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Pipeline Performance Report Shows Safety Improving While Mileage, Barrels Delivered Increases

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WASHINGTON, May 13, 2020 – Today, 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.”

"While pipeline operators are proud they are reducing the number of pipeline incidents, they are working hard to decrease them even further," said Andy Black, AOPL President and CEO, referring to the pipeline safety improvement strategic plan accompanying the performance report. 

This year’s performance report highlights positive safety trends in key categories identified by federal and state regulators, public safety advocates, and industry:

  • Total liquid incidents impacting people or the environment decreased 36 percent over the last five years, while total pipeline incidents were down 17 percent.
  • Pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment caused by corrosion, cracking or weld failure decreased 50 percent over the last five years.
  • Pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment caused by equipment failure were down 15 percent over the last five years.
  • Over the same timeframe, liquid pipeline mileage has increased nearly 10 percent, including a 20 percent increase in crude oil pipelines, while total barrels delivered increased 35 percent from 2014.

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.

The 2020-2022 Strategic Plan accompanying the Performance Report describes industry-wide safety improvement efforts over the next three years that will promote organizational excellence, harness technology and innovation, increase stakeholder awareness and engagement, and improve emergency response preparedness.

The 2019 API-AOPL Pipeline Safety Excellence Performance Report and 2020-2022 Strategic Plan is available on the API and AOPL website.

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 600 members produce, process and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In our first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.

AOPL represents liquids pipeline owners and operators transporting crude oil, petroleum products like gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil and industrial products like propane and ethane.

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