DOT Pipeline Compliance News

June 2017 Issue

In This Issue

Pipeline Pressure Testing Workshop: June 20 – 21, 2017

RCP is now offering a 2-day Pipeline Pressure Testing Workshop at its facilities in downtown Houston. The workshop will begin by outlining the objectives for performing a pressure test and how those relate to DOT requirements. The workshop will then build upon these foundations to answer many specific pressure testing questions including:

  • What are the different types of tests commonly conducted and how do you design each one?
  • What is the theory and physical science behind a pressure test?
  • How do you plan for a pressure test from start to finish:
    • Cleaning the line
    • Environmental hazards and permitting
    • Landowner and operations safety
    • Customer/stakeholder impact
    • Logistical details and scheduling
    • Pipeline modifications and anticipating failures
  • What is the required instrumentation and how does it need to be configured?
  • What data is absolutely necessary to validate a pressure test?
  • How do you determine and prove a successful pressure test?
  • What does a good test report look like (that will also satisfy PHMSA)?

Each attendee will receive the presentation as well as applicable handouts in a hardcopy notebook. Attendees will also have the opportunity to work through several exercises specifically covering 1) calculating the SMYS, MAOP and test pressures for various pipeline segments at various elevations 2) calculating the volume of water required for a hydrotest, fill times and velocities, and determining how the volume of test water changes with pressure and 3) designing a complete test plan for a hypothetical pipeline i.e. dividing the line into test sections and determining the test parameters for each section.

To register for our workshop, click here.

California Proposed Requirements for Underground Gas Storage Projects

Title 14, Chapter 4

On May 19th, the Department of Conservation (DOC) proposed new regulations to further enhance the safe operation of natural gas storage facilities in California. “We believe these will be seen as the most comprehensive and stringent regulations for underground gas storage in the nation,” said Ken Harris, who as State Oil and Gas Supervisor heads the DOC’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. The proposed regulations aim to prevent leaks and include stronger well construction standards and requirements for daily testing of wellheads. Once adopted, these regulations will supplant emergency rules adopted after the Southern California Gas Company natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon that ended in early 2016.

The proposed regulations build upon emergency regulations currently in place but are more comprehensive. They include a number of provisions aimed at proactively preventing leaks rather than responding to them. The broad objectives of the proposed regulations are to establish:

  • Well construction standards and mechanical integrity testing specifically for gas storage wells. This includes requirements to ensure that no one point of failure in a well can cause a leak.
  • Standards and specifications for risk management and emergency response plans for underground gas storage projects. Contingencies such as earthquakes, hazardous material spills, and explosions and fires must be considered.
  • Standards and specifications for project data requirements – including protocols for operators’ record retention and management – as well as the inspection, testing, and maintenance of wellheads and valves.
  • Monitoring and inspection requirements to ensure early detection of any indication of integrity concerns. This includes continuing practices required under the emergency regulations, such as the use of infrared imaging to spot leaks and daily inspections of gas storage wellheads.
  • Protocols for the decommissioning of an underground gas storage project.

The public comment period will run through 5 p.m. on July 13 and include two public hearings. Comments on the draft regulations can be sent via email. The first public hearing will be held 4-7 p.m. on July 10 at the Natural Resources Agency auditorium, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento. The second hearing will be conducted 1-4 p.m. July 12 at the Ronald Reagan State Building, 300 South Spring Street, Los Angeles.

For a copy of the proposed California Underground Gas Storage regulations, contact Jessica Foley.

Underground Gas Storage Compliance

How does RCP deliver a comprehensive solution for natural gas storage operational integrity assurance?

Experienced Resources
  • Highly respected underground storage & risk management SME’s (the past Chair of PRCI’s and AGA’s underground storage committees is on our staff)
  • Professional engineering support
  • Written program development / improvement from knowledgeable technical standards developers (Our lead technical writer was the editor for the API RP1170 development team.)
State-Of-The-Art Tools (TaskOp™)
  • Program gap assessment and corrective action tracking
  • Storage risk assessment
  • Integrity assessment and remediation process tracking

For more information regarding our capabilities or to request an online demonstration of our TaskOp™ underground gas storage solution, visit our website or contact Jessica Foley.

Summer 2017 Pipeline Conference Schedule

Have you registered and confirmed your reservations for these upcoming conferences? RCP will be attending the following conferences. We hope to see you there!

