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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: 2002
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 31 12.0% 1 1 $13,614,821 11.1%
INTERNAL CORROSION 23 8.9% 0 0 $6,370,181 5.2%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.3% 1 8 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 55 21.3% 2 9 $19,985,002 16.4%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 13 5.0% 0 6 $3,001,828 2.4%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 46 17.8% 3 8 $15,875,314 13.0%
Sub Total 59 22.8% 3 14 $18,877,143 15.5%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 13 5.0% 1 7 $8,008,107 6.5%
Sub Total 13 5.0% 1 7 $8,008,107 6.5%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 0.7% 0 0 $4,025,010 3.3%
BODY OF PIPE 3 1.1% 0 0 $3,058,670 2.5%
PIPE SEAM 10 3.8% 0 0 $16,056,502 13.2%
BUTT WELD 2 0.7% 0 0 $269,328 0.2%
FILLET WELD 5 1.9% 0 0 $1,387,724 1.1%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 12 4.6% 0 0 $2,382,122 1.9%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 11 4.2% 0 2 $316,893 0.2%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 6 2.3% 0 1 $600,529 0.4%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 11 4.2% 0 0 $1,460,655 1.2%
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 1 0.3% 0 0 $98,531 0.0%
Sub Total 63 24.4% 0 3 $29,655,969 24.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 4 1.5% 0 0 $4,202,072 3.4%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 3 1.1% 0 0 $5,252,882 4.3%
LIGHTNING 3 1.1% 0 0 $117,667 0.1%
TEMPERATURE 1 0.3% 0 0 $4,699 0.0%
HIGH WINDS 1 0.3% 0 0 $1,894,842 1.5%
Sub Total 12 4.6% 0 0 $11,472,164 9.4%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 0.3% 0 0 $322,123 0.2%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 6 2.3% 0 1 $16,554,191 13.6%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 0.3% 0 0 $178,293 0.1%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 2 0.7% 0 0 $95,499 0.0%
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 9 3.4% 0 0 $8,454,788 6.9%
Sub Total 19 7.3% 0 1 $25,604,896 21.0%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 35 13.5% 6 15 $7,677,907 6.3%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 2 0.7% 0 0 $380,625 0.3%
Sub Total 37 14.3% 6 15 $8,058,533 6.6%
Totals 258 100.0% 12 49 $121,661,817 100.0%
National, All Pipeline Systems, 2002
National Hazardous Liquid: Significant Incident Details: 2002
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 26 19.5% 0 0 $12,493,795 20.4%
INTERNAL CORROSION 10 7.5% 0 0 $1,496,606 2.4%
Sub Total 36 27.0% 0 0 $13,990,401 22.8%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 7 5.2% 0 0 $2,250,234 3.6%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 17 12.7% 0 0 $3,598,449 5.8%
Sub Total 24 18.0% 0 0 $5,848,683 9.5%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 8 6.0% 1 0 $2,955,272 4.8%
Sub Total 8 6.0% 1 0 $2,955,272 4.8%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
PIPE SEAM 6 4.5% 0 0 $15,492,652 25.3%
BUTT WELD 1 0.7% 0 0 $96,005 0.1%
FILLET WELD 3 2.2% 0 0 $952,334 1.5%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 7 5.2% 0 0 $1,158,146 1.8%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 10 7.5% 0 0 $316,716 0.5%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 5 3.7% 0 0 $553,925 0.9%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 11 8.2% 0 0 $1,460,655 2.3%
Sub Total 43 32.3% 0 0 $20,030,437 32.7%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 0.7% 0 0 $269,130 0.4%
LIGHTNING 3 2.2% 0 0 $117,667 0.1%
TEMPERATURE 1 0.7% 0 0 $4,699 0.0%
Sub Total 5 3.7% 0 0 $391,497 0.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 0.7% 0 0 $322,123 0.5%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 3 2.2% 0 0 $15,643,540 25.5%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 0.7% 0 0 $8,639 0.0%
Sub Total 5 3.7% 0 0 $15,974,302 26.1%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 12 9.0% 0 0 $1,942,589 3.1%
Sub Total 12 9.0% 0 0 $1,942,589 3.1%
