PHMSA rule RIN 2137-AF06 will propose installation of automatic shutoff valves, remote controlled valves, or equivalent technology and establish performance-based meaningful metrics for rupture detection for 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. The areas proposed to be covered include High Consequence Areas (HCA) for hazardous liquids and HCA, Class 3 and 4 for natural gas (including could affect areas).

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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 that not just rupture detection but also leak detection should 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 to commit to installing ASVs or rupture detection must propose and justify a quantifiable alternative.

This unlikely 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.

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Categories: Best practice advice Industry update

By: Atmos International
Date: 16 April 2019