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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: 2003
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 20 6.7% 0 0 $13,106,608 8.2%
INTERNAL CORROSION 23 7.7% 0 0 $19,719,505 12.3%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.3% 0 0 $75 0.0%
Sub Total 44 14.8% 0 0 $32,826,189 20.5%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 8 2.7% 0 2 $429,552 0.2%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 74 25.0% 5 35 $22,857,113 14.3%
Sub Total 82 27.7% 5 37 $23,286,665 14.6%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 17 5.7% 0 9 $853,167 0.5%
Sub Total 17 5.7% 0 9 $853,167 0.5%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 3 1.0% 0 0 $16,705,498 10.4%
BODY OF PIPE 6 2.0% 0 0 $6,399,989 4.0%
PIPE SEAM 8 2.7% 0 0 $5,105,543 3.2%
BUTT WELD 9 3.0% 0 0 $22,866,401 14.3%
FILLET WELD 2 0.6% 0 0 $1,060,571 0.6%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 18 6.0% 0 0 $8,098,198 5.0%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 5 1.6% 0 0 $533,138 0.3%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 6 2.0% 0 1 $4,507,513 2.8%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 8 2.7% 0 1 $392,213 0.2%
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 1 0.3% 0 0 $111,436 0.0%
Sub Total 66 22.3% 0 2 $65,780,504 41.2%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 8 2.7% 0 2 $1,989,909 1.2%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 0.3% 0 0 $55,718 0.0%
LIGHTNING 3 1.0% 0 0 $1,789,036 1.1%
TEMPERATURE 4 1.3% 0 0 $1,849,847 1.1%
Sub Total 16 5.4% 0 2 $5,684,511 3.5%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 2 0.6% 0 0 $4,824,844 3.0%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 8 2.7% 0 3 $2,582,884 1.6%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 2 0.6% 0 0 $991,785 0.6%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 0.3% 0 0 $29,051 0.0%
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 14 4.7% 0 6 $4,643,192 2.9%
Sub Total 27 9.1% 0 9 $13,071,758 8.2%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 39 13.1% 7 12 $13,221,413 8.2%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 5 1.6% 0 0 $4,685,866 2.9%
Sub Total 44 14.8% 7 12 $17,907,280 11.2%
Totals 296 100.0% 12 71 $159,410,078 100.0%
National, All Pipeline Systems, 2003
National Hazardous Liquid: Significant Incident Details: 2003
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 15 12.3% 0 0 $3,804,156 4.8%
INTERNAL CORROSION 12 9.8% 0 0 $2,252,858 2.8%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.8% 0 0 $75 0.0%
Sub Total 28 22.9% 0 0 $6,057,090 7.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 3.2% 0 0 $179,970 0.2%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 15 12.3% 0 0 $6,883,826 8.6%
Sub Total 19 15.5% 0 0 $7,063,796 8.9%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 8 6.5% 0 4 $322,438 0.4%
Sub Total 8 6.5% 0 4 $322,438 0.4%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 1.6% 0 0 $16,395,348 20.6%
BODY OF PIPE 3 2.4% 0 0 $2,263,703 2.8%
PIPE SEAM 3 2.4% 0 0 $3,902,617 4.9%
BUTT WELD 6 4.9% 0 0 $22,400,774 28.2%
FILLET WELD 1 0.8% 0 0 $158,487 0.2%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 16 13.1% 0 0 $7,477,625 9.4%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 4 3.2% 0 0 $418,396 0.5%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 2 1.6% 0 0 $33,369 0.0%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 7 5.7% 0 0 $392,213 0.4%
Sub Total 44 36.0% 0 0 $53,442,536 67.4%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 1.6% 0 0 $363,844 0.4%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 0.8% 0 0 $55,718 0.0%
LIGHTNING 2 1.6% 0 0 $1,397,472 1.7%
TEMPERATURE 2 1.6% 0 0 $983,118 1.2%
Sub Total 7 5.7% 0 0 $2,800,153 3.5%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 0.8% 0 0 $2,918,999 3.6%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 1 0.8% 0 0 $695,203 0.8%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 2 1.6% 0 0 $991,785 1.2%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 0.8% 0 0 $29,051 0.0%
