The 16 US Pipeline Operators With The Most 'Incidents'

oil spill seal

Photo: MatterOfTrust

Opponents of pipeline projects like Transcanada’s Keystone often point to the risks of spill and injuries.The truth is these incidents are very rare.

However, they do occur.

We compiled data collected by the Department of Transportation since 2006 showing every “significant incident” in the country.

DOT defines “incidents” as ones that included one of the following: 

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. 

Not every incident is the result of human error; some are the result of corrosion or natural causes.

Nevertheless, we think these data show the true costs of running pipelines across the country.

We took operator names as they are officially registered with DOT (so as to separate out subsidiaries) and ranked them according to incidents per mile of pipeline, with a cut-off of 45 incidents (again, since 2006).

Enterprise Products Operating LLC

No. of incidents: 139

Total pipelines miles: 36,371

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.004

Fatalities: 2

Injuries: 12

Property damage: $104,798,031

Gross gallons spilled: 30,225

Net gallons spilled: 29,347

Source: DOT

Chevron Pipeline Co

No. of incidents: 47

Total pipelines miles: 7,756

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.006

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Property damage: $85,798,676

Gross gallons spilled: 33,071

Net gallons spilled: 26,553

Source: DOT

Marathon Pipeline LLC

No. of incidents: 47

Total pipelines miles: 5,133

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.009

Fatalities: 1

Injuries: 3

Property damage: $41,321,616

Gross gallons spilled: 16,129

Net gallons spilled: 4,423

Source: DOT

ONEOK NGL Pipeline LP

No. of incidents: 73

Total pipelines miles: 7,886

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.009

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Property damage: $5,571,041

Gross gallons spilled: 34,232

Net gallons spilled: 34,206

Source: DOT

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC

No. of incidents: 111

Total pipelines miles: 10,051

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.011

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 1

Property damage: $21,264,515

Gross gallons spilled: 68,956

Net gallons spilled: 50,389

Source: DOT

Exxon Mobile Pipeline Co

No. of incidents: 56

Total pipelines miles: 4,066

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.014

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Property damage: $146,657,144

Gross gallons spilled: 6,754

Net gallons spilled: 3,133

Source: DOT

Magellan Pipeline Company LP

No. of incidents: 140

Total pipelines miles: 10,332

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.014

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Property damage: $37,399,260

Gross gallons spilled: 18,319

Net gallons spilled: 10,775

Source: DOT

Shell Pipeline Co LP

No. of incidents: 64

Total pipelines miles: 4,318

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.015

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Property damage: $48,776,680

Gross gallons spilled: 5,717

Net gallons spilled: 2,859

Source: DOT

Buckeye Partners LP

No. of incidents: 78

Total pipelines miles: 4,950

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.016

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Property damage: $22,840,833

Gross gallons spilled: 6,819

Net gallons spilled: 1,701

Source: DOT

Enbridge Energy LP

No. of incidents: 70

Total pipelines miles: 4,127

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.017

Fatalities: 4

Injuries: 3

Property damage: $804,042,174

Gross gallons spilled: 42,008

Net gallons spilled: 7,915

Source: DOT

Colonial Pipeline Co

No. of incidents: 94

Total pipelines miles: 4,960

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.019

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Property damage: $10,214,127

Gross gallons spilled: 2,381

Net gallons spilled: 110

Source: DOT

Plains Pipeline LP

No. of incidents: 104

Total pipelines miles: 3,733

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.028

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Property damage: $11,333,443

Gross gallons spilled: 12,229

Net gallons spilled: 1,605

Source: DOT

Explorer Pipeline Co

No. of incidents: 56

Total pipelines miles: 1,899

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.029

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Property damage: $21,118,042

Gross gallons spilled: 7,960

Net gallons spilled: 2,437

Source: DOT

Sunoco Pipeline LP

No. of incidents: 163

Total pipelines miles: 5,810

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.028

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 1

Property damage: $30,485,962

Gross gallons spilled: 13,719

Net gallons spilled: 7,624

Source: DOT

Enterprise Crude Pipeline LLC

No. of incidents: 108

Total pipelines miles: 1,696

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.064

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Property damage: $11,893,779

Gross gallons spilled: 31,835

Net gallons spilled: 16,244

Source: DOT

Kinder Morgan Liquid Terminals LLC

No. of incidents: 52

Total pipelines miles: 69

Incidents per pipeline mile: 0.75

Fatalities: 1

Injuries: 1

Property damage: $50,475,656

Gross gallons spilled: 14,296

Net gallons spilled: 9,631

Source: DOT

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