The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Association of Oil Pipelines (AOPL) released the 2019 Pipeline Safety Excellence Performance Report and 2020-2022 Strategic Plan. The report details how liquid pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment have decreased 36 percent over the last 5 years, while pipeline mileage increased nearly 10 percent and barrels delivered increased nearly 35 percent.
“Pipelines are the safest and most environmentally friendly way of transporting the energy Americans rely on every day,” said API Pipeline Manager David Murk. “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.”
API and AOPL prepared the report using publicly available government-collected performance data from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). According to API, five-year trends that the new report identifies include:
- Total liquid pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment fell 36 percent and total pipeline incidents decreased 17 percent.
- The number of pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment caused by corrosion, cracking, or weld failure dropped by 50 percent.
- Pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment caused by equipment failure declined by 15 percent.
- Liquid pipeline mileage rose nearly 10 percent, including a 20-percent increase in crude oil pipelines, and total barrels delivered went up 35 percent from 2014.
“While pipeline operators are proud they are reducing the number of pipeline incidents, they are working hard to decrease them even further,” AOPL President and CEO Andy Black in regard to the pipeline safety improvement strategic plan his organization and API created.
The performance data presented by this report is government-collected data on pipeline incidents made publicly available by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Each year, API and AOPL download PHMSA incident data to analyze where pipeline operators are making progress and to focus upcoming industry-wide safety improvement efforts. Those findings guide the accompanying three-year strategic plan for pipeline safety improvement.