ISO 3183:2019 – published

ISO 3183 is the international standard for steel pipe for pipeline transportation systems in the petroleum and natural gas industries.  ISO 3183:2019 was published on 7th October. 

More information available (and to purchase) on the ISO website.

Abstract from ISO website:

This document specifies requirements for the manufacture of two product specification levels (PSL 1 and PSL 2) of seamless and welded steel pipes for use in pipeline transportation systems in the petroleum and natural gas industries.

This document supplements API Spec 5L, 46th edition (2018), the requirements of which are applicable with the exceptions specified in this document.

This document is not applicable to cast pipe.

From the Foreword:

The technical requirements of this document and API Spec 5L used to be identical (except for the inclusion of Annex M in the ISO publication).  In the meantime API Spec 5L has been technically revised as API Spec 5L, 46th Edition(2018).  The purpose of this document is to bring it up to date by referencing the current edition of API Spec 5L and including supplementary content.




APGA CoP: PE Gathering – v5

{Context: the below is from the preface of the APGA Code of Practise – Upstream Polyethylene Gathering Networks – CSG Industry, Version 5, published August 2019, available on the APGA website.}


“This Code has been developed to provide guidance to all industry participants. It is intended to encapsulate the best techniques and methods currently available to provide safe and reliable Gathering Networks and is cross-referenced against relevant Australian and international standards wherever possible.

This fifth version is intended to capture learnings as a result of the industry’s development and allow recent industry innovations to be safely used.

Significant changes in this Version 5.0 include the following:

a) Removal of non-mandatory guidance to the industry from the Code to Companion Papers;

b) Update of the Safety Management System process based on industry experience and research;

c) Upgrade to the Network Management System requirements to address the whole-of-life (from pre-construction to relinquishment) for both gas gathering and water gathering;

d) Clarification of risk control measures with respect to physical and procedural requirements;

e) Clarified minimum Depth of Cover requirements and introduced concept of “reduced cover”;

f) Introduced ability to install temporary above ground gas and water pipes, in non-fenced locations;

g) Providing alternative materials to carbon steel for risers, in response to corrosion concerns;

h) Reduce the need for excavations in brownfield situations;

i) Facilitate the use of Gathering Networks for transportation of water for fracturing or drilling purposes;

j) Addressing in more detail requirements of network operations and controls and external interference management, of existing networks; and

k) Revision of required timing of key review intervals for network management.

It is an evolving document, and APGA proposes that reviews of the Code occur on an as required basis pending any significant industry learnings or issues. Companion Papers will be updated more frequently as best practice evolves and develops.

This Code has been developed by APGA in consultation with its membership, PIPA, the gas industry and regulatory authorities, particularly those in Australian jurisdictions with a current CSG industry. APGA members in all States are encouraged to adopt this Code and to provide feedback on its application. Other interested parties are also invited to provide feedback on this initiative. Feedback forms are available on the APGA web site.”


{Context:  I notice this is the third posting in a row coming from actual books.  Good old-fashioned, hold in your hand, books.  I started reading again about a year ago, after having mostly given it up for many years because I thought I was “too busy”.  But like anything, if you make time for it, you have time for it.  This one I just finished yesterday; it tries to show evidence that ‘the way to excel is by sampling widely, gaining a breadth of experiences, taking detours, experimenting relentlessly, juggling many interests – in other words, by developing range.’  The examples in the book are mostly about tangible knowledge like playing chess, tennis or golf, and some of the creative arts.  I’m not sure how or if this applies to knowledge work like engineering, but still, maybe.  It’s an interesting approach.}


“… I found more evidence that it takes time – and often forgoing a head start – to develop personal and professional range, but it is worth it.

“I dove into work showing that highly credentialed experts can become so narrow-minded that they actually get worse with experience, even while becoming more confident – a dangerous combination.  And I was stunned when cognitive psychologists I spoke with led me to an enormous and too often ignored body of work demonstrating that learning itself is best done slowly to accumulate lasting knowledge, even when that means performing poorly on tests of immediate progress.  That is, the most effective learning looks inefficient:  it looks like you are falling behind.

“Learning deeply means learning slowly.

“The more constrained and repetitive a challenge, the more likely it will be automated, while great rewards will accrue to those who can take conceptual knowledge from one problem or domain and apply it to an entirely new one.”


  • from Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialised World, by David Epstein, 2019.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

{Context:  I’ve referred to this book before, by Daniel Kahneman.  I first read it when borrowed from the public library. Recently I finally bought my own copy because it is such a deep and informative book, and I wanted to be able to refer to it (and highlight the heck out of it).  The below excerpt is from the conclusions section, 415 pages in (and small type at that), so there is a lot of words before one gets to this point.  Still, it is informative enough that I put it here.  I’ve added paragraph breaks below and some italicised emphasis, for ease of honing in on the actual points, about developing skills / learning / being an expert so to speak.}


“This book has described the workings of the mind as an uneasy interaction between two fictitious characters: the automatic System 1 and the effortful System 2.

