Even when the world is at a standstill, operators can’t put pipeline safety on hold. There’s too much riding on it.
In just the few short weeks since COVID-19 morphed from the global lexicon to the Americas and other areas of the world, integrity management teams have been forced to digitally transform both how and where they work, and to do it fast. Although one of the industry’s premier conferences on pipeline pigging and integrity management, PPIM 2020, was able to go on as scheduled in February, since then, face-to-face events like Europe’s Pipeline Technology Conference have shifted to interactive online versions, and video chats have replaced in-person meetings.
More than a decade in the making, the new Department of Transportation (DOT) mega rule— Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 49, Part 191 and 192—was driven by continuing failures in pipeline systems, including the fatal 2010 gas pipeline rupture and fire in San Bruno, California, and oil leaks into rivers in Michigan and Montana.
The mega rule, which goes into effect July 1, 2020, applies to more than 500,000 miles of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines in the United States.
When it comes to identifying pipeline integrity risks, midstream operators today have more sensor technology to choose from than ever. When it’s time to analyze the resulting data, however, operators often fall back to tried and true tools such as Microsoft Excel. This typically involves comparing new and earlier test results on spreadsheets to find indications of a pressing threat. Now, however, operators have a new data analysis option, a solution that can help them capitalize on the full business value their pipeline inspections offer.
Everyone in our business knows—or ought to know—about the pipeline maintenance crisis that puts billions of dollars, lives, property, and the reputation of midstream oil & gas industry at risk, leading some in the public to call it a “ticking timebomb.” Statistics indicate tens of thousands of miles of pipes decades beyond their predicted end-of-life, scattered so wide and buried so deep that just finding them on a map can be a problem.
This week we officially released Cognitive Integrity Management™ 3.0, (“CIM 3.0”), which was developed under the product codename Polaris. The product team has been working tirelessly with SME’s from our participating pipeline operators during our private preview to ensure the solution applies horizontally across most operators. Starting at the end of May, each week these SME’s provided us operational data from their existing systems, assisted to validate CIM features, and confirmed the accuracy of the results.