2017 API Pipeline Conference and Control Room Forum
API’s Pipeline Conference is the premier event of its kind in the U.S. Held every year in April, the conference provides attendees with an opportunity to hear about the latest in pipeline-related developments. Register now to attend the 2017 API Pipeline Conference and Control Room Forum which will be held in San Antonio, Texas, April 25, 2017 - April 27, 2017. See here for details and to register.
Safety and Environmental Award Program
Eligible pipeline companies will find the materials for the API awards program for hazardous liquid pipeline safety and environmental performance for the year 2015. All hazardous liquid pipeline operators that are members of API and/or AOPL may apply for the awards, so long as they meet the eligibility criteria. The awards program is managed and maintained by the API Pipeline Environment, Health and Safety Group.
The Excavation Damage Prevention (EDP) toolbox is a collection of damage prevention shared learnings and practices for onshore, hazardous liquid transmission pipeline operation. The learnings and practices outlined may be utilized by an operator as information to be considered when analyzing, reviewing and/or modifying existing procedures. It is not intended to be utilized as a recommended practice or basis for regulation.
See EDP Toolbox website.
AOPL/API: U.S. Liquids Pipeline Usage & Mileage Report (November 2015)
API-AOPL Comments on OQ Cost Recovery Accident and Incident Notification(September 8, 2015)
API-AOPL Joint Comments regarding National Pipeline Mapping System (November 25, 2015)
Where are the Pipelines?
More than 190,000 miles of liquid petroleum pipelines traverse the United States. They connect producing areas to refineries and chemical plants while delivering the products American consumers and businesses need. Pipelines are safe, efficient and, because most are buried, largely unseen. They move crude oil from oil fields on land and offshore to refineries where it is turned into fuels and other products, then from the refineries to terminals where fuels are trucked to retail outlets. Pipelines operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Natural Gas Pipelines
Natural gas is delivered directly to homes and businesses through local distribution lines from local distribution companies. Large distribution lines, called mains, move the gas close to cities. These main lines, along with the much smaller service lines that travel to homes and businesses account for the vast majority of the nation’s 2.4-million- mile underground pipeline system.
The pipeline industry has made a number of commitments to move towards their goal of zero incidents, from using the latest technologies, to creating recommended practices with regulators and forming industry work groups to share best practices. Pipeline operators are implementing integrity management programs to ensure their assets are maintained. These strategies include using in-line inspection tools, or “smart pigs,” to determine the condition of the pipeline. Smart pigs can detect corrosion, cracking or other defects in the pipe wall and are used to plan preventive maintenance. Operators also use this data to plan for future repairs.
Smart pigs aren’t the only tool used by the industry to ensure safety. Operators have invested financial resources to ensure their infrastructure is reliable, including spending over $2.2 billion in 2014 to evaluate, inspect and maintain pipelines. Pipeline companies finance research projects on various pipeline challenges, such as cracking, hydro-testing, and non-destructive examination. Some of this research is coordinated by the industry alone and additional work is completed by collaborating with pipeline regulatory agencies.
Learn more about additional pipeline initiatives to improve safety:
April is National Safe Digging Month! It's the time of year when the American Petroleum Institute encourages homeowners and professional excavators to call 811 and follow the safe digging process to help prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. Beneath America's cities and rural areas lies a complex network of pipelines, wires, conduits and cables. Some are buried only a few feet - or less - below the surface. Hitting these lines can damage them, disrupting service, resulting in costly repairs and possibly fines and even endangering lives. A federally-mandated national "Call Before You Dig" number, 811 was created to help protect you from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines while working on digging projects.
Pipeline operators have long realized the value of sharing information amongst each other, especially greater understanding obtained after an incident in order to improve pipeline safety.
In 2014, the liquid pipeline industry launched its Pipeline Safety Excellence(TM) initiative. It reflects the shared values and commitment we have to building and operating safe pipelines. One of those pipeline safety values is communicating with stakeholders. Pipeline operators are committed to sharing publicly the results of industry-wide safety performance.
NARUC and our colleagues at the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives are pleased to release an updated compendium of gas pipeline regulations around the country revealing that States implement stricter rules and laws than required by the federal government.
The nation’s more than 190,000 miles of petroleum transmission pipelines are the primary means of moving crude oil, gasoline, diesel fuel and other petroleum products to consumer markets.
Representing a broad cross section of major North American liquids pipeline operators, the API/AOPL Emergency Response Team (ERT) is responsible for implementing API/AOPL strategy to proactively enhance hazardous liquid pipeline emergency communications, planning, preparedness and response.
Pipeline Recommended Practices
Recommended practices can be purchased or read online.
The American Petroleum Institute has issued guidance to U.S. pipeline operators to improve public awareness of pipelines. The purpose of the guidelines, known as Recommended Practice 1162 or Public Awareness Programs for Pipeline Operators, is to reduce pipeline accidents, which are often attributable to digging by homeowners, contractors, and farmers. To see Recommended Practice 1162, 2nd Edition, please go to API's Incorporate by Reference (IBR) Reading Room and register. Proceed to the "Pipeline Operations" section and then access and read RP 1162, 2nd Edition online. If you wish to purchase, please order here.
API RP 1173 - Pipeline Safety Management Systems (SMS)
API RP 1173 provides guidance in developing or maintaining a safety management system. The list below highlights the elements of the system detailed in the RP, all of which are essential for a successful program:
- Leadership and Management Commitment
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Risk Management
- Operational Controls
- Incident Investigation, Evaluation, and Lessons Learned
- Safety Assurance
- Management Review and Continuous Improvement
- Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Competence, Awareness, and Training
- Documentation and Record Keeping
API RP 1175 - Leak Detection Program Management
API RP 1175 is an industry consensus document that provides a risk-based approach to managing a leak detection program, including developing a leak detection culture and strategy, selecting the appropriate leak detection system, and monitoring leak detection program performance. This RP also identifies Control Center procedures, training, and the roles and responsibilities of Control Center personnel, as well as identifying proper testing of equipment and alarms.
API RP 1176
API RP 1176 provides support to pipeline operators in appropriately assessing and managing cracking defects. Focus is given to selecting the most applicable assessment method considering the pipeline condition and the cracking features. Sections are also provided to detail the actions needed based on in-line inspection results received and to determine proper hydrostatic pressure test parameters. Additionally, the document gives guidance for planning, implementing, and improving a company’s crack management program.
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