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Operator Qualifications (OQ) and the "OQ Rule"

Operator Qualifications, or "OQ's" for short, are a vital portion of the oil and gas industry. Not only do they validate individuals are knowledge of the tasks and duties they perform, but ultimately ensure the safety of both the pipeline personnel and the general public.


The "OQ Rule" was adopted into the Code of Federal Regulations under Supbart N in 49 CFR part 192 and Subpart G in 49 CFR part 195.  Under this rule, each pipeline operator is responsible for:


  • Developing an Operator Qualification (OQ) program, following their written OQ plan;

  • Establishing a covered task list applicable to their system, and;

  • Defining the training and qualification requirements for personnel performing covered tasks on their pipeline facility;

  • Ensuring that all their contractors and vendors comply with their program requirements.

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