While the safety performance of the oil pipeline industry has improved over the last 14 years, the industry is not stopping and is proactively trying to achieve its goal of zero incidents. In 2014, pipelines transported over 16 billion barrels of crude oil, gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel across our nation with more than 99.999% of those barrels reaching their destination safely.
Over the last five years, the number of large pipeline incidents has decreased markedly. Pipeline incidents per mile larger than 500 barrels are down 32% from 2011 to 2015 while the number of incidents 50 barrels or larger per mile are down 12% during the same years.
Improving Performance of All Pipe
Advancing technologies and robust integrity management programs are producing noticeable results. Pipeline incidents caused by corrosion are down 68% since 1999. With advanced inline inspection tools, operators are able to identify the early signs of corrosion and make the necessary repairs before safety becomes a concern. While these are great advances, the industry continues to strive to learn and improve from shared incident information and best practices to make pipelines even safer for the people around them and the environment.
"If a pipeline is adequately maintained and inspected properly, its age is not the critical factor. The condition of the pipe is the critical factor."—Deborah Hershman, NTSB Chair, January 28, 2013