NEB planning new pipeline parts rules after bad parts found

Pipelines. Photo by Alex Panetta/The Canadian Press

CALGARY, A.B. — The National Energy Board will be looking to change standards for pipeline parts after a senior regulatory official said that TransCanada and Enbridge found out that some of the parts that they had been using were not up to snuff.

NEB chief engineer Iain Colquhoun told Reuters that the Board’s changes need to pass external standards committees that would include members of the pipeline industry. New rules would change the way manufacturers have been designing parts, which could make production more complicated.

In an interview in late May, Colquhoun said that the NEB will set out precise measures after a multi-party workshop later this month. The changes are unlikely to affect pipeline operators significantly, however parts manufacturers may see some increased costs as they try to meet new requirements.

In April, the NEB warned about pipeline parts manufactured by Tecnoforge, a subsidiary of Italy’s Valvitalia SpA , and South Korea’s TK Corp, but did not name the companies using them.

Reuters was able to access an internal NEB memo under freedom-of-information laws that named TransCanada as the company using Tecnoforge fittings, and that the company had two similar cases with other manufacturers.

Story courtesy Reuters: http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/national-energy-board-plans-new-rules-as-firms-find-bad-pipeline-parts

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