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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 and Mileage Reports are available.

National All Pipeline Systems: Significant Incident Details: 2008
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 23 8.2% 0 2 $18,174,757 3.2%
INTERNAL CORROSION 28 10.0% 1 1 $52,960,282 9.3%
Sub Total 51 18.2% 1 3 $71,135,040 12.5%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 9 3.2% 0 5 $1,113,497 0.2%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 32 11.4% 2 14 $13,863,400 2.4%
Sub Total 41 14.7% 2 19 $14,976,897 2.6%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 26 9.3% 1 8 $5,157,761 0.9%
Sub Total 26 9.3% 1 8 $5,157,761 0.9%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 3 1.0% 0 0 $3,267,943 0.5%
BODY OF PIPE 9 3.2% 0 5 $6,072,730 1.0%
PIPE SEAM 7 2.5% 0 0 $21,893,091 3.8%
BUTT WELD 6 2.1% 0 0 $1,406,245 0.2%
FILLET WELD 2 0.7% 0 0 $932,546 0.1%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 20 7.1% 0 1 $23,243,838 4.0%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 6 2.1% 0 0 $2,186,196 0.3%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 4 1.4% 0 0 $493,495 0.0%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 8 2.8% 0 0 $22,488,130 3.9%
Sub Total 65 23.3% 0 6 $81,984,218 14.4%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 8 2.8% 0 0 $33,520,037 5.9%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 23 8.2% 0 0 $147,700,803 25.9%
LIGHTNING 4 1.4% 0 0 $12,937,292 2.2%
TEMPERATURE 1 0.3% 0 0 $119,062 0.0%
HIGH WINDS 5 1.7% 0 0 $123,481,909 21.7%
Sub Total 41 14.7% 0 0 $317,759,105 55.8%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 0.3% 0 0 $322,568 0.0%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 21 7.5% 1 6 $13,724,358 2.4%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 0.3% 0 0 $220,421 0.0%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 2 0.7% 0 3 $268,807 0.0%
Sub Total 25 8.9% 1 9 $14,536,155 2.5%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 17 6.0% 1 4 $54,659,753 9.6%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 13 4.6% 2 6 $8,329,558 1.4%
Sub Total 30 10.7% 3 10 $62,989,311 11.0%
Totals 279 100.0% 8 55 $568,538,490 100.0%
National, All Pipeline Systems, 2008
National Hazardous Liquid: Significant Incident Details: 2008
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 12 9.8% 0 0 $7,442,010 4.8%
INTERNAL CORROSION 19 15.5% 1 1 $48,352,153 31.1%
Sub Total 31 25.4% 1 1 $55,794,164 35.9%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 3.2% 0 1 $390,357 0.2%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 14 11.4% 0 0 $7,257,588 4.6%
Sub Total 18 14.7% 0 1 $7,647,946 4.9%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 17 13.9% 0 0 $3,553,115 2.2%
Sub Total 17 13.9% 0 0 $3,553,115 2.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 1.6% 0 0 $1,370,938 0.8%
BODY OF PIPE 5 4.1% 0 0 $5,512,308 3.5%
PIPE SEAM 6 4.9% 0 0 $21,759,711 14.0%
BUTT WELD 2 1.6% 0 0 $524,688 0.3%
FILLET WELD 2 1.6% 0 0 $932,546 0.6%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 12 9.8% 0 0 $3,081,745 1.9%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 2 1.6% 0 0 $121,070 0.0%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 4 3.2% 0 0 $493,495 0.3%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 7 5.7% 0 0 $22,330,205 14.4%
Sub Total 42 34.4% 0 0 $56,126,711 36.2%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 4 3.2% 0 0 $12,667,153 8.1%
LIGHTNING 2 1.6% 0 0 $12,183,037 7.8%
TEMPERATURE 1 0.8% 0 0 $119,062 0.0%
Sub Total 7 5.7% 0 0 $24,969,253 16.1%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 2 1.6% 1 0 $663,523 0.4%
Sub Total 2 1.6% 1 0 $663,523 0.4%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 3 2.4% 0 0 $5,108,421 3.2%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 2 1.6% 0 0 $1,179,004 0.7%
Sub Total 5 4.1% 0 0 $6,287,425 4.0%
Totals 122 100.0% 2 2 $155,042,139 100.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid, 2008
National Hazardous Liquid Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 2008
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 12 9.8% 0 0 $7,442,010 4.8%
INTERNAL CORROSION 19 15.5% 1 1 $48,352,153 31.1%
Sub Total 31 25.4% 1 1 $55,794,164 35.9%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 3.2% 0 1 $390,357 0.2%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 14 11.4% 0 0 $7,257,588 4.6%
