PG&E Brings Enhanced Pipeline Safety Technology To Market

License Agreement with Coler & Colantonio, Inc. Commercializes PG&E's MAOP Validation Calculator for North American Pipeline Industry

Oct 22, 2012, 15:00 ET from Pacific Gas and Electric Company

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has introduced an enhanced gas safety technology, the MAOP Validation Calculator, designed to facilitate pipeline operators in validating the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) for safe gas operations.

The MAOP Validation Calculator is available to all pipeline operators in the U.S. and Canada as a result of a four-year license agreement between PG&E and Coler & Colantonio, Inc., a privately owned consulting and engineering firm specializing in, among other things, pipeline software and services. 

PG&E partnered with Coler & Colantonio, Inc. to incorporate this technology into a Geospatial Information System (GIS) so that it can be made available to potential pipeline operators. Data from the MAOP Validation Calculator is stored within Coler & Colantonio, Inc.'s IntrepidTM GIS. The software performs calculations to validate the MAOP for each pipeline component, contributing to a more reliable pipeline information system.

"PG&E continues to invest in the development of best-in-class technologies that will enhance pipeline safety. We have experience first-hand in using this technology to perform MAOP validation of our own pipelines," said Sumeet Singh, senior director of Asset Knowledge Management for PG&E's Gas Operations. "Through our collaboration with Coler & Colantonio, Inc., pipeline operators can now adopt the MAOP Validation Calculator and derive benefits that will allow them to more effectively manage critical asset information and enhance the safety of their gas transmission pipeline systems. PG&E is not only committed to enhancing the safety of its natural gas system but also sharing such solutions within the industry."  

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the natural gas pipeline grid comprises of 305,000 miles of transmission pipelines that stretch across the country to feed distribution pipelines that provide service to more than 177 million Americans[1]. To ensure safe pipeline operations, operators must accurately validate the MAOP of their pipelines, which includes permissible design and regulatory compliant strength test pressures.[2] This enhanced technology facilitates compliance with this requirement.  

"Pipeline safety continues to be a significant focus for our pipeline clients. The recent advancements made by PG&E to the MAOP Validation Calculator is critical to that cause," said Jeff Allen, vice president, Coler & Colantonio, Inc. "Many operators are very interested in seeing how this geospatial technology has been beneficial to PG&E in providing answers to auditors through building and maintaining a traceable, verifiable and complete asset management system. A number of our clients now have access to PG&E's MAOP Validation Calculator through Coler & Colantonio, Inc. and are using this technology to enhance their pipeline asset management systems and improve overall safety."

A pipeline's MAOP is determined by incorporating federal and state regulatory requirements into the algorithms of the MAOP Validation Calculator. The calculator output allows for standardized report generation and the engineering analysis of MAOP validation issues. Technology enhancements include:

  • a robust and comprehensive calculator that leverages the federal and state regulations and applicable PHMSA advisory bulletins to perform MAOP validation for every pipeline component;
  • an ability to establish an audit trail of the analysis within GIS; and
  • an ability to readily generate operational and regulatory reports.

On June 18, 2012, PG&E filed a provisional patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The MAOP Validation Calculator was co-developed by members of PG&E's Gas Operations Organization: Sumeet Singh, senior director of Asset Knowledge Management; Joe Medina, director of Transmission Process & MAOP Validation; and Tom Ford, Gas MAOP Validation senior engineer.

Gas system operators and pipeline owners interested in purchasing the MAOP Validation Calculator can contact Coler & Colantonio, Inc. at

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit: and

ABOUT COLER & COLANTONIO, INC. Coler & Colantonio, Inc. specializes in improving transmission pipeline asset management processes for oil and gas companies by creatively applying spatial technology. Our pipeline focused asset management software enables our customers to make better decisions, increase efficiency, save costs and improve communication. For more information, please visit: or contact Jeff Allen at (781) 982-5411 or

[1] 'About Natural Gas Pipelines', U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) [2] Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011, Government Printing Office (GPO)

SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company