Operator Qualification Courses

Operator Qualification courses assist pipeline operators in complying with the DOT Operator Qualification Rule that requires operators to qualify their workforce on pipeline facility covered tasks. This includes development and maintenance of a written qualification program as required by 49 CFR 192 Subpart N (natural gas) and 49 CFR 195 Subpart G (hazardous liquids). Pipeline operations and maintenance activities subject to the Operator Qualification Rule are primarily addressed in 49 CFR 192 Subparts L and M, and 49 CFR 195 Subpart F.

*Includes Performance Checklist


001 Operator Qualification Summary (15 mins)

An introduction to the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations that require Operator Qualification training for natural gas pipeline workers.


002 Introduction to the Natural Gas Industry (25 mins)

Explains what natural gas is, why it is useful, and what it is used for. A brief description of the path of natural gas from the well to the customer is given along with a list of agencies responsible for pipeline regulations and the responsibilities of each pipeline employee to maintain safety and good environmental practices.


003 Guidelines for Proctoring Tests and Evaluations (10 mins)

Discusses the importance of and offers recommended guidelines for quality control during operator qualification examinations. This course also states the responsibilities of the mentor, proctor, and evaluator, as well as ways to validate testing using the eWebOQ® system.


004 Documenting a Field Evaluation in eWebOQ (15 mins)

A brief “how-to” course for administrators and field evaluators who must credit personnel with completion of a field evaluation, include documentation, and access user history and reports in the eWebOQ system.


*0361 Electric Valve Actuators (40 mins)

Explains the basic design, design features, operation, and maintenance of electric valve actuators. AOCs associated with electric valve actuators are included.


*0981 Backfilling (20 mins)

Discusses the basic requirements for backfilling pipeline evacuations, including inspection, filling standards, soil conditions, environment considerations, and abnormal operating conditions.


100 Prevention of Accidental Ignition & Potential Ignition Sources (60 mins)

Examines the DOT rules governing accidental ignition sources of natural gas. Other topics include: the fire triangle, common ignition sources for escaping natural gas, buildup and/or discharge of static electricity, hot and cold cutting and welding, and isolation of pipeline segments.


1010 Abnormal Operating Conditions: Recognize and React (40 mins)

Covers the definition of AOCs, identifying AOCs, operator qualification, identification of covered tasks, recognition and reaction to AOCs, and rating hazards. This course assists in compliance with DOT regulations and references the B31Q standard.


1011 Abnormal Operations and Safety-Related Conditions (15 mins)

Explains the difference between abnormal operations and abnormal operating conditions, describes safety-related conditions, and explains how to recognize possible causes of abnormal operations including appropriate responsive actions. Reporting requirements for safety-related conditions are also stated. References to DOT standards that apply to abnormal operations and safety-related conditions are listed.


1012 Abnormal Operations (15 mins)

Explains what abnormal operations are and how to resolve them.


103 Characteristics and Properties of Natural Gas (55 mins)

Explores the composition, properties and flammable characteristics of natural gas, the history of natural gas use, gas leak and carbon monoxide monitoring, and natural gas safety.


*105 CGIs and Flame Ionization Units (60 mins)

Examines categories of combustible gas instruments, characteristics and properties of natural gas, the fire triangle, LELs, UELs, OSHA safe working levels, carbon monoxide hazards and detection, and the use, operation, and inspection of combustible gas indicators and flame ionization units.


*106 OSHA/DOT – Excavation Safety (60 mins)

Explains basic excavation safety, excavation requirements, soil classification and testing, causes of cave-ins, excavation protection, and related AOCs.


*107 Pipeline Pigging (90 mins)

Explores the reasons for pigging, pig types and use, common pigging techniques, safe launching and receiving practices, and smart pigging techniques.


108 Work Zone Safety (20 mins)

Covers the types and usage of traffic control devices, the setup of safe work zones, and proper flagging procedure.


*200 Leak Survey & Leak Classification (100 mins)

Examines house counts, class locations, use of a “sliding mile,” leak surveys and classification, pipeline patrols, pipeline marker installation, natural gas detection instruments, bar hole testing, natural gas migration patterns, leak survey records, and more.


*201 Population Density Change & Pipeline Patrol (75 mins)

Examines surveys for transmission, jurisdictional gathering and distribution facilities; leak surveys and pipeline patrols; pipeline marker installation; house counts; natural gas detection instruments; marking exposed pipe; and more.


