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Colorado Petroleum Council supports new flowline safety rulemaking

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DENVER, February 13, 2018 – The Colorado Petroleum Council said it supports the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) rulemaking that will strengthen the commission’s infrastructure flowline regulations and update the 811 "one-call" safety program. The 811 program gives property owners one number to call to notify all utilities operating in an area to come mark their submerged lines prior to commencing any digging operations.

"We are committed to continuous improvement in performance and safety, with an ultimate goal of zero incidents," said Colorado Petroleum Council Executive Director Tracee Bentley. “By strengthening these rules, Colorado will have the most stringent flowline safety regulations in the country; while at the same time promoting the importance of following a safe digging process to homeowners and professional excavators.”

The new regulations are comprehensive and cover every kind of flowline in use throughout Colorado, ensuring safe design and construction while also setting integrity testing requirements tailored to the different kinds of flowlines. Operators’ efforts to promote public awareness will follow the strategic objective in the American Petroleum Institute’s 2017-2019 Pipeline Safety Excellence Strategic Plan and 2016 Performance Report to “promote innovative approaches to enhancing damage prevention.” The report details that initiative and industry’s acknowledgement of areas for improvement and where challenges remain; highlights the public benefits of pipelines; and explains the extensive protections taken by pipeline operators to protect the public and the environment.

“The oil and natural gas industry will continue to invest in the latest technologies to help drive advances in pipeline safety technology, strengthen emergency preparedness and response planning, and encourage the adoption of holistic pipeline safety management systems,” said Bentley. “Innovation in the pursuit of safety benefits our work force and protects the communities and the environments in which we operate.

“As called for by the Commission, CPC and its members will participate in a stakeholder group to evaluate technologies to locate older flowlines and detect leaks from underground flowlines. We look forward to working with the Commission staff, local governments, and landowners as part of this process.”

The Colorado Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.