Inderscience Publishers

A comprehensive analysis of natural gas distribution pipeline incidents

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The objective of this paper is to provide a reference database for pipeline companies and/or regulators with an investigation of safety performance of US natural gas distribution pipelines. With a total of 3,679 natural gas distribution pipeline incidents between 1985 and 2010, nine safety indicators are statistically analysed in terms of the year, pipeline length, regions, pipeline diameter, pipeline wall thickness, material, age, incident area and incident cause to identify the relationship between safety indicators and various variables. Overall average frequencies of incidents, injuries and fatalities between 1985 and 2009 are 0.0846/1,000 mile–years, 0.0407/1,000 mile–years, and 0.0094/1,000 mile–years respectively. The analysis shows that the safety performance of US natural gas distribution pipeline is improving over time, and different variables have different impact on safety performances. However, the number of annual incidents does not show a significant decline due to increasing energy demand. [Received: March 21 2012; Accepted: July 15 2012]

Keywords: natural gas distribution pipelines, safety performance, gas pipeline incidents, injuries, fatalities, USA, United States

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