Author Topic: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)  (Read 15823 times)

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Offline Tim of Aclea

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #90 on: September 10, 2018, 13:11:07 pm »
I have been advised that 5 staff have been sacked from one of the storage depots on the CLH-PS, as it is now for stealing fuel from the depot.


Offline Tim of Aclea

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #91 on: March 28, 2020, 12:57:35 pm »
My understanding is that the CLH-PS is pretty well at a standstill with tanks full to bursting and that they are desperately trying to bring tanks that are out for repair or mothballed back into operation.  the problem is of course that with very few planes flying that they are not burning aviation fuel which is stockpiling.  Given how we are all being discouraged from driving, I should imagine that the usage of gasoline and diesel has also plummeted and that the UKOP and Esso pipelines could also grind to a halt.

Tim

Offline kesterlester

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #92 on: December 24, 2022, 13:11:46 pm »
[Aside: My files were too big for the upload, so I have hosted them at the following to addresses:

https://www.hep.phy.cam.ac.uk/~lester/gpss1.png
and
https://www.hep.phy.cam.ac.uk/~lester/gpss2.png

]

I have a GPSS / CLH-PS question. It might arguably be more "midlands" than "south-east" related, and so it might be off topic. However, it looked like this forum has the most developed GPSS discussions on the internet ...

I've been trying to understand/map the route of various pipeline(s) to the west of Peterborough and to the south of Stamford. More specifically the area between Wansford and RAF Wittering shown in the attached image or visible at the first link above.   I am mostly interested in the non-GPSS pipelines, but I need to avoid being confused by or led astray by GPSS pipelines, so I have to get them right too.

Before I started mapping this area on OSM, someone had already done some work in the area, and had put in a pipeline which he/she labelled as GPSS/OIL taking the the route A-B-C-D-E-F-G shown on the attached map.  However, when I came to do my own research on the ground and from google street view and from aerial photographs, I could find little-to-no present-day evidence of the B-C-D-E section of this pipeline even though there was plenty of evidence of the A-B section and the E-F-G section.  Moreover, I can see markers at the positions I have labelled X and Y.  A photo of one of the markers at X is also attached to this post or visible at the second link above. It looks to me like a GPSS marker, and appears to be well maintained.

I have therefore been trying to understand if the person who came before me made a mistake with his/her B-C-D-E route .... perhaps it should actually be B-X-Y-E.   

The truth, however, could be somewhere in the middle. E.g. it may be that originally there was a GPSS pipeline on the route A-B-C-D-E-F-G, which perhaps took its northern B-C-D-E detour so as to supply RAF Wittington with oil.  And then it could been, perhaps, that more recently that supply was no longer needed, and so the pipeline maintainers decided to take a short cut B-X-Y-E and so decommissioned the B-C-D-E ??

Another possibility is that A-B-C-D-E-F-G really does continue to exist as a complete pipeline (even though there are no markers at C or D) and X-Y are part of a completely different pipeline whose start and ends have been found by no-one. However, I find this extremely unlikely.

I would be grateful if any of you who know more than I do about the history of the GPSS pipelines could add any information that might help me.

[Aside: I've not put labels on them, but the two parallel pipelines shown on my map which CROSS the Y-E pipe-run are Water and Gas (Water being the westernmost, and Gas being the eastern most).  And the pipe leaving the middle of the bottom of the map, and that disaappearing top right are both gas.]

Online pomme homme

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #93 on: December 24, 2022, 13:38:16 pm »
Welcome to the forum, kesterlester. Hopefully Tim will be along soon and be able to help you with your question. I rather doubt that his depth of knowledge on the subject can be bettered. If he doesn't know the answer, I suspect that the answer does not exist!

Offline kesterlester

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #94 on: December 24, 2022, 22:36:19 pm »
That sounds promising!  Thanks.

Offline Tim of Aclea

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #95 on: January 27, 2023, 14:33:23 pm »
Kesterlester

I am the Tim referred to, I worked on the GPSS (as it was then called) as an engineer for over 20 years until I retired in 2012 and am also the author of the history of the GPSs 'Fuelling the Wars: PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 to 2015.

I am afraid that I cannot make much sense of all the pipelines on your map.  Being retired I no longer have access to detailed maps in the RAF Wittering area.  As far as I am aware the S/M pipeline (Sandy - Misterton) roughly follows the line of the A1.  In the 1980s a spur was built from Wittering Junction on the S/M pipeline to the Wittering Petroleum Receipt Enclosure in RAF Wittering but that was mothballed when the airbase was closed to aircraft. 

There was at one time a spur feeding Peterborough Airfield from the S/M but that was closed and abandoned long before I started work on the GPSS.  There was also a Peterborough pumpstation on the S/M which was disposed of in 1978.  In addition, and I have no further details of this site but there was an Aviation Fuel (or Air Force) Reserve Depot with 7,000 tons of storage at a location designated as 'Peterborough'.  The storage does not ever appeared to have been transferred to the GPSS.

By the way the name of the pipeline system has been changed again, this time to Exolum.

Hope this is of some help

Tim

ps if you wanted to buy my book, it appears to be no longer available through Amazon but it can still be purchased from the publisher Folly Books or I believe from Waterstones, it is hardback 250 pages with numerous photos and maps of the system and its history.

Offline Tim of Aclea

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #96 on: June 30, 2023, 20:35:11 pm »
Exolum who now operate and manage the former GPSS have been ordered to pay £2.3m for a health and safety violation.

