U.S. Department of Transportation1200 New Jersey Ave, S.E.Washington, D.C. 20590Pipeline and Hazardous MaterialsSafety AdministrationAPR 0 2 2015Mr. Robert EllisVice President OperationsEn Ven Energy Ventures, LLC3850 N. Causeway BoulevardSuite 1770Metairie, LA 70002Dear Mr. Ellis:In a letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) datedDecember 19,2014, you requested an interpretation ofthe applicability ofthe control roommanagement regulations in 49 CFR 195.446 to your crude oil pipeline.You stated that EnVen Energy Ventures, LLC (En Ven) recently acquired Shell Oil's Cognacplatform located in the Mississippi Canyon Block 194A on the Outer Continental Shelf including the Cognac 12-inch Crude Oil pipeline, which is approximately 28 miles long andcarries crude oil from the platform to the South West Pass Block 24 terminal operated by Hilcorp(Harvest Pipeline).You stated that En V en plans to have continuous monitoring of the pipeline operations from theCognac platform via a local Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. Thepipeline will normally be controlled via SCADA supplied automated programmable logic whichincludes automated safety devices that will shut down the pumps delivering crude oil to thepipeline in case of high or low pressure, or low flow. There are local start/stop controls at theindividual components, such as the pumps and valves, should there be a need to bypass theautomated logic control. The platform operators are not using the SCADA to remotely controloperations of the pipeline facilities; they are only monitoring the operational status of thepipeline via the SCADA system. At the land based facility, there are three locally controlledvalves used for normal flow and pig receiving. The platform SCADA only monitors the status ofthese valves and does not have the ability to control their operation. These valves are locallycontrolled for pigging the pipeline and in the event the platform is shut-in.You stated that En V en does not believe it has personnel that meet the definition of a controllerfound in 49 CFR 195.2. The platform operators only monitor operations of the pipeline facilityfrom the SCAD A. they do not control from the SC ADA. The platform operator does not directother personnel to take specific actions based upon monitoring of the SCADA. The pipelinecomponents (pumps, valves, etc.) are only operated locally and the SCADA is not capable ofoperating these components. All control actions are either performed by the automated logicprogrammed into the SCAD A or locally operated with manual on/off switches at the pipelineThe Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Office of Pipeline Safety provides written clarifications of the Regulations (49 CFRParts 190-199) in the form of interpretation letters. These letters reflect the agency's current application of the regulations to the specific factspresented by the person requesting the clarification. Interpretations do not create legally-enforceable rights or obligations and are provided tohelp the public understand how to comply with the regulations.
2components. In addition, EnV en does not believe it has an operational center that meets thedefinition of a control room found in 49 CFR 195.2. The platform operators have not beencharged with the responsibility of remotely controlling the pipeline. Because EnVen does nothave personnel that meet the definition of controller and does not have an operation center thatmeets the definition of a control room, EnVen believes the control room managementrequirements found under§ 195.446 do not apply. Therefore, you request PHMSA 'sinterpretation as to the applicability of the control room management regulations in§ 195.446 toyour crude oil pipeline.On February 3, 2015, my staff requested additional information and you responded to the requeston February 4, 2015. PHMSA's questions and your responses are as followsPHMSA Question: After monitoring the SCADA system, what actions would beundertaken when the personnel on the platform become aware of an abnormal or emergencycondition on the pipeline?EnVen Energy Response: The pipeline and platform are set up with programmable logicand safety devices that would automatically shut the pipeline pumps down immediately and keepthe pumps offline until qualified platform personnel could then investigate and act appropriately.PHMSA Question: Would the personnel analyze the SCADA displays to determine acourse of action or who to call to intervene or personally correct the situation?EnVen Energy Response: No, the course of action is already set with the platform andpipeline safety system. The pipeline pumps would be shut in or not allowed to come on lineuntil the qualified personnel determine the issue at hand and act accordingly with respect toestablished protocol and existing procedures.PHMSA Question: If automatic switches, independent of the SCAD A system. are usedto shut off the pipeline system, then why is the SCADA system needed?EnVen Energy Response: SCADA is not required; however, EnVen typically usesSCADA to monitor current conditions and document historical data on its important platformsand or flow lines.PHMSA Question: Do the job descriptions of the platform personnel include directionabout what to do when a pipeline upset condition occurs?En Ven Energy Response: Yes, the job descriptions and required training do provideappropriate direction.PHMSA Question: Who monitors the traveling of the pig?EnVen Energy Response: The Platform does and documents this daily on ourmorning rep01is.PHMSA Question: How are other elements of safety systems such as hydrogen sulfide orFire or Gas handled- does it automatically shut in the pipeline?The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Office of Pipeline Safety provides written clarifications of the Regulations(49 CFR Parts 190-199) in the form of interpretation letters. These letters reflect the agency's current application of the regulations to thespecific facts presented by the person requesting the clarification. Interpretations do not create legally-enforceable rights or obligations andare provided to help the public understand how to comply with the regulations.
