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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: 1998
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 25 8.4% 1 3 $5,735,713 3.4%
INTERNAL CORROSION 30 10.1% 0 0 $25,616,984 15.2%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.3% 0 0 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 56 18.9% 1 3 $31,352,698 18.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 9 3.0% 0 4 $4,813,014 2.8%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 69 23.3% 13 34 $43,376,100 25.7%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 7 2.3% 1 0 $5,475,683 3.2%
Sub Total 85 28.8% 14 38 $53,664,797 31.8%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 12 4.0% 1 7 $197,822 0.1%
Sub Total 12 4.0% 1 7 $197,822 0.1%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 7 2.3% 0 0 $6,825,694 4.0%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 6 2.0% 0 0 $2,274,788 1.3%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 9 3.0% 0 0 $99,430 0.0%
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 17 5.7% 1 8 $3,801,340 2.2%
Sub Total 39 13.2% 1 8 $13,001,254 7.7%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 9 3.0% 0 0 $6,170,164 3.6%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 3 1.0% 0 0 $13,212,051 7.8%
TEMPERATURE 1 0.3% 0 0 $81,724 0.0%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 4 1.3% 0 1 $7,055,508 4.1%
Sub Total 17 5.7% 0 1 $26,519,448 15.7%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 10 3.3% 0 1 $2,928,444 1.7%
Sub Total 10 3.3% 0 1 $2,928,444 1.7%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 76 25.7% 4 23 $40,701,799 24.1%
Sub Total 76 25.7% 4 23 $40,701,799 24.1%
Totals 295 100.0% 21 81 $168,366,264 100.0%
National, All Pipeline Systems, 1998
National Hazardous Liquid: Significant Incident Details: 1998
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 16 11.4% 0 0 $3,537,288 4.1%
INTERNAL CORROSION 17 12.1% 0 0 $21,256,326 24.8%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.7% 0 0 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 34 24.2% 0 0 $24,793,614 28.9%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 8 5.7% 0 4 $726,812 0.8%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 17 12.1% 0 1 $18,995,312 22.2%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 7 5.0% 1 0 $5,475,683 6.4%
Sub Total 32 22.8% 1 5 $25,197,808 29.4%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 6 4.2% 1 0 $197,822 0.2%
Sub Total 6 4.2% 1 0 $197,822 0.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 7 5.0% 0 0 $6,825,694 7.9%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 6 4.2% 0 0 $2,274,788 2.6%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 9 6.4% 0 0 $99,430 0.1%
Sub Total 22 15.7% 0 0 $9,199,913 10.7%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 3 2.1% 0 0 $13,212,051 15.4%
TEMPERATURE 1 0.7% 0 0 $81,724 0.1%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 3 2.1% 0 0 $1,607,239 1.8%
Sub Total 7 5.0% 0 0 $14,901,014 17.4%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 39 27.8% 0 1 $11,291,806 13.1%
Sub Total 39 27.8% 0 1 $11,291,806 13.1%
Totals 140 100.0% 2 6 $85,581,981 100.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid, 1998
National Hazardous Liquid Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 1998
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 16 11.4% 0 0 $3,537,288 4.1%
INTERNAL CORROSION 14 10.0% 0 0 $20,966,206 24.5%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.7% 0 0 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 31 22.1% 0 0 $24,503,494 28.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 8 5.7% 0 4 $726,812 0.8%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 16 11.4% 0 1 $18,701,182 21.8%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 6 4.2% 1 0 $5,475,683 6.4%
Sub Total 30 21.4% 1 5 $24,903,678 29.1%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 6 4.2% 1 0 $197,822 0.2%
Sub Total 6 4.2% 1 0 $197,822 0.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 7 5.0% 0 0 $6,825,694 7.9%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 6 4.2% 0 0 $2,274,788 2.6%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 9 6.4% 0 0 $99,430 0.1%
Sub Total 22 15.7% 0 0 $9,199,913 10.7%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 0.7% 0 0 $272,413 0.3%
TEMPERATURE 1 0.7% 0 0 $81,724 0.1%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 2 1.4% 0 0 $1,225,860 1.4%
Sub Total 4 2.8% 0 0 $1,579,997 1.8%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 38 27.1% 0 1 $10,610,773 12.4%
Sub Total 38 27.1% 0 1 $10,610,773 12.4%
Totals 131 93.5% 2 6 $70,995,680 82.9%
National, Hazardous Liquid Onshore, 1998
National Hazardous Liquid Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 1998
