Most of our Canadian pipelines are monitored from our main control centre located in Olds, Alberta, while our U.S. pipelines are primarily monitored from our control centre in Midland, Texas.
In Olds, a Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system is used to track the pressure, flow, quality and temperature of product in the pipelines, as well as other critical operating data received from transmitters and pumping stations. SimSuite and Pipeline Monitoring are two leak detection systems used to detect abnormal operating conditions on the pipelines, and alarms are used to inform operators of pipeline events that may need attention. In addition to automated systems, employees monitor our pipelines and facilities.
Control centre operators undergo an extensive training program before they can operate a console that monitors the pipelines. These operators, who are re-qualified every three years, can manage flow and shut down the pipeline in the event of an emergency. PMC’s senior leadership is fully supportive of an operator’s right and responsibility to shut down a pipeline at any time as part of our Safety Life Rules program for the company. PMC senior leadership expects our operators to shut down a pipeline if they are in doubt, and there will be no repercussions.
PMC has stringent pipeline maintenance and monitoring programs in place while we are also continuously improving how our pipelines are monitored.
In 2015, we initiated a three-year project to improve our ability to identify and respond to pipeline alarms and improve our leak detection system. The project greatly improves communication flow and allows for quicker response times.
We work closely with CEPA’s Integrity First Program on Control Room Management. We have developed a self-assessment guidance document which all 12 CEPA member companies measure themselves on. We share best practices on Control Room Management through quarterly meetings to improve and help each other avoid incidents.