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Liquid pipeline operators invest in safety

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2012 – The nation’s liquid pipeline operators, who deliver millions of barrels of crude oil to refineries and gasoline and other petroleum products to American consumers daily, are making major investments to enhance pipeline safety. They invested more than $1 billion on integrity management in 2011, according to an API and Association of Oil Pipe Lines survey, and they have just launched a multi-year, multimillion dollar research effort to improve in-line inspection tools.

“Pipelines already move products safely and reliably,” said API Pipeline Director Peter Lidiak, “but our industry is determined to keep raising the bar until we achieve our goal of zero incidents. These recent, very considerable investments show the seriousness of our commitment.”

The API-AOPL voluntary survey includes data from operators who account for 116,000 miles of onshore liquids transmission pipelines – about 66 percent of total U.S. liquids mileage. Because the survey does not include integrity management investment on the remaining mileage, total investment could be substantially higher than $1 billion.

The Pipeline Research Council International, Inc (PRCI) will conduct the new research project on in-line inspection tools, focusing on finding ways to better use these high-resolution sensing devices – also called “smart pigs” – to evaluate the condition of pipelines. PRCI is a non-profit research organization created by the pipeline industry in 1952.

Integrity management programs cover pipelines and storage tanks. They are aimed at improving the inspection and monitoring of equipment so that vulnerabilities can be identified and potential future incidents avoided. Since the industry began to measure its safety performance in 1999, pipeline incidents have declined by 59 percent.

API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America's energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
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