PHMSA and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) announced a public workshop to be held on August 5, 2014, to discuss challenges associated with detecting and characterizing crack-like defects in oil and gas pipelines (e.g., environmentally assisted cracks and cracks associated with corrosion).  Presenters include the NTSB, the National Energy Board of Canada, PHMSA and certain pipeline operators.  Discussion will include:  (1) an update on developments in crack detection technology; (2) case studies using these technologies; (3) data collected to support engineering assessments; and (4) criteria for determining excavation of a probable crack defect, the associated timeframe, and models for determining crack growth rates.  The workshop will be held in Chicago, but will also be webcast.  Additional information, including the agenda, is available here.

Following this meeting, PHMSA and NAPSR will hold a two day Research and Development forum in Chicago on August 6 and 7 to develop a national pipeline research agenda.  The forum will target current gaps in technology and priorities for future research.  Working groups are slated to discuss the following issues:  damage prevention, leak detection/fugitive methane emissions, anomaly detection characterization, improving risk models and technology to address legacy material challenges (e.g., cast iron and seam weld issues).  More information is available here.