United Kingdom

UKOPA (the United Kingdom Onshore Pipeline Operators’ Association) is an authoritative industry body supporting the pipeline industry. Since UKOPA was established in 1996, it has brought operators together and helped them engage more effectively with each other, as well as with regulators and other key stakeholders. The network of pipelines operated by the UKOPA member companies is over 27,000 km in length (nearly 5 times the distance between London and New York). As well as supplying the gas that heats our homes and the gas used to generate electricity in our power stations, these pipelines transport fuel for cars and aircraft and other products. The oils and chemicals transported through these pipelines are also used in countless products that we all use every day in our homes. Ensuring the continued integrity of this infrastructure is vital to the economy of the United Kingdom and Europe.

UKOPA exists to provide the recognised and authoritative view of pipeline operators on strategic issues relating to safety management, operations and integrity management of onshore hydrocarbon pipelines.  It seeks to effectively influence the development and implementation of pipeline-related legislation and standards for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders and promote safety and good practice in the pipeline industry.

UKOPA provides pipeline operators with a forum for discussion, knowledge sharing and promoting good practice across the industry. The Association also provides a recognised expert industry voice to influence the development of legislation and standards.  UKOPA helps pipeline operators to develop a comprehensive and consistent view of strategic issues that relate to the safe operation and maintenance of onshore pipelines.

Key areas include:
Land use planning and risk criteria.
Safe working practices.
Fitness for purpose and revalidation.
Safety issues.
Corrosion prevention

Pipeline operators across the UK must work with a range of organisations, including the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Local Planning Authorities, Government Departments and Environment Agencies.  UKOPA provides a platform for the pipeline industry to speak to all these stakeholders with one voice.
The Association keeps members up to date with the latest joint industry initiatives and new technologies, promoting good practice wherever possible. UKOPA is also a vehicle for sharing any lessons in the wake of safety or environment-related incidents.