New Century and Integrity Plus Blog

Not Every HCA Analysis is Created Equal: Part I

Posted by Nicole Tebow & Ryan Huntley on Mar 16, 2017 1:03:34 PM

Performing High Consequence Area (HCA) analysis correctly is a critical initial step to Integrity Management Program (IMP) success, and if it is not done correctly, can be a substantial liability for companies. In this three part blog series, we will be discussing a set of key components and challenges involved in liquid HCA projects including:

 Key Components:

  • Meeting all regulatory requirements conservatively
  • Performing HCA analyses to accomplish goals within IMP
  • Obtaining realistic results that provide value
  • Reducing potential impacts and costs

Challenges:

  • Incorporating a variety of formats of data to prepare for analyses
  • Providing accurate, realistic response times
  • Obtaining accurate and updated HCA data
  • Performing adequate QC/verification of results

While most operators routinely use commercially available software packages, or retain vendors to do their analyses, and appear to be satisfied with their results, Integrity Plus has noted a number of potential vulnerabilities that operators should carefully consider.  The reality is that spill modeling software applications are incredibly sophisticated calculators that are used to simulate pipeline ruptures and determine could-affect status, and as with any calculator, the input of the wrong “numbers” will generate inaccurate results. In purchasing these applications or partnering with third party vendors who do little to no consulting prior to setting up model parameters, operators are opening themselves to substantial regulatory and business risks.  Inaccurate could-affect analysis could certainly become exposed during a regulatory audit, and result in enforcement action. In addition, some operators are finding out that their analyses are incorrect at the absolute worst time, after a release.  A segment that had previously been identified as non could-affect has a release, and the product migrates to an HCA. That being said, let’s dig in to exploring some of the most common pitfalls, associated Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) guidance, and potential solutions to HCA analysis.

…it is an operator's responsibility to ensure that it has identified all high consequence areas that could be affected by a pipeline segment. An operator is also responsible for periodically evaluating its pipeline segments to look for population or environmental changes that may have occurred around the pipeline and to keep its program current with this information. (Refer to §195.452(d)(3).)

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Topics: NPMS, HCA, High Consequence Area

The 6 Best Ways to Spot and Protect a Pipeline

Posted by Shelly on Feb 3, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Why would we even want to learn how to spot a pipeline? Well, in Colorado alone, over 45,000 miles of pipeline exist to move products such as:

 

  • Natural Gas
  • Crude Oil
  • Energy Products
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Topics: Safety, PHMSA, NPMS, Pipeline Safety

Let's Discuss: New Positional Accuracy Requirement

Posted by Shelly on Nov 5, 2014 1:37:27 AM

PHMSA, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, has requested that a new positional accuracy requirement be added to the NPMS, the National Pipeline Mapping System dataset.

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Topics: Pipeline Operator, PHMSA, Integrity Management, Data Management, NPMS

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