Integrity Management Expansion Stirs Controversy In Congress

November 2011, Vol. 66 No. 11

In green completions, gas and hydrocarbon liquids are physically separated from other fluids and delivered directly into equipment that holds or transports the hydrocarbons for productive use. There is no venting or flaring. This practice then links upstream activities with mid- and downstream- efforts. But McGinty added a more aggressive move to green completions "will require acceleration of effort in other areas to permit and build the needed gathering and distribution infrastructure."

In late August the EPA, as part of a larger oil and gas industry rulemaking, proposed operational standards for completions of hydraulically fractured gas wells. Non-exploratory and non-delineation wells would require reduced emission completion (REC) -- another term for ``green completion'' -- in combination with pit-flaring of gas not suitable for entering the gathering line.

Exemption From OSHA Injury Recordkeeping Possible For Pipelines

A new proposal by a federal regulatory agency wants to exempt the pipeline industry from injury and illness recordkeeping requirements it has had to comply with for 30 years. Believe it or not, that’s exactly what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing. Companies which transport both crude oil and natural gas would be among those in sectors who would no longer have to fill out OSHA Forms 300 and 300A. The first is used to note when an employee is injured on the job and why. The second is a compilation of all injuries during the year. Form 300A is posted in the workplace. Oil and natural gas pipeline companies have had to complete those forms since 1982.

But that requirement was based on illness and injury rates in each industry as of 1999. OSHA has now computed more recent statistics, based on the years 2007-2009, and also changed the way it evaluates each sector. Formerly, OSHA used Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes to compare companies to others in similar industries. It is now switching to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes.