Under the auspices of the American Petroleum Institute (API), an unprecedented coalition of North American oil and gas operators and associations created the Pipeline Safety Management System, Pipeline SMS. Its goal is simple, though the effort requires a full-court press: ensuring that pipeline infrastructure is as safe as is humanly possible. Humanly—because despite the enormous amount of technology and money spent to make, construct and monitor pipeline systems, it is the human who bears the ultimate responsibility for pipeline safety.
In this litigious era when every pipeline incident is held up to public scrutiny and the future of the industry seems to hang in the balance, there is no higher calling for operators. Angela Kolar is chair of this unique coalition of energy providers and has the perfect credentials for this assignment. She has been employed by Colonial Pipeline Co. since 2007 and is vice president, operations and chief risk officer. Colonial, located in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, is the largest refined products pipeline in the U.S. Colonial has chosen to meet safety challenges head-on and a determined effort by senior management has created a safety culture within the company that has become one of the leading examples in the pipeline industry.