Your Leak is Everyone's Leak

There is a saying in the industry that "Your leak is everyone's leak" and it is meant to convey that no matter who makes the mistake, we all pay for it. When one operator has an issue, and a new regulation or standard is generated, which everyone must follow, every operator is impacted. Adding to the regulatory impact, the public perception is that all systems and operations are similar such that if one has a major incident, all other systems are in the same dangerous state. So, when anyone in the industry has a leak, we all have a leak.

If those of us companies that hold ourselves to a higher standard can hold the bar higher than what bare minimum standards and regulations call for, such as building equipment with additional safety factor over what pipeline codes require, we do so knowing that when we take these steps, we are helping the entire industry. When we all hold each other accountable BEFORE the incidents occur, we prevent the entire group from paying for each mistake.

In articles like this one about the recent gas storage leak, the authors make the statement that "there’s no reason to believe that any one of them have been operated in a way that’s so much better than Aliso Canyon" which is direct evidence that although the incident was "a very unique leak", according to a separate Guardian article, it is likely that the reaction to the incident will be increased oversight, regulation, and cost to all gas storage operators. By most objective standards, SoCal gas is held in high regard as a well run company with strict standards of operations and compliance. Yet, the incident has already started down the path toward all operators bearing the cost, as evidenced by the call for new regulations:

TPE Midstream takes the stance that only by holding ourselves to standards above and beyond the regulations will we be able to avoid paying the price for every leak. We anticipate that our equipment is already built and maintained to standards so far beyond current regulations that even as standards tighten, we are already a step ahead.

As an operator. do you demand your temporary equipment providers provide full databooks? MTRs? Hydrotests? Do you require your rental equipment to meet the strictest standards of design and operation? You should, and if your current provider can't show you the quality documentation, call TPE Midstream. We maintain a full set of all documentation from the birth of the steel to the retirement of the asset.