Sub Total 5 4.1% 0 0 $4,635,040 5.8%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 9 7.3% 0 1 $4,018,926 5.0%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 2 1.6% 0 0 $956,029 1.2%
Sub Total 11 9.0% 0 1 $4,974,955 6.2%
Totals 122 100.0% 0 5 $79,296,011 100.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid, 2003
National Hazardous Liquid Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 2003
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 15 12.3% 0 0 $3,804,156 4.8%
INTERNAL CORROSION 12 9.8% 0 0 $2,252,858 2.8%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.8% 0 0 $75 0.0%
Sub Total 28 22.9% 0 0 $6,057,090 7.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 3.2% 0 0 $179,970 0.2%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 15 12.3% 0 0 $6,883,826 8.6%
Sub Total 19 15.5% 0 0 $7,063,796 8.9%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 8 6.5% 0 4 $322,438 0.4%
Sub Total 8 6.5% 0 4 $322,438 0.4%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 1.6% 0 0 $16,395,348 20.6%
BODY OF PIPE 3 2.4% 0 0 $2,263,703 2.8%
PIPE SEAM 3 2.4% 0 0 $3,902,617 4.9%
BUTT WELD 6 4.9% 0 0 $22,400,774 28.2%
FILLET WELD 1 0.8% 0 0 $158,487 0.2%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 16 13.1% 0 0 $7,477,625 9.4%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 4 3.2% 0 0 $418,396 0.5%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 2 1.6% 0 0 $33,369 0.0%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 7 5.7% 0 0 $392,213 0.4%
Sub Total 44 36.0% 0 0 $53,442,536 67.4%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 1.6% 0 0 $363,844 0.4%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 0.8% 0 0 $55,718 0.0%
LIGHTNING 2 1.6% 0 0 $1,397,472 1.7%
TEMPERATURE 2 1.6% 0 0 $983,118 1.2%
Sub Total 7 5.7% 0 0 $2,800,153 3.5%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 0.8% 0 0 $2,918,999 3.6%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 1 0.8% 0 0 $695,203 0.8%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 2 1.6% 0 0 $991,785 1.2%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 0.8% 0 0 $29,051 0.0%
Sub Total 5 4.1% 0 0 $4,635,040 5.8%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 9 7.3% 0 1 $4,018,926 5.0%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 2 1.6% 0 0 $956,029 1.2%
Sub Total 11 9.0% 0 1 $4,974,955 6.2%
Totals 122 100.0% 0 5 $79,296,011 100.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid Onshore, 2003

No Data Available

National Gas Transmission: Significant Incident Details: 2003
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 5 7.2% 0 0 $9,302,451 17.3%
INTERNAL CORROSION 9 13.0% 0 0 $17,091,009 31.8%
Sub Total 14 20.2% 0 0 $26,393,461 49.2%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 1.4% 0 0 $125,763 0.2%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 10 14.4% 1 2 $4,102,625 7.6%
Sub Total 11 15.9% 1 2 $4,228,389 7.8%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 6 8.7% 0 2 $530,729 0.9%
Sub Total 6 8.7% 0 2 $530,729 0.9%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 1 1.4% 0 0 $310,150 0.5%
BODY OF PIPE 3 4.3% 0 0 $4,136,285 7.7%
PIPE SEAM 5 7.2% 0 0 $1,202,926 2.2%
BUTT WELD 3 4.3% 0 0 $465,626 0.8%
FILLET WELD 1 1.4% 0 0 $902,083 1.6%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 2 2.9% 0 0 $620,573 1.1%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 1 1.4% 0 0 $114,742 0.2%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 3 4.3% 0 1 $2,767,399 5.1%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 1 1.4% 0 1 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 20 28.9% 0 2 $10,519,786 19.6%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 1.4% 0 0 $623,135 1.1%
LIGHTNING 1 1.4% 0 0 $391,564 0.7%
Sub Total 2 2.9% 0 0 $1,014,699 1.8%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 1.4% 0 0 $1,905,845 3.5%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 6 8.7% 0 2 $1,883,965 3.5%
Sub Total 7 10.1% 0 2 $3,789,810 7.0%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 6 8.7% 0 0 $3,415,604 6.3%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 3 4.3% 0 0 $3,729,837 6.9%
