ExxonMobil Pipeline Company carefully monitors its pipelines to detect unusual operating conditions that may indicate a leak or other issue requiring immediate attention.
Our 24/7 Operations Control Center (OCC) is tied into our regulated facilities through a multilayer, bi-directional communications system. This Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system provides operators with real-time operating data about our pipelines.
OCC console operators are trained to interpret the data in order to support the safe operation of valves, pumps, tanks and pipelines. These same operators are also trained to identify abnormalities, and to communicate directly with field personnel and emergency responders as necessary to investigate a potential release or respond to an incident. All OCC operators have authority to shut down a system or facility if they perceive a risk to safety or the environment.
In addition to the remote real-time monitoring of our operations, we monitor our facilities on-site using foot patrols, aerial surveillance and marine surveys as appropriate.
Right-of-way surveillance: Aerial and ground-based inspectors regularly monitor the pipeline route for potential integrity issues including but not limited to: visible changes to soil and vegetation that may indicate a leak; unauthorized access or activities or obstructions that could affect maintenance, inspection or repair operations; and depth of cover.
Water-crossing surveys: We closely evaluate our pipeline river and stream crossings to assess and mitigate any risks, such as debris or bank erosion, that may have been introduced after extreme weather or high-water events. All our pipeline water crossings are inspected during routine right-of-way surveillance.
Close-interval surveys (CIS): These surveys confirm that a pipeline’s cathodic protection system continues to provide the proper level of protection. This requires walking the entire length of the pipeline.