Chevron, Wolverine Win Top Pipeline Safety Awards

August 2016, Vol. 243, No. 8

API awarded its 2015 Distinguished Safety and Environmental Award to Chevron Pipe Line Company and Wolverine Pipe Line Company. This is API’s highest safety and environmental performance award for pipeline operators and was presented to the companies at API’s 67th annual pipeline conference in Carlsbad, CA in April.

“This award is a testament to Chevron and Wolverine’s extraordinary commitment to exceptional safety and environmental performance,” said API Midstream Director Robin Rorick. “Safety is a core value for the industry. These two companies exemplify excellence in protecting the public and our environment.”

Chevron Pipe Line was honored in the large operator category and Wolverine won in the small operator category. The award reflects the consistent record of safety and environmentally sound operations by both companies.

Wolverine is a transportation service company, headquartered in Portage, MI. It operates over 630 miles of active steel pipeline in three states, connecting Chicago refineries to terminals in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. The company transports over 350,000 bbls (14.7 million gallons) of refined products a day.

Chevron Pipe Line, headquartered in Bellaire, TX, is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corp. Chevron Pipe Line operates pipeline assets that transport crude oil, refined petroleum products, liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas and chemicals within the U.S. On a daily basis, its network of 4,100 miles of pipe transports over 1.3 MMbbls of crude, refined products and chemicals.

In an interview with P&GJ, Jim Barnum, operations general manager for Chevron Pipe Line, discussed the importance of the award and pipeline safety to his company, suggesting the interest in safety is more than just a priority: It is a way of life, and the only way to do business.

“Chevron’s paramount value is our commitment to safe, reliable and environmentally sound operations. We will continue working collaboratively to achieve zero incidents and building the bridges that will strengthen performance across our industry,” he said.

“This recognition among our industry peers is a testament to the pattern of steady improvement that the women and men of Chevron Pipe Line are delivering. Their sustained commitment to incident and injury free operations recently passed a major milestone with more than 3.7 million hours worked without a lost time injury. They are upholding Chevron’s paramount value: our commitment to safe, reliable and environmentally sound operations,” Barnum said.

He said it was particularly significant for Chevron Pipe Line to be singled out in specific safety-related categories, and that it is the result of a consistent, long-term approach typified by Chevron’s Operational Excellence Management System.

“We were especially pleased to deliver results that approached ‘zero’ in the three performance metric categories evaluated by API. The catalyst driving our performance is Chevron’s Operational Excellence (OE) Management System.”

Barnum said the company’s OE management system was developed over decades, and it is predicated on the understanding that our work is inherently risky. For that reason, Chevron continually assess its processes to identify and address gaps.

“Community outreach is a key to our damage prevention and public awareness campaigns,” Barnum said. “We continually target our campaigns toward high-risk groups such as farmers and maritime contractors. Our Safe at Home education initiative is another step we have taken to share knowledge within the broader community.”

Barnum said the safety program demands the highest standards of both employees and contractors.

“Chevron Pipe Line reinforces OE expectations with all of our employees and contractors through field engagements which include leadership and peer coaching,” he said. “Regularly, all ranks of leadership within the organization visit field locations to reinforce our commitment to safety, to discuss current safety challenges, and to work together to develop solutions to those challenges. A stop work authority (SWA) policy and culture has been established and is continually reinforced by leadership.”

“We have a team of coaches that are embedded with our field teams that have been trained in workforce safety communication and HES expectations. This team is fully dedicated to interacting with field employees and contractors to ensure an understanding of Chevron Pipe Line’s HES requirements, verify competency in specific safety roles, and provide feedback and coaching on why these requirements are important and how to successfully implement them.”

To further aid its contract workforce, Chevron Pipe Line has contractor job safety plans that are standardized, as well as detailed plans developed prior to the start of work. The company also conducts regional engagement sessions with core contractors to encourage open communication on company safety expectations, contractor performance, and to obtain feedback from the contractors on opportunities for improvement.

Chevron also includes the latest state-of-the-art technology in its safety program, he said

“Technology is an increasingly powerful lever, and we rely heavily on technological advancements to improve the safety of our operations,” Barnum said. “We collaborate within Chevron’s Advance Leak Detection Community of Practice and various API work groups, such as the API Cybernetics Work Group, all of which aid in the rapid deployment of new technologies. Another area of strength is our leadership in Integrity and Control Room Management governance and best practices.”

Other Honorees

Shell won the Occupational Safety Performance Award for large operators. In the small operator category, three companies shared that honor: CITGO Pipeline Co., Equistar Chemicals, LP – Equistar Pipeline and Wolverine Pipe Line, all reporting no OSHA recordable incidents for employees or contractors during the year.

TransCanada won Environmental Performance Award in the large operator category, reporting no releases. The small operator category winners, each recipient reporting no releases, were Equistar Chemicals, LP – Equistar Pipeline, Portland Pipe Line Corp. and Wolverine. 




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