Dealing with Changing Regulations -
  Dr. Tom Bubenik

In the early 2000s, pipeline companies began implementing Integrity Management Programs in response to regulations ordered by Congress and promulgated by PHMSA.  Now, with over a decade of experience, PHMSA is changing the rules.  Learn what’s happening and why.

Dr. Bubenik will give a brief history of the IM regulations, highlighting the failures that led to the push for integrity management by Congress and PHMSA.

Tom will trace operator compliance and discuss the effectiveness of Integrity Management Programs in terms of the numbers and types of incidents - both before and after the regulations.  He will then compare and contrast recent high profile failures with those that led to the original regulations.

Finally, he will explain what PHMSA wants to see in the future and how those changes will impact pipeline companies.

Dr. Tom Bubenik
Dr. Bubenik has 35 years of experience involving pipeline integrity.  Before joining DNV GL, he held senior scientific and management positions with Battelle and Exxon Production Research.

Tom has in-depth experience in pipeline degradation, including seam-weld fatigue and SCC, integrity management, fracture mechanics, defect assessments, and regulatory compliance.

He’s been actively involved with professional organizations such as API, ASME, NACE, PRCI and GRI and has authored over 50 technical publications.

Optimizing Preventative and Mitigative Measure Selection -  Tony Alfano, P.E.

The centerpiece to a successful risk management program involves identifying and mitigating high risk locations along a pipeline system through optimized preventative and mitigative measure selection. The ability of a company to achieve this outcome is often limited by the characteristics of the supporting risk assessment program and the lack of an associated risk management framework.

Mr. Alfano will cover all aspects of conducting systematic, measureable and robust pipeline risk assessments leading to PHMSA’s stated goal of improved integrity management and increased public safety. Mr. Alfano will demonstrate how developing an effective risk assessment program as part of an overarching risk management framework will ensure that risk intelligence can be leveraged across the organization to drive down costs and increase operational safety.

Tony Alfano, P.E.

Mr. Alfano is a Principal Engineer and Head of Section for DNV GL’s Risk Management team in Dublin, Ohio. Mr. Alfano has over 10 years of experience supporting clients with risk management focused on pipeline networks and facilities. Mr. Alfano has conducted significant on-site work with pipeline operators in the areas of risk management with an emphasis on transitioning risk assessment tools into higher-value risk management programs through model and system development.

Optimizing SMS Development Efforts -  Megan Weichel

The recent introduction of API RP 1173 for Pipeline Safety Management Systems (SMS) has left many operating companies wondering where to begin.  When developing an SMS, it is essential to first know where the company is now and where the company intends to go with regard to risk management, pipeline safety management, pipeline and facility integrity management, and other forward-thinking programs and systems.

Ms. Weichel will discuss the key considerations and first steps for developing a management system that aligns to API RP 1173, including the following topics:

  • Utilizing gap assessments to determine how to best leverage what is already in place
  • Starting on the right foot with an effective Leadership and Management Commitment element
  • Utilizing effective incident investigation methods to prioritize development efforts
  • Closing gaps with internal best practices

Megan Weichel

Megan Weichel is a Senior Consultant in DNV GL’s Pipeline and Facilities Risk Management group. She started with DNV GL in Houston in 1998, and after a brief stint in the glass industry, she moved to the company’s Dublin, Ohio, office. She was drawn into the oil and gas industry by way of process safety management work while writing mechanical integrity system documents and procedures.

Megan now focuses primarily on assisting pipeline companies develop and improve management systems for Facility Integrity, Risk Management, Process Safety Management, and HSE, performing audits, and developing and assessing management system components. In her time at DNV GL, she enjoyed a 3-year stint as an embedded Process Safety and Risk subject matter expert at an operating company, where she was able to experience first hand the challenges operators face when implementing and modifying management systems.

Quality Management System Efforts by PHMSA and API -  Melissa Gould

DNV GL was contracted by PHMSA to develop a framework to apply quality management system (QMS) principles to pipeline construction – an industry concern since 2007.  Ms. Gould will discuss the developed framework and accompanying guidance document, which are intended to assist pipeline operating companies and contractors in the development and implementation of a company-specific QMS.

A proven method for improving quality in other industries is through the implementation of a quality management system (QMS). Benefits of implementing a QMS for new pipeline construction include cost avoidance and increased regulatory compliance. 

Ms. Gould will also briefly discuss the complementary industry work performed by INGAA, as well as the API task group to develop a new recommended practice for QMS for new pipeline construction.

Melissa Gould

Melissa Gould is a Senior Engineer in the Welding Technology group at DNV GL.  She has worked with DNV GL in their Columbus, Ohio and Katy, Texas offices for 7 years.   Melissa holds both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Welding Engineering from the Ohio State University.  Additionally, she is an American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welding Inspector (CWI).

Melissa focuses on welding consulting and management systems for onshore oil and gas pipelines, including both new construction and repair of existing lines.  Melissa was the project manager for a research project co-funded by DNV GL and the Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) for the development of a quality management system (QMS) framework for onshore pipeline construction.  Additionally, she is a member of the API task group to develop a new recommended practice on QMS for pipeline construction.


Lessons Learned - Dr. David Norfleet, P.E.

Despite significant effort over that last several decades to prevent corrosion-related pipeline failures, a finite risk of failure still exists.

This presentation will review statistics of onshore pipeline failure investigations performed by DNV GL over the last five (5) years, specifically looking at the failure mechanism as a function of service life. Some notable failure mechanisms include internal and external SCC and corrosion as well as weld-related failure modes.

As a result of a major pipeline release, PHMSA may issue a corrective action order (CAO) that will likely require “Mechanical and Metallurgical Testing” to determine the failure mechanism.  Over the last several years many CAO’s now also require a “Root Cause Failure Analysis” (RCFA) to be performed by an independent third party to “document the decision making process and all factors contributing to the failure.” Dr. Norfleet will discuss the expectations of an RCFA, the systems and data typically evaluated, and what to expect during the investigation.

Dr. David Norfleet, P.E.

Dr. Norfleet is the Head of Section, Incident Investigation for DNV GL Pipeline Services.  He has consulted on a variety of litigation projects before both State and Federal Courts.

Dr. Norfleet is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where he received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering.  Technological interests, experience, and research have provided him with an advanced understanding of the mechanical behavior and failure mechanisms associated with many different material systems.