FERC Gas-Electric Information Sharing Order Draws Complaints

February 2014, Vol. 69 No. 2

OSHA had considered including oil and gas sectors in the PSM when it was originally finalized in 1992. But it exempted them with the intention of developing a separate PSM, which it never got around to, in part because of opposition from the American Petroleum Institute. One of the incidents OSHA cites as a rational for considering adding oil and gas production relates to a fire in 1998 at a production facility near Pitkin, LA. In that instance, Sonat Exploration Company was using well fluid to purge air from a two-mile pipeline that connected a separation facility to a production well when the separation vessel failed. In its investigation report on the incident, the CSB stated that ``[t]wo elements of the PSM standard, process hazard analyses and written operating procedures, are particularly relevant to the Sonat incident.'' The CSB further concluded that ``[t]he incident would likely have been prevented if process safety management principles or good engineering practice had been followed more effectively at the facility.''