the trenches will be 13.5 meters for the gas pipeline and 7.5 meters for the oil pipeline.


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