3En Ven Energy Response: Our platform safety systems continually monitor our operatingconditions and will shut in the entire platform including the pipeline pumps should there be anupset.PHMSA Question: Do the platform personnel override these abnormal conditions?EnVen Energy Response: No. As per EnVen standards and Government regulations, wenever override any safety system during abnormal conditions.PHMSA Question: What is the purpose of the SCAD A monitoring or the outcome of theresponse to the information?EnVen Energy Response: En Yen does trend analysis with the historic data and likes theability to get real time data if needed.PHMSA Question: What are the abnormal operating conditions or abnormal operationsidentified and who responds to those?EnVen Energy Response: As this pertains to the DOT pipeline: Our qualified operatorswill respond to all of the items listed below: High Pressure, Pressure Safety 1-ligh Sensor that shuts in the pipeline pumps.Low Pressure, Pressure Safety Low Sensor that shuts in the pipeline pumps.Back flow, Installed flow safety valves.Product loss, we communicate with the receiving station to double check volumespumped and received. As mentioned above, we will have SCADA to look for conditiontrends and or irregularities in pressure and volume.Other emergency situations. such as Fire. Explosions . , TSE System (TemperatureSafety Element) actuates a platform and pump shut in automatically.Communication loss, we have backup generators for power loss, and battery poweredsatellite phones to insure that we have communication.Operator Error, our automatic safety devices will shut in the pipeline pumps.PHMSA Question: You mentioned that. at the end of your downstream pipeline, crudeoil is stored. Is the storage a breakout tank? If not please explain how the crude oil is introducedinto the downstream operator's pipeline.EnVen Energy Response: The oil, pumped from the platform is pipeline quality oil andis pumped through our pipeline into the onshore facility header and then into the facility storagetank.On February 12, 2015, a PHMSA engineering staff called you and discussed your platform setupas follows:The pipeline is a 12-inch. 28-mile long oil pipeline connecting the Cognac ProductionPlatform (located in 1,025 feet of water and operated under Bureau of Safety andEnvironmental Enforcement (BSEE) jurisdiction), to South West Pass 24/25 HarvestProcessing Facility; the operators on the offshore platform have the lease automaticcustody transfer (LACT) pumps set up per BSEE safety regulations with pressure safetyhigh (1 06 psi) and low (49 psi) settings during pumping operations; these pumpsThe Pipeline and Hazardous Materiais Safety Administration: Office ofPipeline Safety provides written clarifications of the Regulations(49 CFR Parts 190-199) in the form of interpretation letters. These letters reflect the agency's current application of the regulations to thespecific facts presented by the person requesting the clarification. Interpretations do not create legally-enforceable rights or obligations andare provided to help the public understand how to comply with the regulations.
4generally operate at 60 psi; when the pipeline pumps are shut down, the pipeline pressureis less than 5 psi; on the platform, the wells flow into oil storage tanks that have levelcontrols that turn on and off the LACT pumps; these pipeline pumps will kick on and offwhen a certain level is reached.Also, you stated that the pumps are shut off automatically and/or not allowed to pump if there aremajor upsets on the platfonn. This is done because the pipeline pumps are activatedautomatically by level controls in the oil tanks. In addition, there are times that the ·pumps willbe turned on and off manually (testing, meter proving, pigging maintenance, etc). This operationis not directed by a land based controller/operator. When receiving a pig, the land operator willbe communicating with your platform operator as described in your pigging procedure. Youroperators man the platform 24 hours a day; your operators can respond to an alarm immediately;the pumps are run for approximately 2.5-2.8 hours a day. The pumps will turn on and off asdictated by the tank level controls and will run for 5-7 minutes during one of its 24 daily cycles.and your platform operators are in daily contact with the land based receiving station to doublecheck daily volumes pumped and received.In addition, whenever you fly from your Rotorcraft Leasing Company Venice Air Base to theCognac platform and back, your pilot and operators do a visual inspection of the pipeline route,and this is done a minimum of once a week. You have a sonic meter at the South West Pass24/25 Facility, and it is externally attached to your pipeline and is calibrated monthly or asneeded to double check the throughput volumes received. The SCADA is used to only monitorthe activities on the pipeline and there are no controls. Also, your offshore operators areregulated by your DOT procedures and are not given direction by your land based personnel.Section 195.446 applies to each operator of a pipeline facility with a controller working in acontrol room who monitors and controls all or part of a pipeline facility through a SCAD Asystem. A person that has responsibility to monitor a SCADA system and contacts others toinitiate corrective actions is considered a controller. Also, a person that has responsibility tomonitor a SCADA system and personally initiates corrective action via the SCADA system is ac.ontroller. The person that receives the pipeline SCADA data and contacts operational personnelto operate or shut-in the pipeline would also be a controller. Controllers are subject to theControl Room Management (CRM) rule published on June 16, 2011 ;76 FR 35130, independentof the particular automated capabilities ofthe SCADA System. However, you stated that the off.shore platform operators have not been charged with the responsibility of remotely controllingthe pipeline. Also, all control actions are either performed by the automated logic programmedinto the SCAD A or locally operated with manual on/off switches at the pipeline components. Inaddition, at the land-based facility, there are three locally controlled valves used for normal flowand pig receiving. Therefore, for the off-shore application, as long as the persons on theplatform exclusively operate equipment on the platform (which may include pipeline pumps.valves, and pressure control equipment located on the platform), and do not control the pipelinedownstream, they are not considered to be controllers subject to the CRM rule.The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Office of Pipeline Safety provides written clarifications of the Regulations(49 CFR Parts 190-199) in the form of interpretation letters. These letters reflect the agency's current application of the regulations to thespecific facts presented by the person requesting the clarification. Interpretations do not create legally-enforceable rights or obligations andare provided to help the public understand how to comply with the regulations.
5Please note that this response to your December 19, 2014, request and the additional informationyou provided, reflects PHMSA' s preliminary views of the applicability of Part 195 regulationsbased on the limited information in your description of the facilities in your letter. PHMSA mayneed to collect additional information and possibly conduct a site visit to make a finaldetermination.If we can be of further assistance, please contact Tewabe Asebe of my staff at 202-366-5523.Director, Office of Standardsand RulemakingThe Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrati