AOPL releases annual pipeline safety report, strategic plan

The Association of Oil Pipe Lines released the 2016 API-AOPL Annual Liquids Pipeline Safety Excellence Performance Report & Strategic Plan, which it developed jointly with the American Petroleum Institute.

The report, which documents liquids pipeline safety performance and outlining industry-wide efforts to improve pipeline safety in 2016 and beyond, highlights trends since 2011. “Large pipeline incidents, those over 500 bbl, are down 32% over the last 5 years,” AOPL Pres. Andrew J. Black said.

During that time, the report said that:

• Incidents per mile larger than 500 bbl decreased by 32%.

• 99.999% of crude oil and petroleum products delivered by pipeline reached their destination safely.

• Pipeline incidents potentially affecting people or the environment outside of operator facilities fell 52% since 1999.

• Corrosion-caused pipeline incidents potentially impacting people or the environment outside operator facilities dropped 68% during that same period.

• In 2015, 65% of pipeline incident releases were fewer than 5 bbl.

• The 16.2 billion bbl of crude oil and petroleum products delivered during 2014—the most recent year for which figures were available—was 20% higher than 2010’s total.

• The 207,800 miles of liquids pipelines crossing the US represent a 13% increase in distance during the last 5 years.

AOPL said the Pipeline Safety Performance chapter provides further information analyzing the industry-wide safety record, including where performance is improving and which areas hold challenges. This in-depth examination of safety performance not only allows industry to gauge progress, but also helps prioritize safety efforts, it explained.

The new report also outlines specific industry-wide actions liquids pipeline operators are taking to improve safety and reduce the number of incidents, AOPL said.

“Pipeline operators are not standing by or waiting for new safety requirements. Instead, [they] are pushing forward with new technologies to keep pipelines safe; new methods for inspecting, monitoring, building, and performing preventative maintenance on pipelines; and new systems for managing pipeline safety programs,” it indicated.

Contact Nick Snow at

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