Annually or as events occur, operators submit data to various regulatory agencies about the operation, maintenance and extent of their assets. Many of these figures are used by the public, non-profit organizations and private companies to independently conduct assessments about operators, ranging from safety to quality assurance to scope and nature of product deliveries.

The Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the National Energy Board (NEB), and other industry organizations have recently put an emphasis on more meaningful metrics by releasing guidelines and leading discussions at industry conferences and workshops.

In order to derive more strategic accuracy and pertinence, Explorer Pipeline Company (Explorer) and Det Norske Veritas (U.S.A.), Inc. (DNV GL) have developed a procedural effort to develop meaningful metrics. Several derivative benefits come from this effort such as support for calculating cost-benefit / ROI figures for maintenance projects, justification for compliance-plus activities and, most importantly, a more informed perspective of operational risk.

A renewed approach to this effort is to organize the more meaningful factors into three categories: (1) Metrics of job roles and tasks within Explorer’s Asset Integrity staff, (2) Other existing influential metrics (3) Regulatory metrics.

Using this approach, Explorer defined well-targeted, unitized metrics, each with a meaningful basis. Explorer anticipates the development of these more meaningful metrics to support the transparency sought by regulators and other stakeholders, benchmark and continually evaluate our Asset Integrity program and possibly support the development of practical metrics for the pipeline industry.

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