Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMEP) is the nation’s largest liquid fuel pipeline transmission company. KMEP managers are responsible for keeping fuel pumping through the company’s vast network of underground pipelines, 365 days a year. Long sections of the company’s most vital pipeline sections run along railroad rights-of-way. When a train derails, KMEP must quickly determine whether the pipeline network has been compromised, where the nearest shut-off valves are, and how to get inspection and repair crews to the accident scene. Because KMEP and the railroads use different milepost systems for their respective networks, correctly identifying the appropriate shut-off valves and mobilizing response crews to the scene of the accident took time.
To streamline the dispatching of emergency response crews to potential pipeline leaks KMEP managers needed more reliable and rapid access to maps of its nation-wide pipeline network, as well as it’s engineering designs and drawings (maintained in AutoCAD format). In addition, KMEP wished to improve the response time to potential fuel leaks by leveraging its existing GDT streets dataset.
To meet KMEP’s challenging requirements, Farallon designed, developed and populated a geodatabase using ESRI’s ArcSDE 8.3 and Oracle 9i. This geodatabase contains over 4,000,000 spatial records, including KMEP’s entire 3,500 mile western region pipeline network and a number of basemap features, such as GDT street centerlines and orthophotographs along the pipeline alignment. By creating linear reference systems for both the railroad and pipeline networks, Farallon was able to provide KMEP the ability to translate railroad mileposts into the pipeline measures used by engineers and technicians.
To ease access to the spatial data, metadata, and data maintenance workflows, Farallon developed a web application using ArcIMS 4.0 and ESRI’s geocoding web service to allow KMEP staff instant and intuitive access to the entire Pacific Region pipeline network. By integrating KMEP’s AutoCAD engineering drawings, any staff member with appropriate user privileges can locate a potential pipeline break and all the related engineering documentation within seconds.