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High pressure pipelines are used to transport gas and liquid products to various locations and to users over long distances across the country. Cross country pipelines are linear assets which traverse significant distances over third party land, they are generally remotely located and are remotely operated.

Pipelines are recognised as a safe and reliable means of transporting hazardous products over significant distances. A primary aim of UKOPA is to ensure the ongoing safety of the pipelines so that the risk to the public is ensured. Pipeline Operators do this by evaluating the risks posed by the pipelines and ensuring these risks are controlled to an acceptable level.

The safe management of such pipelines in the UK is controlled by the Pipelines Safety Regulations (PSR) 1996, which define a range of general duties which are applicable to all pipelines, and additional duties for major accident hazard pipelines (MAHPs) which transport products defined as dangerous fluids. PSR requires that the design, construction, operation and maintenance of any major hazard asset must be in accordance with recognised codes and standards.

One of UKOPA’s objectives is to share and apply best practice in the application of approved industry codes and standards for design, construction and operation, which is a pre-requisite for compliance with safety legislation.