August 2016, Vol. 243, No. 8

Company & Association News

Latest News on IPLOCA ‘s Activities

Juan Arzuaga, IPLOCA Executive Secretary

When asked what or who is IPLOCA, you may immediately think of the annual IPLOCA Convention, a unique forum that attracts between 500 and 650 top leaders of worldwide companies to attend five days of technical presentations, business meetings and a social and cultural programme, providing opportunities to network, build business relationships and share ideas.

However during the year, through the appointment of committees, IPLOCA’s Board of Directors and the 240 strong membership are involved in many other activities which are reported at or culminate at the convention.

IPLOCA commits to promoting safety and developing methods to reduce accidents, protect the environment and support local communities affected by pipeline construction. The presentation of awards for achievements in these fields is one of the initiatives developed by IPLOCA’s committees. IPLOCA also hosts Health & Safety workshops and meetings to raise awareness and to develop and encourage best practices.

These workshops have become a regular annual feature in IPLOCA’s calendar and have in the past covered a variety of topics, including Road Traffic Accidents, Preventing Catastrophic Losses, High Potential Incidents and The Role of Safety Myths in the Prevention of Incidents. HSE managers from member companies debated safety assessment efficiency during the June 2016 Safety Workshop in Geneva. There, attendees had the opportunity to investigate how to take toolbox talks to the next level, and why accidents still occur in spite of all the efforts made.

IPLOCA publishes aggregate statistics for the industry concerning health & safety, the submission of which is a requirement of membership for Regular Members. To respond to growing worldwide trends in environmental accountability, environmental statistics have been strongly encouraged and are now also a requirement. The expectation is that the resulting environmental reports not only serve members who are already active in the environmental assessment domain, but will also be an example to those who have yet to undertake such action.

Improving safety in the pipeline industry and above all, eliminating fatalities is a priority. To reach these objectives, the HSE Committee has set the following ambitious KPI objectives to be reached by 2020: Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), per million hours, of below 1; and zero fatalities.

A new initiative of the HSE Committee is the development of a Health & Safety shared experiences platform. This tool enables members to post lessons learned and best practices, allowing other members to benefit from their experiences.

IPLOCA’s New Technologies Committee oversees the Novel Construction Initiative in the spirit of developing the science and practice of onshore and offshore pipeline construction. The promotion of new technologies to improve the process and competitiveness of the industry is an ongoing part of this committee’s work.  Novel Construction Initiative meetings held last November and this March included plenary sessions with presentations on such topics as internal pipe bending, an innovative technology for thermal insulated pipelines; improving side-boom transportation; internal welding technology; latest developments for pipeline girth welds using 3D imaging techniques, and the assessment of earthquake-related geo-hazards and seismic design of pipelines.

The 4th edition of the best practices reference document, “Onshore Pipelines: The Road to Success” is now being completely revised, with new chapters being added and will be issued as an app to coincide with the 50th anniversary convention. The current edition is already available in three formats: online, on CD and via a collaborative wiki.

IPLOCA maintains an on-going dialogue with oil and gas onshore and offshore owners and operators, such as BP, Chevron, Eni, Petronas, Shell, Total, TransCanada, Saudi Aramco, Petrobras to name but a few. Historically a number of these players have been closely associated with IPLOCA by presenting their projects at our meetings or via sponsorship of the IPLOCA Awards. The annual IPLOCA Health & Safety Award has been sponsored by Chevron since 2007. The IPLOCA Environmental and Corporate Social Responsibility Awards are presented on alternate years and are sponsored by Shell and Total, respectively. BP sponsors the biennial IPLOCA New Technologies Award, first presented in 2001.

Alternating with this latter award, a new biennial award will be presented for the first time at the IPLOCA’s 50th anniversary convention in Paris, in recognition of Excellence in Project Execution.

IPLOCA strives to work collaboratively and to build relationships across the industry. To this end and effective from January 2016, IPLOCA members agreed to open membership to those owners and operators who have an interest in the work of the association and a willingness to benefit from a range of technical guidance and briefings produced by IPLOCA. ExxonMobil, Shell and GrtGaz (ENGIE) were amongst the first Corresponding Members confirmed by the IPLOCA Board.

The reach of the association continues to expand via its regional meetings which are organized by board directors for their specific geographic region. These meetings are an opportunity to meet association colleagues in a smaller forum than at the convention, to invite clients to discuss their proposed projects and to engage potential members of the association in addressing topics of particular relevance to their region. Regional directors are encouraged to organize such meetings every couple of years to further engage members around the world and to invite non-member companies to become familiar with IPLOCA. This year meetings were held in Langfang, near Beijing, China, in Moscow, Russian Federation and Parma, Italy with presentations translated as appropriate.

For the first time this year, IPLOCA has established a scholarship programme to assist children and grandchildren of employees of IPLOCA member companies who plan to continue their education in college, university or vocational school programmes.

A limited number of scholarships will be offered each year as a financial contribution to full-time study at an accredited institution of the student’s choice. The Scholarship Committee was very pleased with the response for this inaugural year: over 220 candidates had applied by the 26 February deadline, of which 120 met the eligibility requirements.

Narrowing the selection down to about 20 scholarship awards was not an easy task for Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America, who administers the programme on behalf of IPLOCA. The successful candidates will be announced this year at the Annual Convention in Paris.

Looking to the future and with the aim of updating the way it functions, the Board created a temporary committee to review the association’s By-laws and revisions were made to modernize them and remove inconsistencies. These were approved at the AGM in October 2015 in Singapore and included not only the introduction of the new category of membership, but also clarified the Board voting process, the use of proxies and the rules around maximum terms for directors.

To better profile our many and varied activities highlighted above, IPLOCA’s website was re-designed early this year to coincide with our 50th anniversary, allowing for intuitive and easy navigation and making it mobile device user friendly mobile device.  Visit us on to keep up to date on all our initiatives.

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