The seminar “˜Back to Basics – Towards Best Practice’, was held on 12 April at the Brighton Beach Novotel in Sydney and was sponsored by Rosen.
Sydney proved to be a popular venue and the seminar was well attended. There was a large number of pipeline field operators, technicians and supervisors who participated. The range of presentations, made by experienced operations personnel representing Australia’s main pipeline operations organisations, was well received and very informative. Mike Lyle deserves special mention for putting the program together and then setting the tone of the day in delivering an introduction emphasising the importance of compliance with the Australian standard for the operation and maintenance of pipelines, AS 2885.3, and the development of pipeline operator competencies.
During the course of the day all aspects of pipeline and easement integrity were addressed. It was heartening to hear that the recognition, acceptance and effectiveness of the Dial Before You Dig service is increasing and that the number of inquiries to the service is growing. Its new on-line capability is impressive. Another area of new technology, and a view into the future for most pipeline organisations, was revealed in a presentation showing how palm pilots were being successfully introduced for GPS linked data collection, retrieval, collation and reporting from site.
Seminar participants were able to hear about the different aspects of looking after a pipeline directly from field operations personnel. Processes and procedures were outlined that covered all aspects of contractor supervision including induction, job safety analyses, work permitting and direct supervision. The different aspects of fully complying with AS 2885.3 were addressed from practical experience rather than a theoretical perspective. Proven vegetation and erosion control processes based on the APIA Code of Environmental Practice were presented as well as practical pointers on both ground and air pipeline surveillance. A detailed case study on the remediation of tunnel erosion demonstrated the importance of robust easement management.
Several aspects of emergency response were addressed including emergency simulation, a case study of an oil pipeline emergency, media management and the need for all incidents to be reported on the POG incident database. The Victorians just had to talk about the Commonwealth Games where the staging of basketball games presented a risk to adjacent aboveground pipework that had to be assessed and managed.