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 3 2.1% 0 0 $290,120 0.3%
Sub Total 3 2.1% 0 0 $290,120 0.3%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 0.7% 0 0 $294,130 0.3%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 0.7% 0 0 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 2 1.4% 0 0 $294,130 0.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 1.4% 0 0 $12,939,638 15.1%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 1 0.7% 0 0 $381,378 0.4%
Sub Total 3 2.1% 0 0 $13,321,017 15.5%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 1 0.7% 0 0 $681,033 0.8%
Sub Total 1 0.7% 0 0 $681,033 0.8%
Totals 9 6.4% 0 0 $14,586,301 17.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid Offshore, 1998
National Gas Transmission: Significant Incident Details: 1998
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 4 7.8% 0 0 $1,244,978 2.2%
INTERNAL CORROSION 9 17.6% 0 0 $2,760,229 5.0%
Sub Total 13 25.4% 0 0 $4,005,207 7.2%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 1.9% 0 0 $4,086,201 7.4%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 11 21.5% 1 2 $8,811,346 16.0%
Sub Total 12 23.5% 1 2 $12,897,547 23.4%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 11 21.5% 0 4 $2,847,212 5.1%
Sub Total 11 21.5% 0 4 $2,847,212 5.1%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 3.9% 0 0 $5,175,855 9.4%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 1 1.9% 0 1 $5,448,268 9.9%
Sub Total 3 5.8% 0 1 $10,624,124 19.3%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 12 23.5% 0 4 $24,584,427 44.7%
Sub Total 12 23.5% 0 4 $24,584,427 44.7%
Totals 51 100.0% 1 11 $54,958,518 100.0%
National, Gas Transmission, 1998
National Gas Transmission Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 1998
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 3 5.8% 0 0 $969,840 1.7%
INTERNAL CORROSION 5 9.8% 0 0 $2,028,799 3.6%
Sub Total 8 15.6% 0 0 $2,998,639 5.4%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 9 17.6% 1 2 $4,881,782 8.8%
Sub Total 9 17.6% 1 2 $4,881,782 8.8%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 8 15.6% 0 4 $2,029,971 3.6%
Sub Total 8 15.6% 0 4 $2,029,971 3.6%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 3.9% 0 0 $5,175,855 9.4%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 1 1.9% 0 1 $5,448,268 9.9%
Sub Total 3 5.8% 0 1 $10,624,124 19.3%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 12 23.5% 0 4 $24,584,427 44.7%
Sub Total 12 23.5% 0 4 $24,584,427 44.7%
Totals 40 78.4% 1 11 $45,118,945 82.1%
National, Gas Transmission Onshore, 1998
National Gas Transmission Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 1998
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 1.9% 0 0 $275,137 0.5%
INTERNAL CORROSION 4 7.8% 0 0 $731,430 1.3%
Sub Total 5 9.8% 0 0 $1,006,567 1.8%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 1.9% 0 0 $4,086,201 7.4%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 3.9% 0 0 $3,929,563 7.1%
Sub Total 3 5.8% 0 0 $8,015,765 14.5%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 3 5.8% 0 0 $817,240 1.4%
Sub Total 3 5.8% 0 0 $817,240 1.4%
Totals 11 21.5% 0 0 $9,839,573 17.9%
National, Gas Transmission Offshore, 1998
National Gas Gathering: Significant Incident Details: 1998
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 14.2% 0 0 $442,671 12.0%
INTERNAL CORROSION 4 57.1% 0 0 $1,600,428 43.5%
Sub Total 5 71.4% 0 0 $2,043,100 55.5%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 14.2% 0 0 $817,240 22.2%
Sub Total 1 14.2% 0 0 $817,240 22.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 1 14.2% 0 0 $817,240 22.2%
Sub Total 1 14.2% 0 0 $817,240 22.2%
Totals 7 100.0% 0 0 $3,677,581 100.0%
National, Gas Gathering, 1998
National Gas Distribution: Significant Incident Details: 1998
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 4 4.1% 1 3 $510,775 2.1%
Sub Total 4 4.1% 1 3 $510,775 2.1%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 40 41.2% 12 31 $14,752,201 61.0%
Sub Total 40 41.2% 12 31 $14,752,201 61.0%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 6 6.1% 0 7 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 6 6.1% 0 7 $0 0.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 5 5.1% 1 4 $136,887 0.5%
Sub Total 5 5.1% 1 4 $136,887 0.5%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 7 7.2% 0 0 $994,309 4.1%
Sub Total 7 7.2% 0 0 $994,309 4.1%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 10 10.3% 0 1 $2,928,444 12.1%
Sub Total 10 10.3% 0 1 $2,928,444 12.1%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 25 25.7% 4 18 $4,825,565 19.9%
Sub Total 25 25.7% 4 18 $4,825,565 19.9%
Totals 97 100.0% 18 64 $24,148,183 100.0%
National, Gas Distribution, 1998

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 - Sept 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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