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Pipelines (New Inspection Regulations)

Volume 932: debated on Friday 20 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he will make regulations setting out the powers and duties of pipeline inspectors appointed by him under Part III of the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-lines Act 1975 and requiring reporting of accidents and other occurrences relating to offshore pipeline activities and pipelines.

I laid the Submarine Pipeline (Inspectors Etc.) Regulations 1977, which come into operation on 15th June 1977, before the House yesterday. They set out the powers and duties of inspectors appointed by me under the 1975 Act in relation to submarine pipelines with initial or terminal points in the United Kingdom or on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf and to activities related to the construction, operation and maintenance of pipelines. Under the regulations an inspector may inspect a pipeline; obtain access to premises, vessels and installations used in connection with pipeline operations; inspect and test equipment; take measurements and photographs; inspect records and documents; and require the pipeline owner to convey him to and from any vessel engaged in pipeline activities. He may also require the pipeline to be shut down where he considers it necessary to avoid an accident causing either serious injury to a person or pollution from a pipeline.The regulations also require pipeline owners to report to me accidents to persons engaged in pipeline activities and certain other occurrences which could endanger the safety of those engaged in pipeline activities or the safety of a pipeline itself.