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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: 2004
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 32 10.3% 1 14 $50,656,336 16.4%
INTERNAL CORROSION 28 9.0% 0 0 $8,386,386 2.7%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.3% 0 0 $206,455 0.0%
Sub Total 61 19.6% 1 14 $59,249,178 19.2%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 7 2.2% 0 1 $1,597,911 0.5%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 62 20.0% 6 9 $22,942,717 7.4%
Sub Total 69 22.2% 6 10 $24,540,629 7.9%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 13 4.1% 2 9 $1,454,478 0.4%
Sub Total 13 4.1% 2 9 $1,454,478 0.4%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 5 1.6% 0 0 $5,313,092 1.7%
BODY OF PIPE 6 1.9% 0 0 $2,565,478 0.8%
PIPE SEAM 2 0.6% 0 0 $331,598 0.1%
BUTT WELD 3 0.9% 0 0 $243,750 0.0%
FILLET WELD 3 0.9% 0 0 $507,598 0.1%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 19 6.1% 2 3 $19,003,912 6.1%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 15 4.8% 0 0 $1,220,666 0.4%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 5 1.6% 0 1 $242,699 0.0%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 8 2.5% 0 0 $1,350,142 0.4%
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 3 0.9% 0 0 $1,007,658 0.3%
Sub Total 69 22.2% 2 4 $31,786,598 10.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 10 3.2% 0 2 $70,853,249 23.0%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 16 5.1% 0 1 $22,384,373 7.2%
LIGHTNING 3 0.9% 0 0 $3,276,217 1.0%
TEMPERATURE 7 2.2% 3 4 $1,104,417 0.3%
HIGH WINDS 7 2.2% 0 0 $68,260,893 22.1%
Sub Total 43 13.8% 3 7 $165,879,151 53.8%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 0.3% 0 0 $1,173,594 0.3%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 16 5.1% 1 2 $11,336,224 3.6%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 2 0.6% 0 0 $3,209,003 1.0%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 2 0.6% 0 0 $907,495 0.2%
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 4 1.2% 0 0 $2,051,520 0.6%
Sub Total 25 8.0% 1 2 $18,677,838 6.0%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 25 8.0% 6 8 $5,657,227 1.8%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 5 1.6% 2 2 $713,342 0.2%
Sub Total 30 9.6% 8 10 $6,370,570 2.0%
Totals 310 100.0% 23 56 $307,958,445 100.0%
National, All Pipeline Systems, 2004
National Hazardous Liquid: Significant Incident Details: 2004
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 23 17.0% 0 12 $49,065,975 24.9%
INTERNAL CORROSION 11 8.1% 0 0 $2,665,353 1.3%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.7% 0 0 $206,455 0.1%
Sub Total 35 25.9% 0 12 $51,937,784 26.3%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 6 4.4% 0 0 $1,529,210 0.7%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 17 12.5% 5 3 $8,364,260 4.2%
Sub Total 23 17.0% 5 3 $9,893,470 5.0%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 4 2.9% 0 0 $135,714 0.0%
Sub Total 4 2.9% 0 0 $135,714 0.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 1.4% 0 0 $4,649,033 2.3%
BODY OF PIPE 1 0.7% 0 0 $1,272,853 0.6%
PIPE SEAM 2 1.4% 0 0 $331,598 0.1%
BUTT WELD 2 1.4% 0 0 $155,256 0.0%
FILLET WELD 2 1.4% 0 0 $216,013 0.1%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 12 8.8% 0 1 $16,798,893 8.5%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 8 5.9% 0 0 $266,241 0.1%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 4 2.9% 0 0 $242,578 0.1%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 8 5.9% 0 0 $1,350,142 0.6%
Sub Total 41 30.3% 0 1 $25,282,610 12.8%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 4 2.9% 0 0 $31,075,239 15.7%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 0.7% 0 0 $557,157 0.2%
LIGHTNING 3 2.2% 0 0 $3,276,217 1.6%
TEMPERATURE 2 1.4% 0 0 $479,307 0.2%
HIGH WINDS 7 5.1% 0 0 $68,260,893 34.6%
Sub Total 17 12.5% 0 0 $103,648,816 52.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 4 2.9% 0 0 $1,735,654 0.8%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 0.7% 0 0 $2,587,513 1.3%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 0.7% 0 0 $774,750 0.3%
Sub Total 6 4.4% 0 0 $5,097,918 2.5%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 8 5.9% 0 0 $692,631 0.3%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 1 0.7% 0 0 $181,057 0.0%
Sub Total 9 6.6% 0 0 $873,689 0.4%
Totals 135 100.0% 5 16 $196,870,003 100.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid, 2004
