U.S. Compliance For Oil & Gas

U.S. Compliance For Oil & Gas

oil and gasFor the past few years we have seen an emerging negative sentiment towards the gas and oil industry. Based on catastrophic events like BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Spill. An attempt to pro-eco legislation under the previous administration a growing opposition to promotes the usage of alternative and renewable energy has emerged.

With the current administration that has leaned the regulation to the upstream of oils and gas research around the coast line and the drilling in protected lands. This has opened a new kind of opposition looking to shut down any new explorations but also replacement of existing pipelines.

While the understanding of the regulation has not been wildly understood from the public. We need to shed the light on how regulations are being put in place to protect the communities and environment during oil and gas development. Federal and state governments share responsibilities for setting standards with which oil and gas companies must comply. These agencies are inspecting facilities, require self-reporting but also set penalties for violations.

With those regulations in place the oil and gas companies are proactively setting their own standards and monitoring their compliance. More states and federal agencies require oil and gas companies to retain specific records of their activities, which are made available to regulatory agencies. Regulatory agencies are conducting on-site inspections, which can include record checks as well as leak detection, checking for compliance and other standard operating procedures.

Different levels of federal and state as well as the federal land management agency, state oil and gas commissions, federal or state environmental agency regulates on the ownership of the land and mineral being developed and on the laws being enforced.

Monitoring existing pipelines by the oil and gas companies are required. While transporting crude oil via pipeline at high-pressure levels requires constant surveillance to ensure safety for the communities. We need to understand the life of a pipeline has an average of 50 years or less.
Before the lifecycle of a pipeline is completed, the oil and gas company will start the planning to replace it. Engaging municipalities, communities, landowners and Aboriginal groups.

To minimize environmental footprint, most oil and gas companies will use existing corridors or right of ways (ROW). If a new route has been chosen, soil samples will be collected and analyzed. Taking into consideration the soil, vegetation, wildlife, historical resources, land usage and aquatic resources. During the process gas and oil companies are working closely with regulatory agencies. An application is submitted to the appropriate agencies to initiate the regulatory process. The regulatory applications contain all the necessary information about the pipeline project. It is not unusual to have regulators ask specific questions. The answers provided by the gas and oil company are comprehensive and detailed.

When the project has been approved the work can begin.
All trees and bush will be cleared, while some trees will be salvaged, they will be stored along the ROW. Stripping and storing the topsoil layer and grading the subsoil. Topsoil conservation ensures the land is returned to an equivalent.

During the construction of the pipeline high quality materials are being used. From bending, welding and coating, each step is carefully monitored and inspected for quality. After the pipeline has been laid on the ground. It is carefully backfilled and compacted with original subsoil. Hydrostatic testing of each section of the pipe is filled with water and subjected to extreme pressure to ensure the strength of the pipe and welds.

After successfully passing the test the ROW is restored to its original condition. The original topsoil is placed and reseeded; while other restoration methods include tree planting and environmental monitoring. Once the pipeline is in operation it will be carefully monitored and maintained.

Some of the existing pipelines that are transporting midstream crude oil needs to be replaced for safety. With a full understanding on how oil and gas companies are working to ensure compliance and respect to the land with little footprint can provide the answers most of the media does not cover.