Pipeline Safety Regulation

Muhammad Abduh (PT. Rekayasa Solverindo)

Published for Petroenergy Magazine Edition May-June 2008

Gas supply and demand gap between gas consumer region (Java) and gas source region (Sumatera, Kalimantan) leads to the expanding of Indonesia gas distribution system (Petroenergy No. 7 Year IV). Existing aging pipeline both upstream and downstream and the new gas distribution system will create a higher risk exposure to the overall Indonesia pipeline system. Significant accidents to pipelines onshore and offshore in recent years should be regarded as a momentum to develop more comprehensive pipeline safety regulation (Ref). A comprehensive pipeline safety regulation surely is one important legislative tool to ensure productivity assurance in oil and gas production and distribution.

Existing Indonesia Pipeline Safety Regulation
Indonesia oil and gas safety is ruled under Act 22 of 2001 concerning Oil and Gas in Article 40. Specifically for pipeline, safety is ruled under Ministerial Instruction (Keputusan Menteri) No. 300/38/M/1997. The later regulation is already provide several basis for pipeline safety but there are other important elements of pipeline safety still not covered. Pipeline constructor and operator adopted technical regulation provided in several pipeline codes and guidelines (ASME B31 series, API, DNV, etc).

Pipeline Safety Regulation from Other Countries
Pipeline regulations that reviewed are from United States (49 CFR 192, 195), United Kingdom (IGE/TD/1), Canada (Z662-94), Australia (AS2885-1987), Germany (TrbF 301, 302), and Japan (Tsusho Sangyo Roppo). Sections that commonly addressed in above mentioned pipeline safety regulations are:

1. Class Location
Pipeline right of way classified into class location according to their failure consequence. Classification of pipeline location in pipeline safety regulations generally by population densities, the proximity of pipelines to public building, and pipe diameter.
2. Material Qualification
The section prescribes general requirements for the selection and qualification of materials for pipeline (steel and non-steel).
3. Pipeline and Pipeline Component Design
Minimum requirements for the design of pipe are prescribed. Design parameter ruled in this sections are: nominal wall thickness, design factor versus class location, longitudinal joint factor, temperature derating, and design limitations of plastic pipe. Pipeline component prescribed by the regulations are: valves, fittings, passage of internal inspection device, supports and anchors, and compressors station.
4. Pipeline Construction
Construction issues ruled are welding of steel pipes or joining method other than welding, transmission lines and mains, structural protection (casing and cover), and underground clearance.
5. Pipeline Corrosion Protection
This section prescribes minimum requirements for the protection of metallic pipelines from external, internal, and atmospheric corrosion. Corrosion protection system parameter by coating or cathodic protection ruled are: coating requirements, and cathodic protection requirements.
6. Pipeline Operation and Maintenance
Operational issues prescribed in this section are: requirements for procedure manual for operation, maintenance, emergency, and personnel qualification which includes:

– Change in class location;
– Public awareness;
– Failure investigation;
– Leakage survey;
– Repair method;
– Inspection and testing;
– Valves and other pipeline components inspection;

7. Pipeline Integrity Management
This section prescribed identification high consequence area (HCA) and integrity assessment method (internal inspection, direct assessment, and re-assessment interval).

Specific aspects addressed in foreign pipeline regulations:

Design life
In Australia Regulation, at the end of design life, the pipeline is abandoned unless an operator directed approved engineering investigation determines that its continued is safe.
Third Party Factor
Australian standard has more detailed concept of third party damage including recommended practice to protect pipeline from third party damage.
Fatigue life
British regulation has a section for requirement of pipeline fatigue strength in cyclic loads;
Geohazard Issues
Onshore geohazard issues (e.g. earthquake) are prescribed in Japanese Standard.

Technical Basis for Pipeline Safety Regulation
Foreign pipeline safety regulation mentioned before are governed by several technical documents that commonly utilized as code and standards in respective disciplines like follows:

– Material Selection: API 5L series, ASTM, Plastic Pipe Institute;
– Pipeline Design: ASME B16 Series, ASME 31.8, ASME B&PV Codes;
– Pipeline Fabrication and Construction: API 1104, ASME B&PV Codes;
– Pipeline Protection: NACE Cathodic Protection Standards; and
– Pipeline Integrity: API and ASME Pipeline Integrity Standards;

Opportunity for Development of Pipeline Safety Regulation

Indonesia Oil and Gas authority has been preparing new regulation system for oil and gas technical safety in RPP Keteknikan Migas. If pipeline safety will be developed under this new regulation, the opportunity for the improvement of existing pipeline safety regulation should be considered aspects like follow, Table 1:

– More technical requirement rather than normative for pipeline design;
– Quality assurance including welding requirements, inspection, and non destructive tests;
– More emphasize for corrosion protection requirements;
– Pipeline Integrity Management; and
– Geohazard issues, third party factors, and advanced concept of fatigue strength and pipeline design life.

Table – Comparison of Pipeline Safety Regulations


1. Code of Federal Regulation Title 49 Part 192 – Transportation of Natural and other Gas by Pipeline: Minimum Federal Safety Standards, US Department of Transportation Pipeline
2. Comparison Of U.S. With Foreign Pipeline Land Use And Siting Standards, F.H. Griffis, New Jersey Institute of Technology, US Department of Transportation, 1996

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