More than 190,000 miles of liquid petroleum pipelines traverse the United States. They connect producing areas to refineries and chemical plants while delivering the products American consumers and businesses need. Pipelines are safe, efficient and, because most are buried, largely unseen. They move crude oil from oil fields on land and offshore to refineries where it is turned into fuels and other products, then from the refineries to terminals where fuels are trucked to retail outlets. Pipelines operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Excavation Damage Prevention (EDP) toolbox is a collection of damage prevention shared learnings and practices for onshore, hazardous liquid transmission pipeline operation. The learnings and practices outlined may be utilized by an operator as information to be considered when analyzing, reviewing and/or modifying existing procedures. It is not intended to be utilized as a recommended practice or basis for regulation.
The pipeline industry has made a number of commitments to move towards their goal of zero incidents, from using the latest technologies, to creating recommended practices with regulators and forming industry work groups to share best practices. Pipeline operators are implementing integrity management programs to ensure their assets are maintained. These strategies include using in-line inspection tools, or “smart pigs,” to determine the condition of the pipeline. Smart pigs can detect corrosion, cracking or other defects in the pipe wall and are used to plan preventive maintenance. Operators also use this data to plan for future repairs.
Liquids pipeline owners and operators are committed to treating landowners fairly, openly and with respect. Pipeline companies through the American Petroleum Institute and Association of Oil Pipe Lines have developed a program to train their employees and representatives interacting with the public to uphold these principles. This landowner training commitment and program reflects our desire to build positive, lasting relationships in the communities we operate.
April is National Safe Digging Month! It's the time of year when the American Petroleum Institute encourages homeowners and professional excavators to call 811 and follow the safe digging process to help prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. Beneath America's cities and rural areas lies a complex network of pipelines, wires, conduits and cables. Some are buried only a few feet - or less - below the surface. Hitting these lines can damage them, disrupting service, resulting in costly repairs and possibly fines and even endangering lives. A federally-mandated national "Call Before You Dig" number, 811 was created to help protect you from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines while working on digging projects.
Pipeline operators have long realized the value of sharing information amongst each other, especially greater understanding obtained after an incident in order to improve pipeline safety.
In 2014, the liquid pipeline industry launched its Pipeline Safety Excellence(TM) initiative. It reflects the shared values and commitment we have to building and operating safe pipelines. One of those pipeline safety values is communicating with stakeholders. Pipeline operators are committed to sharing publicly the results of industry-wide safety performance.
NARUC and our colleagues at the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives are pleased to release an updated compendium of gas pipeline regulations around the country revealing that States implement stricter rules and laws than required by the federal government.
The nation's more than 190,000 miles of petroleum transmission pipelines are the primary means of moving crude oil, gasoline, diesel fuel and other petroleum products to consumer markets. Pipelines are safe, efficient and, because most are buried, largely unseen. They move crude oil from oil fields on land and offshore to refineries where it is turned into fuels and other products, then from the refineries to terminals where fuels are trucked to retail outlets. Pipelines operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Representing a broad cross section of major North American liquids pipeline operators, the API/AOPL Emergency Response Team (ERT) is responsible for implementing API/AOPL strategy to proactively enhance hazardous liquid pipeline emergency communications, planning, preparedness and response. Further, the team represents the liquids pipeline industry in meetings with emergency response advocacy organizations.