It is no secret that pipeline safety is the highest priority of both the American Gas Association (AGA) and our natural gas utility members. In fact, this is a priority shared across the natural gas and oil industries throughout the country … and beyond. On August 9, AGA announced its participation in a coalition of U.S. and Canadian gas and oil industry groups seeking to identify new ways to boost pipeline safety.
To this end, AGA, the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the Canadian Gas Association and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association have initiated a comprehensive study to explore safety models and procedures currently utilized by other industry sectors in an effort to deliver natural gas and pipeline-transported liquids more safely and reliably. It is expected that the study will be completed early next year.
The study will look at the practices of the nuclear and chemical industries, as well as other sectors. It may also look at whether other industries have a third-party organization or a body within a trade group that establishes and monitors best practices and standards with regard to safety. The study’s ultimate goal is to determine if there are new safety practices that are adaptable to the pipeline industry.
Natural gas pipelines deliver natural gas to approximately 175 million consumers through a 2.4 million mile underground pipeline system that represents approximately one-fourth of the energy consumed in the United States. It is absolutely essential that the gas and oil industries work together to establish the optimal safety model to ensure the safety and reliability of their infrastructures.