November 14, 2012
Industry pursues pipeline safety as top priority
WASHINGTON, November 14, 2012 – API’s director of pipelines Peter Lidiak today said the U.S. pipeline industry is aggressively addressing safety issues in pursuit of continuous improvement and a zero incident safety record. His comments were in response to the National Transportation Safety Board’s designation of enhanced pipeline safety and infrastructure preservation as two of its 2013 “Most Wanted” objectives:
“Pipelines are the safest way to transport crude oil and products where they need to go. The nation’s crude oil and liquid fuels pipelines have an outstanding safety record and operators understand the need for continuous improvement. Between 1999 and 2011, the number of liquid pipeline releases was reduced by about 60% and the volume released by a little more than 40%. The industry continues to seek the most beneficial, cost-effective improvements to safety.
“Older pipelines can perform at a high level of reliability and safety provided they are operated and maintained in an appropriate fashion. In a recent analysis of U.S. DOT data, we found that releases due to time dependent causes (those that occur or worsen over time) dropped by 83% from 2002-2009 for liquids pipelines installed prior to the 1950s, while releases from time dependent causes for all liquids pipelines dropped by 36%. This demonstrates that pipeline infrastructure can and is being managed effectively as it ages.
“In June 2012, the oil pipeline industry affirmed eight principles that guide industry safety programs. The first is the goal of zero incidents – no releases, no injuries and no fatalities. We are making progress toward this goal and understand there is more work to do to reach it. We are also making progress on a July 2012 NTSB recommendation to API to develop a pipeline industry safety management system standard.”
API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.