DOT Pipeline Compliance News

March 2018 Issue

In This Issue

PHMSA Issues Notice for Comments on Operator Information Collection Requirements

[Docket No. PHMSA-2018-0008]

PHMSA issued a notice and request for comments on the renewal of an information collection that requires owners and operators of gas pipelines to maintain records, make reports and provide information to the Secretary of Transportation at the Secretary’s request. The existing information collection expires April 30, 2018. Submit comments by April 13, 2018, via the E-Gov website. Identify the docket number, PHMSA–2018–0008, at the beginning of your comments. For a copy of PHMSA’s Notice, contact Jessica Foley.

PHMSA Changes Operator Reports Website Page for Forms and Instructions

Recently, the PHMSA website display of forms and instructions for operator reports has changed. There used to be 24 webpages – one for each form and one for each instruction. Now, there is one page with a zip file containing current and historical forms/instructions for all 12 reports. If you have a bookmark/favorite for any of the old 24 webpages, they will not work.

The new link is

Please share this information with anyone in your organization that may be interested.

Colorado Flowline Rulemaking

[Docket No. 171200767]

The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) unanimously adopted new regulations covering flowlines and related oil and gas systems. The rules are intended to prevent a repeat of the April 2017 explosion that killed two people and destroyed a house in the town of Firestone, about 30 miles north of Denver. These regulations require compliance by May 1, 2018 for new pipelines and October 2019 for existing pipelines.

This comprehensive rulemaking sets requirements for registering, installing, testing and shutting down flow lines, which carry oil and gas from wells to nearby equipment. In addition, Operators are also required to become Tier One members of the Utility Notification Center of Colorado (UNCC) and participate in Colorado’s One Call notification system. In addition to new/amended definitions, reports and registration, there are 5 general areas of updated rulemaking:

  • Registration
  • Pipeline Standards (Rule 1102)
  • Special Regulations for Valves (Rule 1103)
  • Integrity Management (Rule 1104)
  • Abandonment (Rule 1105)

Operators should be aware of regulation changes that could require previously exempt pipelines to comply with integrity management testing including annual pressure testing for off-location flowlines and pressure tested every 3 years for on location lines.

For a copy of COGCC’s Flowline regulations, contact Jessica Foley.

Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee Meeting

There will be a public meeting of the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee, also known as the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC). The GPAC will meet to continue discussing topics and provisions for the proposed rule titled “Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines.” The committee will meet on:

  • Monday, March 26, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and
  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.

The meeting location, agenda and any additional information will be published on the pipeline advisory committee meeting and registration page. Members of the public who wish to participate are asked to register no later than March 16, 2018.

Voluntary Information-Sharing System (VIS) Meeting Notice

The Voluntary Information-sharing System (VIS) working group will convene to discuss and identify recommendations to establish a voluntary information-sharing system. The meeting will be held on April 5, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Registration and meeting information can be found on the VIS website. Members of the public who wish to attend in person should register no later than March 30, 2018.

2018 Industry Conference Schedule

July 22 – 25, 2018
Hilton Portland Downtown
Portland, OR

The American Public Gas Association (APGA) Annual Conference is the largest gathering of municipal natural gas professionals across the nation. From the educational sessions with key industry figures generating new ideas to networking opportunities with hundreds of colleagues from across the nation, the APGA Annual Conference is the event of the year for city- and community-owned natural gas utility professionals and industry experts.

July 30 – August 1, 2018
Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
Tampa, Florida

The SGA Operating Conference format is a focused round table discussion. Attendees learn smart practices and lessons learned from their peers with 22 concurrent facilitated sessions to choose from. Breakout sessions with presentations from subject matter experts open the conference following the keynote address. Make plans to visit the exhibit hall, which will include over 100 services and product service organizations showcasing the latest products and services available to the industry.

July 30 – August 3, 2018
Astor Crowne Plaza, New Orleans

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 developments and all our services for Pressure Test support.

August 28 – 29, 2018
(Note: Updated conference dates!)
M Resort in Henderson, Nevada

The Western Regional Gas Conference provides a forum for the free exchange of information between natural gas companies and their state and federal regulators, and with associated industry organizations, consultants, manufacturers and vendors that serve the pipeline industry.

August 21 – 22, 2018
AT&T Conference Center in Austin, TX

This year the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) combines its two largest regulatory conferences, the Pipeline Safety Conference and the Oil & Gas Regulatory Conference, into one event. Registration is now open for the 2018 RRC Regulatory Conference: Environmental Protection, Pipeline Safety and Well Filings. Early bird registration ends July 23rd. For additional conference information and to register, visit the RRC’s website.

October 10, 2018
San Luis Hotel, Galveston

October 18-19, 2018
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

Each year since 2006, the Pipeline Safety Trust has hosted pipeline safety conferences. What makes them unique among pipeline conferences is the mix of attendees, who come with experience as the affected public, the pipeline industry, and government regulators. All these people come together to discuss barriers to safer pipelines.

October 30 – Nov 1, 2018
The Chattanooga Hotel
Chattanooga, TN

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.

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


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