205 Pipeline Crossings (65 mins)

Addresses construction procedures, conditions, and special considerations involving natural gas pipelines at bridges, stream crossings, ravines, levees, highways and railroad crossings. External corrosion, control of buried or submerged pipelines, protective measures to control atmospheric corrosion, and use of electrical surveys, corrosion history reviews, and records of exposed pipe examinations are also discussed.


*206 Leak & Pipeline Failure Investigation (65 mins)

Addresses the importance of the control of pipeline leakage and proper steps of leak investigation necessary for the safe operation of any natural gas pipeline system. Applicable regulations, leaks in progress, special leak precautions, leak detection, and leak surveys are also examined.


*207 Investigating Pipeline Failure (15 mins)

Explores the control of natural gas pipeline leakage and necessary leak investigation steps. DOT regulations for Continuing Surveillance and Investigation of Failure are also reviewed.


*244 Current Interrupters (20 mins)

Defines current interrupters and their basic uses, configurations, features, and installation instructions for close interval surveys. AOCs associated with current interrupters are included.


*3000 Damage Prevention (35 mins)

Explains the requirements for locating and marking underground facilities before excavation work can take place. Some of the main topics include the one-call system, locating underground facilities (overview), marking methods, public and contractor education, and AOCs.


*3001 Locating and Marking Buried Pipelines (30 mins)

Explains the requirements for locating and marking underground facilities before excavation work may take place. It also discusses split-box locators and common abnormal operating conditions.


*301 Vault Inspection and Confined Space Entry (75 mins)

Addresses key regulations about DOT vault maintenance and inspection. Topics include: vault inspection; hazardous atmospheres; vault entry; OSHA requirements for permit-required confined space entry; confined space hazards, entry planning, and pre-entry training; and prevention of accidental ignition.


305 Dehydration of Natural Gas (40 mins)

Addresses why water is controlled or removed from natural gas and extraction methods utilizing hydrate inhibition, glycol dehydration, and solid desiccants.


306 Dehydration with Triethylene Glycol (75 mins)

Addresses glycol dehydration fundamentals, process equipment maintenance, startup and shutdown steps, common operating problems, and analysis of the glycol solution..


*400 Valve Actuators (45 mins)

Explains the various styles and design features of actuators/ operators and how they operate. Proper maintenance techniques and reconditioning of hydraulic actuators/operators are discussed in this course.


*4010 General Valve Maintenance (25 mins)

Explains the function of valves in a pipeline system and the importance of visual inspections and maintenance to ensure that they work properly. Discusses the qualities of a proper lubricant/sealant, how and when they should be used, and the equipment used to apply them. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to inspection and maintenance of valves. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including proper reactions.


*4011 Plug Valve Maintenance (20 mins)

Explains how a plug valve operates, along with many of the different design features and their purpose. Discusses proper cleaning, lubricating, and maintenance techniques unique to plug valve maintenance. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to inspection and maintenance of valves. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including proper reactions.


*4012 Ball Valve Maintenance (25 mins)

Explains how a ball valve operates, along with many of the different design features and their purpose. Discusses proper cleaning, lubricating, and maintenance techniques unique to ball valve maintenance. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to inspection and maintenance of valves. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including proper reactions.


*4013 Gate Valve Maintenance (20 mins)

Explains how a gate valve operates, along with many of the different design features and their purpose. Discusses proper cleaning, lubricating, and maintenance techniques unique to gate valve maintenance. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to inspection and maintenance of valve. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including proper reactions.


*4020 Inspecting and Testing Pressure Limiting Devices (25 mins)

Explains how a relief valve operates, along with different design features and their purpose. Discusses the procedure for testing relief valves. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to inspection and testing of relief valves are listed. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including possible responses.


*4021 Inspecting and Testing Regulators (30 mins)

Explains how a regulator operates, along with different design features and their purpose. Also explains the differences between pilot-operated and spring-operated regulators and how they work and discusses the procedure for testing regulators. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to inspection and testing of regulators. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including possible reactions.


*4022 Inspecting and Testing Control Valves (15 mins)

Explains the purpose of control valves in a pipeline system and discusses the different parts that make up a control valve assembly and their functions. Explains the process for inspecting a control valve. Lists DOT standards and B31Q tasks relevant to inspecting and testing control valves. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including preferred reactions.


