Are pipelines safe?
They are the safest way to transport oil and natural gas.
The shale revolution means American refiners and petrochemical manufacturers can use more domestic resources instead of importing crude oil from other regions. Greater U.S. energy security leads to a greater need for infrastructure. Oil and natural gas must be delivered safely to fuel our homes, businesses, and the American economy. Pipelines make this possible and are an efficient and vital part of our energy infrastructure.
US Department of Transportation data shows pipelines are the safest mode of energy transportation. Accidents are rare. According to the most recent numbers available, 99.999997% of gas and crude oil is moved safely through interstate transmission pipelines. Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board show pipelines make up less than one one-hundredth of one percent (0.01%) of all transportation accidents in the U.S.
Starting with the planning process, pipeline companies work with key stakeholders to address safety and security issues. Pipeline owner-operators implement pipeline integrity management plans that consider all stages of the pipeline life cycle, from conception, to engineering and design, construction, operation, inspection, and finally to repair/replacement when necessary.
Pipeline operators are constantly monitoring pipeline performance using state- of- the- art technology. Armed with emergency response plans, they deploy resources and work with local first responders to reduce the impacts of any incident. They also work with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to determine incident causes, fix problems, and work with state and local agencies to improve pipeline safety.
In addition to the millions of miles of natural gas pipelines that power much of our electrical grid, there are over 224,000 miles of crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), petrochemical feedstocks, and refined product pipelines that move raw materials from production areas to refineries and petrochemical plants, and which move finished products from these plants and facilities to consumers and end users.