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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Industry-Led Efforts Improve Pipeline Safety Performance

pipeline safety  infrastructure  industry standards 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted May 18, 2020

America’s extensive network of pipelines and energy infrastructure safely connects our abundant natural gas and oil resources with refineries, businesses and consumers. The U.S. liquids pipeline system, which stretches more than 218,000 miles, delivered 21.8 billion barrels of crude oil and refined products in 2018 – the essential link between domestic energy and Americans’ daily lives.

The industry’s commitment to safety and sustainability, through industry-led reporting, standards-setting and performance initiatives, has contributed to ongoing improvements in pipeline operations. This month, API and our partner associations released two new reports that show declining pipeline-related incidents and continuous improvement in environmental performance – both enhanced by growing use of safety management systems.

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Safety in Energy Delivery

social-license-to-operate  pipelines  pipeline safety  safety standards  technology 

Kate Wallace

Kate Lowery
Posted February 2, 2018

Pipelines safely connect Americans to the energy we use every day. How safe? More than 99.99 percent of the natural gas, oil and petroleum products shipped via pipelines reach their destinations safely. And while that safety record is virtually flawless, America’s pipeline operators are focused every day on getting closer to perfection – helped by ever-improving technologies, industry standards, data and proactive, 24/7 monitoring.

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Safety a Core Mission of U.S. Pipeline Network

infrastructure  pipelines  pipeline safety  crude oil  refineries 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 19, 2017

To mark #InfrastructureWeek, we’ve posted on the broad energy and economic opportunities that come from building new infrastructure or by expanding existing infrastructure. We’ve also highlighted the essential role of infrastructure in ensuring that the benefits of America’s energy renaissance reach all across the country, helping U.S. consumers. Let’s end the week with a word about infrastructure safety, focusing on pipelines.

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Pipeline Regulations Could Impact Production

pipeline safety  natural gas  regulation  economic impacts  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 7, 2016

We frequently post on the potential risk to U.S. energy production and the benefits the American energy revolution is generating for the economy and individual households from the administration’s regulatory push and government red tape (see herehere and here). There might not be a better current example of the potential regulatory impact on U.S. energy than new rules for natural gas transmission and gathering lines proposed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Consider: According to a study by ICF International, measuring the impact of PHMSA’s proposals, for 2,200 small pipeline companies across the country the annual cost of complying with the new regulations would come close to what the companies earn from gathering line fees. That’s impact – impact on small businesses and impact on energy development associated with the work those companies do.

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Energy Infrastructure and Safety

pipelines  pipeline safety  infrastructure  safety standards  keystone xl 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 8, 2016

The United States is overdue for a fact-based conversation about energy infrastructure. The needs are great. IHS estimates that needed energy infrastructure through the middle of the next decade could spur $1.15 trillion in private capital investment and support more than 1 million jobs. But there are roadblocks.

The long fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has anti-progress, anti-fossil fuel advocates targeting other needed projects. During his State of American Energy 2016 remarks this week, API President and CEO Jack Gerard warned that ideological opposition to infrastructure will hurt the United States:

“The demonization of the Keystone XL pipeline remains a powerful cautionary tale of the dangers of energy policy driven by ideology rather than economic reality and has a chilling effect on expansion efforts for our nation’s energy infrastructure. That’s not just bad national energy policy. It is also bad news for our nation’s economy.”

Thus the need for a rational conversation about the country’s infrastructure needs that’s based on fact. Such as: America’s more than 199,000 miles of liquid pipelines deliver about 16 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum products a year, with a safety rate of 99.999 percent. And another: Industry keeps working toward a goal of zero incidents by continually improving safety in the infrastructure sector.

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Systematizing Pipeline Safety

analysis  pipeline safety  standards  american petroleum institute  crude oil  petroleum products 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 8, 2015

A barrel of crude oil or petroleum product shipped by pipeline is safely delivered to its destination more than 99.999 percent of the time, but the industry’s objective remains: zero releases, zero incidents.

Toward that goal, API has just released a new standard to guide operators in the development of a systems approach to safety management – helping them to continuously evaluate their efforts and constantly improve safety. API Midstream Director Robin Rorick:

“Pipelines are safe and efficient, but we are always looking for new ways to make them better, which is why industry is embracing this new standard. It’s also a great example of what can be done when industry, regulators and all key stakeholders work together to achieve a common objective, which is to protect the public, the environment and provide the fuels Americans need.”

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Keystone XL – Still a Good Idea

keystone xl pipeline  Environment  Economy  Energy Security  jobs  policy  pipeline safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 25, 2014

A year ago President Obama clarified his position on the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that for him to approve the project it would need to meet two tests – that KXL would be in the national interest and would not “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

The second point first. The environmental test has been passed – five times, in fact. The U.S. State Department’s fifth environmental assessment – which examined the Keystone XL’s construction, operation and the impact of increased oil sands development as a result of the pipeline – concluded that the project would have no effect on oil sands production and no significant effect on the environment.

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Pipeline 101: Infrastructure That Fuels America

pipelines  pipeline construction  pipeline safety  oil and natural gas  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 29, 2014

Take a look at the fuels and products delivered every day by America’s sprawling network of liquid petroleum and natural gas pipelines, and you’ll develop a new appreciation for energy infrastructure: gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other fuels and natural gas and heating oil for our homes. Plus feedstocks to make products ranging from eyeglasses to pharmaceuticals. Pipelines are integral for modern living.

That’s why API’s recently launched “Pipeline 101” website is an important resource – to better understand the need for pipelines, as well as how they work, how safe they are and more.

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Website is Animated About Spill Prevention, Safety

spill response  rapid response system for spills  pipeline safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 5, 2014

The animation below is just one example of the educational features that can be found on, our new website that launched last month. The site is full of information about the oil and natural gas industry’s efforts to meet the nation’s energy needs while maintaining safe and environmentally sound operations.

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Pipeline Safety Excellence

pipelines  pipeline safety  jobs  Economy 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted January 15, 2014

Some eye-popping numbers from a new report by API and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines:

  • Liquid pipeline operators delivered 14.1 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum products by interstate pipeline in 2012

  • Liquid pipeline operators operated 185,599 miles of pipeline in 2012 including 57,051 miles of crude oil, 64,024 miles of petroleum product, and 59,853 miles of natural gas liquid pipelines

  • Liquid pipeline operators spent more than $1.6 billion on integrity management in 2012 evaluating, inspecting and maintaining their pipeline infrastructure

  • Liquid pipeline releases are down 62% from 2001 to 2012

  • Barrels released from liquid pipelines are down 47% from 2001 to 2012

  • Corrosion as a cause of releases from liquid pipelines is down 79% from 2001 to 2012

  • Third-party caused damage to liquid pipelines is down 78% from 2001 to 2012

As API Pipeline Director Peter Lidiak put it:

“Pipelines are a vital part of this nation’s infrastructure and will be critical to creating jobs, growing our nation’s economy and securing our bright energy future… Statistically, pipelines have an almost 100 percent safety record and reaching a perfect record of safety.”

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