News & Resources
Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management Conference and Exhibition (PPIM)
February 17 - 20, 2020 (Houston, TX)
This annual conference will take place in Houston, TX on February 17-20, 2020. PPIM is the pipeline industry’s only forum devoted exclusively to pigging for maintenance and inspection, as well as integrity evaluation and repair. The event will draw engineering management and field operating personnel from both transmission and distribution companies concerned with improved operations and integrity management. In 2020, the conference will celebrate its 32nd anniversary, following its establishment in 1989. To register click here.
PRCI opens Call for Papers
March 3-4, 2020
PRCI will host its annual Research Exchange Meeting in California on March 3-4, 2020 and is inviting submissions from both operators and researchers. Papers should demonstrate the beneficial application of PRCI research into operational processes, procedures and personnel. Abstracts are sought for multiple thematic tracks, including corrosion, emerging fuels, integrity and inspection, remote monitoring, subsea pipelines and more. The deadline for abstract submission is 31 July 2019. To register click here.
International Pipeline Conference (IPC 2020)
Monday, September 28 - Friday, October 2, 2020 (Calgary, Alberta)
IPC 2020 will take place from Monday, September 28 - Friday, October 2, 2020. Members of the pipeline industry from around the world will gather in Calgary for the 13th International Pipeline Conference. Organized by volunteers representing international energy corporations, energy and pipeline associations and regulatory agencies, the IPC has become internationally renowned as the world's premier pipeline conference. This is a not-for-profit conference and proceeds continue to support educational initiatives and research in the pipeline industry. To register click here.
Common Ground Alliance Excavation Safety Conference & Expo
March 24-28, 2020 (Palm Springs, CA)
The CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo will be held March 24-28, 2020 in Palm Springs, CA, and is an annual event dedicated to providing educational content about protecting buried assets. This conference includes hands-on workshops, demonstrations, and educational presentations by industry specialists. For more information, click here.
Latest News and Rulemakings
PHMSA Pipeline Safety: Plastic Pipe Rule
PHMSA is amending the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations that govern the use of plastic piping systems in the transportation of natural and other gas. These amendments are necessary to enhance pipeline safety, adopt innovative technologies and best practices, and respond to petitions from stakeholders. The changes include increasing the design factor of polyethylene pipe; increasing the maximum pressure and diameter for Polyamide-11 pipe and components; allowing the use of Polyamide-12 pipe and components; new standards for risers, more stringent standards for plastic fittings and joints; stronger mechanical fitting requirements; the incorporation by reference of certain new or updated consensus standards for pipe, fittings, and other components; the qualification of procedures and personnel for joining plastic pipe; the installation of plastic pipe; and a number of general provisions.
PHMSA Pipeline Safety: Underground Natural Gas Storage
On December 19, 2016, PHMSA published in the Federal Register an interim final rule (IFR) that revises the Federal pipeline safety regulations to address critical safety issues related to downhole facilities, including wells, wellbore tubing, and casing, at underground natural gas storage facilities. This IFR responds to Section 12 of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016, which was enacted following the serious natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon facility in California on October 23, 2015. This IFR incorporates by reference two American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practices (RP): (1) API RP 1170, "Design and Operation of Solution-mined Salt Caverns used for Natural Gas Storage," issued in July 2015, and (2) API RP 1171, "Functional Integrity of Natural Gas Storage in Depleted Hydrocarbon Reservoirs and Aquifer Reservoirs," issued in September 2015.
Overview of Pipeline Safety Regulations
The rules governing pipeline safety are included in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 190-199. Individual states may have additional or more stringent pipeline safety regulations.
describes the procedures used by PHMSA in carrying out its regulatory duties. This part authorizes PHMSA to inspect pipelines and describes the procedures by which PHMSA can enforce the regulations. This part also describes the legal rights and options that the operating companies have in response to PHMSA enforcement actions.
describes requirements on operators of gas pipelines (including gas gathering, transmission, and distribution systems) for reporting of incidents, safety-related conditions, and annual summary data.
prescribes a wide variety of minimum safety requirements for gas pipelines. These regulations contain sections applicable to gas gathering, transmission, and distribution lines.
addresses safety standards for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.
contains requirements for oil spill response plans. This part is intended to reduce the environmental impact of oil discharged from onshore oil pipelines.
prescribes the safety standards and reporting requirements for oil and carbon dioxide pipelines. As with the gas regulations, these regulations include detailed requirements on a broad spectrum of areas related to the safety and environmental protection of hazardous liquid pipelines. Part 195 also includes minimum requirements for operator qualification of individuals performing tasks required by the regulations.
prescribes regulations for protection of underground pipelines from excavation activity.
is currently reserved for future use.
prescribes regulations governing grants-in-aid for State pipeline safety compliance programs.
requires operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines to establish programs for preventing alcohol misuse and to test employees for the presence of alcohol and prohibited drugs and provides the procedures and conditions for this testing.
Damage prevention technology
August 3, 2017
On August 3, pursuant to section 8 of the PIPES Act, PHMSA transmitted to Congress a Study on Improving Damage Prevention Technology providing results of its study on improving existing damage prevention programs through technological improvements. The report concludes that, despite the efforts of PHMSA and other stakeholder groups, and although the number of serious accidents caused by excavation damage is declining, it remains a leading cause of serious pipeline accidents. The report sets forth a number of recommendations to reduce the threat of excavation damage. The report’s Appendices include a summary of recent PHMSA-supported R&D projects, a report on damage prevention by the Common Ground Alliance, and materials from other industry stakeholders. Read the report here.
PHMSA Final Rule – Expanding the requirement for installation of Excess Flow Valves (EFVs)
Docket No. PHMSA 2016-24817
On October 14, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published its final rule to makes changes to part 192 expanding the requirement to include new or replaced branched service lines servicing single family residences, multifamily residences, and small commercial entities consuming gas volumes not exceeding 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet per Hour (SCFH). PHMSA is also amending part 192 to require the use of either manual service line shut-off valves (e.g., curb valves) or EFVs, if appropriate, for new or replaced service lines with meter capacities exceeding 1,000 SCFH. Lastly, this final rule requires operators to notify customers of their right to request installation of an EFV on service lines that are not being newly installed or replaced. This final rule is effective April 14, 2017.