Interpretation Response #PI-16-0008
Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.
Interpretation Response Details
Mr. Jerry Nelson
Maverick International, LTD
P.O. Box 6600
Beaumont, TX 77725-6600
Dear Mr. Speer:
In a letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) dated July18, 2016, you requested an interpretation of 49 CFR Part 192. You stated an earlier revision of API 5L allowed manufacturers to upgrade a pipe's certification. You elaborated, stating that under this earlier version of API 5L, a 42-inch pipe made by a mill as an X65 pipe could have been recertified as an X70 pipe; this could have been accomplished if all relevant characteristics listed on the pipe mill certificate demonstrated that the pipe met specification requirements for X70 pipe. However, such a recertification process is not allowed under the new version of API 5L.
You stated an attached 1992 PHMSA interpretation confirms the above recertification process. The 1992 interpretation states that, a new pipe certified to Grade X42 of API 5L, could also meet the requirements of Grade X52 pipe if the pipe manufacturer's certificate shows the pipe's characteristics demonstrate the pipe met the specification requirements for pipe Grade X52. Further, PHMSA's response states if an operator were unable to obtain a recertification certificate from the pipe's manufacturer, PHMSA would consider the pipe manufactured in accordance with the listed specification, (API 5L), if the operator did the following:
- Shows the manufacturer's certified test reports to verify that the material quality and attributes, including the chemical composition, mechanical properties, and mill test pressure, are in compliance with the specification requirements for pipe Grade X52;
- Remove from each piece of pipe the manufacturer's name or mark, the grade marking, and the API monogram;
- Add to the markings that remain the operator's name or mark, as well as the appropriate grade marking;
- Issue a certified test report verifying the pipe meets the requirements of pipe Grade X52; and
- Maintain records establishing the traceability of the pipe to the operator's and the manufacturer's certified test reports.
You asked if the 1992 interpretation is still a valid and acceptable practice.
The current incorporated by reference API 5L, (45th Edition), does not allow recertification. Section 11.4 of this standard, (API 5L Section 11.4), states marking of pipe to multiple grades is permitted only by agreement between the purchaser and the manufacturer for pipe of less than X42 grade, and also for pipe of between X42 and X60 grade ranges. However, multiple grade markings are not allowed for pipe of X60 and above grades.
Also, the pipe manufacturer is responsible for ensuring the pipe conforms to all requirements of each certified grade in API 5L, Section 11.4.2. This includes ensuring the certification for all pipe properties, both mechanical and chemical, as well as all pipe tests and inspections required for the certified grade - including those tests and inspections for the pipe body and seam welds. API 5L, Section 11.4.4 states that "after delivery of the pipe, no remarking or recertification of the pipe to a different grade or different PSL level (PSL 1 to PSL 2) shall be permitted."
Therefore, the 1992 interpretation is not valid for pipes being upgraded by someone who was not the pipe manufacturer. In this case, your question is whether pipe of grade X65 can be recertified to pipe of grade X70 by someone other than the pipe manufacturer. For the above reasons, the answer is no. If we can be of further assistance, please contact Tewabe Asebe at 202-366-5523.
John A. Gale
Director, Office of Standards
|§ 192.55||Steel pipe|