Gustavo Nunez
Managing Director of Mexico and Central America
View from the Top

Above and Beyond Normative Pipeline Safety Requirements

By Cas Biekmann | Thu, 10/21/2021 - 10:29

Q: How does ROSEN’s leading technological position worldwide translate to added value for clients in the Mexican market?

A: Our global experience has helped us to get settled in the Mexican market. Focusing on best practices on a global level has paid off because we are well prepared to meet any challenge the market has to offer. Anything you can do to prevent an incident, such as a leak or a spill, ties into what data you have and the plan you implement to mitigate risks. ROSEN takes great pride  in making this risk management happen and mitigating the possibility of any incidents occurring. Considering our expertise in the offshore environment, we hope to showcase our added value and participate in Mexico’s shallow and deepwater developments too.


Q: PEMEX recently suffered an offshore pipeline fire. What does this say about the importance of pipeline asset integrity in Mexico?

A: This reveals the crucial importance of preventative maintenance. This technical approach is a key part of the message we transmit to our clients through our different workshops and training. ROSEN is very much about having safety become a crucial component in pipeline operations. Our goal is to have access to as much information as possible to prevent catastrophes and to be a key partner as well as a solution provider in asset integrity. ROSEN is well-equipped with the data-gathering tools needed to prevent or mitigate any kind of failure or incident.


Q:How can ROSEN’s digitalized approach help sway clients toward modern technologies?

A: In Mexico, we are still a little slower in adapting to newer technologies. This has to do with how the market identifies threats. Many approaches can be tried before an inline inspection is necessary. ROSEN can provide a great deal of support in terms of analyzing what type of threats a company could face. We can propose a better-fitting solution to these pipeline risks. However, we would like to see Mexico adopt new technologies that are part of ROSEN’s portfolio, such as Ultrasound CD or Electro-Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) tests. There is still a great deal of opportunity to cover more ground through technology.


Q: How does ROSEN help establish a specific risk model to deal with O&M, rather than just risk analysis?

A: Risk-modeling is all about identifying what data the client has. ROSEN can analyze this data and expose gaps within it. From that point, we can begin building a database using relevant information to expose any risks that may exist in the vicinity of a pipeline. All this data combined with the identified gaps provide clients with a comprehensive view of the situation. The goal is to mitigate the most relevant threats instead of zooming in too much on minor issues. ROSEN has a software-based solution, as well as consultancy services from experts around the world, that can make this happen. Our goal is to partner with our clients and to provide a real solution so that together we can build a safe environment for operating pipelines.


Q: How does ROSEN help its clients apply NOM-009-ASEA-2017 in an effort to ensure broader environmental safety in Mexico?

A: The overall message of this regulation was a will to bring everyone together under one regulatory umbrella, so that the pipeline industry as a whole could align to these standards. At ROSEN, we aim for more than compliance. We ask how we can go beyond these established standards and make the environment even safer while striving for a 0-incident result.

We are aligned with different stakeholders, as well as with what ASEA requires. We provide our customers with a solution to help them comply, as well as providing added value by identifying best practices for high-consequence areas (HCA), such as highly populated environments or unusually sensitive areas. There is a slight difference between what ASEA stipulates and the better practices we see implemented in countries like the US. It is important for ROSEN to distinguish here and share our experiences to better the environmental safety situation in Mexico. For example, when a pipeline ‘ovals’ from its original round shape, we base our repair parameters on examples from Asia-Pacific or Australian legislation where the norms are specified, so applying them helps preserve asset integrity from an engineering perspective proven in the field. ASEA has an excellent track record, but like with any well-functioning regulator, the market would benefit if ASEA had a more optimal capability to enforce its regulation. In any case, companies can do their part by stepping up and enforcing a high standard by themselves.  


Q: What other countries could Mexico learn from in its mission to ensure this environmental safety?

A: We could learn much from the country’s northern neighbors, Canada and the US. These countries have done a great deal to create different rules and regulations toward the prevention of pipeline incidents. For instance, a major current example is the US’ development and enforcement of the so-called Mega Rule. This rule states that operators must reconfirm their Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP), a pressure limit set by US governmental bodies. If pipelines do not exceed their MAOP, the risk of fires and explosions is minimized greatly. ROSEN’s RoMat suit plays an important role in this requirement because it can determine the material properties to validate the MAOP. 

ROSEN Group provides technological solutions related to maintenance. The company focuses on maximizing asset safety and reliable infrastructure operations by ensuring data quality and integrity management.

Cas Biekmann Cas Biekmann Journalist and Industry Analyst