The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHSMA) has increased emphasis on records that are “traceable, verifiable, and complete.” Organizing records into a document structure that is traceable, verifiable, and complete can be a daunting task.

Through work with operators, Det Norske Veritas (U.S.A.) Inc. (DNV) identified a methodology to efficiently search and organize material property data and records into a structure that is fit for regulatory audit. The methodology consists of four steps:

(1) Search/Organize Documentation.

(2) Digitally Capture Paper Documents.

(3) Determine Document Precedence.

(4) Create a Reference-able Listing.

The first step reviews all files and records and identifies records that are pertinent to properties verification. The search is conducted at an operator’s office(s) by a team of personnel familiar with pipeline construction and maintenance documentation.

Once records have been identified, they are digitally captured (scanned) making them easy to reference. This requires a set of metadata and unique name for each document. The metadata consists of project number, document type (maintenance form, drawing, etc…), pipeline name, and information location.

Document precedence is used to identify documents most likely to contain correct material information. Document precedence is determined with operator employees that can identify document(s) that have been historically given high reliability.

Finally, a listing tabulates material properties along with the unique document name(s) for the specific records. The listing contains pipe (by segment or joint), fittings (valves, prefabricated elbows, etc…), and other components that may affect Maximum (Allowable) Operating Pressures. Typically the listing uses linear pipeline stationing as the main reference.

Implementation of the methodology yields a listing of material properties specifically linked to a digital document database — i.e., a records system that is “traceable, verifiable, and complete.” In addition to material properties, this methodology has also been applied to risk-related information (e.g. cathodic protection, crossings, coating information, etc…). The listing can then be used to identify any information gaps and potentially prioritize them based on reliability.

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