Totals 133 100.0% 1 0 $61,133,184 100.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid, 2002
National Hazardous Liquid Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 2002
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 24 18.0% 0 0 $11,356,889 18.5%
INTERNAL CORROSION 10 7.5% 0 0 $1,496,606 2.4%
Sub Total 34 25.5% 0 0 $12,853,495 21.0%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 7 5.2% 0 0 $2,250,234 3.6%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 17 12.7% 0 0 $3,598,449 5.8%
Sub Total 24 18.0% 0 0 $5,848,683 9.5%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 8 6.0% 1 0 $2,955,272 4.8%
Sub Total 8 6.0% 1 0 $2,955,272 4.8%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
PIPE SEAM 6 4.5% 0 0 $15,492,652 25.3%
BUTT WELD 1 0.7% 0 0 $96,005 0.1%
FILLET WELD 3 2.2% 0 0 $952,334 1.5%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 7 5.2% 0 0 $1,158,146 1.8%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 10 7.5% 0 0 $316,716 0.5%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 5 3.7% 0 0 $553,925 0.9%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 11 8.2% 0 0 $1,460,655 2.3%
Sub Total 43 32.3% 0 0 $20,030,437 32.7%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 0.7% 0 0 $269,130 0.4%
LIGHTNING 3 2.2% 0 0 $117,667 0.1%
TEMPERATURE 1 0.7% 0 0 $4,699 0.0%
Sub Total 5 3.7% 0 0 $391,497 0.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 0.7% 0 0 $322,123 0.5%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 2 1.5% 0 0 $14,506,634 23.7%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 0.7% 0 0 $8,639 0.0%
Sub Total 4 3.0% 0 0 $14,837,397 24.2%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 12 9.0% 0 0 $1,942,589 3.1%
Sub Total 12 9.0% 0 0 $1,942,589 3.1%
Totals 130 97.7% 1 0 $58,859,372 96.2%
National, Hazardous Liquid Onshore, 2002
National Hazardous Liquid Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 2002
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 2 1.5% 0 0 $1,136,905 1.8%
Sub Total 2 1.5% 0 0 $1,136,905 1.8%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 1 0.7% 0 0 $1,136,905 1.8%
Sub Total 1 0.7% 0 0 $1,136,905 1.8%
Totals 3 2.2% 0 0 $2,273,811 3.7%
National, Hazardous Liquid Offshore, 2002
National Gas Transmission: Significant Incident Details: 2002
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 4 7.1% 0 0 $1,045,232 3.4%
INTERNAL CORROSION 11 19.6% 0 0 $3,803,913 12.4%
Sub Total 15 26.7% 0 0 $4,849,145 15.8%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 7 12.5% 1 1 $1,108,531 3.6%
Sub Total 7 12.5% 1 1 $1,108,531 3.6%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 1 1.7% 0 0 $2,526,378 8.2%
Sub Total 1 1.7% 0 0 $2,526,378 8.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 3.5% 0 0 $4,025,010 13.1%
BODY OF PIPE 3 5.3% 0 0 $3,058,670 9.9%
PIPE SEAM 4 7.1% 0 0 $563,849 1.8%
BUTT WELD 1 1.7% 0 0 $173,322 0.5%
FILLET WELD 2 3.5% 0 0 $435,390 1.4%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 5 8.9% 0 0 $1,223,976 3.9%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 1 1.7% 0 2 $176 0.0%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 1 1.7% 0 1 $46,603 0.1%
Sub Total 19 33.9% 0 3 $9,527,000 31.0%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 3.5% 0 0 $3,743,457 12.2%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 3.5% 0 0 $4,873,914 15.9%
HIGH WINDS 1 1.7% 0 0 $1,894,842 6.1%
Sub Total 5 8.9% 0 0 $10,512,214 34.2%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 2 3.5% 0 0 $873,935 2.8%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 1.7% 0 0 $178,293 0.5%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 1.7% 0 0 $86,859 0.2%
Sub Total 4 7.1% 0 0 $1,139,089 3.7%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 3 5.3% 0 0 $614,189 2.0%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 2 3.5% 0 0 $380,625 1.2%
Sub Total 5 8.9% 0 0 $994,815 3.2%
Totals 56 100.0% 1 4 $30,657,175 100.0%
National, Gas Transmission, 2002
National Gas Transmission Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 2002
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 4 7.1% 0 0 $1,045,232 3.4%
