Study says pipeline resistance raises oil-transport risks

Pipeline transport of oil is so much safer than other modes that resistance to it is raising risks, concludes a study published by the Fraser Institute, Calgary.

The risk of a spill in road transport is almost 20 incidents per billion ton-miles, according to US data cited in the study by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and Kenneth P. Green, senior director, natural resource policy studies at the Fraser Institute.

For rail, the risk is slightly more than two incidents per billion ton-miles. For pipelines, the risk is less than 0.6 incident per billion ton-miles.

Citing US data for 2005-09, the study determined the rate of injury requiring hospitalization was 30 times lower among oil pipeline workers than for rail workers involved in the transport of oil. The injury rate for road transport was 37 times higher than pipelines.

“When you have more moving parts, more potential interaction with other noncontrolled actors such as trains and trucks, the potential for accidents is higher when compared to pipelines,” Green said.

But he pointed out comparisons aren’t simple.

“When you have a pipeline spill the release volumes are higher than for a truck or train incident,” he said. “But with road and rail you have risk of more incidents in more places so the overall question of environmental protection becomes unclear.”

Canadian patterns similar

The study said data for Canadian pipelines reported by the National Energy Board show risk patterns similar to those in the US. It found the 10-year average for the frequency of liquid leaks is about three leaks per 1,000 km of pipeline in a country that produces and transports 3.2 million b/d of oil, most by pipeline.

The fatality rate among Canadian oil pipeline workers averaged 0.2/year during 2000-09. Injuries to contractors and other workers in that period averaged 3.8/200,000 work-hr.

Rail-related fatalities totaled 71 in 2011, below a 5-year average of 81. In 2012, 63 leaks of dangerous goods were reported, 31% of all reported rail incidents. The Transportation Safety Board recorded 1,023 reportable rail accidents in 2011, the study said, compared with a 2006-10 average of 1,198.

Transport Canada last year said 345 reportable accidents involving trucks hauling dangerous goods occurred in 2011. Of those accidents, 27% involved crude oil.

The study authors noted that production of bitumen is increasing from the oil sands of Alberta but that a “transport conundrum” has developed because of opposition to pipelines.

“Resistance to pipeline transport is sending oil to market by modes of transport that pose higher risks of spills and personal injuries such as rail and road transport,” they said.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

Quicksilver Canada gets LNG export approval

07/02/2015 Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc. has received approval from the National Energy Board of Canada to export 20 million tonnes/year of LNG from a pos...

Origin lets contract for Otway basin fields

07/02/2015 Origin Energy Ltd., Sydney, has let a $1.3 million (Aus.) contract to Wood Group Kenny for provision of a detailed engineering design for the onsho...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

07/01/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installatio...

Woodside-led Browse FLNG venture enters FEED phase

07/01/2015 The Woodside Petroleum Ltd.-led Browse LNG joint venture has entered the front-end engineering and design phase for a floating LNG (FLNG) developme...

Case for Keystone XL has grown stronger, TransCanada tells Kerry

06/30/2015 Canada is taking strong steps toward combating climate change, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline crude oil pipeline remains in the US national ...

Construction begins on Chinese section of Russia-China Gas Pipeline

06/30/2015

Construction has begun on the Chinese section of the Russia-China Gas Pipeline, according to China National Petroleum Corp.

White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected