99.999% Safety Record

Pipelines are the safest way to transport the energy American consumers and workers need. Petroleum products delivered by pipeline reach their destinations safely 99.999% of the time. While pipelines have an excellent safety record, pipeline operators analyze those incidents that do occur to help guide safety improvement efforts. Each one of the following measures of pipeline safety is used by the liquids pipeline industry to better understand pipeline incident trends and develop strategies for improving pipeline safety. Read more about Industry-Wide Pipeline Safety Improvement Efforts >

Protecting the Public and the Environment

Pipeline operators and PHMSA collect hundreds of different data points measuring how safely pipelines are operating and the reasons behind pipeline incidents when they occur. Particularly useful measures of pipeline safety examine incident size, location, commodity and cause. However, pipeline operators place the highest priority on preventing incidents impacting the public or the environment (IPE). Read more about Key Pipeline Performance Indicators >

Incidents by Cause

Equipment failure is the most frequent use of liquids pipeline incidents. Over the last 5 years, equipment failure represented 45% of incidents, corrosion failure 19% and incorrect operation 15% of incidents. Read more about Incidents by Cause >

Incidents by Commodity

In 2017, crude oil incidents represented 50% of total incidents, with refined products at 29% and natural gas liquids at 19% of total incidents. The number of annual crude oil incidents are down 20% from their peak in 2015. Read more about Incidents by Commodity >

Incidents by Location

In 2017, approximately 85 incidents impacted people or the environment (IPE), 20 fewer incidents than 2016, reflecting a 4% decrease. Incidents impacting the public or the environment represented 21% of total incidents that year, with 79% of incidents occurring in non-public spaces such as within operator facilities. Read more about Incidents by Location >

Incidents by Size

Most pipeline incidents are small in size. In 2017, 60% of the incidents were less than 5 barrels and 84% were less than 50 barrels. In 2017, only 6% of incidents were 500 barrels or larger. Read more about Incidents by size >