National Hazardous Liquid Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 2004
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 23 17.0% 0 12 $49,065,975 24.9%
INTERNAL CORROSION 11 8.1% 0 0 $2,665,353 1.3%
UNSPECIFIED CORROSION 1 0.7% 0 0 $206,455 0.1%
Sub Total 35 25.9% 0 12 $51,937,784 26.3%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 6 4.4% 0 0 $1,529,210 0.7%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 17 12.5% 5 3 $8,364,260 4.2%
Sub Total 23 17.0% 5 3 $9,893,470 5.0%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 4 2.9% 0 0 $135,714 0.0%
Sub Total 4 2.9% 0 0 $135,714 0.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 1.4% 0 0 $4,649,033 2.3%
BODY OF PIPE 1 0.7% 0 0 $1,272,853 0.6%
PIPE SEAM 2 1.4% 0 0 $331,598 0.1%
BUTT WELD 2 1.4% 0 0 $155,256 0.0%
FILLET WELD 2 1.4% 0 0 $216,013 0.1%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 11 8.1% 0 1 $2,317,556 1.1%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 8 5.9% 0 0 $266,241 0.1%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 4 2.9% 0 0 $242,578 0.1%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 7 5.1% 0 0 $741,927 0.3%
Sub Total 39 28.8% 0 1 $10,193,058 5.1%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 3 2.2% 0 0 $2,112,361 1.0%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 0.7% 0 0 $557,157 0.2%
LIGHTNING 3 2.2% 0 0 $3,276,217 1.6%
TEMPERATURE 2 1.4% 0 0 $479,307 0.2%
HIGH WINDS 1 0.7% 0 0 $17,652,003 8.9%
Sub Total 10 7.4% 0 0 $24,077,047 12.2%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 3 2.2% 0 0 $528,878 0.2%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 0.7% 0 0 $2,587,513 1.3%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 0.7% 0 0 $774,750 0.3%
Sub Total 5 3.7% 0 0 $3,891,142 1.9%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 8 5.9% 0 0 $692,631 0.3%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 1 0.7% 0 0 $181,057 0.0%
Sub Total 9 6.6% 0 0 $873,689 0.4%
Totals 125 92.5% 5 16 $101,001,906 51.3%
National, Hazardous Liquid Onshore, 2004
National Hazardous Liquid Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 2004
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 1 0.7% 0 0 $14,481,336 7.3%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 1 0.7% 0 0 $608,215 0.3%
Sub Total 2 1.4% 0 0 $15,089,552 7.6%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 0.7% 0 0 $28,962,878 14.7%
HIGH WINDS 6 4.4% 0 0 $50,608,890 25.7%
Sub Total 7 5.1% 0 0 $79,571,768 40.4%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 1 0.7% 0 0 $1,206,776 0.6%
Sub Total 1 0.7% 0 0 $1,206,776 0.6%
Totals 10 7.4% 0 0 $95,868,097 48.7%
National, Hazardous Liquid Offshore, 2004
National Gas Transmission: Significant Incident Details: 2004
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 3 4.7% 0 0 $477,322 1.2%
INTERNAL CORROSION 12 19.0% 0 0 $3,769,612 10.1%
Sub Total 15 23.8% 0 0 $4,246,934 11.4%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 1.5% 0 1 $68,700 0.1%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 13 20.6% 0 0 $2,231,096 6.0%
Sub Total 14 22.2% 0 1 $2,299,796 6.2%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 1 1.5% 0 0 $97,621 0.2%
Sub Total 1 1.5% 0 0 $97,621 0.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 3 4.7% 0 0 $664,059 1.7%
BODY OF PIPE 4 6.3% 0 0 $672,836 1.8%
BUTT WELD 1 1.5% 0 0 $88,494 0.2%
FILLET WELD 1 1.5% 0 0 $291,585 0.7%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 1 1.5% 0 0 $214,981 0.5%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 6 9.5% 0 0 $855,951 2.3%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 1 1.5% 0 1 $120 0.0%
Sub Total 17 26.9% 0 1 $2,788,031 7.5%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 7 11.1% 0 0 $19,157,476 51.6%
Sub Total 7 11.1% 0 0 $19,157,476 51.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 1.5% 0 0 $1,173,594 3.1%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 4 6.3% 0 0 $6,053,822 16.3%
Sub Total 5 7.9% 0 0 $7,227,416 19.4%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 3 4.7% 0 0 $1,201,363 3.2%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 1 1.5% 0 0 $100,983 0.2%
Sub Total 4 6.3% 0 0 $1,302,347 3.5%
Totals 63 100.0% 0 2 $37,119,624 100.0%
National, Gas Transmission, 2004
National Gas Transmission Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 2004
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 2 3.1% 0 0 $345,855 0.9%