INTERNAL CORROSION 3 5.3% 0 0 $696,275 2.2%
Sub Total 7 12.5% 0 0 $1,741,508 5.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 7 12.5% 1 1 $1,108,531 3.6%
Sub Total 7 12.5% 1 1 $1,108,531 3.6%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 1 1.7% 0 0 $2,526,378 8.2%
Sub Total 1 1.7% 0 0 $2,526,378 8.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 3.5% 0 0 $4,025,010 13.1%
BODY OF PIPE 3 5.3% 0 0 $3,058,670 9.9%
PIPE SEAM 4 7.1% 0 0 $563,849 1.8%
BUTT WELD 1 1.7% 0 0 $173,322 0.5%
FILLET WELD 2 3.5% 0 0 $435,390 1.4%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 3 5.3% 0 0 $472,156 1.5%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 1 1.7% 0 2 $176 0.0%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 1 1.7% 0 1 $46,603 0.1%
Sub Total 17 30.3% 0 3 $8,775,181 28.6%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 3.5% 0 0 $3,743,457 12.2%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 1.7% 0 0 $195,576 0.6%
Sub Total 3 5.3% 0 0 $3,939,033 12.8%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 1.7% 0 0 $178,293 0.5%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 1.7% 0 0 $86,859 0.2%
Sub Total 2 3.5% 0 0 $265,153 0.8%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 2 3.5% 0 0 $362,819 1.1%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 1 1.7% 0 0 $164,276 0.5%
Sub Total 3 5.3% 0 0 $527,096 1.7%
Totals 40 71.4% 1 4 $18,882,882 61.5%
National, Gas Transmission Onshore, 2002
National Gas Transmission Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 2002
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 8 14.2% 0 0 $3,107,637 10.1%
Sub Total 8 14.2% 0 0 $3,107,637 10.1%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 2 3.5% 0 0 $751,819 2.4%
Sub Total 2 3.5% 0 0 $751,819 2.4%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 1.7% 0 0 $4,678,337 15.2%
HIGH WINDS 1 1.7% 0 0 $1,894,842 6.1%
Sub Total 2 3.5% 0 0 $6,573,180 21.4%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 2 3.5% 0 0 $873,935 2.8%
Sub Total 2 3.5% 0 0 $873,935 2.8%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 1 1.7% 0 0 $251,369 0.8%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 1 1.7% 0 0 $216,349 0.7%
Sub Total 2 3.5% 0 0 $467,719 1.5%
Totals 16 28.5% 0 0 $11,774,293 38.4%
National, Gas Transmission Offshore, 2002
National Gas Gathering: Significant Incident Details: 2002
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 2 50.0% 0 0 $1,069,661 72.0%
Sub Total 2 50.0% 0 0 $1,069,661 72.0%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 25.0% 0 0 $378,968 25.5%
Sub Total 1 25.0% 0 0 $378,968 25.5%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 1 25.0% 0 1 $36,715 2.4%
Sub Total 1 25.0% 0 1 $36,715 2.4%
Totals 4 100.0% 0 1 $1,485,345 100.0%
National, Gas Gathering, 2002
National Gas Distribution: Significant Incident Details: 2002
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 1.5% 1 1 $75,793 0.2%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 1.5% 1 8 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 2 3.0% 2 9 $75,793 0.2%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 6 9.2% 0 6 $751,594 2.6%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 22 33.8% 2 7 $11,168,333 39.3%
Sub Total 28 43.0% 2 13 $11,919,927 41.9%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 4 6.1% 0 7 $2,526,457 8.9%
Sub Total 4 6.1% 0 7 $2,526,457 8.9%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 1 1.5% 0 0 $98,531 0.3%
Sub Total 1 1.5% 0 0 $98,531 0.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 1.5% 0 0 $189,484 0.6%
Sub Total 1 1.5% 0 0 $189,484 0.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 9 13.8% 0 0 $8,454,788 29.7%
Sub Total 9 13.8% 0 0 $8,454,788 29.7%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 20 30.7% 6 15 $5,121,128 18.0%
Sub Total 20 30.7% 6 15 $5,121,128 18.0%
Totals 65 100.0% 10 44 $28,386,111 100.0%
National, Gas Distribution, 2002

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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