Nicholas Newman October 2015 Pipeline Gas Journal
The protection of oil, gas and refined product pipelines against natural events such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis, not to mention human actions including construction excavations, illegal tapping and terrorist sabotage, is an ongoing concern for operators around the world.
However, in the United States, the top three causes of pipeline failure reported by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) are construction excavations, corrosion and equipment failure (Figure1).
The consequences of a breach in a pipeline can be costly and even deadly. In the United States alone, leaks released 69 Bcf of natural gas into the atmosphere, almost enough to meet the state of Maine’s gas needs for a year, according to Forbes. Likewise, over 119,000 barrels of oil were spilled during 623 accidents, according to PHMSA.