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Pipeline SMS Annual Report Highlights Implementation Progress in 2020

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RAPID CITY, SD, April 23, 2021 – Today, the Pipeline Safety Management Systems (Pipeline SMS) Industry Team released the 2020 Annual Report, detailing industry’s progress implementing API Recommended Practice (RP) 1173, Pipeline Safety Management Systems. The Industry Team serves to facilitate the ongoing journey by liquid and gas pipeline operators, as well as the contractor community to reach zero incidents. While 2020 presented historic obstacles for our country, the pipeline industry continued to demonstrate its commitment to implement RP 1173, regularly assessing program maturity, measuring safety culture and closing identified gaps.

“Far from letting the impact of COVID-19 deter us from our mission in 2020, the pipeline industry used the Pipeline SMS framework to support our response to the pandemic,” said John Hill, vice president of natural gas system safety with Black Hills Energy and Industry Team chair. “You will see great examples throughout the annual report highlighting the importance of developing consistent and resilient processes using API RP 1173 to prepare for and respond to adversity.”

Balancing a global pandemic, social distancing, and remote work, the pipeline industry exhibited significant increases in the number of companies advanced their SMS maturity by:

  • Surveying safety culture (up 22 percent),
  • Conducting a gap assessment (up 26 percent),
  • Developing closure plans (up 24 percent),
  • Conducting an internal management review (up 21 percent), and
  • Maintaining a method to evaluate SMS maturity (up 24 percent).

In the coming months, the Industry Team looks forward to engaging stakeholders to discuss the industry’s progress and united mission: One Industry, One Goal, Zero Incidents. Visit to view the 2020 Annual Report and find out more.

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.