The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Pipeline Safety Excellence

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted January 15, 2014

Some eye-popping numbers from a new report by API and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines:

  • Liquid pipeline operators delivered 14.1 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum products by interstate pipeline in 2012

  • Liquid pipeline operators operated 185,599 miles of pipeline in 2012 including 57,051 miles of crude oil, 64,024 miles of petroleum product, and 59,853 miles of natural gas liquid pipelines

  • Liquid pipeline operators spent more than $1.6 billion on integrity management in 2012 evaluating, inspecting and maintaining their pipeline infrastructure

  • Liquid pipeline releases are down 62% from 2001 to 2012

  • Barrels released from liquid pipelines are down 47% from 2001 to 2012

  • Corrosion as a cause of releases from liquid pipelines is down 79% from 2001 to 2012

  • Third-party caused damage to liquid pipelines is down 78% from 2001 to 2012

As API Pipeline Director Peter Lidiak put it:

"Pipelines are a vital part of this nation’s infrastructure and will be critical to creating jobs, growing our nation’s economy and securing our bright energy future… Statistically, pipelines have an almost 100 percent safety record and reaching a perfect record of safety.”

Key to that safety is the big investments that the industry is making and the commitment of pipeline operators to building and operating safe pipelines.  A commitment enhanced by the new Pipeline Safety Excellence initiative and operators Shared Pipeline Safety Principles:

Pipeline Safety

  • Zero Incidents

  • Organization-Wide Commitment

  • A Culture of Safety

  • Continuous Improvement

  • Learn from Experience

  • Safety Systems for Success

  • Employ Technology

  • Communicate with Stakeholders

Learn more about these principles, pipeline operations and safety in the “2013 Annual Liquid Pipeline Safety Performance Report & Strategic Plan.”


Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.