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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 Reports are available.

National All Pipeline Systems: Significant Incident Details: 1997
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 38 14.2% 1 4 $31,049,678 29.1%
INTERNAL CORROSION 20 7.4% 0 0 $6,566,229 6.1%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.3% 0 0 $2,757,192 2.5%
Sub Total 59 22.1% 1 4 $40,373,100 37.9%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 6 2.2% 0 1 $937,445 0.8%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 61 22.8% 5 20 $16,948,172 15.9%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 1.5% 1 1 $6,341,542 5.9%
Sub Total 71 26.5% 6 22 $24,227,159 22.7%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 14 5.2% 1 6 $1,799,067 1.6%
Sub Total 14 5.2% 1 6 $1,799,067 1.6%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 10 3.7% 0 0 $3,071,649 2.8%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 3 1.1% 0 0 $313,622 0.2%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 7 2.6% 0 0 $71,988 0.0%
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 6 2.2% 0 12 $1,834,222 1.7%
Sub Total 26 9.7% 0 12 $5,291,483 4.9%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 10 3.7% 0 2 $2,608,993 2.4%
TEMPERATURE 3 1.1% 0 2 $213,958 0.2%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 3 1.1% 0 0 $1,233,843 1.1%
Sub Total 16 5.9% 0 4 $4,056,794 3.8%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FISHING OR MARITIME ACTIVITY 1 0.3% 0 0 $6,892,980 6.4%
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 2 0.7% 0 0 $337,756 0.3%
Sub Total 3 1.1% 0 0 $7,230,736 6.7%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 78 29.2% 2 29 $23,488,906 22.0%
Sub Total 78 29.2% 2 29 $23,488,906 22.0%
Totals 267 100.0% 10 77 $106,467,248 100.0%
National, All Pipeline Systems, 1997
National Hazardous Liquid: Significant Incident Details: 1997
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 30 18.5% 0 0 $29,135,497 38.5%
INTERNAL CORROSION 15 9.2% 0 0 $5,663,249 7.4%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.6% 0 0 $2,757,192 3.6%
Sub Total 46 28.4% 0 0 $37,555,939 49.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 5 3.0% 0 1 $523,866 0.6%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 28 17.2% 0 3 $6,438,148 8.5%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 1.2% 0 0 $4,825,086 6.3%
Sub Total 35 21.6% 0 4 $11,787,101 15.5%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 10 6.1% 0 0 $1,798,998 2.3%
Sub Total 10 6.1% 0 0 $1,798,998 2.3%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 10 6.1% 0 0 $3,071,649 4.0%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 3 1.8% 0 0 $313,622 0.4%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 7 4.3% 0 0 $71,988 0.1%
Sub Total 20 12.3% 0 0 $3,457,261 4.5%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 1.2% 0 0 $1,254,522 1.6%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 2 1.2% 0 0 $716,869 0.9%
Sub Total 4 2.4% 0 0 $1,971,392 2.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FISHING OR MARITIME ACTIVITY 1 0.6% 0 0 $6,892,980 9.1%
Sub Total 1 0.6% 0 0 $6,892,980 9.1%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 46 28.4% 0 1 $12,200,768 16.1%
Sub Total 46 28.4% 0 1 $12,200,768 16.1%
Totals 162 100.0% 0 5 $75,664,441 100.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid, 1997
National Hazardous Liquid Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 1997
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 29 17.9% 0 0 $28,928,708 38.2%
INTERNAL CORROSION 14 8.6% 0 0 $5,354,443 7.0%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.6% 0 0 $2,757,192 3.6%
Sub Total 44 27.1% 0 0 $37,040,344 48.9%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 5 3.0% 0 1 $523,866 0.6%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 27 16.6% 0 3 $5,707,492 7.5%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 0.6% 0 0 $3,446,490 4.5%
Sub Total 33 20.3% 0 4 $9,677,849 12.7%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 10 6.1% 0 0 $1,798,998 2.3%
Sub Total 10 6.1% 0 0 $1,798,998 2.3%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 9 5.5% 0 0 $2,382,351 3.1%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 3 1.8% 0 0 $313,622 0.4%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 7 4.3% 0 0 $71,988 0.1%
Sub Total 19 11.7% 0 0 $2,767,963 3.6%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 1.2% 0 0 $1,254,522 1.6%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 2 1.2% 0 0 $716,869 0.9%
Sub Total 4 2.4% 0 0 $1,971,392 2.6%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 43 26.5% 0 1 $4,756,349 6.2%
Sub Total 43 26.5% 0 1 $4,756,349 6.2%
Totals 153 94.4% 0 5 $58,012,897 76.6%
National, Hazardous Liquid Onshore, 1997
National Hazardous Liquid Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 1997
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 0.6% 0 0 $206,789 0.2%
