The cover story for the July issue of American Gas magazine, titled “Integrity Management Fuels Innovation,” outlines the many new technologies and technological procedures that are helping natural gas utilities improve the safety and reliability of their operations systems. Today these technological advances are spurred by the industry-wide distribution integrity management programs that are now being put in place, but natural gas research and development programs have long been in place, and over the years they have created such new products and services as smart pigs, robotics, indirect inspections, record mapping and much more.
And research and development organizations such as the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), NYSEARCH and the Pipeline Research Council (PRCI) have long been in the business of identifying, supporting and developing new technologies—and at AGA we have been working closely with these groups for just as long. That is one reason we welcomed the opportunity to let these research groups share some of the promising new products and procedures that they are working to develop and bring to market.
Which they have done in the pages of this month’s issue, so if you aren’t excited about better ways to perform “low-drag magnetic flux leakage testing” on pipeline, or new ways to predict “microbially induced corrosion,” or a new video surveillance camera that can remotely monitor “hot-spot portions of pipeline rights-of-way that have been identified as being especially vulnerable to outside-force damage,” well then, my friends, you need to re-examine your priorities.
In all seriousness, the foundation of everything our industry does is our reputation for the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to the 175 million Americans who depend on it every single day. Ensuring that safety and reliability is a formidable challenge, but one that we have always met, and one that we will continue to meet with the invaluable help of new technologies, products and services, and thanks to the outstanding technology research and development organizations—GTI, NYSEARCH and PRCI to name just three—that make them possible.