*4030 Pressure Testing Steel Pipelines – Gas (40 mins)

Explains the requirements for pressure testing steel pipelines. Topics include water handling, pipe design, class locations, MAOP, SMYS, strength testing, test preparation, and the pressure testing procedure. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to pressure testing steel pipelines. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including possible responses.


*4031 Pressure Testing Plastic Pipelines (35 mins)

Explains the requirements for pressure testing steel pipelines. Topics include water handling, pipe design, class locations, MAOP, SMYS, strength testing, test preparation, and the pressure testing procedure. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to pressure testing plastic pipelines. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including possible responses.


*407 Joining Steel Pipe Other Than by Welding (35 mins)

Examines safety and environmental issues associated with joining pipe; determining correct thread length; application of sealing compound and tape; precautions for slip-type fittings; nut and bolt selection; tightening sequence and numbering systems for flange connections; reuse of a threaded fastener; calibration frequency, records, and specifications for torque wrenches; torque wrench maintenance; and Abnormal Operating Conditions (AOCs) encountered when joining pipe.


408 Maintaining and Repairing Pressure Limiting Devices (30 mins)

Explains the basic steps for maintaining pressure limiting devices, including relief valves, pressure switches, pressure transducers/transmitters, and monitor regulators.


*4090 Pipeline Repair: Grinding, Welding, and Sleeving (35 mins)

Explains the various types of pipeline leaks and the methods to repair them. Includes definitions and procedures for “hot” and “cold” cutting and welding. Lists DOT standards and B31Q tasks relevant to pipeline leak repair. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including possible responses.


*4091 Pipeline Repair: Composites (25 mins)

Explains the use of composites to repair imperfections and damage on pipelines. Lists DOT standards and B31Q tasks relevant to pipeline repair using composites. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including possible responses.


*4095 Pipeline Repair: Sleeving Including Helical Pipe (40 mins)

Discusses various methods for pipeline repairs with the main emphasis on the fit-up procedure for weld-type sleeves over seamless, ERW, and helical pipe. Includes Abnormal Operating Conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered.

*410 Cast Iron Joints (15 mins)

Cast Iron Joints discusses the common problems associated with cast iron pipe, such as graphitization, and explains the methods for cast iron pipe joint repair, including joint clamps and encapsulation. Abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) are also discussed.


*411 Pipeline Purging With Air and Gas (40 mins)

Explains the mechanical nature of purging, isolation methods, and the processes of purging with either air or gas. Includes abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while purging pipelines.


*4120 Hot Tapping (35 mins)

Addresses the mechanical procedures, safety precautions, and limitations of pressurized pipeline tapping; procedures and precautions for preparing a pipeline for a hot tap operation; and mechanical procedures and precautions for pressurized pipeline stopping.


*4121 Line Stopping (50 mins)

Defines line stopping and the regulatory requirements for performing a line stop. Other key topics include methods of locating and identifying the proper line, preparation considerations, and the steps of the line stopping process. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to line stopping work along with common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered, including possible responses.


414 Abandonment of Facilities (45 mins)

Examines deactivation and abandonment of steel and plastic pipeline facilities, including mains, services, regulators, meters, and odorizers, and the importance of documenting deactivated and abandoned facilities.


*415 Installation of Anodes (25 mins)

Explains the anode theory, the different types of anodes, a general outline for installing anodes, and a procedure for exothermic welding. Includes abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while installing anodes for pipeline corrosion control.


416 Pipeline Shutdown and Startup Planning (45 mins)

Addresses steps to be taken during a planned shutdown, for returning a shut-down section to operation, and for starting up a new line; includes basic procedures for emergency shutdown and how to prevent accidental ignition during shutdown and startup.


*501 Cathodic Protection Troubleshooting (50 mins)

Explains cathodic protection systems, equipment needed for troubleshooting, safety precautions, and troubleshooting procedures for locating rectifier faults, cable breaks, insulators, and contacts. Includes abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while troubleshooting cathodic protection systems.


*502 Cathodic Protection – Rectifier Inspections (35 mins)

Explains cathodic protection systems, rectifier types, rectifier inspections, and calculating rectifier efficiency. Includes abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while inspecting and testing rectifiers.


*503 Protective Coatings (45 mins)

Explains basic corrosion, protective measures, corrosion regulations, surface preparation, and coating application. Includes abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while inspecting and application of protective coatings.


