Operators’ pipeline safety programs are designed to prevent pipeline failures, detect anomalies and perform repairs. These often exceed regulatory requirements.
Natural gas pipelines monitor and control safety in many ways. No single tool or technique provides all the answers, but collectively these tools make natural gas the safest form of energy transportation. Continued investment is the key to maintaining a long-lived investment such as a pipeline.
Over the years, INGAA members have developed and incorporated new technology into all aspects of their pipeline business. Investment in the development of new technologies is a key component to improving pipeline safety continuously.
Natural gas companies work with R&D organizations, the Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI), the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and others, to plan and support R&D investments, including participation in collaborative federal natural gas R&D programs within the Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Department of Energy Fossil Energy Office. It is very important that industry and government officials work collaboratively to maximize the benefits that can be achieved with available funding.
Public education is a primary element of safety efforts by pipeline companies. The importance of education is emphasized in the federal and state programs and legislation described below. Public education and awareness contributes significantly to preventing unintentional third-party excavation damage, the leading cause of pipeline incidents.