Exolum Pipeline System workers (formerly CLH Pipeline System) were excavating a suspected pipeline leak in woodland in March 2018.

Workers mending the pipeline were at risk of being sprayed in petrol vapour. Petroleum under high pressure has the potential to form a highly flammable cloud that spreads metres from the pipe, so a lit match or ignition could have caused death or serious injury. Luckily, no one was harmed.

An investigation by the HSE into the incident found that the company failed to properly identify and control the risks associated with carrying out a pipeline repair.

Exolum was fined £2.3m and ordered to pay £157,431 in costs.

HSE inspector Mark Leadbetter said: “This incident had the potential to cause serious injury or death to multiple casualties and could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”

Exolum are still being paid around £25M a year to supply RAF and USAFE airbases.  Prior to the government selling the GPSS, they used to pay nothing and the government also received an income from the operation of the system.

Tim

Offline malcway

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #97 on: November 18, 2023, 22:35:50 pm »
I apologise for not introducing myself sooner, but have been waiting for Tim’s excellent book on the GPSS.  I now have that but still have a question that others might know the answer to?

All the markers I have seen on the Sawtry to Sandy leg of the Misterton to Sandy line have a capital ‘L’ just before the pipe diameter - 8”. What is the L an abbreviation for?

Strictly speaking I’m a little outside of the SE area, but have found much more about GPSS on this Board than anywhere else.  I am particularly interested in the Sawtry to Sandy leg as I was born in Sawtry and have lived in Alconbury for the past 35+ years, and the Sawtry depot pumped fuel through a spur to RAF Alconbury.

I am photographing and plotting all the ‘stiles’ and aerial markers in Sawtry, Alconbury Weston and Alconbury, and any assistance will be much appreciated.


Online pomme homme

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #98 on: November 19, 2023, 10:40:09 am »
Welcome to the forum, malcway, and thank you for your post. I suspect that Tim is the only forum member equipped to answer your query. No doubt when he receives notification of your post, he will log in and respond to it.

Offline Tim of Aclea

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #99 on: November 19, 2023, 10:45:08 am »
Welcome and the answer is fairly straight forward, my understanding is that it refers to the pipeline Line size which is still given in imperial units as that is how pipelines, both oil and gas, were historically sized.  When I did my research project while working for British Gas for my technology degree, I had to get special dispensation to refer to the line sizes in Imperial units as the requirement was that everything had to be in metric. 


Offline malcway

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #100 on: November 20, 2023, 17:27:08 pm »
Many thanks for the response, Tim.  It's of no real importance, but it was annoying me that try as I might I couldn't figure it out!   

Another question, if I may? When the Sawtry PSD was abandoned the pin board in the Ops Room was left in-situ, and years later it was photographed by urban 'explorers'!  As an former (Commercial) jet pilot I found the information on the image (attached) quite interesting and wondered perhaps if others might also?  My Boeing's General Electric CF6 engines ran on Jet A-1, (kerosene, basically) and the standard fuel for military aircraft at that time was JP-8 (Jet Propellant Eight) which was quite similar but had additional corrosion inhibitor and anti-icing additives. 

However, because of the extreme altitudes and temperatures they flew at, the Lockheed U-2 'Dragon Lady' spy-planes based at Alconbury used JPTS (Jet Propellant Thermally Stable).  This was a fuel that had been used by the U-2 since the aircraft's development in the 1950's and had a lower freeze point, higher viscosity, and higher thermal stability than the standard USAF fuel.  Do you know if this would have been pumped from Sawtry to the base in the two 6" spur lines, or would it have had to be tankered by road?   Local 'witnesses' claim the two lines were made of stainless steel - was SS used anywhere while you were with GPSS?





Offline Tim of Aclea

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #101 on: December 08, 2023, 12:07:26 pm »
The only other line that I am aware of that was stainless steel was the line from Linkswood to RAF Leuchars and I ebelive that was a mistake.  The outfit who used to manage the installation of such sites, the Public Services Agency, were in my opinion mostly a bunch of incompetents and we were more than once left with sorting out their erros after they had handed over a site.  They were not an organisation that OPA ever employed but unfortunately had to deal with from time to time.  They were done away with in the early 1990s.

Tim

ps There were special JPTS storage tanks at Killingholme and when a shipment was made then the fuel had to be kept moving between Killingholme and Sawtry.

sorry for the delay in responding but I am rarely on this site these days, too busy elsewhere.

Offline malcway

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #102 on: December 08, 2023, 16:32:35 pm »
Many thanks once again, Tim.  I do appreciate that normal people have lives away from the keyboard, so am just extremely grateful when they do manage to find time to help me out! 

I suspect the Stainless Steel feed to Alconbury might be a bit of a local myth, but as it WAS used elsewhere then I suppose it is possible.  Thanks to the archaeologists group in the Sawtry History Society I now know the route of the Misterton - Sandy pipeline as it passes Sawtry village to the PSD and from there through Alconbury Weston and Alconbury villages towards Sandy, and also the spur to the airfield, together with all surviving markers.

Have now finished your EXCELLENT book - a superb account and historical record of something most people know little about.


Offline Tim of Aclea

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Re: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)
« Reply #103 on: February 26, 2024, 10:45:14 am »
Thank you for your commendation of my book.  If you have any questions concerning the pipeline system then, as well as posting them on the website you could as well send me a private message that will appear in my emails.

best wishes

Tim