“The attentive System 2 is who we think we are.  System 2 articulates judgements and makes choices, but it often endorses or rationalises ideas and feelings that were generated by System 1.  You many not know that you are optimistic about a project because something about its leader reminds you of your beloved sister, or that you dislike a person who looks vaguely like your dentist.  If asked for an explanation, however, you will search your memory for presentable reasons and will certainly find some.  Moreover, you will believe the story you make up.  …

… “System 1 is indeed the origin of much that we do wrong {because it is automatic/instinctual}, but it is also the origin of most of what we do right – which is most of what we do.  Our thoughts and actions are routinely guided by System 1 and generally are on the mark.  One of the marvels is the rich and detailed model of our world that is maintained in associative memory;  it distinguishes “surprising” from “normal” events in a fraction of a second, it immediately generates an idea of what was expected instead of the surprise, and it automatically searches for some causal interpretation of surprises and of events as they take place.

“Memory also holds the vast repertory of skills we have acquired in a lifetime of practise, which automatically produce adequate solutions to challenges as they arise, from walking around a large stone on the path, to averting the incipient outburst of a customer.

“The acquisition of skills requires

  • a regular environment,
  • adequate opportunity to practise, and
  • rapid and unequivocal feedback about the correctness of thoughts and actions.

“When these conditions are fulfilled, skill eventually develops, and the intuitive judgements and choices that quickly come to mind will mostly be accurate.

“All this is the work of System 1, which means it occurs automatically and fast.  A marker of skilled performance is the ability to deal with vast amounts of information swiftly and efficiently.”

  • from the Conclusions chapter, sub heading Two Systems, of “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, 2011, Penguin Books.

The Golden Spruce

{Context:  A bit of a longer set of excerpts today; … it is Friday after all. 

Below are excerpts from a nostalgic and dreamy work of history and story, about the island of Haida Gwaii off the west coast of British Columbia in Canada.  I visited there with family 4 years ago, and it is, simply, a green and wistful place.  I joked that ‘there are more than 50 shades of green on Haida Gwaii”.   The pictures below are mine, not from the book.

The book is about the forestry/logging industry, the west coast old growth forests, and a strange incident in 1997 where “a timber scout chain-sawed a local legend, a unique 300-year-old Sitka spruce tree, fifty meters tall and covered with luminous golden needles.  It fell down two days later.  It was a bizarre environmental protest,” to draw attention to the logging of the old growth forests.  

I find the parallels to the logging industry and the hydrocarbon energy industry fascinating:  once a proud and prolific industry, then met with consternation about environmental impacts, and now, logging is an accepted (somewhat artificial) regular industry, supplying a need (a market) that has never gone away, even in the face of environmental protests.  Read the below through the lens of the hydrocarbon industry.  We just need to find our equivalent of farmed tree lots.  I like the idea of finding a way to manufacture methane (CH4) (syngas).}

HG forest

2019-10-04 20.57.37



“Everyone who set eyes on the North American coast, from Columbus and Cabot forward, noted the vast quantities of timber, but the English were the first to systematically exploit it.  Like the Romans, Greeks, and Sumerians before them, the English had an insatiable appetite for wood; as a result, the thickly forested British Isles had been reduced, largely, to pastureland.

“Wooden ships pioneered global trade and transoceanic empire building, but they did so in part to perpetuate themselves.  Tall, knot-free pine for masts and spars had become hard to find in western Europe, and it was for these that royal shipwrights turned to North America.  Up until 150 years ago, a forest of straight, sturdy pine was as valuable as an oil field or a uranium mine today: it was a critical source of energy (i.e., sail power) without which a nation could not fully realise its commercial or military ambitions.

“… by 1691, England’s “Broad Arrow Policy” was in effect.  Reflecting the wholesale audacity of the times, this highly unpopular decree stated that any trees twenty-four inches or more in diameter located within three miles of water were automatically the property of the king. … The marked trees were considered so valuable that mast ships – custom build to accommodate long timbers – travelled in convoy with armed escorts.

“Three hundred years on, such zealous precautions seem almost quaint, and yet they offer a graphic measure of the true value of wood, a substance whose importance in our history and evolution is almost impossible to overestimate.  Throughout most of the world, and for most of human history, wood has been the principal source of fuel and building material, providing heat, light, and shelter as well as food, clothing, and weapons.  Nowhere is this dependence more vividly evident than in North America.  Trees, it could be said, represent the bones of our collective body.

“Logging is an industry that, while unseen by most of us, has altered this continent (North America) – indeed, all inhabited continents- even more completely than agriculture.