INTERNAL CORROSION 1 0.6% 0 0 $308,805 0.4%
Sub Total 2 1.2% 0 0 $515,594 0.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 0.6% 0 0 $730,655 0.9%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 0.6% 0 0 $1,378,596 1.8%
Sub Total 2 1.2% 0 0 $2,109,252 2.7%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 1 0.6% 0 0 $689,298 0.9%
Sub Total 1 0.6% 0 0 $689,298 0.9%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FISHING OR MARITIME ACTIVITY 1 0.6% 0 0 $6,892,980 9.1%
Sub Total 1 0.6% 0 0 $6,892,980 9.1%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 3 1.8% 0 0 $7,444,418 9.8%
Sub Total 3 1.8% 0 0 $7,444,418 9.8%
Totals 9 5.5% 0 0 $17,651,544 23.3%
National, Hazardous Liquid Offshore, 1997
National Gas Transmission: Significant Incident Details: 1997
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 5 15.1% 0 0 $1,700,498 11.7%
INTERNAL CORROSION 4 12.1% 0 0 $723,762 4.9%
Sub Total 9 27.2% 0 0 $2,424,261 16.7%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 3.0% 0 0 $413,578 2.8%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 8 24.2% 0 3 $1,922,748 13.2%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 6.0% 1 1 $1,516,455 10.4%
Sub Total 11 33.3% 1 4 $3,852,783 26.5%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 3 9.0% 0 0 $1,328,966 9.1%
Sub Total 3 9.0% 0 0 $1,328,966 9.1%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 3 9.0% 0 0 $703,084 4.8%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 1 3.0% 0 0 $516,973 3.5%
Sub Total 4 12.1% 0 0 $1,220,057 8.4%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 6 18.1% 0 1 $5,680,008 39.1%
Sub Total 6 18.1% 0 1 $5,680,008 39.1%
Totals 33 100.0% 1 5 $14,506,077 100.0%
National, Gas Transmission, 1997
National Gas Transmission Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 1997
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 4 12.1% 0 0 $1,424,779 9.8%
INTERNAL CORROSION 2 6.0% 0 0 $379,113 2.6%
Sub Total 6 18.1% 0 0 $1,803,892 12.4%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 3.0% 0 0 $413,578 2.8%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 5 15.1% 0 3 $578,617 3.9%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 6.0% 1 1 $1,516,455 10.4%
Sub Total 8 24.2% 1 4 $2,508,651 17.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 3 9.0% 0 0 $1,328,966 9.1%
Sub Total 3 9.0% 0 0 $1,328,966 9.1%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 6.0% 0 0 $599,689 4.1%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 1 3.0% 0 0 $516,973 3.5%
Sub Total 3 9.0% 0 0 $1,116,662 7.7%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 6 18.1% 0 1 $5,680,008 39.1%
Sub Total 6 18.1% 0 1 $5,680,008 39.1%
Totals 26 78.7% 1 5 $12,438,183 85.7%
National, Gas Transmission Onshore, 1997
National Gas Transmission Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 1997
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 3.0% 0 0 $275,719 1.9%
INTERNAL CORROSION 2 6.0% 0 0 $344,649 2.3%
Sub Total 3 9.0% 0 0 $620,368 4.2%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 3 9.0% 0 0 $1,344,131 9.2%
Sub Total 3 9.0% 0 0 $1,344,131 9.2%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 3.0% 0 0 $103,394 0.7%
Sub Total 1 3.0% 0 0 $103,394 0.7%
Totals 7 21.2% 0 0 $2,067,894 14.2%
National, Gas Transmission Offshore, 1997
National Gas Gathering: Significant Incident Details: 1997
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 1 33.3% 0 0 $179,217 30.9%
Sub Total 1 33.3% 0 0 $179,217 30.9%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 33.3% 0 0 $275,719 47.6%
Sub Total 1 33.3% 0 0 $275,719 47.6%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 1 33.3% 0 0 $124,073 21.4%
Sub Total 1 33.3% 0 0 $124,073 21.4%
Totals 3 100.0% 0 0 $579,010 100.0%
National, Gas Gathering, 1997
National Gas Distribution: Significant Incident Details: 1997
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 3 4.3% 1 4 $213,682 1.3%
Sub Total 3 4.3% 1 4 $213,682 1.3%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 24 34.7% 5 14 $8,311,555 52.8%
Sub Total 24 34.7% 5 14 $8,311,555 52.8%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 4 5.8% 1 6 $68 0.0%
Sub Total 4 5.8% 1 6 $68 0.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 2 2.9% 0 12 $381,181 2.4%
Sub Total 2 2.9% 0 12 $381,181 2.4%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 5 7.2% 0 2 $651,386 4.1%
TEMPERATURE 3 4.3% 0 2 $213,958 1.3%
Sub Total 8 11.5% 0 4 $865,344 5.5%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 2 2.9% 0 0 $337,756 2.1%
Sub Total 2 2.9% 0 0 $337,756 2.1%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 26 37.6% 2 27 $5,608,128 35.6%
Sub Total 26 37.6% 2 27 $5,608,128 35.6%
Totals 69 100.0% 9 67 $15,717,718 100.0%
National, Gas Distribution, 1997

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 - July 3, 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 Reports for more pipeline safety reports.

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