*504 Installation of Test Stations (25 mins)

Explains the use of test stations, optimal location and spacing, types of test stations, and installation methods. Includes abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while installing test stations.


505 Cathodic Protection Criteria (40 mins)

Explains the criteria for cathodic protection systems, methods of collecting specific data, annual surveys, and data evaluation and reporting. Includes abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while installing test stations.


*506 Electrical Insulator Inspections and Testing Casings (40 mins)

Explains the purpose and requirements for pipeline casings, types of casing, coatings, testing casing, electrical insulating devices, and testing insulating devices. Includes abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while testing casing and insulating devices.


*507 Internal Corrosion (45 mins)

Explains the requirements and acceptable methods for pipe inspections. Describes the different causes of internal pipe corrosion, monitoring, and corrosion control methods. Includes industry standards for acceptable gas quality as well as a list of DOT standards and B31Q tasks relevant to corrosion control. Identifies abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including possible responses.


*508 Interference: A/C and D/C (45 mins)

Explains the concepts of interference or stray current and its common sources such as cathodic protection systems, D/C transit systems, A/C electrical transmission lines, and others; discusses testing methods and corrective actions for interference currents; includes AOCs that may be encountered while testing and taking corrective actions for interference currents.


*5090 Structure to Electrolyte Surveys (40 mins)

Explains the equipment needed for a structure-to-electrolyte survey and equipment maintenance, structure-to-electrolyte readings, meter usage, close interval surveys, and logging data. Identifies abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including possible responses.


5091 Basic Corrosion (25 mins)

Explains basic corrosion, the causes and types of corrosion, bacterial corrosion, and factors such as pH and temperature that affect corrosion rates.


*5093 Close Interval Surveys (35 mins)

Discusses the purpose and requirements of a close interval survey, required equipment for a survey, procedural steps of performing a survey, possible survey impediments and solutions, data logger usage, and documentation requirements. Includes abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may occur during a close interval survey.


*510 Atmospheric Corrosion – Pipeline Operations (30 mins)

Explains basic corrosion, atmospheric corrosion, protective measures, corrosion regulations, surface preparation, and coating application; includes AOCs that may be encountered during inspection and application of protective coatings to detect and prevent atmospheric corrosion.


5110 Rigging: Planning and Inspections (55 mins)

Explains the planning of a rigging operation, basic math needed for weight calculations, equipment used in rigging, and inspections for rigging equipment.


5111 Safe Rigging Practices (35 mins)

Explains the proper use of rigging equipment, hoists, and standard hand signals for rigging operations.


*600 Electric Arc Welding (95 mins)

Examines types of electric arc welding; types and uses of joints; weld defects and prevention; preheating a weld area; electrode selection and storage; welding sequence; pipe beveling and lineup; are welding techniques and striking the arc; hot and cold welding and cutting; weld positions; field inspections of welds; and safety.


*601 Welder Qualification (130 mins)

Addresses butt, fillet, and 90-degree branch welds; safety precautions for welders; essential variables; single and multiple qualification tests; macro-section tests and face bend tests on branch and sleeve welds; typical welder qualification tests; and DOT 192 Appendix C.


*602 Weld Repairs and Welding Procedures (60 mins)

Examines the functions of a welding inspector; percentages of each day’s butt welds to be tested, depending upon class location, when nondestructive testing is required; common welding defects and how to cure them; information needed on welding inspection reports; and essential variables.


*604 Oxygen/Acetylene Welding & Cutting (90 mins)

Addresses types of gas welding; identifying joints; equipment needed for oxy/acetylene and gas welding and cutting; neutral, carburizing, and oxidizing flames; purging hoses; field inspection of welds; weld positions; hot and cold welding and cutting; and safety precautions.


*606 NDT: Magnetic Particle Inspection (35 mins)

Explains the use of magnetic particle inspections (MPI) to detect cracks and other anomalies in a pipeline, with heavy emphasis on the use of this process to detect stress corrosion cracking (SCC). Explains the preparation methods and processes for performing a wet or dry magnetic particle inspection. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks that are relevant to these inspection methods. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including preferred reactions.


*607 NDT: Liquid Dye Penetrant Inspection (35 mins)

Examines the liquid dye penetrant inspection process, including weld preparation, application of liquid penetrant cleaner and developer, weld post-cleaning, documentation requirements, and abnormal operating conditions (AOCs).


