Alberta Energy Regulator’s new program to reduce pipeline incidents

program

Deer gather at a depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp’s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline program in Gascoyne, North Dakota, January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Program requires pipeline-operating companies to develop, implement documented SLMS

Effective immediately, the Alberta Energy Regulator is implementing a program to evaluate the effectiveness of pipeline licensees’ safety and loss management systems, according to a press release.

“The AER believes all pipeline incidents are preventable, and ensuring operators have an effective SLMS in place is one way we can prevent them, and improve industry performance as a whole,” said Monica Hermary, advisor, strategic communications, public affairs for AER.

The program requires pipeline-operating companies to develop and implement a documented management system.

Under the new program, selected licensees will be asked to complete a self-assessment and declaration form to assist the AER in its evaluation of the licensee’s management system.

The form requests that a pipeline licensee’s senior officer demonstrate how the licensee has implemented an effective management system and declare that the licensee understands and takes responsibility for ensuring compliance to regulatory requirements pertaining to pipeline safety.

The form must be reviewed and signed by a senior officer within the company.

The AER will review this information, along with the licensee’s incident record and compliance history, to determine if a more detailed review of a licensee’s management system is needed.

The AER will then work with the licensee to ensure appropriate corporate the management system and related integrity management programs are effectively implemented.

Completion of the form is voluntary.

However, licensees that do not return the self-assessment and declaration form to the AER, or that submit a poorly completed form, will raise concerns with the AER that an adequate management system has not been implemented.

This may result in the AER conducting a detailed review of the licensee’s management system. The AER will send a letter to pipeline licensees asking them to complete the self-assessment and declaration form.

“The SLMS program complements other work being done at the AER to reduce pipeline incidents. For example, the AER also conducts pipeline inspections on a regular basis to ensure operators are in compliance with regulations and have proper leak detection strategies in place, and provides education on pipeline integrity and shares any trends we’ve identified regarding common reasons for pipeline failures,” said Hermary.

The program focuses on a licensee’s overarching management system for all pipelines it operates; it is not intended to review specific segments of pipeline.

Such reviews are part of the work regularly done by the AER’s Environmental and Operational Performance staff.

The AER says it understands that pipeline licensees may have questions regarding the program and how to fill out the self-assessment and declaration form, so it has scheduled an information session:

Date: Wednesday, May 10

Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: Foothills/Twin Peaks Room 3rd Floor, 250 – 5 Street SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4.

Please register through EventBrite

If required, the AER says it will schedule another session.

Questions may also be directed to Industry Relations at 403-355-4563 or IndustryRelations@aer.ca.

Posted in: Canada

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