North American Gas Pipelines and EDI – Where Do We Stand 20 Years Hence?


The year 2013 could be considered a banner year for the natural gas industry in the U.S. in more ways than just the recent industry boom.  Twenty years ago in 1993, the Gas Industry Standards Board, or GISB, was created.  The GISB (the predecessor organization to NAESB, the North American Energy Standards Board) began a three-year journey towards developing its electronic delivery mechanism (EDM) standard in response to mandates by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
 
The stated goal of EDM was to provide a secure and reliable method of exchanging standardized operational data, including nominations, confirmations, scheduled volumes, and actuals, between shippers and regulated interstate pipelines utilizing electronic data interchange (EDI) transactions. The GISB developed the new standard in cooperation with several non-energy technology working groups who were also seeking to deploy EDI standards across their industries. [Read more…]

Offshore Fracking Injuries


Although offshore hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, may be receiving less exposure and scrutiny than its land counterpart – the California Coastal Commission was not even aware that fracking occurred in the Santa Barbara Channel until recently – offshore fracking is just as dangerous, and maybe even more so.
 
Offshore work is some of the most dangerous in the world, and offshore fracking, which exposes workers to steadily increasing on-the-job injuries, explosions, oil and chemical spills, and contact with toxic chemicals, is posing unique risks not only for workers, but for people in nearby communities as well.
[Read more…]

Six Steps to 49 CFR Part 192 Compliance while Achieving Long-Term Business Value


Over the last two decades, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have been challenged with how to define and regulate the United States’ over 230,000 miles of onshore gathering gas lines or GGLs.  Historically, GGLs have been small in diameter, operate at pressures ranging from 400 to 600 pounds per square inch (psi), connect individual wells or production fields (covering at most a few hundred miles), and located, for the most part, in very rural areas. With the increase of natural gas production from shale exploration over the last six to 10 years, that is no longer the case.
 
In 2006, PHMSA introduced new language into DOT’s 49 CFR Part 192, and defined new requirements for “regulated onshore GGLs” and “unregulated onshore GGLs.”  However, due to the growth in shale gas production since then, PHMSA has stated its growing concern for human health and the environment. This concern is due, in part, to the increase in GGL diameters to 12” to 36” with maximum allowable operating pressures (MAOPs) as high as 1480 psi.  PHMSA are also concerned that it is increasingly common for GGLs to run through urban centers – with potentially hazardous consequences.
[Read more…]

Emergency Communications For High-Risk Oil And Gas Locations


Of the many types of large facilities that require emergency alarm and communication systems there are few that offer challenges on the scale of the oil and gas industry. A potential breakaway emergency during oil or gas extraction and transport, offshore drilling, petroleum refining, liquid natural gas (LNG) production and storage, and similar operations cannot be underestimated. Most recently this has been evidenced by such events as the Richmond [CA] refinery fire, the Texas City refinery explosion, and the Usumacinta and Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling accidents in the Gulf of Mexico.
[Read more…]