608 Pipeline Integrity: High Consequence Area Field Surveys (30 mins)

Describes class location units, class locations, DOT requirements, high consequence areas, and abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while performing class location or high consequence area surveys.item 67


*609 Dresser Coupled Pipelines (25 mins)

Explains what a Dresser coupling is and how it works, bonding couplings, locating unbonded couplings, factors and conditions that help determine repair procedures, and types of repairs. Identifies abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while inspecting and repairing Dresser couplings along with possible responses.


*610 Ultrasonic Thickness Testing (35 mins)

Examines the purpose and applicability of ultrasonic thickness testing. Explains the steps for conducting an ultrasonic thickness test, preparing pipe or metal surfaces, and using couplant gel.


7000 Compressor Station Operations and Safety (40 mins)

Introduces compressor station operations, prime movers, compressors, fuel meter and auxiliary buildings, and hazards and precautions of compressor stations. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to compressor stations. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs), including possible responses.


*7001 Compressor Stations: Design and Emergency Planning (45 mins)

Discusses the design and safety features required in a compressor station. Includes safety factors such as boundaries, building design, ventilation, flammable materials storage, pressure limiting devices, gas detectors, fire sensors, emergency shutdown systems, and emergency planning. Lists DOT standards and B31Q Tasks relevant to compressor stations. Identifies common abnormal operating conditions (AOCs) that may be encountered while performing work at a compressor station, including possible responses.


*701 Reciprocating Compressor Units (85 mins)

Addresses operation of an internal combustion-reciprocating compressor, including start-up, loading, unloading and shutdown procedures; parts of a compressor; and compressor troubleshooting and maintenance.


*703 Compressor Operation: Turbine Units (95 mins)

Examines the operational process of a turbine compressor unit, including theory of operation; major components of the turbine unit; purposes of fuel gas, lubrication, and air systems; key components of wet and dry seal systems; startup, loading, unloading, and shutdown procedures for turbine compressor units; and maintenance disadvantages.


*704 Compressor Operation: Compressor Cylinders (60 mins)

Examines the major components of a compressor cylinder; compressor valve operation and classification of cylinders; troubleshooting and safely changing compressor cylinders; maximizing available horsepower for compressor efficiency; and piston rings and packing materials.


*705 Compressor Operation: Gas Path Integrity (70 mins)

Addresses: gas path integrity and maintenance to minimize compromises; horizontal and vertical rod runout; critical compressor clearances involved in gas path integrity, including measurement, records, acceptable limits, and adjustment; leak testing methods and repair; run-time verification tests; and proper torquing of threaded fasteners.


*706 Compressor Operation: Power Cylinder Balancing (45 mins)

Addresses the importance of balanced engine power cylinders for fuel efficiency, emissions control, and lower repair costs; correct procedures and methods for balancing power cylinders; and how engine performance-monitoring tools are used to balance power cylinders.


*800 Gas Control (60 mins)

Examines major gas control terminology; flow rate and pressure; SCADA systems; compressor operation basics; emergency response; and overpressure protection for pipelines carrying high-pressure gas.


900 Fundamentals of Electricity (95 mins)

Addresses basic properties of electricity, circuits, and safety device components; Ohm’s law; measuring voltage, current, and resistance; types of switches and relays; common electrical symbols and their use in wiring and line diagrams; inductance and capacitance; waveform properties and phase relationships; and transformers.


*901 Basic Electronics: PLCs (70 mins)

Addresses basic information and hardware components concerning PLCs; principles of PLC operation; applications of PLCs in the natural gas industry; installation, calibration and checkout, documentation, and troubleshooting PLCs; peripheral devices used with PLCs; waveform properties and phase relationships; and ladder logic and other skills associated with programming PLCs.


902 Basic Electronics: SCADA (105 mins)

Addresses SCADA system: history, office and field hardware components, communication protocols, installation, calibration, and troubleshooting.


1200 Underground Storage of Natural Gas and Liquids (95 mins)

Addresses underground storage in the energy industry; similarities and differences of gas and liquids products; basic storage functions and terms; different types of underground storage; and the purpose and function of underground storage equipment.


*1312 Aerial Patrol (30 mins)

Discusses aerial pipeline patrol, reportable conditions, patrol frequency, required documentation, emergency observations, and abnormal operating conditions (AOCs).


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