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  1. PHMSA issues final rule aimed at improving liquids pipeline safety

    The US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration completed one of its top priority rulemakings for 2016 as Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez signed long-awaited safety requirements for onshore hazardous materials pipelines. The final rule makes critical safety improvements, PHMSA said. An American Petroleum Institute official said it still falls short of what is needed. “This is a forward-looking rule. It pushes operators to invest in increased data capabilities, to continuously improve their processes to assess and mitigate risk, and strengthens our framework for strong prescriptive regulations,” Dominguez said. PHMSA said in its announcement that the final rule: • Includes an increased focus on a data and risk-informed approach to pipeline safety by requiring operators to integrate available information, including data on the operating environment, pipeline condition, and known manufacturing and construction defects. • 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. • Requires operators to evaluate protective measures annually that 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 where they are necessary. • Sets a deadline for operators to use internal inspection tools where possible for any new and replaced pipeline that could affect an HCA. • Improves the quality and frequency of tests used to assess threats and the condition of pipelines. • Updates repair criteria under PHMSA’s risk-based management framework by expanding the list of conditions that require immediate repairs. PHMSA said the US contains nearly 200,000 miles of hazardous liquid pipelines operating near local communities and treasured landscapes, and crossing major bodies of water, including rivers. The new final rule 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, it said. “Pipelines are extremely safe and 99.999% of the product reaches its destination without incident, but we’re not satisfied until 100% of our product reaches its destination without incident,” API Midstream Group Director Robin Rorick said. Rorick said API and PHMSA share the same objective of safe liquids pipeline operations, but expressed concern that the new requirements—while an improvement over previous versions—potentially could decrease, instead of improve, pipeline safety. “The agency’s ‘one size fits all’ approach in portions of the final pipeline rule creates situations where industry will be forced to redirect its attention away from areas that present higher risks to those that are lower in risk,” Rorick said. “Pipeline operators work diligently and spend billions of dollars every year to construct, operate, and maintain their facilities in a safe and reliable manner,” Rorick said. “It makes little sense to issue a rule that at times inhibits or weakens an operator’s ability to do that.” Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com .

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 16 Jan 2017

  2. New PHMSA rule requires faster pipeline accident notification

    The US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a final rule laying out a specific timeframe for electronic or telephone notifications of pipeline accidents.

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    Mon, 23 Jan 2017

  3. PHMSA to issue gas pipeline safety rules soon, House panel told

    The US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration expects to issue natural gas pipeline safety rules in the next few weeks now that its proposals have completed a White House Office of Management and Budget review, PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez told a US House Energy and ...

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    Tue, 1 Mar 2016

  4. Upstream independents protest PHMSA ’s proposal for gathering lines

    Independent oil and gas producers are asking the US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to not begin regulating gathering and production lines as part of the US Department of Transportation agency’s latest proposed pipeline safety rules. PHMSA failed to comply with a congressional ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 13 Jul 2016

  1. PHMSA working to address gas storage problems, administrator says

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    Tue, 3 May 2016

  2. DOE, PHMSA jointly launch interagency gas storage safety task force

    The US Department of Energy and US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration jointly launched an interagency task force to examine natural gas storage safety, DOE Undersecretary Lynn Orr and PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez jointly announced.

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    Mon, 4 Apr 2016

  3. PHMSA issues CAO to Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. following ND leak

    The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a corrective action order to Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. in Casper, Wyo., following a Dec. 5 crude oil leak on one of its pipelines in North Dakota.

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    Thu, 22 Dec 2016

  4. PHMSA issues interim final rule to address gas storage issues

    The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued an interim final rule (IFR) that aims to address issues related to underground natural gas storage facilities downhole facilities, including well integrity, wellbore tubing, and casing.

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 14 Dec 2016

  5. Groups list concerns with proposed PHMSA hazardous liquids rules

    The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ( PHMSA ) proposed hazardous liquids pipeline management requirements are a laudable step in some ways, but could create problems and needless duplication in others, according to four national oil and gas associations in three separate ...

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    Mon, 11 Jan 2016

  6. Partnerships are essential for success, new PHMSA administrator says

    Partnerships with pipeline owner-operators, state and local governments, and Congress will be critical as the US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ( PHMSA ) strives to be a more effective regulator amid rapid change, its new administrator told a US Senate Commerce, Science, and ...

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    Mon, 21 Sep 2015

  7. PHMSA fines ExxonMobil Pipeline $2.6 million for 2013 Arkansas leak

    The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ( PHMSA ) fined ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. more than $2.6 million in connection with the 2013 rupture causing a crude-oil leak from its Pegasus Pipeline near Mayflower, Ark.

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    Fri, 2 Oct 2015

  8. PHMSA orders Colonial to shut Line No. 1 down, prepare restart plan

    The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ordered Colonial Pipeline Co., Alpharetta, Ga., to shut down a segment of its Line No. 1 near Helena, Ala., a week after a gasoline leak was detected there. The US Department of Transportation agency’s Sept. 16 corrective action order ...

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    Mon, 19 Sep 2016

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