Sub Total 18 14.7% 0 1 $7,647,946 4.9%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 17 13.9% 0 0 $3,553,115 2.2%
Sub Total 17 13.9% 0 0 $3,553,115 2.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 1.6% 0 0 $1,370,938 0.8%
BODY OF PIPE 5 4.1% 0 0 $5,512,308 3.5%
PIPE SEAM 6 4.9% 0 0 $21,759,711 14.0%
BUTT WELD 2 1.6% 0 0 $524,688 0.3%
FILLET WELD 2 1.6% 0 0 $932,546 0.6%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 11 9.0% 0 0 $2,920,422 1.8%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 2 1.6% 0 0 $121,070 0.0%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 4 3.2% 0 0 $493,495 0.3%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 7 5.7% 0 0 $22,330,205 14.4%
Sub Total 41 33.6% 0 0 $55,965,388 36.1%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 1.6% 0 0 $626,400 0.4%
LIGHTNING 2 1.6% 0 0 $12,183,037 7.8%
TEMPERATURE 1 0.8% 0 0 $119,062 0.0%
Sub Total 5 4.1% 0 0 $12,928,499 8.3%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 2 1.6% 1 0 $663,523 0.4%
Sub Total 2 1.6% 1 0 $663,523 0.4%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 3 2.4% 0 0 $5,108,421 3.2%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 2 1.6% 0 0 $1,179,004 0.7%
Sub Total 5 4.1% 0 0 $6,287,425 4.0%
Totals 119 97.5% 2 2 $142,840,063 92.1%
National, Hazardous Liquid Onshore, 2008
National Hazardous Liquid Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 2008
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 1 0.8% 0 0 $161,322 0.1%
Sub Total 1 0.8% 0 0 $161,322 0.1%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 1.6% 0 0 $12,040,753 7.7%
Sub Total 2 1.6% 0 0 $12,040,753 7.7%
Totals 3 2.4% 0 0 $12,202,076 7.8%
National, Hazardous Liquid Offshore, 2008
National Gas Transmission: Significant Incident Details: 2008
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 6 8.2% 0 0 $8,707,450 3.3%
INTERNAL CORROSION 6 8.2% 0 0 $3,489,887 1.3%
Sub Total 12 16.4% 0 0 $12,197,338 4.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 5.4% 0 1 $482,053 0.1%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 5.4% 0 0 $609,953 0.2%
Sub Total 8 10.9% 0 1 $1,092,006 0.4%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 3 4.1% 0 2 $122,066 0.0%
Sub Total 3 4.1% 0 2 $122,066 0.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 1 1.3% 0 0 $1,897,005 0.7%
BODY OF PIPE 1 1.3% 0 0 $174,166 0.0%
PIPE SEAM 1 1.3% 0 0 $133,379 0.0%
BUTT WELD 3 4.1% 0 0 $501,272 0.1%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 5 6.8% 0 1 $1,362,284 0.5%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 2 2.7% 0 0 $1,126,671 0.4%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 1 1.3% 0 0 $157,924 0.0%
Sub Total 14 19.1% 0 1 $5,352,704 2.0%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 1.3% 0 0 $561,023 0.2%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 19 26.0% 0 0 $134,322,173 50.8%
LIGHTNING 1 1.3% 0 0 $184,381 0.0%
HIGH WINDS 2 2.7% 0 0 $84,588,222 32.0%
Sub Total 23 31.5% 0 0 $219,655,800 83.1%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 1.3% 0 0 $322,568 0.1%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 5 6.8% 0 1 $8,397,656 3.1%
Sub Total 6 8.2% 0 1 $8,720,225 3.3%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 6 8.2% 0 0 $14,376,205 5.4%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 1 1.3% 0 0 $2,696,315 1.0%
Sub Total 7 9.5% 0 0 $17,072,520 6.4%
Totals 73 100.0% 0 5 $264,212,662 100.0%
National, Gas Transmission, 2008
National Gas Transmission Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 2008
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 6 8.2% 0 0 $8,707,450 3.3%
INTERNAL CORROSION 4 5.4% 0 0 $2,096,942 0.7%
Sub Total 10 13.7% 0 0 $10,804,392 4.0%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 5.4% 0 1 $482,053 0.1%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 5.4% 0 0 $609,953 0.2%
Sub Total 8 10.9% 0 1 $1,092,006 0.4%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 3 4.1% 0 2 $122,066 0.0%
Sub Total 3 4.1% 0 2 $122,066 0.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 1 1.3% 0 0 $1,897,005 0.7%
BODY OF PIPE 1 1.3% 0 0 $174,166 0.0%
PIPE SEAM 1 1.3% 0 0 $133,379 0.0%
BUTT WELD 2 2.7% 0 0 $262,481 0.1%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 4 5.4% 0 1 $801,843 0.3%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 2 2.7% 0 0 $1,126,671 0.4%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 1 1.3% 0 0 $157,924 0.0%
