February 18, 2016
The boards of directors of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the INGAA Foundation Inc., the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and the CEPA Foundation – major pipeline trade associations in the U.S. and Canada, respectively – have voted to endorse a program to ensure all pipeline inspectors doing work for their member companies are certified by 2018.
“The decision is consistent with the INGAA board’s commitment to zero pipeline incidents,” said INGAA President and Chief Executive Officer Don Santa. “Safe pipeline construction and quality materials help ensure safe operation. Having certified inspectors helps everyone raise the bar.”
“Our industry is committed to ensuring continuous improvement processes are developed to enhance the operational reliability of pipelines,” said CEPA Foundation Chairman Kent Wilfur. “By standardizing the baseline certification of inspectors across the industry, the industry can enhance the quality of new construction. This significant change in approach also establishes that pipeline inspection is a genuine career choice. We hope this action will encourage new entrants in the pipeline construction field to pursue inspection as a career opportunity.” Wilfur is also vice president of project execution for Spectra Energy.
An inspector certification test—American Petroleum Institute (API) RP 1169, Recommended Practice for Basic Inspection Requirements for New Pipeline Construction—has been available in the U.S. since November 2014. The test, which provides an industrywide credential for inspection of onshore pipelines, will meet industry requirements in Canada in the spring of 2016. The INGAA and CEPA Foundations established a “body of knowledge” about pipeline inspections to help improve the test and enhance inspector knowledge.
All pipeline inspectors are eligible to take the test, regardless of training, education or other certifications. Pipeline inspectors can choose to take additional tests to become a specialty inspector for areas such as pipeline welding or pipeline coating.
The INGAA and CEPA Foundations intend to continuously improve the inspector certification program, including by working with API to develop future versions of the API 1169 certification test.
Washington-based INGAA is comprised of 25 members, representing the vast majority of the interstate natural gas transmission pipeline companies in the U.S. and comparable companies in Canada. INGAA’s members operate approximately 165,000 miles of pipelines, and serve as an indispensable link between natural gas producers and consumers. www.ingaa.org
The INGAA Foundation, currently 185 members strong, brings together pipeline operators and contractors—including construction companies, pipe mills, engineering companies, consultants, environmental and safety groups and others—to facilitate efficient, quality construction and safe and reliable operation of the North American natural gas pipeline system.
Calgary-based CEPA represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies. CEPA members transport 97 percent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil production from producing regions to markets throughout Canada and the United States. www.cepa.com
The CEPA Foundation currently has 112 members representing the Canadian pipeline industry today and is a forum dedicated to innovation and implementation of practices in order to exceed society’s expectations with respect to safety, quality, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.
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