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Middle East

Despite its challenging environment – including shifting sands, salt marshes, extreme heat, storms and complex intergovernmental relations – the Middle East continues to expand upon its pipeline network, drawing upon its wealth of natural gas and crude oil.

A prominent feature of this area is the desert landscape. When constructing pipelines in this kind of terrain, contractors are faced with a number of challenges. Sandstorms can create reduced visibility, create dangerous driving conditions and contaminate field joint coating. Coating can also be compromised by the extreme heat, which creates issues for machinery operation and workers as well.

Mechanised welding can assist with construction, reducing the physical effort required by workers to weld the pipeline. Wind barriers can help to maintain weld quality, and wider trenches can allow for side collapses during sandstorms. Adequate signage and perpetual radio communication can help improve traffic safety, and appropriate equipment – with features such as over-sized cooling systems and air-conditioned cabins – should be selected for the project to minimise plant breakdown and improve worker comfort.

Companies in the Middle East which own and/or operate substantial amounts of pipeline infrastructure include Saudi Aramco, Qatar Petroleum, National Iranian Gas Company, Syrian Petroleum Company and Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (GASCO).
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