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Public Awareness FAQ’s

Man in a pipe

What are pipeline markers? Why are they located where they are? 

Pipeline markers provide useful information concerning nearby pipelines.

These markers or signs indicate the approximate – not the exact - location of the pipelines, which may or may not run in a straight line between any two markers. As a result, they cannot be relied on to provide exact information on pipeline location. You can obtain information about Shell’s pipelines by calling 1-310-816-2052.

It is against the law to willfully and knowingly deface, damage, remove or destroy any pipeline sign or right-of-way post.

Who do I call to locate Shell’s pipeline or facilities on my property? 

State law requires you to call 811 (the National “Call Before You Dig” number) or your local One-Call Center at least 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, before you begin any digging project, large or small, within a pipeline easement area. The One-Call Center will notify the companies responsible for locating the facilities within their area.

Why should I call 811 before every dig? 

It’s the law – and it's the smart thing to do. Whether you're a homeowner or a professional excavator, you are required to call 811 before you dig.

Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before you dig will help protect you from injury and prevent damages to utilities, service disruptions and possibly even fines and repair costs. Whether you're planting a tree or shrub or installing a deck or pool, every job requires a call, even if you've called before for a similar project.

I've called my local "Call Before You Dig" number before. Will 811 replace this service? 

No, 811 will not replace your local One-Call number. The national number was put in place to enhance and improve the one-call process. With more than 62 local One-Call numbers across the country, 811 eliminates the confusion about what number to call in your area.

How far in advance do I need to call? 

California law says 48 hours, excluding weekends and legal holidays. Call 811 directly, and the customer service representative will provide specific information.

Do the colors of the paint and flags indicate anything in particular? 

Yes. The colors indicate what type of underground facility is buried belowground.

  • Red – electric  
  • Orange – communications, telephone/CATV  
  • Blue – potable water  
  • Green – sewer/drainage  
  • Yellow –  gas/petroleum pipeline 
  • Purple – reclaimed water  
  • Pink – temporary survey marker 
  • White – pre-marked site of intended excavation

How often does Shell monitor its pipelines? 

Shell adheres to strict federal laws that require pipeline operators to continuously monitor and maintain pipeline segments in areas where the consequences of their failure could be significant.

We monitor our entire pipeline network from our control center 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using computer and telecommunications equipment located across the system. These centers continuously monitor flow, pressure and other data that indicate the condition of the pipeline system.

Does Shell inspect its pipelines?

Yes.  As part of our comprehensive safety program, we inspect and test our pipeline systems regularly.

  • We monitor pipelines by air and/or ground to identify and prevent any unauthorized activity. 
  • We inspect pipeline rights-of-way for unusual changes in vegetation that might indicate a leak. 
  • We test, inspect and monitor the cathodic protection system on our pipelines that helps prevent corrosion. 
  • We use various tools and technologies to help ensure that our pipelines are sound and fit for purpose.
  • We inspect and test valves on the pipelines.
  • When pipe is exposed for any reason, we inspect the condition of the pipe and its coatings and, if necessary, make repairs.


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Shell Pipeline

Through educational materials, support of the Common Ground Alliance and promotion of 811, Shell works to keep the public informed on pipeline awareness, pipeline safety and safe digging practices.