It was a gruelling month for lead ValvePro trainer and senior valve technician, Ernie Coates, but Australia’s Gold Coast seems to have been hospitable enough for him. Ernie’s time with Heath Pipeline Services and Michael P. Lynch couldn’t have been planned any better. Pipeline projects are popping up throughout Queensland that will feed coal seam methane from thousands of well sites to the Gladstone LNG Plant nearing completion on Curtis Island just north of the famous rum producing city of Bundaberg.
Origin Energy, Queensland Gas Company and Santos Ltd have constructed a network of pipelines that will go online later this year and I’m betting they’re elated Ernie was on the scene. Valve commissioning and upgrading was the topic at several dinner tables after a few Q&A sessions with, what some consider, the world’s leading expert on pipeline valves. As a result, fitting upgrading, additional seat seal testing and pre-lubricating has been slated to ensure critical valves throughout these systems will operate and seal perfectly upon start-up. The Australian natural gas sector has drawn a lot of experience from our older and more established technologies in Canada so there is a higher expectation for efficiency, safety and overall integrity.