From:                                         David Murk, API <>

Sent:                                           Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:31 PM

To:                                               Sam Minifie

Subject:                                     Pipeline SMS Newsletter - December 18, 2018


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Pipeline SMS Newsletter


December 18, 2018






Pipeline SMS Team Members,

Happy Holiday Season to all of you! I hope you are all taking some much-deserved time off to safely celebrate the holidays with family and friends and enjoy the winter weather.

This was an exciting year for Pipeline SMS and the Industry Team, and we are excited to continue our important progress in 2019. In 2018, we embraced the industry goal of making implementation real for pipeline operators by developing the tools to facilitate implementation and evaluation of program effectiveness, conducting opportunities for sharing and learning and revamping our website and communications materials to follow a common branding theme. We also expanded Pipeline SMS group membership to include gas transmission and gas distribution operators through the membership of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), the American Gas Association (AGA) and the American Public Gas Association (APGA), as well as our Canadian counterparts through the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA). In 2019, we will continue the valuable progress of making implementation real and achievable for pipeline operators through additional sharing and learning opportunities and interactions.

Please feel free to send this newsletter to anyone in your organization participating in Pipeline SMS, and I welcome any thoughts, feedback or sharing any of you would like to provide as we progress along our journey of Pipeline SMS implementation.

Thank you,

David Murk
David Murk
API Pipeline Manager












Supporting NGA and AGA in Pipeline SMS Implementation Efforts

The week of December 3, API staff met with representatives from the Northeast Gas Association (NGA) and the American Gas Association (AGA) to discuss the how the tools and programs could support their PSMS implementation efforts. Discussions focused on leveraging the use of the current resources, tools and the third-party assessment program as the associations ramp-up their efforts to implement RP 1173.

Initial Feedback from 2018 Annual Survey

Thank you to those who were able to respond to the Pipeline SMS Annual Survey questions. Our 2018 Pipeline SMS survey responses represent nearly half of the energy pipeline mileage, a significant achievement just three years after the RP’s development. Despite the expansion of Pipeline SMS membership to include a wide array of gas transmission and distribution operators, 71% of survey respondents have completed a gap assessment, and 74% of those have reported identified improvement opportunities from gap analyses. The survey also illustrated a 20% increase in pipeline operators who have assessed their safety culture since 2014. Full survey analyses are being developed now, and additional results will be shared with the industry team and published in the 2018 annual report.

October 10 Tools Workshop

The Pipeline SMS Industry Team hosted their “Making it Real” Workshop in Galveston, TX on October 10. The Workshop was a valuable opportunity for over 80 industry participants from over 40 companies implementing Pipeline SMS to walk through the application of specific tools to program elements and have robust discussion around challenges and lessons learned in SMS implementation. During breakout sessions, participants shared their journey and provided valuable insights on where they achieved success and faced obstacles with industry peers. The Tools portion of the Workshop focused on program elements of Risk Management, Competency, Awareness & Training, Operational Controls, Safety Assurance, Management Review & Key Performance Indicators and the Pipeline SMS Evaluation Tool. A majority of participants signaled that the workshop had increased their understanding of the implementation tools and that the breakout sessions had effectively helped to address challenges and obstacles. The Industry Team will look to hold additional workshops in the coming year and focus on all program elements, including the possibility of two tracks for both advanced and introductory operators and increasing the length of the workshop. Several of the presentations that were approved for publication, as well as the workshop remarks and agenda, are available here. Many thanks and appreciation to all those who participated, as well as our industry facilitators and moderators!








International Pipeline Conference Presentation

During the September International Pipeline Conference, API’s Pipeline Manager and Global Industry Services Pipeline SMS staff lead gave an update on the implementation of Pipeline SMS. Specifically, the presentation focused on the evolution of the industry team maturity model and the various tools and programs which energy pipeline operators may wish to use when developing and implementing their Pipeline SMS programs including the API Third Party Assessment program.

Enbridge Presents at APGA Conference

Enbridge’s Director, Safety and Reliability Governance delivered a presentation to the Annual APGA Operations Conference. The presentation was delivered on behalf of the Pipeline SMS Implementation Team and focused on getting started on Pipeline SMS. Key points included the recognition that operators are not starting from scratch, focusing rather on a discussion of what a Pipeline SMS is and what it is not, and some key learning from an operator that has been actively using Pipeline SMS to improve performance.