“What is eerie is that, despite the logging industry’s profound impact on our lives and on this continent, few people outside the industry have actually witnessed a logging operation.  … Most people don’t handle wood except in a finished state, and even those within the industry tend to be aware only of their particular link in the chain.  If you were to ask a logger where his trees go, or a carpenter where his lumber comes from, there is a good chance that neither one would be able to tell you, and once that wood has been transformed into a chair or a paper towel, its provenance is anybody’s guess.

“… he had worked as a logger when jobs were available.  “You have the attitude”, he explained, “that ‘If I don’t do it, somebody else will.'”.  Any of this man’s ancestors hunting for sea otter pelts (to extinction) would have been driven toward the same logic and by exactly the same market forces.

“Loggers, as with most people who work for a living, see what they do as necessary.  “It’s a resource and it should be used” is a rationale one hears over and over again.

“In the modern forest as is in the modern retail outlet, the emphasis is – now more than ever – on volume and speed.  The “crop” of trees is planted in tidy rows, and often in stands of single species rather than the mixed forests that nature prefers.  These are the real biological deserts.  Today, trees are bred for speed and are harvested in tight rotations of twelve to eighty years.  … This is the future of the world’s “working” forests:  a predictable supplier of genetically modified fibre.”

from “The Golden Spruce: A true story of myth, madness and greed”, by John Vaillant, copyright 2005, Random House Canada.


Haida Gwaii sign

Pipeliners Podcast


“The Pipeliners Podcast is a place for professionals who care about pipeline operations to discuss the latest information and benefit from each other’s experience.

Founded and hosted by Russel Treat, an industry leader, software entrepreneur, podcaster, trusted subject matter expert, and Certified Bubba Geek specializing in oil and gas pipeline operations, custody transfer measurement, leak detection, and automation.”


These are my words…

I’ve recently started listening to the Pipeliner’s Podcast back-catalogue. I can’t recall how or where I heard about it, but maybe I was searching for “risk management in pipelines” and this came up (ie Ep78 in the list below).  I listen through the Overcast podcasting app, but it’s available on most platforms as well as through their website.

The podcast started in late 2017, and will soon do its 100th episode.  Even though it’s US-centric, there are some interesting episodes.  It is very focussed on pipeline control (ie control room operators), which is a perspective I’ve not really been exposed to very much, so, quite enlightening.

Here’s the list of episodes I’m working through:

Ep10: Inline Pipeline Inspection (have listened to, quite good info for novices)

Ep14: Fundamentals of Leak Detection (have listened to, quite good info for novices)

Ep18: The Politics of Pipelines (have listened to)

EP38: Pipeline Safety Trends

Ep43: Pipeline Management of Change

Ep45: IT/OT Convergence

EP48: Introduction to Pipeline SMS (obviously not AS2885’s)

Ep58: A Brief Pipeliner’s History

EP62: NTSB Most Wanted List for Pipeline Safety Improvements

Ep68: Pipeliner’s Association Knowledge Transfer

Ep78: Risk Management in Pipelines (have listened to)

Ep79: Bellingham Incident 20-Year Anniversary (have listened to – quite good)

Ep95: A Brief Pipelining History Pt2










Broadly speaking, the format for creating an implementation intention (habit) is: “when situation “x” arises, I will perform response “y”.

Hundreds of studies have shown that implementation intentions are effective for sticking to our goals.

People who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through.  Too many people try to change their habits without these basic details figured out.

We tell ourselves, “I’m going to eat healthier” or “I’m going to write more” but we don’t say when and where these habits are going to happen.  We leave it up to chance and hope that we will “just remember to do it” or feel motivated at the right time.

An implementation intention sweeps away foggy notions like “I want to work out more” or “I want to be more productive” and transforms them into a concrete plan of action.

Many people think they lack motivation, when what they really lack is clarity.  So it is not always obvious when and where to take action.  Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement.

  • From Chapter 5 (“The Best Way to Start a New Habit”) of the book “Atomic Habits”, by James Clear 




The APGA Pipeline Engineer Competency System creates a framework for understanding competency and a means of assessing and documenting competency for pipeline engineers.

The competency standards at the core of the system have consistent elements and a standard format that enable a quick understanding of requirements in every stream of pipeline engineering.

Each competency standard clearly identifies the knowledge, experience and expertise required to achieve competence and outlines the roles and responsibilities that a pipeline engineer will be able to undertake after achieving that competency.

The APGA Pipeline Engineer Competency System was developed by panels of industry experts and then published for wide consultation before being finalised. The system is now the responsibility of the Pipeline Engineering Competency System (PECS) Committee which has developed and implemented a program of review to ensure the system remains current and fit for purpose.

The best place to start exploring the competency standards is via the online searchable link (available for APGA members only).

The competencies have been developed within a classification structure with the following key elements:

  • Level of competency – core, elective and specialist.
  • Streams – Design, Construction, Operations and General.
  • Competency Areas.


From the APGA website; more information here