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U.S., Canadian Pipeline Groups Aim to Advance Facility Safety and Inspections


Two oil and gas pipeline associations are looking to improve industry safety standards. The INGAA Foundation and Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) Foundation recently released “The Practical Guide for Facility Inspectors,” which they anticipate will support a program to reaffirm that all newly built oil and natural gas transmission pipeline facilities are delivered safely and with the highest quality. The guide provides real-world guidance to confirm that facility inspectors are trained, qualified and competent.

The goal is to ensure that all oil and natural gas transmission pipeline facility inspectors maintain a uniform focus on compliance with design standards, a heightened awareness of higher-risk activities, and a focus on delivering predictable results. In addition to transmission pipelines, inspected facilities include compressor stations, pumping stations, meter and regulator stations and valve sites.

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“By creating a clear, concise oil and natural gas facility inspector guidance, we expect to revitalize and bring consistency to the facility inspector role as a viable, professionally recognized career choice for young people,” said INGAA Foundation executive director Tony Straquadine. “Moreover, we expect this inspection program will build public confidence in the U.S. and Canadian energy industry, including oil and natural gas pipeline facilities.”

The program builds on a 2016 joint effort by the CEPA Foundation and the INGAA Foundation to provide additional guidance to oil and natural gas pipeline inspectors. As with the previous program, the foundations intend to work with the American Petroleum Institute (API) to create or endorse a testing and certification program.

“This was another excellent example of a highly collaborative partnership where the two Foundations worked closely together to develop a quality product that will benefit the energy pipeline industry across North America,” added Rob Beamish, CEPA Foundation executive director.

The existing pipeline inspector certification program (API 1169) has been extraordinarily successful, with over 6,000 inspectors passing an exam and having their work credentials certified. In response to the demand for certified inspectors, the examination program has grown from three annual exams, to six week-long exam windows, in only three years.

The CEPA Foundation, with 140 members, brings together participants in the Canadian energy pipeline industry to ensure industry exceeds expectations concerning safety, environmental stewardship, quality, social responsibility, indigenous engagement, efficiency and innovation.

The INGAA Foundation, currently over 220 members strong, brings together pipeline operators and contractors — including construction companies, pipe mills, engineering companies, consultants, environmental and safety groups and others — to facilitate efficient, quality construction and safe and reliable operation of the North American natural gas pipeline system.


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