May 23, 2015 – Plains Safety Statement

Source: Patrick Hodgins, Senior Director of Safety & Security

Safety and environmental responsibility are core values to Plains. Since 2008, Plains has significantly increased its size and spending related to our U.S. integrity management and safety programs.

  • We have more than doubled safety and training staff since 2008.
  • Our integrity management staff has increased by approximately 50 percent to over 80 people.
  • Spending on our maintenance and integrity management has risen significantly increasing to nearly $300 million in 2014.
  • Across the US, we have implemented several programs that are above and beyond those required by federal regulation.
    • We meet and in some cases exceed the required five-year inspection intervals for pipelines
      • Regarding Line 901, which experienced the accidental release on May 19, we have exceeded the federal regulatory requirement, inspecting it two times within the last three years.
    • We’ve implemented specialized monitoring initiatives for water crossings and have well defined seismic activity response procedures
    • We assess block valve placement and additional block valve installation to minimize potential impact to sensitive areas
    • We proactively assess water crossings and implement mitigative measures as appropriate
    • We conduct close interval surveys on Plains’ mainline pipelines, physically walking the lines to gather data regarding to cathodic protection as well as depth of cover
    • We conduct weekly air patrol of all active pipeline systems, which exceeds regulatory requirements
  • We have an integrated integrity management program that assesses risks and threats to our pipelines and uses a number of tools to assess their integrity.
    • We utilize up-to-date inline inspection tools to assess risks to our pipelines, including various ultrasonic technologies and high-resolution “MFL” magnetic flux leakage
    • In-line inspection tools have been run on substantially all Plains’ “piggable” pipelines to inspect for internal and external corrosion, dents and/or cracks.
  • We proactively utilize new and in certain cases run trials of new integrity management technologies, including leak detection technologies and “CPCM” Cathodic Protection Continuous Monitoring.
  • We utilize an integrated analysis of all available information including previous and most recent tool runs as well as mapping, operating history, location relative to sensitive areas, elevation profile, depth of cover and one-call frequency to assess trends, risks and potential threats to our assets and develop/implement mitigation plans.
  • Additional above-and-beyond measures implemented in new pipeline construction projects include:
    • Running base-line inline inspection tools for pipeline defects
    • Performing a coating defect survey
    • Placing warning tape underground but above the pipeline to prevent third-party damage
    • Strategic placement of additional block valves
    • Placing pipeline deeper than required by regulation
    • Verification of all pipeline welds.
  • Plains is actively involved in industry efforts relating to safety and integrity of pipelines, with Plains employees serving in leadership roles on a number of industry committees and initiatives with industry associations, including the Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI); American Petroleum Institute (API); Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL); and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • Plains seeks to continuously improve its safety and integrity management programs through internal and external review and cooperating with regular audits from Federal and state agencies.

Given all of this, releases from Plains pipelines have significantly decreased while throughput volume has increased since 2008.

We are part of the Santa Barbara community and we deeply regret that this release has happened. On behalf of the Plains family – the 350 employees located here in the state of California and the more than 5,000 employees located throughout North America – we will do everything in our power to make this right.