Pipeline Leadership Conference

API’s Pipeline Manager moderated a panel focused on this year’s theme for SMS, “making it real”. The pipeline industry has made significant strides in the implementation of safety management systems throughout the industry. However, SMS is a journey not a destination and companies are finding themselves at different stages of implementation and program maturity. The panel provided a unique perspective from multiple operators representing the oil and gas pipeline industry, spotlighting their journey, including challenges faced, hurdles overcome and successes in implementation leading to overall safety performance and safety culture improvements.

INGAA Foundation Safety Culture Workshop

The workshop was attended by safety and human resources professionals from 50 companies representing pipeline operators and service providers. The interactive workshop focused on developing new employees’ perceptions about safety. As new employees come onboard, the various departments within each company play a vital role in educating the employee about the company’s value system, norms and desired organizational behaviors. These newcomers will quickly become part of the social network within the company, and early exposure to safety being regarded as a critical core value, reinforces and fortifies the organization’s overall safety culture. As new generations enter the oil and gas industry, the HR and HSE departments play a critical role in accomplishing the aforementioned by working to understand their current perceptions and safety values, to defining competency plans and developing training opportunities.

The workshop highlighted why it is essential for companies to begin working with new employees at the onset of their employment to ensure they observe and become engaged in a strong safety culture. It also focused on how new employee safety perceptions are formed, how they can they be improved, and provide strategies for companies to improve their safety culture. Subject matter experts and academic leaders gave informative and interactive presentations on:

  • Trends in training: New processes, mentoring on the job, e-learning (apps, reference material), centralized training
  • Millennial and Z generational workforce safety perceptions
  • Understanding safety behaviors and risk tolerances that are based on individual personality traits

The workshop concluded with a roundtable exercise where attendees worked to identify the SMS Primary Element for a range of scenarios that were associated with the INGAA Safety Culture Survey.












Third Party Assessment Tool

API staff continue to work with industry subject matter experts and a major liquid pipeline operator to plan and execute the pilot of the assessment tools and process for the first quarter of 2019. A three to four-day assessor training course is being finalized that will include training in the elements of API RP 1173, the use of the tools and the assessment process. The goal of the program is to support industry implementation and benchmarking efforts by providing liquids and gas pipeline operators with a voluntary, objective assessment of their Pipeline SMS implementation against the industry developed maturity model.

API RP 1173 eLearning Training

The final scripts for the eLearning have been approved by the six-person pipeline subject matter expert team and the eLearning module is in production. A production model of the eLearning is going to be ready to present to the PSMS Implementation Team during the first 2019 meeting at the end of January.












API RP 1175 eLearning Training

The eLearning program for RP 1175, Leak Detection Program Management, is also in production. The launch will be delayed until the first quarter of 2019.












January 31, 2019 Industry Team Meeting

The Pipeline SMS Industry Team is excited to host a face-to-face meeting on January 31, 2019 at the American Gas Association’s (AGA) offices in Washington, DC. During the meeting, we will discuss the progression of the third-party assessment program, which is piloting the program with a major liquid pipeline operator in the first quarter of 2019. The Team will also discuss upcoming engagements and opportunities for sharing and learning among industry peers in 2019 through workshops and webinars. The Team may look to conduct additional workshops this year to walk industry operators through applying the implementation tools to specific Pipeline SMS program elements. The meeting will last all day on January 31st, and AGA’s offices are located at 400 N. Capitol St., NW, Washington, D.C., 20001.

AGA Management Systems Workshop in March

AGA is pleased to announce that it will be conducting a workshop on Management Systems to be held at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel in Tampa, FL March 5th – 7th, 2019. This workshop will feature presentations, expert panels, small group discussions, and case studies on quality and safety management systems implementations, tools, and lessons learned. Companies small and large, at all stages of Management System implementations are invited to share their experiences, questions, and concerns with the audience. In addition, PHMSA and state regulators are invited to provide their perspectives around Safety Management Systems. This workshop is open to all AGA members, including associate members. Sponsorship opportunities will also be available.

Presentations and discussions will focus on key topics such as:

  • Operational Controls and Management of Change
  • Risk Management – Asset vs. process risks
  • Safety Assurance
  • Incident Command
  • Management Systems in field operations
  • Effective practices in Implementing SMS

Additional information, including hotels and registration information will be announced soon. Please contact Wen Tu, for more information.












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