Sub Total 12 16.4% 0 1 $4,553,472 1.7%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 1.3% 0 0 $561,023 0.2%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 1.3% 0 0 $638,672 0.2%
LIGHTNING 1 1.3% 0 0 $184,381 0.0%
HIGH WINDS 2 2.7% 0 0 $84,588,222 32.0%
Sub Total 5 6.8% 0 0 $85,972,299 32.5%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 1.3% 0 0 $322,568 0.1%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 5 6.8% 0 1 $8,397,656 3.1%
Sub Total 6 8.2% 0 1 $8,720,225 3.3%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 2 2.7% 0 0 $249,295 0.0%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 1 1.3% 0 0 $2,696,315 1.0%
Sub Total 3 4.1% 0 0 $2,945,610 1.1%
Totals 47 64.3% 0 5 $114,210,073 43.2%
National, Gas Transmission Onshore, 2008
National Gas Transmission Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 2008
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 2 2.7% 0 0 $1,392,945 0.5%
Sub Total 2 2.7% 0 0 $1,392,945 0.5%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
BUTT WELD 1 1.3% 0 0 $238,791 0.0%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 1 1.3% 0 0 $560,440 0.2%
Sub Total 2 2.7% 0 0 $799,231 0.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 18 24.6% 0 0 $133,683,501 50.6%
Sub Total 18 24.6% 0 0 $133,683,501 50.6%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 4 5.4% 0 0 $14,126,910 5.3%
Sub Total 4 5.4% 0 0 $14,126,910 5.3%
Totals 26 35.6% 0 0 $150,002,588 56.7%
National, Gas Transmission Offshore, 2008
National Gas Gathering: Significant Incident Details: 2008
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 2 12.5% 0 0 $1,574,711 1.2%
INTERNAL CORROSION 3 18.7% 0 0 $1,118,241 0.8%
Sub Total 5 31.2% 0 0 $2,692,952 2.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 2 12.5% 0 0 $18,450,358 14.2%
Sub Total 2 12.5% 0 0 $18,450,358 14.2%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 6.2% 0 0 $19,123,947 14.7%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 12.5% 0 0 $13,006,986 10.0%
HIGH WINDS 1 6.2% 0 0 $38,570,752 29.8%
Sub Total 4 25.0% 0 0 $70,701,685 54.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 1 6.2% 0 0 $2,854,507 2.2%
Sub Total 1 6.2% 0 0 $2,854,507 2.2%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 4 25.0% 0 0 $34,725,673 26.8%
Sub Total 4 25.0% 0 0 $34,725,673 26.8%
Totals 16 100.0% 0 0 $129,425,178 100.0%
National, Gas Gathering, 2008
National Gas Distribution: Significant Incident Details: 2008
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 3 4.4% 0 2 $450,585 2.2%
Sub Total 3 4.4% 0 2 $450,585 2.2%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 1.4% 0 3 $241,086 1.2%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 14 20.5% 2 14 $5,995,858 30.1%
Sub Total 15 22.0% 2 17 $6,236,944 31.4%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 6 8.8% 1 6 $1,482,579 7.4%
Sub Total 6 8.8% 1 6 $1,482,579 7.4%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
BODY OF PIPE 3 4.4% 0 5 $386,256 1.9%
BUTT WELD 1 1.4% 0 0 $380,283 1.9%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 1 1.4% 0 0 $349,449 1.7%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 2 2.9% 0 0 $938,454 4.7%
Sub Total 7 10.2% 0 5 $2,054,443 10.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 2.9% 0 0 $1,167,913 5.8%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 2.9% 0 0 $371,643 1.8%
LIGHTNING 1 1.4% 0 0 $569,874 2.8%
HIGH WINDS 2 2.9% 0 0 $322,934 1.6%
Sub Total 7 10.2% 0 0 $2,432,365 12.2%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 13 19.1% 0 5 $1,808,669 9.1%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 1.4% 0 0 $220,421 1.1%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 2 2.9% 0 3 $268,807 1.3%
Sub Total 16 23.5% 0 8 $2,297,898 11.5%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 4 5.8% 1 4 $449,453 2.2%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 10 14.7% 2 6 $4,454,238 22.4%
Sub Total 14 20.5% 3 10 $4,903,692 24.6%
Totals 68 100.0% 6 48 $19,858,509 100.0%
National, Gas Distribution, 2008

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 - Apr 01, 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 and Mileage Reports for more pipeline safety reports.

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