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Industry standards every hot tapping engineer must know about


Meeting or surpassing industry standards on your pipeline projects is something that all engineers should strive towards. For the delicate operation that is hot tapping, extra care and attention is required as it is one of the most dangerous applications in pipeline intervention. To ensure you’re currently completing all your hot tap applications to the correct levels, here’s a look at some of the most common industry standards every hot tapping engineer must know:

ASME B31.8


This standard covers the gas transmission and distribution piping systems, including the service lines up to the outlet of the customer’s meter set assembly. The standard also covers gas pipelines, gas compressor stations, gas metering and regulation stations. In the standard, ASME offers solutions for material, fabrication, design, assembly and erection for pipeline intersections and repair. Best practice tips for testing and inspection are also included.

API 2201


The American Petroleum Institute created API 2201 for safe hot tapping procedures especially for the petroleum and petrochemicals industry. The standard covers the safety aspects to be considered when hot tapping as well as guidance on planning projects, the application of ‘hazard vs risk’ applied to hot tapping, and suggestions on what to do when things go wrong.

Welding, of course, takes up a large part of this document, but section 9 is just as important for those engineers working under special conditions. Techniques on hot tapping on the decks of floating roof tanks, vessels or cased lines are all included.

API 1104


Another standard created the API focusses on the welding of pipelines and its related facilities. 1104 covers the gas and arc welding of many pipelines and accessories such as butts, fillets and socket wells as well as the steel piping that is used to compress, pump and transmit crude petroleum and other materials to their distribution systems.

Due to the importance of welding, API put a strong emphasis on the qualification of welders, as well as the actual application. Tips on weld testing, design and preparation of a joint for production are also covered in this standard.

49 CFR 192


The transportation of natural gas by pipeline is the main concern of this standard by API, which prescribes the minimum requirements for constructing lines and mains. As well as talking through the inspection procedures of the pipes and materials used, this standard talks in detail about the ways in which steel pipe can be repaired.

Similar to the API 1104, this standard focusses on the qualification on pipeline personnel too and the assessments engineers should take to be allowed to work on hot tap projects. This includes a written and oral examination as well as completing observational tasks, which you should have already done.

Other standards

On projects when mechanical fittings are required, these must be made to withstand the dimensions and operating pressure of the pipes. Therefore, the fittings must meet the following standards for:

  •          Design – ASME B31.1, ASME B31.3, ASME B31.4, ASME B31.8 & ASME Sec. VIII Div.1 & 2
  •          Fabrication - ASME Sec. VIII Div.1 & 2
  •          Welding - ASME Sec. IX
  •          NDT - ASME Sec. V

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