Sub Total 9 13.0% 0 0 $7,145,441 13.3%
Totals 69 100.0% 1 8 $53,622,318 100.0%
National, Gas Transmission, 2003
National Gas Transmission Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 2003
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 5 7.2% 0 0 $9,302,451 17.3%
INTERNAL CORROSION 4 5.8% 0 0 $15,805,675 29.4%
Sub Total 9 13.0% 0 0 $25,108,127 46.8%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 1.4% 0 0 $125,763 0.2%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 9 13.0% 1 2 $2,771,028 5.1%
Sub Total 10 14.4% 1 2 $2,896,791 5.4%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 6 8.7% 0 2 $530,729 0.9%
Sub Total 6 8.7% 0 2 $530,729 0.9%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 1 1.4% 0 0 $310,150 0.5%
BODY OF PIPE 3 4.3% 0 0 $4,136,285 7.7%
PIPE SEAM 5 7.2% 0 0 $1,202,926 2.2%
BUTT WELD 3 4.3% 0 0 $465,626 0.8%
FILLET WELD 1 1.4% 0 0 $902,083 1.6%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 2 2.9% 0 0 $620,573 1.1%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 1 1.4% 0 0 $114,742 0.2%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 3 4.3% 0 1 $2,767,399 5.1%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 1 1.4% 0 1 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 20 28.9% 0 2 $10,519,786 19.6%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
LIGHTNING 1 1.4% 0 0 $391,564 0.7%
Sub Total 1 1.4% 0 0 $391,564 0.7%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 1.4% 0 0 $1,905,845 3.5%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 5 7.2% 0 2 $1,425,029 2.6%
Sub Total 6 8.7% 0 2 $3,330,874 6.2%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 6 8.7% 0 0 $3,415,604 6.3%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 3 4.3% 0 0 $3,729,837 6.9%
Sub Total 9 13.0% 0 0 $7,145,441 13.3%
Totals 61 88.4% 1 8 $49,923,315 93.1%
National, Gas Transmission Onshore, 2003
National Gas Transmission Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 2003
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 5 7.2% 0 0 $1,285,333 2.4%
Sub Total 5 7.2% 0 0 $1,285,333 2.4%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 1.4% 0 0 $1,331,597 2.4%
Sub Total 1 1.4% 0 0 $1,331,597 2.4%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 1.4% 0 0 $623,135 1.1%
Sub Total 1 1.4% 0 0 $623,135 1.1%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 1 1.4% 0 0 $458,936 0.8%
Sub Total 1 1.4% 0 0 $458,936 0.8%
Totals 8 11.5% 0 0 $3,699,002 6.9%
National, Gas Transmission Offshore, 2003
National Gas Gathering: Significant Incident Details: 2003
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 2 66.6% 0 0 $375,637 18.0%
Sub Total 2 66.6% 0 0 $375,637 18.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 1 33.3% 0 0 $1,706,745 81.9%
Sub Total 1 33.3% 0 0 $1,706,745 81.9%
Totals 3 100.0% 0 0 $2,082,383 100.0%
National, Gas Gathering, 2003
National Gas Distribution: Significant Incident Details: 2003
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 3 2.9% 0 2 $123,818 0.5%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 49 48.0% 4 33 $11,870,661 48.6%
Sub Total 52 50.9% 4 35 $11,994,479 49.1%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 3 2.9% 0 3 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 3 2.9% 0 3 $0 0.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 1 0.9% 0 0 $111,436 0.4%
Sub Total 1 0.9% 0 0 $111,436 0.4%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 5 4.9% 0 2 $1,002,929 4.1%
TEMPERATURE 2 1.9% 0 0 $866,729 3.5%
Sub Total 7 6.8% 0 2 $1,869,658 7.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 1 0.9% 0 1 $3,714 0.0%
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 14 13.7% 0 6 $4,643,192 19.0%
Sub Total 15 14.7% 0 7 $4,646,907 19.0%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 24 23.5% 7 11 $5,786,882 23.7%
Sub Total 24 23.5% 7 11 $5,786,882 23.7%
Totals 102 100.0% 11 58 $24,409,365 100.0%
National, Gas Distribution, 2003

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 - Aug 4, 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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