Pipelines are responsible for the transportation of a significant portion of the U.S. energy supply. Unfortunately, pipeline failures are common and the consequences can be catastrophic. Drawing on data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that covers approximately 40,000 incidents from 1968 to 2009, this paper explores the trends, causes and consequences of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline accidents. The analysis indicates that fatalities and injuries from pipeline accidents are generally decreasing over time, while property damage and, in some cases, the numbers of incidents are increasing over time. In five of the ten cases considered in this paper, the damage from pipeline accidents – in terms of injuries, fatalities and volume of product spilled – are well characterized by a power-law distribution, indicating that catastrophic pipeline accidents are more likely than would be predicted by more common “thin-tailed” distributions. The results also indicate that relatively few accidents account for a large share of total property damage, while smaller, single-fatality and single-injury incidents account for a large share of total fatalities and injuries (43% versus 32%, respectively).
|Numero di pagine||13|
|Rivista||International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2014|
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