CIPS Survey clearance

BPA’s lands team is undertaking a programme of scrub clearance works at more than 60 sites along the route of the buried high-pressure oil pipelines that BPA manages in the UK.

The scrub clearance is in preparation for a new CIPs survey which is scheduled to start in October and run until the end of November 2020.   The work will take place on the LAP pipeline that feeds Heathrow Airport, the buried pipeline that runs between the Thames Pump Station and the Epping Pump Station and also the buried high-pressure oil pipeline that runs between the Blisworth Pump Station and the Oil Storage Terminal at Kingsbury.

A CIPS survey is sometimes referred to as Close Interval Survey, which is an above ground, non-intrusive survey, used to accurately determine the effectiveness of the cathodic protection system along the pipelines.  The survey helps ensure that the integrity of the pipeline remains protected from corrosion.

The pipe-to-soil readings are measured at test points typically installed at 1 to 2 kilometre intervals along the pipeline route, however these measurements do not accurately reflect the pipe-to-soil potentials between test points.

To overcome this, a close interval potential survey (CIPS) is undertaken, with pipe-to-soil potentials measured at nominal 2 metre intervals. The CIPS technique can be employed for both buried (onshore) and immersed (offshore) pipelines.

To allow BPA’s Lands team access to points on the ground above the buried pipelines a programme of scrub clearance is being undertaken at points where readings will be taken.  BPA will write to all affected landowners and tenants ahead of the survey. If you have any special access arrangements or any that may have changed please let us know.

The team at BPA will be wearing high-vis clothing and following all the correct procedures required for working near to buried pipelines.

Keep a watch out for the team and don’t forget to contact the BPA Lands Team if you see anything suspicious or any unusual activity along the buried pipeline network.  If in doubt, simply call us on 0800 585 387 and we will do the rest.