North American Oil & Gas Pipelines

NOV-DEC 2018

North American Oil & Gas Pipelines covers the news shaping the business of oil and gas pipeline construction and maintenance in North America, including pipeline installation methods, integrity management innovations and managerial strategies.

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8 North American Oil & Gas Pipelines | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2 018 T he Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA) is calling for the federal government and the pipeline industry to work together to establish a pipeline safety test fa- cility in the United States. "Other U.S. transportation sectors systematically improve safety through government-supported research facilities," said FOSA chairman Mike Hines, of OFS. "The Federal Avia- tion Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Feder- al Highway Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and others have facilities for validation of new technologies and techniques, but no such facility exists for pipelines. A comprehensive pipeline test facility operat- ing under real-world conditions would benefit the industry, government regulators, and the public." "Pipeline operators are constantly working to deploy new safety technologies," Mark Uncapher, FOSA director said. "But when it comes to testing the technologies on active pipelines, there are limitations. Bringing advanced pipeline monitoring technologies more quickly into service can help address the public's safety concerns." To determine industry interest, FOSA interviewed safety officials with numerous pipeline operators. "Based on the operators' input, we believe what's needed is a buried 'flow-loop' pipeline with engineered, controllable orifices to emulate leaking pipes under real-world environ- mental conditions," said Dr. Chris Minto, of OptaSense, the FOSA Technology Committee chair. "Furthermore, water and compressed air could serve as proxies to oil and natu- ral gas to manage safety and environmental concerns when creating temporary leak on this test platform to validate leak detection technologies." The facility also would be used to address the question of retrofitting new safety technologies to previously installed pipelines. According to Uncapher, a pipeline test facility would also help regulators do their jobs. "Increasingly, pipeline regu- lators are expected to explore technology solutions. With a facility of this nature, they would have a place to do that, and sooner, helping the public benefit from such technolo- gies more quickly." FOSA's concept diagram (shown at the top of this post) anticipates the testing of both internal and external safety technology, the incorporation of "noisy" environments such as highways, and the use of different soil types at different locations along the test pipeline. As a next step, FOSA suggests that government and indus- try work together on an engineering study of the proposed facility. "Bottom line, we think a facility of this nature will help reduce pipeline incidents," Hines said. "That's the goal of both pipeline operators and technology companies. We look forward to working with interested parties to make this a re- ality." Formed in 2017, FOSA's mission is to educate industry, government and the public on the benefits of fiber optic sensing. FOSA Members include Adelos, AFL, AP Sensing, Asym- metric Technologies, Corning, Ditch Witch, Dura-Line, Em- erson, Fotech Solutions, Frauscher Sensor Technology USA, Hifi Engineering, Network Integrity Systems, NKT Photonics, OFS, Omnisens, OptaSense, OZ Optics, Prysmian Group and Smartpipe Technologies. North America News Fiber Optic Sensing Association Calls for U.S. Pipeline Safety Test Facility INGAA Board Elects Enbridge Executive Vice President Bill Yardley as Chairman T he board of directors of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) elected William "Bill" Yardley as chairman on Oct. 23 for a one-year term effective through October 2019. Yardley is executive vice president of Enbridge and president of Enbridge's gas transmission and midstream group. "During a period of both great challenges and great opportunities for the natural gas transmission industry, Bill is well qualified to lead INGAA in promoting pipelines as the in- dispensable link needed to translate our energy abundance into economic prosperity," said INGAA president and CEO Don Santa. Yardley's priorities as INGAA chairman include: • Promoting the benefits of natural gas infrastructure to policymakers and key influencers. • Supporting policies that build public confidence in the safety, reliability and resiliency of natural gas pipelines. • Encouraging regulatory reforms that ensure the predictability and efficiency of the pipeline permitting process.

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