The pipeline industry has implemented a process for acquiring data and information necessary to support technically-based standards and regulations through techical studies and research and development (R&D). This process enabled the development of ASME B31.8S based on the technical facts gathered, drawing upon all stakeholders including Federal and State regulators, pipeline operators, manufacturers and suppliers and members of the public. This paper describes the process being used by the gas pipeline industry to develop standards such as B31.8S and provides examples of the benefits derived from standards. It examines in detail the benefits that the pipeline industry and regulators derived from the timely development of ASME B31.8S - Integrity Management of Gas Pipelines and the process used to support the standards’ development. The Office of Pipeline Safety developed a cost/benefit analysis to support the final rule on Integrity Management in High Consequence Areas. The OPS analysis indicates that the net cost for the gas pipeline industry to implement this program is now $4.7 B over the next 20 years as compared with the proposed rule based on the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 which they estimated to cost $10.9B over the same period. OPS has incorporated B31.8S into its regulations, which has significantly simplified them, yet through prescriptive requirements, has provided an equal or better level of safety as envisioned by Congress. While the timely development played a major role in the distillation of the regulations, B31.8S cannot take credit for the full $6.2B savings to the industry. The estimated savings provided by B31.8S to the industry will be described. Industry management and the regulators are encouraged to fully support the continuing development of standards for the pipeline industry utilizing the model developed by the gas pipeline industry.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.