How Safe are Pipelines?
The environmental and safety record of oil pipelines is excellent.
Pipeline systems are recognized as both the safest transportation
mode and the most economical way of distributing the vast quantities
of oil from production fields to refineries and from refineries
pipelines are usually the only feasible way to transport significant
volumes by land over long distances. Without pipelines, our streets
and highways would be overwhelmed by the trucks trying to keep up
with the nation’s demand for petroleum products.
The safety performance of the oil pipeline industry has improved
substantially over the last 30 years with even greater gains in
the last few years. All oil pipelines together had 129 spills larger
than 50 barrels (2100 gallons) last year (2001 data year). Deaths
and injuries resulting from oil pipeline transportation are very
rare but do occur occasionally.
information on the safety practices and the performance of the oil
pipeline industry can be found at HSSE - Safety.
Information is also available at the Department
of Transportation - Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS)'s website at