Business News

March 2017

PHMSA Boosts Safety Requirements to Strengthen Operation, Maintenance and Inspection of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

 

Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez, head of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced that she signed a long-awaited rulemaking package that makes critical safety improvements for hazardous liquid pipelines. The signing of the final rule for the safety of onshore hazardous liquid pipelines completes one of the agency’s top priority rulemakings for 2016.

The nation contains close to 200,000 miles of hazardous liquid pipelines operating near local communities and treasured landscapes, and crossing major bodies of water, including rivers. The rule signed today strengthens the standards that determine how operators repair aging and high-risk infrastructure, increases the quality and frequency of tests that assess the condition of pipelines, and extends leak detection the requirements to onshore, non-HCA transmission hazardous liquid pipelines.

The rule includes an increased focus on a data and risk informed approach to pipeline safety by requiring operators to integrate available data, including data on the operating environment, pipeline condition, and known manufacturing and construction defects. The rule requires pipeline operators to have a system for detecting leaks and to establish a timeline for inspecting affected pipelines following an extreme weather event or natural disaster. The inspections will allow operators to quickly identify damage to pipelines and make appropriate remediations.

The rule also requires operators to annually evaluate the protective measures they are already required to implement on pipeline segments that operate in High Consequence Areas (HCA) where pipeline failures have the highest potential for human or environmental damage, and implement additional measures as necessary. In addition, the rule sets a deadline for operators to use internal inspection tools where possible for any new and replaced pipeline that could affect an HCA. The rule also improves the quality and frequency of tests used to assess threats and the condition of pipelines.

Furthermore, the rule updates repair criteria under PHMSA’s risk-based management framework by expanding the list of conditions that require immediate repair.

New Polyethylene Pipeline Integrity Testing Service Launches in North America

 

TWI has partnered with TEAM QUALSPEC to provide the PolyTest™ service to the North American market.

PolyTest™ is a new field inspection system specifically designed for volumetric non-destructive testing of butt fusion and electrofusion joints in polyethylene (PE) pipes. It has been used in a wide range of pipeline industries including gas, water, offshore oil, mining and nuclear – since it was developed by TWI, one of the world’s foremost, independent, research and technology organisations – with the support of NYSEARCH, a collaborative RD & D sub-organisation of the Northeast Gas Association.

PolyTest™ is supported by procedures to enable detection of all types of flaw that can occur in PE pipe joints, including planar flaws, particulate contamination and cold fusions. It is backed up by extensive performance testing to determine the acceptance criteria that should be applied.

The self-contained system is fully portable allowing in-trench inspections, and incorporates a simple scanner to accommodate pipes with outside diameters from 4-40 inches and wall thickness from 0.3-2.5 inches. It can also be adapted for pipes outside these ranges. After the joints have been inspected the system generates the results, providing a permanent record of joint integrity.

SoCalGas Uses Fiber Optic Technology to Monitor Pipelines in Real Time

Southern California Gas Co. announced the company will be one of the first natural gas utilities in the United States to incorporate innovative fiber optic cable technology to detect impacts and leaks along its transmission and high-pressure pipeline system.

The technology uses fiber optic strands to transmit data across long distances, and can send early warning of pressure changes or vibrations that could indicate a leak or an impact to the gas line. The technology quickly detects when abnormal stress, movement or temperature conditions are present. Continuous monitoring and measurement will help the company quickly identify threats to a pipeline from heavy equipment operation, unexpected earth movement, or physical impact. When a threat is identified, information will be sent within seconds along the fiber cable to a remote monitoring station. The system can pinpoint where a potential problem may be developing within 20 feet.

The system can prevent pipeline damage from unauthorized construction work, geologic conditions or other physical changes like structural stress from broken water mains. It can also detect pipeline leaks through both sound and temperature signal analysis. Access to immediate and area-specific data will give SoCalGas crews and first responders more time to plan, allocate resources, and take effective actions to mitigate leaks or potential leaks.

The system works on the principle that light signals vary when a fiber optic cable is exposed to vibration, stress or an abnormal change in temperature. The advanced technology helps operators interpret these signal changes and determine the type of threat posed and the precise location along the continuous length of cable. In some cases, operators will be able to distinguish hand digging and routine traffic from heavy equipment use near the pipeline.

Incorporating fiber optics into its operations is part of SoCalGas’ long-standing commitment to enhancing the safety and reliability of its more than 101,000 miles of natural gas pipelines.

Cisarik elected chairman of Texas Pipeline Association

James A. Cisarik, Enterprise Products Holdings LLC’s senior vice president of government affairs and public relations, has been elected chairman of the Texas Pipeline Association (TPA). TPA is the largest state trade association in the country that solely represents the interests of the intrastate pipeline network. The association made the announcement at its annual meeting, held at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel in downtown Houston.

From February 2003 to January 2014, Cisarik served as a senior vice president of Enterprise, where he had primary responsibility for the oversight of the company’s intrastate natural gas pipelines and projects derived from LNG and other natural gas business development. Prior to joining Enterprise, Cisarik was a senior vice president of Coral Energy LLC, and from 1997 to February 1999 was vice president, market development of Tejas Energy LLC. He graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor of business administration degree in petroleum land management.

Obituary

 

Charles F. James, 84, of Mountain Home passed away Saturday, January 7, 2017 in Mountain Home. He was born in Holly Springs, AR to Bill and Amy (Higgison) James on March 6, 1932. He grew up in Thornton, AR, where he spent a lot of time with grandparents D.E. and Arminda James and uncle Gurt and aunt Jewel James. Charles went into the Navy at 16 and served in the Korean War. He returned to Arkansas six years later. He began pipelining as a laborer with R. H. Fulton and Michael Curran and Co’s, traveling all over the United States. Charles retired in 1987 as president of Tulsa Houston Pipeline Co.

Charlie married Mary (Gorman) in Sturgis, SD and they moved to Mountain Home in 1964, using it as their home base. He loved the outdoors. Charles spent most of his time hunting, fishing and fixing things with his grandchildren at his barn or farm in Viola. He killed his last deer in early December.

He is survived by his wife Mary; sister Laura Reed; children John (Maureen) James, Susan (Andrew) Fraser and Laura (Arnold) Knox; nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren.