About AOPL

Association of Oil Pipe Lines Members

The Association of Oil Pipe Lines (“AOPL”) represents the interests of owners and operators of America’s liquid pipelines. Liquid pipelines bring crude oil to the nation’s refineries and important petroleum products to our communities, including all grades of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil, kerosene, propane, and biofuels. AOPL members also transport carbon dioxide to oil and natural gas fields, where it can be used efficiently to enhance production.

The Organization

Established in 1947, AOPL is a nonprofit organization whose membership is comprised of owners and operators of liquid pipelines.  AOPL members carry nearly 85% of the crude oil and refined petroleum products moved by pipelines in the United States.  As a trade association, AOPL:

  • Represents common carrier crude and petroleum product pipelines, as well as carbon dioxide pipelines, before Congress, regulatory agencies, and the courts;
  • Provides coordination and leadership on key industry issues, including pipeline rates and services, pipeline safety initiatives, pipeline security, and the industry’s Environmental and Safety Initiative; and
  • Acts as an information clearinghouse for the public, media, and pipeline industry regarding liquid pipeline issues.

Representation before Congress, Agencies, Courts

AOPL represents the liquid pipeline industry in multiple capacities. AOPL monitors proceedings and keeps its members informed on developments of interest regarding the legislative, regulatory, and judicial bodies of the states and of the United States. Its primary focus is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Congress, the Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Association staff engages regularly with key legislative and regulatory officials and staff, coordinates advocacy before these bodies, and facilitates member company meetings with these officials.

Additionally, AOPL testifies before Congressional committees and submits public comments on behalf of its members. The Association also represents its members’ interests in administrative and judicial proceedings affecting the industry, most particularly before the FERC, PHMSA, DHS and the U.S. Courts of Appeals.

AOPL has also served as a reliable point of contact for government during natural disasters like hurricanes.

Information Clearinghouse

Liquid pipelines play a vital transportation role in the economy of the United States, its commerce, and its national defense. AOPL helps educate policymakers, the press, and the general public about the industry.

AOPL provides a venue for members to exchange ideas and discuss methods to improve transportation services offered by pipelines, thus better serving the public, economic, and national defense interests of the United States. AOPL also offers a forum where members can discuss and seek solutions to industry problems, such as methods to improve safety, the environment, security, and other matters of industry and public interest.

The Association conducts a number of events, including conferences for member company leaders and educational and training workshops for member company staff.  There is ongoing work in committees regarding Government Relations, FERC Relations, Legal, Tariff, and Accounting issues, and industry work groups addressing other topical issues.

Pipeline Safety Excellence™ Initiative

Pipeline Safety Excellence™ is the liquid pipeline industry’s pipeline safety performance initiative. It reflects the shared values and commitment of pipeline operators to building and operating safe pipelines.

Through this initiative, pipeline operators transporting crude oil, petroleum products like gasoline and diesel fuel, and industrial raw materials like ethane are increasing the safety of their pipelines with:

  1. Shared Pipeline Safety Principles – such as the goal of zero incidents
  2. Continuous Industry-Wide Safety Efforts – industry managers sharing lessons learned and pursuing performance improvements
  3. Annual Safety Performance Reporting – sharing pipeline safety performance results with the public
  4. Annual Strategic Planning – guiding industry-wide efforts to improve pipeline safety performance

The Pipeline Safety Excellence™ initiative includes the  Annual Liquid Pipeline Safety Performance Report & Strategic Plan. The 2013 industry-wide performance report documents a (62% drop) in pipeline incidents over the last 10 years. This performance improvement comes as liquid pipeline operators reported spending ($1.6 billion) evaluating, inspecting and maintaining their pipelines.

Additionally, pipeline operators are undertaking strategic efforts to improve pipeline inspection technology, develop a new industry-wide recommended practice on detecting, diagnosing and responding to potential pipe cracking, deploy a new recommended practice on pipeline safety management systems, develop an industry-wide recommended practice on leak detection program management, and deploy a nation-wide pipeline emergency response training, outreach and standards program.

Membership

Members are served by AOPL’s Washington, D.C. staff, which has a wide range of experience in government, law, regulation, and business. AOPL’s staff are committed to working on behalf of its members for successful and positive outcomes to challenges faced by the pipeline industry.

Liquid pipeline owners and operators face important issues, such as:

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rate regulation;
  • Congressional reauthorization of pipeline safety laws and facility security laws;
  • Department of Transportation regulatory programs and rulemakings;
  • Department of Homeland Security facility security programs and rulemakings;
  • State Department and Customs and Border Protection decisions on cross-border issues;
  • Government decisions regarding biofuels, boutique fuels, and other motor vehicle rules;
  • Congressional and regulatory action on greenhouse gas regulation; and
  • Policy developments on carbon dioxide pipelines.

AOPL membership can help liquid pipeline owners and operators address these and other challenges.

For more information about AOPL, please contact AOPL’s President and CEO, Andy Black (ablack@aopl.org).