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New rules for pipeline rupture detection?

Published by
World Pipelines,

The future of rupture detection is changing with PHMSA rule RIN 2137-AF06, which will propose the installation of automatic shutoff valves, remote controlled valves, or equivalent technologies to establish performance based metrics for rupture detection in gas and liquid transmission pipelines. The overall intent of this unlikely match is that rupture detection metrics will be integrated with ASV and RCV placement, with the objective of improving overall incident response. Rupture response metrics will focus on mitigating large, unsafe, uncontrolled release events that have a greater potential consequence. Areas proposed to be covered include high consequence areas (HCAs) for hazardous liquids, HCAs and Class 3 and 4 for natural gas (including ‘could affect’ areas).

Byron Coy, PHMSA Director, stated at the 2016 API Cybernetics Symposium that PHMSA is resisting demands from critics to set rupture performance standards, despite the fact that some felt not just rupture detection but leak detection should also already be mandatory. Instead, the rule will likely ask pipeline operators who wish to avoid the significant expense of installing automated shutdown valves along a pipeline to establish performance based metrics for rupture detection, so that they become more aware of their rupture detection capabilities, with a view to making further improvements over time. Companies who do not commit to installing ASVs or rupture detection must propose and justify a quantifiable alternative.

This union of rupture detection and shutdown valves is to provide more flexibility to pipeline operators as they strive to meet this rule. Operators can either identify opportunities to offset valve design capabilities with improved rupture detection performance, or identify opportunities to offset rupture detection performance with changes and additions to valves. Rupture detection will be a far more cost effective alternative.

Edited from source by Stephanie Roker

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