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Lloyd’s Register Energy assesses a 70,000-square mile area for Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s pipeline network

15th January 2016

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) meets requirements of the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) pipeline safety management system standard

Lloyd’s Register Energy has assessed Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) under API RP 1173 and found no major non-conformances for its network of pipelines serving a 70,000-square-mile service area in northern and central California. The API-recommended practice gives operators a holistic framework to identify and address safety concerns for a pipeline system’s entire lifecycle.

PG&E was previously certified by Lloyd’s Register Energy for ISO 55001, the international standard for asset management (which supersedes PAS 55). API RP 1173 is similar to ISO 55001 but has a stronger focus on pipeline management systems.

Peter Glaholm, lead assessor and Regional Manager Utilities from Lloyd’s Register Energy highlights: “Although most of the elements of API RP 1173 had already been covered by our previous audits on PAS 55/ISO 55001, PG&E wanted a thorough ‘deep dive’ into their integrity systems for transmission and distribution pipelines. We have assessed their safety management systems against the API requirements and they have made a lot of good progress over the past five years in making their pipeline systems safer.”

Lloyd’s Register Energy can confirm the PG&E Pipeline Safety System complies with the requirements of API RP 1173 and found PG&E has:
•    Completed a full center-line survey on all transmission pipelines,
•    Introduced a transmission Geographical Information System (GIS) giving comprehensive asset information of all pipelines, and
•    Commissioned a new state-of-the-art Gas Control Room.

Along with the UK-based assessment team, Vibha Zaman, who is a highly experienced pipeline integrity engineer and Pipeline Integrity Team Lead in the Lloyd’s Register Energy Americas office based in Houston, carried out a deep dive into PG&E's procedures and reviewed processes in place to manage their pipeline infrastructure, including what is done with the results of in-line inspections and direct assessments, what information is kept on their pipelines (e.g. materials, coatings, pipe wall thickness, welds, maintenance, etc.), and how the information is managed and kept “evergreen.” 

Zaman comments: “I was impressed with the commitment PG&E has made and level of efforts being undertaken to ensure the safe operation of their pipeline infrastructure. They have developed a fully functional GIS system over the last several years and are seeking continuous improvement in how they manage pipeline integrity."

Glaholm adds: “We provide an objective set of eyes looking into their business and an in-depth assessment of PG&E systems. They started with PAS 55, then ISO 55001 and now API RP 1173 that puts a clear framework around their asset management system and have realized the many business benefits of meeting these standards.” 

As a leading service provider in the utilities and energy markets, Lloyd’s Register Energy offers asset management services to help companies meet and certify to ISO 55001 and API RP 1173. Since 2004, Lloyd’s Register has certified many electrical, gas, and water power generation companies around the world to these standards. 

PG&E operates and maintains more than 6,750 miles of transmission pipelines and more than 40,000 miles of distribution pipeline.  PG&E covers nearly half of California in its service area and is considered the second largest utility in the United States.  

“These recognitions are proof of our commitment to continually improve our safety culture and enhance our asset management program. I’m proud of the resolve of our Gas Operations team to become the gas company our customers want and deserve - the safest, most reliable gas company in the country. This is another superb recognition and validation that we continue doing the right work in the right way and we are determined to make even more strides towards world-class safety performance,” says PG&E president Nick Stavropoulos.

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