API: Pipeline safety on the rise

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A new report from the American Petroleum Institute (API) released Monday in coordination with the Liquid Energy Pipeline Association (LEPA), has found that pipeline safety has increased across several indicators over the last five years.

API’s annual report, the 2023 Performance Report, looked at the pipeline industry’s safety performance record and its commitment improving pipeline community engagement, promoting workforce excellence and advancing a sustainable energy future.

“With a goal of zero operating incidents, pipeline operators are devoted to continuous improvement,” API-LEPA Pipeline Safety Excellence Steering Committee Chair and President of ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, LLC, Steven Yatauro said. “One area of focus has been pipeline operators’ commitment to improving meaningful public and community engagement resulting in the development of a first-of-its-kind industry recommended practice for pipeline public engagement.”

The report found that in the past five years, liquids pipeline safety has increased over several performance indicators identified by federal and state regulators, industry operators and public safety advocates. Total pipeline incidents have decreased 23 percent since 2019, with 87 fewer incidents last year compared to five years ago. Incidents impacting people or the environment with liquids pipelines are down seven percent, the report said. Operations and maintenance incidents are down 54 percent since 2019, and total equipment failure incidents are down 50 percent.

“Enhancing public engagement is crucial for maintaining current pipeline safety and expanding energy infrastructure. As our industry advances emissions reduction efforts – including the development of hydrogen and carbon capture – the safety of our nation’s pipelines remains at the center of our commitment to ensuring safe, responsible operations,” API Vice President of Midstream Policy Robin Rorick said.