PNGRB issues draft pipeline integrity management system regulation
India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has issued the draft of a new pipeline regulation.
The Draft Regulation on Integrity Management System for Natural Gas Pipelines 2012 outlines the basic features and requirements for developing and implementing an effective and efficient integrity management plan for a natural gas pipeline system.
The regulation is intended to:Article continues below…
- Evaluate the risk associated with natural gas pipelines and effectively allocate resources for prevention, detection and mitigation activities;
- Improve the safety of natural gas pipelines so as to protect personnel, property, the public and the environment; and,
- Promote streamlined and effective operations to minimise the probability of a natural gas pipeline failure.
At the time of writing, the PNGRB was seeking public comment on the draft. The draft can be viewed at www.pngrb.gov.in
PHMSA addresses excavation damage prevention for pipelines
The United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has proposed new procedures to strengthen excavation damage prevention programmes and increase penalties for violators.
According to the DOT, excavation activities accounted for more than 25 per cent of fatalities resulting from pipeline failures in the US between 2002 and 2011, with excavation damage continuing to be a leading cause of all US pipeline failures.
The proposed rule will encourage states to strengthen their excavation damage prevention enforcement programmes, provide more protection for underground pipelines, and allow for federal enforcement against violators in cases where state enforcement may not occur.
Specifically, it would revise and strengthen the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations by establishing:
- Criteria and an administrative process to determine the adequacy of a state’s excavation damage prevention law enforcement programme;
- Federal requirements that PHMSA will enforce against excavators in states determined to have inadequate damage prevention enforcement programmes; and,
- An enforcement process to impose federal fines and penalties for violations.
These new procedures would also address a congressional directive requiring PHMSA to establish procedures to evaluate state damage prevention enforcement programmes.
APIA makes headway on pipeline safety
The Australian Pipeline Industry Association (APIA) has drafted updates to AS2885.0 and AS2885.1, which respectively relate to the general requirements, and the design and construction of gas and liquid petroleum pipelines.
The AS2885 is an Australian standard relating to the design, construction, testing, operations, and maintenance of gas and petroleum pipelines that operate at pressures in excess of 1,050 kPa.
APIA has now made the draft updates available for public viewing and comment.
In addition, the Australian state of Queensland has amended its legislation to reflect the APIA Code of Practice for Upstream Polyethylene Gathering Networks, a document that was developed and launched in May 2011 to improve safety and promote best practice in polyethylene pipe installation.
Canada outlines responsible resource development plan
The Canadian Minister for Natural Resources Joe Oliver has announced the Federal Government’s plan for responsible resource development, as part of its Economic Action Plan 2012.
Amongst other plans, the Federal Government aims to create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity by:
- Providing more than $US13.5 million over two years to strengthen pipeline safety, including regulations to strengthen the tanker safety regime and increasing the number of oil and gas pipeline inspections each year by 50 per cent, from 100 to 150 inspections;
- Setting timelines for hearings and assessments – 24 months for panel reviews, 18 months for National Energy Board hearings and 12 months for standard environmental assessments;
- Consolidating the number of organisations responsible for reviews from more than 40 to three – the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the National Energy Board, and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission;
- For the first time, introducing enforceable environmental assessment decision statements under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. This means proponents of major projects will have to comply with conditions set out in the decision statements or may face tough financial penalties; and
- For the first time, providing federal inspectors with the authority to examine whether or not conditions of a decision statement are met.