INTERNAL CORROSION 1 1.5% 0 0 $116,647 0.3%
Sub Total 3 4.7% 0 0 $462,503 1.2%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 1.5% 0 1 $68,700 0.1%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 13 20.6% 0 0 $2,231,096 6.0%
Sub Total 14 22.2% 0 1 $2,299,796 6.2%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 1 1.5% 0 0 $97,621 0.2%
Sub Total 1 1.5% 0 0 $97,621 0.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 3 4.7% 0 0 $664,059 1.7%
BODY OF PIPE 4 6.3% 0 0 $672,836 1.8%
BUTT WELD 1 1.5% 0 0 $88,494 0.2%
FILLET WELD 1 1.5% 0 0 $291,585 0.7%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 1 1.5% 0 0 $214,981 0.5%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 6 9.5% 0 0 $855,951 2.3%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 1 1.5% 0 1 $120 0.0%
Sub Total 17 26.9% 0 1 $2,788,031 7.5%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 3.1% 0 0 $625,467 1.6%
Sub Total 2 3.1% 0 0 $625,467 1.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 1.5% 0 0 $1,173,594 3.1%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 2 3.1% 0 0 $247,436 0.6%
Sub Total 3 4.7% 0 0 $1,421,031 3.8%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 3 4.7% 0 0 $1,201,363 3.2%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 1 1.5% 0 0 $100,983 0.2%
Sub Total 4 6.3% 0 0 $1,302,347 3.5%
Totals 44 69.8% 0 2 $8,996,797 24.2%
National, Gas Transmission Onshore, 2004
National Gas Transmission Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 2004
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 1.5% 0 0 $131,466 0.3%
INTERNAL CORROSION 11 17.4% 0 0 $3,652,965 9.8%
Sub Total 12 19.0% 0 0 $3,784,431 10.2%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 5 7.9% 0 0 $18,532,009 49.9%
Sub Total 5 7.9% 0 0 $18,532,009 49.9%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 2 3.1% 0 0 $5,806,385 15.6%
Sub Total 2 3.1% 0 0 $5,806,385 15.6%
Totals 19 30.1% 0 0 $28,122,827 75.7%
National, Gas Transmission Offshore, 2004
National Gas Gathering: Significant Incident Details: 2004
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 9.0% 0 0 $103,654 0.2%
INTERNAL CORROSION 5 45.4% 0 0 $1,951,420 5.0%
Sub Total 6 54.5% 0 0 $2,055,075 5.3%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 9.0% 0 0 $120,677 0.3%
Sub Total 1 9.0% 0 0 $120,677 0.3%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 1 9.0% 0 1 $24,135 0.0%
Sub Total 1 9.0% 0 1 $24,135 0.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 1 9.0% 0 0 $98,472 0.2%
Sub Total 1 9.0% 0 0 $98,472 0.2%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 18.1% 0 0 $36,110,099 94.0%
Sub Total 2 18.1% 0 0 $36,110,099 94.0%
Totals 11 100.0% 0 1 $38,408,461 100.0%
National, Gas Gathering, 2004
National Gas Distribution: Significant Incident Details: 2004
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 5 4.9% 1 2 $1,009,383 2.8%
Sub Total 5 4.9% 1 2 $1,009,383 2.8%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 31 30.6% 1 6 $12,226,684 34.3%
Sub Total 31 30.6% 1 6 $12,226,684 34.3%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 7 6.9% 2 8 $1,197,008 3.3%
Sub Total 7 6.9% 2 8 $1,197,008 3.3%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
BODY OF PIPE 1 0.9% 0 0 $619,787 1.7%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 6 5.9% 2 2 $1,990,037 5.6%
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 3 2.9% 0 0 $1,007,658 2.8%
Sub Total 10 9.9% 2 2 $3,617,483 10.1%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 4 3.9% 0 2 $3,667,910 10.3%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 8 7.9% 0 1 $2,669,738 7.5%
TEMPERATURE 5 4.9% 3 4 $625,110 1.7%
Sub Total 17 16.8% 3 7 $6,962,759 19.5%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 8 7.9% 1 2 $3,546,748 9.9%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 0.9% 0 0 $621,489 1.7%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 0.9% 0 0 $132,745 0.3%
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 4 3.9% 0 0 $2,051,520 5.7%
Sub Total 14 13.8% 1 2 $6,352,503 17.8%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 14 13.8% 6 8 $3,763,231 10.5%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 3 2.9% 2 2 $431,301 1.2%
Sub Total 17 16.8% 8 10 $4,194,533 11.8%
Totals 101 100.0% 18 37 $35,560,356 100.0%
National, Gas Distribution, 2004

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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