ILTA’s 2017 International Operating Conference & Trade Show
June 12-14, 2017
George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas

The International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA) annual international operating conference and trade show offers unparalleled opportunities for terminal professionals. It brings together more than 4,000 people from across the U.S. and around the world to learn, network, and share best practices. The conference features in-depth presentations by industry experts who provide insight on effective solutions for improving terminal operations. The trade show offers the latest in products, services and technologies that terminals need to stay competitive.

Make plans to attend and visit RCP’s Booth #481 to learn how TaskOp™ can keep your terminal on track. TaskOp is a web-based, modular system, capable of handling implementations from basic work orders through complex, asset-driven compliance and training management solutions.

LGA Pipeline Safety Conference
July 10-14, 2017
Astor Crowne Plaza / New Orleans, LA

RCP is once again a proud sponsor and exhibitor at this year’s conference, which has been referred to as the “Premier Pipeline Safety Conference.” We are excited to showcase our newest development (TestOp Plus) and all our services for Pressure Test support. Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

SGA Operating Conference & Exhibits
July 17-19, 2017
Hilton Downtown Atlanta

The Operating Conference format is focused round table discussion. Attendees learn smart practices and lessons learned from their peers with 22 concurrent facilitated sessions to choose from. Make plans to visit the exhibit hall showcasing the latest products and services available to the industry.

Western Regional Gas Conference (WRGC)
August 29-30, 2017
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay in San Diego, CA

Who should attend? Regulatory and Code Compliance personnel, Gas Engineers, Pipeline Construction Supervisors, Technical and Standards Engineers/writers, Customer Service Supervisors, Measurement and Control personnel, Damage Prevention personnel, Integrity Management managers, Gas Control supervisors, operations and engineering personnel.

RCP’s Subject Matter Expert will be giving a presentation on Underground Storage: Developing a Comprehensive Underground Storage Integrity Management Plan, on Tuesday, August 29th, from 1:30 -2:15 pm. Click here for the preliminary conference agenda.

Pressure Testing Webinar – Advantages of Using TestOp®

RCP will be hosting webinar presentations to discuss pipeline pressure testing practices and demonstrate the advantages of utilizing new technology for planning, designing, and capturing real-time data to validate and document whether it was a successful test. The same technology that RCP has used for the past six years to validate our customer’s pressure tests has been greatly enhanced and is now being made available as a web-hosted solution for operators to use themselves.

TestOp® takes the confusion out of pressure testing by providing real-time determination of whether the test segment is experiencing potential issues, such as yielding or air entrapment volume absorption, all while modeling the mass balance relationship of pressures, volumes and temperatures of the test. TestOp® will provide real-time indicators and corresponding data to confirm whether the test is successfully performing to plan or if there might be a small pin-hole leak that would otherwise go undetected before taking the line segment off test. TestOp® generates comprehensive and consistent reports, including a certification letter, pressure test plan versus actual test results, pressure/spike test log, test instrument and pump calibrations, pipe volume calculations sheet, stress/strain and pressure/volume plots as well as upload capability for pictures and other document scans associated with the test.

We encourage any liquid or gas pipeline operator who has upcoming projects that involve replacement, integrity verification, new construction, uprates, conversions and/or reversals to sign up for the 45 minute webinar. Some of the largest and most respected pipeline operators are now using TestOp® because they see the value it brings to their overall pipeline integrity assurance program and we are confident you will too once you have seen it in person.

Mark your calendar and plan to attend one of these sessions or request an individual demonstration for your company at a date convenient to you.

Industry Workshops

API Liquids Pipeline Safety Management System (PSMS) Conformance Workshop
June 13, 2017
Hyatt Regency Houston Galleria

The organizers of the 2017 API Liquids PSMS Conformance Workshop are pleased to announce that the Workshop is open to all interested parties and therefore, not limited to operating companies only.

AGA Transmission Integrity Management Workshop
June 13-14, 2017
Omni Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA

This workshop will feature presentations and case studies from pipeline operators, regulators and service providers. Presentation and discussion areas will highlight where transmission pipeline operators can continue to enhance current integrity management activities in light of proposed federal rulemakings. Regulators, pipeline operators, and service providers are all invited to participate in this forum. RCP’s Vice President, Chris Foley, will be speaking on June 14th at 1:00 p.m. on “Lessons Learned on In-Service Hydrostatic Pressure Test.”

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our services with you.

Best regards,

Bill Byrd signature
W. R. (Bill) Byrd, PE
RCP Inc.