Using Cognitive Analysis Platforms to Reduce the Cost of PHMSA Mega Rule Compliance

By December 9, 2020 News

There are currently over 1.8 million miles of oil and gas pipelines in North America. The pipeline operators, midstream, and gas transmission operators, along with the government, have a desire to improve the safety of these valuable energy assets. In July 2020, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) rolled out new rules covering pipeline safety, including a portion of the Mega Rule that focuses on the safety of gas transmission pipelines and another rule that addresses the safety of hazardous liquid pipelines.

Using Cognitive Analysis Platforms to Reduce the Cost of PHMSA Mega Rule Compliance

By Mike Brookover
CEO at Alitek

There are currently over 1.8 million miles of oil and gas pipelines in North America. The pipeline operators, midstream, and gas transmission operators, along with the government, have a desire to improve the safety of these valuable energy assets. In July 2020, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) rolled out new rules covering pipeline safety, including a portion of the Mega Rule that focuses on the safety of gas transmission pipelines and another rule that addresses the safety of hazardous liquid pipelines.

The first part of the Mega Rule requires operators of gas transmission pipelines constructed before 1970 to determine the material strength of their lines by reconfirming the Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP). In addition, the rule updates reporting and records retention standards for gas transmission pipelines. This rule focuses on the actions an operator must take to reconfirm the MAOP of previously untested natural gas transmission pipelines, and pipelines lacking certain material or operational records. Many of the pipeline operators, midstream, and gas transmission operators that we support believe that the legacy MAOP test results exist in their organization. Enabling access to these records saves our customers valuable time and significant costs because they do not have to perform the MAOP retests on their entire pipeline.

Finding a specific set of historical pipeline tests, engineering drawings, and construction specifications in the hundreds or thousands of TB of file shares, cloud storage, emails, and legacy repositories used to be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. If this information cannot be located, then the pipelines must be retested and the engineering work recompiled. One North American Midstream provider has allocated more than $200 million dollars in capital projects dedicated towards re-testing pipeline integrity and rebuilding engineering drawings to comply with these regulatory requirements. Recent developments in search tools have delivered results that make finding and utilizing this information quick and reliable and more cost effective than paying to reduplicate design and tests.

Alitek has partnered with Shinydocs to provide innovative solutions to the pipeline industry using the Cognitive Analysis platform. The Shinydocs Cognitive Suite is a suite of enterprise level products and solutions centered around understanding the volumes of enterprise content across various repositories, optimized for searching, analyzing, ingesting, and categorizing massive amounts of unstructured content. With data volumes growing at some 25% year over year automation is the only solution.

The Shinydocs Cognitive Suite enables an organization to assess their content:

Rapid Analysis : The Shinydocs Cognitive Suite processes up to 1PB of data in less than a week leading to fast results. By crawling every file across all repositories, companies quickly make sense of their data and what actions they need to take.

Remove Outdated Information: By applying simple ROT rules (Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial Data) typical data sets are reduced by 40-60%. While IT tends to relish in these cost reductions, the real value is associated with the soft costs of improved efficiency, reduction of liability and reduced legal discovery costs. The idea of users finding proper control documents, testing results, or bill of materials equates to real savings and safety improvements.

Delivering Cost Savings and Lowering Operational Risk:  AI and Machine Learning allows customers to identify specific records from twenty to fifty year-old historical scanned documents. Organizations can find specific records like Hydrostatic tests and associated purchase orders. Even in today’s environment, we still have project completions with a handover of engineering drawings from vendors with limited attribution and incomplete ingestion into a system of record. The approach is still to defer the ingestion to later or complete it by humans at a cost of time, money, and accuracy.

Ongoing Process for Keeping Information Accurate: Once the AI engine identifies ROT or a specific record it now knows what it means to be an important file for that company. These business rules now run as a scheduled task automation ROT and records classification.

We are seeing that the pipeline industry is interested in innovations that can leverage existing information and content to improve safety and meet compliance. Innovative approaches, such as cognitive analysis of your existing repositories, will increase operational efficiency with your existing information. This solution is in use today and driving transformational change in the industry. With Shinydocs Cognitive Suite, you can turn your company’s data into an asset and achieve quick and accurate results.

Learn more about how Alitek and the Shinydocs Cognitive Suite  (https://www.shinydocs.com/cognitive-analysis/ ) has enabled the pipeline industry to achieve compliance and improve safety with existing content.

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About Alitek

Alitek is a leader in information based digital transformations. We help organizations improve business outcomes, increase efficiency, and reduce risk, through better management of information. Our experienced team works with you to build a unique strategic plan based on your specific needs, no matter the size of your company.