In the oil and gas industry (especially in the downstream and upstream), we recognize 3 types of piping system, i.e. Process plant piping system, non-process plant Piping system and Utility piping system. The process Plant piping system is sometimes referred to as process piping. As the name suggests, this piping system is closely related to the reaction process inside the plant that processes raw materials into ready-to-sell materials. For example, in Ammonia Plant, the raw material is natural gas and the product is an ammonia liquid with a temperature of -33 deg C. Process piping is very closely related to the product of a plant, not just as a support facility.
Nonprocess plant piping system is a piping system that is not directly related to the final product of the plant or piping system that serves as a supporter of a more important system. For example is a piping system in high rise building. In this case, the piping is just a supporter of a building.
Utility piping system is piping system related to the utility in a plant. For example in an ammonia plant, we have a utility such as steam system, cooling water system, nitrogen system and air system. Steam system is used to move or rotate the turbine on the compressor or centrifugal pump. A cooling water system is used to cool equipment such as Heat exchanger. Nitrogen system is used for cleaning-people in the field call it “purging” – or to protect a chemical from the air (oxygen). While the air system is used to drive instrumentation such as a control valve. The piping system used for the utility we call it as piping utility system.
The Piping Engineering Department in an EPC project is tasked with designing and analyzing the piping system and utility system.