New Report Highlights U.S. Pipeline Safety
U.S. pipeline incidents have fallen more than 35 percent in the last five years, despite a 10 percent increase in miles of new pipelines constructed, according to a recent report by the American Petroleum Institute in collaboration with the Association of Oil Pipelines. During this time, oil and natural gas production was at an all-time high, and the number of barrels of product shipped through the line increased by 35 percent.
The report shows operators’ continued commitment to safety and operational excellence, especially as more pipelines come online, and the importance of Pipeline Strategic Plan Goals, which outline four strategic goals aimed at decreasing incidents. As API Pipeline Manager David Murk said:
“Pipelines are the safest and most environmentally friendly way of transporting the energy Americans rely on every day. This year’s report highlights our industry’s strong commitment to safety and reliability, showing significant reductions in total incidents while we continue to reliably and efficiently deliver the energy that keeps working families, small businesses and first responders moving.”
The report also found total pipeline incidents were down by 17 percent, including those without effects to people and environment, with incidents relating to pipeline integrity, including corrosion, cracking or weld failure falling by 50 percent over the last five years. In comparison to the previous year, 2019 saw 77 total fewer incidents.
Using U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration data, API and AOPL also created a two year strategic plan to further improve pipeline safety. In this detailed plan, API and AOPL outline the strategic goals to further cement industry’s commitment to pipeline safety from 2020 to 2022. These goals range from internal company best practices, such as increasing trainings, to implementing high tech solutions to safety issues. They also created a uniform methodology to expand safety from the wellhead to the final destination.
The report is just another example of how, contrary to activist claims, pipelines remain the safest way to transport oil and natural gas. Across the board incidents have decreased as production rose. However, pipeline operators across the country are not settling with these results. Through their Pipeline Strategic Plan Goals, operators are committing themselves to continuing this excellent safety record for years to come. As Todd Denton, chair of the API-AOPL Pipeline Safety Excellence Committee, said:
“Pipeline operators are taking precautions to ensure our nation’s energy delivery system continues to operate safely during these trying times. We will do our part to stay safe as we keep energy flowing to homes, employers and the public across the country.”