A National Research Council study has recommended some modest improvements in the regulation of U.S. offshore pipelines.
The Interior Department's Minerals Management Service and the Transportation Department's Office of Pipeline Safety asked for the report after two fishing vessels struck pipelines that were no longer buried adequately. There are more than 20,000 miles of pipelines in U.S. waters, mostly in the Gulf of Mexico,
NRC's study said "The safety record of marine pipelines is a good one, but it can be improved.
"During the late 1980s, the Gulf of Mexico OCS experienced about one reportable pipelin...