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Significant Pipeline Incidents By Cause

This report is a sub-report of the PHMSA Significant Pipeline Incidents report. As such, it represents Significant Incidents (A) only over the time period and pipeline system specified.

The data source for this table is the PHMSA Flagged Incident File. (1)

More Pipeline Incidents and Mileage Reports are available.

National All Pipeline Systems: Significant Incident Details: 1996
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 40 13.2% 0 2 $51,464,473 32.7%
INTERNAL CORROSION 23 7.6% 0 1 $4,001,128 2.5%
Sub Total 63 20.9% 0 3 $55,465,601 35.2%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 12 3.9% 0 0 $3,213,907 2.0%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 84 27.9% 40 79 $30,967,081 19.6%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 0.6% 2 4 $5,313,344 3.3%
Sub Total 98 32.5% 42 83 $39,494,332 25.1%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 21 6.9% 2 8 $11,946,975 7.6%
Sub Total 21 6.9% 2 8 $11,946,975 7.6%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 10 3.3% 0 0 $2,996,538 1.9%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 7 2.3% 0 0 $2,165,708 1.3%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 6 1.9% 0 0 $315,075 0.2%
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 7 2.3% 0 1 $1,370,291 0.8%
Sub Total 30 9.9% 0 1 $6,847,614 4.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 4 1.3% 1 0 $589,117 0.3%
TEMPERATURE 5 1.6% 0 7 $717,447 0.4%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 3 1.0% 0 0 $525,997 0.3%
Sub Total 12 3.9% 1 7 $1,832,562 1.1%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 3 1.0% 1 0 $841,596 0.5%
Sub Total 3 1.0% 1 0 $841,596 0.5%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 74 24.5% 7 25 $40,808,773 25.9%
Sub Total 74 24.5% 7 25 $40,808,773 25.9%
Totals 301 100.0% 53 127 $157,237,456 100.0%
National, All Pipeline Systems, 1996
National Hazardous Liquid: Significant Incident Details: 1996
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 34 19.5% 0 0 $49,556,854 41.7%
INTERNAL CORROSION 19 10.9% 0 0 $3,103,425 2.6%
Sub Total 53 30.4% 0 0 $52,660,279 44.3%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 10 5.7% 0 0 $2,254,487 1.9%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 30 17.2% 1 6 $13,636,752 11.4%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 1.1% 2 4 $5,313,344 4.4%
Sub Total 42 24.1% 3 10 $21,204,584 17.8%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 10 5.7% 0 0 $10,081,436 8.4%
Sub Total 10 5.7% 0 0 $10,081,436 8.4%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 10 5.7% 0 0 $2,996,538 2.5%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 7 4.0% 0 0 $2,165,708 1.8%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 6 3.4% 0 0 $315,075 0.2%
Sub Total 23 13.2% 0 0 $5,477,322 4.6%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 2 1.1% 0 0 $371,705 0.3%
Sub Total 2 1.1% 0 0 $371,705 0.3%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 44 25.2% 2 3 $29,023,100 24.4%
Sub Total 44 25.2% 2 3 $29,023,100 24.4%
Totals 174 100.0% 5 13 $118,818,429 100.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid, 1996
National Hazardous Liquid Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 1996
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 33 18.9% 0 0 $49,136,056 41.3%
INTERNAL CORROSION 18 10.3% 0 0 $2,640,547 2.2%
Sub Total 51 29.3% 0 0 $51,776,603 43.5%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 10 5.7% 0 0 $2,254,487 1.9%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 30 17.2% 1 6 $13,636,752 11.4%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 1.1% 2 4 $5,313,344 4.4%
Sub Total 42 24.1% 3 10 $21,204,584 17.8%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 10 5.7% 0 0 $10,081,436 8.4%
Sub Total 10 5.7% 0 0 $10,081,436 8.4%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 10 5.7% 0 0 $2,996,538 2.5%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 7 4.0% 0 0 $2,165,708 1.8%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 6 3.4% 0 0 $315,075 0.2%
Sub Total 23 13.2% 0 0 $5,477,322 4.6%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 2 1.1% 0 0 $371,705 0.3%
Sub Total 2 1.1% 0 0 $371,705 0.3%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 43 24.7% 2 3 $28,826,728 24.2%
Sub Total 43 24.7% 2 3 $28,826,728 24.2%
Totals 171 98.2% 5 13 $117,738,380 99.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid Onshore, 1996
National Hazardous Liquid Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 1996
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 0.5% 0 0 $420,798 0.3%
INTERNAL CORROSION 1 0.5% 0 0 $462,878 0.3%
Sub Total 2 1.1% 0 0 $883,676 0.7%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 1 0.5% 0 0 $196,372 0.1%
Sub Total 1 0.5% 0 0 $196,372 0.1%
Totals 3 1.7% 0 0 $1,080,048 0.9%
National, Hazardous Liquid Offshore, 1996
National Gas Transmission: Significant Incident Details: 1996
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 5 11.6% 0 0 $1,837,485 10.9%
INTERNAL CORROSION 3 6.9% 0 1 $799,516 4.7%
Sub Total 8 18.6% 0 1 $2,637,002 15.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 4.6% 0 0 $959,420 5.6%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 17 39.5% 1 1 $4,655,764 27.6%
Sub Total 19 44.1% 1 1 $5,615,184 33.3%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 6 13.9% 0 0 $1,370,291 8.1%
Sub Total 6 13.9% 0 0 $1,370,291 8.1%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 1 2.3% 0 0 $154,292 0.9%
Sub Total 1 2.3% 0 0 $154,292 0.9%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 9 20.9% 0 3 $7,079,370 42.0%
Sub Total 9 20.9% 0 3 $7,079,370 42.0%
Totals 43 100.0% 1 5 $16,856,141 100.0%
National, Gas Transmission, 1996
National Gas Transmission Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 1996
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 5 11.6% 0 0 $1,837,485 10.9%
INTERNAL CORROSION 1 2.3% 0 1 $336,638 2.0%
Sub Total 6 13.9% 0 1 $2,174,124 12.9%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 4.6% 0 0 $959,420 5.6%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 14 32.5% 1 1 $3,021,664 17.9%
Sub Total 16 37.2% 1 1 $3,981,084 23.6%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 3 6.9% 0 0 $912,480 5.4%
Sub Total 3 6.9% 0 0 $912,480 5.4%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 9 20.9% 0 3 $7,079,370 42.0%
Sub Total 9 20.9% 0 3 $7,079,370 42.0%
Totals 34 79.0% 1 5 $14,147,059 83.9%
National, Gas Transmission Onshore, 1996
National Gas Transmission Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 1996
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 2 4.6% 0 0 $462,878 2.7%
Sub Total 2 4.6% 0 0 $462,878 2.7%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 3 6.9% 0 0 $1,634,100 9.6%
Sub Total 3 6.9% 0 0 $1,634,100 9.6%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 3 6.9% 0 0 $457,811 2.7%
Sub Total 3 6.9% 0 0 $457,811 2.7%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 1 2.3% 0 0 $154,292 0.9%
Sub Total 1 2.3% 0 0 $154,292 0.9%
Totals 9 20.9% 0 0 $2,709,082 16.0%
National, Gas Transmission Offshore, 1996

No Data Available

National Gas Distribution: Significant Incident Details: 1996
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 1.1% 0 2 $70,133 0.3%
INTERNAL CORROSION 1 1.1% 0 0 $98,186 0.4%
Sub Total 2 2.3% 0 2 $168,319 0.7%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 37 44.0% 38 72 $12,674,563 58.7%
Sub Total 37 44.0% 38 72 $12,674,563 58.7%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 11 13.1% 2 8 $1,865,539 8.6%
Sub Total 11 13.1% 2 8 $1,865,539 8.6%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 1 1.1% 0 1 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 1 1.1% 0 1 $0 0.0%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 4 4.7% 1 0 $589,117 2.7%
TEMPERATURE 5 5.9% 0 7 $717,447 3.3%
Sub Total 9 10.7% 1 7 $1,306,564 6.0%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 3 3.5% 1 0 $841,596 3.9%
Sub Total 3 3.5% 1 0 $841,596 3.9%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 21 25.0% 5 19 $4,706,302 21.8%
Sub Total 21 25.0% 5 19 $4,706,302 21.8%
Totals 84 100.0% 47 109 $21,562,885 100.0%
National, Gas Distribution, 1996

Notes

  1. Significant Incidents are those incidents reported by pipeline operators when any of the following conditions are met: 1) Fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization. 2) $50,000 or more in total costs, measured in 1984 dollars. 3) Highly volatile liquid releases of 5 barrels or more or other liquid releases of 50 barrels or more. 4) Liquid releases resulting in an unintentional fire or explosion. Serious incidents, a subset of Significant Incidents, are incidents which involve a fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization.
  2. PHMSA has gathered increasingly targeted incident cause data over time. As such, the available reportable categories of cause (eg: Internal/External Corrosion vs Corrosion in general) have increased over time. This report spans time periods over which the reportable cause categories have changed. The cause categories in this report should be taken as general and not specific for years prior to 2002 for Liquid and Gas Transmission, and prior to 2004 for Gas Distribution.
  3. Gas Distribution incidents where fire/explosion was the primary cause of failure, such as a house fire that subsequently resulted in - but was not caused by - a distribution line failure are excluded from 2004 onward. This exclusion has not been applied in years prior to 2004 due to difficulty in identifying these types of events with the older report formats.
  4. The costs for incidents in 2013 and prior are presented in 2013 dollars. Cost of Gas lost is indexed via the Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas City Gate Prices. All other costs are adjusted via the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Government Printing Office inflation values.
  5. For years 2002 and later, property damage is estimated as the sum of all public and private costs reported in the 30-day incident report. For years prior to 2002, accident report forms did not include a breakdown of public and private costs so property damage for these years is the reported total property damage field in the report.

Sources

  1. PHMSA Flagged Incidents File - Apr 01, 2014. Note: Incidents occurring up to 30 days prior the Incident File source date may not appear in these reports due to the 30-day reporting period allowed by PHMSA regulation.

See Pipeline Incidents and Mileage Reports for more pipeline safety reports.

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