Advisory Bulletin (ADB-05-08) – Hurricane Katrina and Transmission Pipelines
The Office of Pipeline Safety recently issued the following advisory bulletin. The full bulletin, with introductory language, is available on OPS’s website.
To: Owners and operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline systems.
Subject: Potential for damage to pipeline facilities caused by the passage of Hurricane Katrina.
Advisory: All operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent state waters are warned that pipeline safety problems may have been caused by the passage of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. PHMSA received numerous reports of damage to pipeline facilities, particularly offshore Louisiana. Pipeline operators are urged to take the following actions to ensure personal and environmental safety and the integrity of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines located in areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina:
- Identify persons who normally engage in shallow water commercial fishing, shrimping, and other marine vessel operations and caution them that underwater offshore pipelines may have become unprotected on the sea floor. Marine vessels operating in water depths comparable to a vessel’s draft or when operating bottom dragging equipment can be damaged and their crews endangered by an encounter with an underwater pipeline.
- Identify and caution marine vessel operators in offshore shipping lanes and other offshore areas where Hurricane Katrina may have affected a pipeline that deploying fishing nets or anchors, and dredging operations may damage the pipeline, their vessels, and endanger their crews.
- In the process of bringing offshore and inland transmission facilities back online, check for structural damage to piping, valves, emergency shutdown systems, risers and supporting systems. Aerial inspections of pipeline routes should be conducted to check for leaks in the transmission systems. In areas where floating and jack-up rigs have moved and their path could have been over the pipelines, review possible routes and check for sub-sea pipeline damage where required.
- Identify and correct any conditions on the pipeline as required by the Federal pipeline safety regulations.
PHMSA would appreciate receiving information about all damage to pipeline facilities in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent State waters caused by Hurricane Katrina. The Federal pipeline safety regulations require that operators report certain incidents and accidents to PHMSA by specific methods. Damage not reported by these methods may be reported to Joy Kadnar at (202) 366-0568 or email@example.com.