Wink to Webster’s safety, health and environmental performance goal is simply stated: “Nobody Gets Hurt. Not a Drop is Spilled.”
Our efforts are coordinated by a comprehensive Operational Integrity Management System (OIMS) that integrates best practices across our operations. The OIMS Framework establishes a holistic and consistent approach to maintaining our commitments to safety, reliability, health and environmental performance throughout our pipeline and terminal operations.
Integrity management programs coordinate the management, analysis, operations and maintenance of pipelines to ensure the pipelines are safe and fit for service.
The primary functions of Wink to Webster’s robust Integrity Management Program (IMP) include performing integrity assessments; integrating pipeline data from multiple sources to determine and forecast the condition of the pipeline; identifying, prioritizing and managing risks; implementing preventive and mitigative actions; and conducting maintenance. The IMP also supports our compliance with applicable federal and state regulations.
Many of the highly trained professionals who oversee the IMP are leaders in their respective fields and often serve on industry committees tasked with improving pipeline operating standards. We devote substantial resources to maintain the program, employ experts and invest in the research and deployment of advanced technology to continuously improve our performance.
Wink to Webster carefully monitors the operations of the pipeline to detect unusual operating conditions that may indicate a leak or other issues requiring immediate attention.
Our 24/7 Operations Control Center (OCC) is tied into our regulated pipeline facilities through a multilayer, bi-directional communications system. This Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system provides our pipeline operators with real-time data about how the pipeline is operating.
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 also are 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 console operators have the authority to shut down the system if they perceive a risk to safety or the environment.
In addition to the remote, real-time monitoring, we examine 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 changes to the 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.
The Wink to Webster Pipeline System’s Integrity Management Program (IMP) utilizes state-of-the-art methods to assess the integrity of the pipeline system.
Hydrostatic pressure tests: Hydrostatic pressure tests, or hydrotests, use pressurized water to identify areas of a pipeline that may need repair. They are generally conducted when a pipeline is being put into service for the first time, being brought back into service after a prolonged period or as part of a periodic integrity assessment.
Prior to a hydrotest, the crude is displaced from the pipeline section and replaced with water in order to minimize potential environmental damage that might result from leaks during the test. The pipeline section is filled with enough water to create significantly more pressure inside the pipeline than is created during normal operations. If the pipeline holds the elevated pressure for a predetermined amount of time, the pipeline is determined to be fit for service. If problem areas are detected, the area is repaired, and the test is repeated until it is completed successfully.
Inline inspection (ILI): Most assessments are performed with inline inspection tools known as “smart pigs.” There are many types of smart pigs, each designed to assess various characteristics of the pipeline and to detect anomalous conditions associated with the pipeline.
Wink to Webster retains qualified, third-party experts who employ proven technologies to conduct their inspections. During an ILI, the third-party experts insert a smart pig that is configured with a combination of sensors to gather data on multiple aspects of the pipeline as it moves through the pipe propelled by the flow of the oil. Use of these inline technologies help us proactively address possible integrity issues in our pipeline system before safety and environmental performance is compromised.
Inline inspections are typically preferable to a hydrotests because they provide more data about the pipeline’s integrity.
Direct assessment: Direct assessments are conducted in cases where it is impractical to conduct a hydrotest or an ILI. This type of test requires excavating the soil from around the pipeline in representative places to directly evaluate the condition of the pipeline.
Wink to Webster is committed to the safe, reliable and environmentally responsible operation of its pipeline and facilities. We patrol the pipeline route on the ground and in the air. We closely monitor the system from a 24-hour control center, from which our operators can take protective actions if a release or other problem is detected.
We work hard to prevent incidents, but in the unlikely event of a pipeline emergency, we are prepared to quickly respond. Our personnel regularly communicate, plan and drill with local emergency responders, such as fire and police departments, in an effort to ensure our efforts are well-coordinated and effective.
To report a pipeline emergency, call 911 and 1-800-537-5200.
Before you dig, call 811: Prior to starting work on any project near land marked by a pipeline marker, call 811 – at least 48 hours prior to digging. The calls are free and required by law. Every digging job requires a call – even small projects like planting trees or shrubs – to protect your safety and that of your neighbors.
Keep rights-of-way obstruction-free: Please keep any rights-of-way on or near your property clear of obstructions. Do not dig, build, store, place or plant anything on a pipeline right-of-way that might hinder access when maintenance is required or during emergencies.
Report potential problems: Please report any unusual sounds or smells or suspicious activity to our 24/7 emergency number, 1-800-537-5200. Contact us at any time with your concerns.