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Pipeline Performance Report Shows Continued Safety, Reliability Improvements


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WASHINGTON, June 17, 2021 – Liquids pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment decreased 38 percent over the last five years, while total pipeline incidents were down 21 percent, according to government pipeline safety data. The findings are part of the 2020 Pipeline Safety Excellence Performance Report released today by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) using publicly available safety data from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

“Pipeline safety improved last year and over the last 5 years even with the challenges we all faced with COVID,” said Todd Denton, president of Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC and chair of the industry-wide API-AOPL Pipeline Safety Excellence Steering Committee. “Performance improved across nearly every metric, reflecting our industry’s strong commitment to safely and reliably delivering the energy resources that American households and businesses depend on every day.”

This year’s report highlights positive trends across key performance indicators identified by federal and state regulators, public safety advocates and industry operators. Based on government data made available by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA):

  • Liquids pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment decreased 38 percent over the last five years, while total pipeline incidents were down 21 percent.
  • Over the last year, total liquids pipeline incidents and pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment are down 13 percent.
  • Pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment caused by corrosion, cracking or weld failure decreased 54 percent over the last five years.
  • Operations and maintenance incidents impacting people or the environment declined 27 percent between 2016 and 2020.

In addition to information on liquids pipeline safety performance, the report also describes the industry-wide actions pipeline operators are taking to improve pipeline safety. Under the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan accompanying the Performance Report, the pipeline industry is promoting organizational excellence, harnessing technology and innovation, increasing stakeholder awareness and engagement, and improving emergency response preparedness.

The 2020 API-AOPL Pipeline Safety Excellence Performance Report and 2020-2022 Strategic Plan is available here.

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.

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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