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Analysis of pipeline accidents induced by natural hazards: Final Report


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Natural events such as earthquakes, floods, and lightning can cause accidents in oil and gas transport pipelines with potentially adverse secondary consequences to the population, the environment, or the industrial activity itself. Such accidents are commonly referred to as natech accidents. In order to better understand the dynamics and possible impact of pipeline natech accidents, Action A6 under the EPCIP 2012 Programme aims at analysing accidents caused by natural disasters in oil pipelines. In the first twelve months of the study, European and U.S. pipeline incident data sources were evaluated and data was collected for further analysis to identify the main accident triggers, system strengths and weaknesses, consequences and lessons learned. Because publicly available European pipeline incident data is limited and data on individual accidents of concern for the study is scarce, public U.S. pipeline incident data was included in the study to obtain information beneficial for the safety of pipeline systems in Europe. Although Action A6 focuses on oil transmission pipelines only, natural gas pipeline incidents were also considered in the data collection due to the abundance of accident data available. The information sources considered for this study were: the incident database of the Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the database of the U.S. National Response Center, the French ARIA database, and information from EGIG and CONCAWE for Europe. A database-driven incident data analysis system was developed to rapidly review and categorise the vast amount of incident records according to their causes, dynamics and consequences. Using an automated data-mining process followed by a peer-review of the record data, the pipeline natechs in the database were identified and extracted. The outcome of this process is a fully reviewed and categorised incident database which contains authoritative information on ca. 1,850 pipeline natechs worldwide. As a by-product of the data collection process, the database also includes over 800,000 records involving incidents from all causes in industrial facilities and pipelines (both on- and offshore), and transportation activities. This information is available for future studies in these application areas. The results of the analysis of the identified data indicate that natural hazards are a non-negligible threat to pipelines transporting hazardous materials. The analysis of the U.S. data set shows that geological hazards triggered 37% of the onshore pipeline natechs analysed. This is followed by meteorological (29%), hydrological (14%), and climatic (14%) hazards. Landslides are the main geological hazard with 46% of the geological incidents, whereas earthquakes represent only 9% within the category. Among meteorological hazards, lightning is the major hazard with 36% of the incidents. 86% of the hydrological hazard related natechs are found to be due to floods. Overall, cold weather related hazards (frost, low temperatures) make up 94% of the pipeline natechs caused by adverse climatic conditions. The current level of uncertainty in the analysed data is estimated as 24%. In terms of consequences, 55% of the U.S. pipeline natechs involved natural gas, while 45% concerned pipelines transporting other types of substances (mostly crude oil and other hydrocarbons). For natural gas incidents ignition occurred in about 25% of the analysed cases, compared to about 8% for other substances. The likelihood of explosions was much lower, 3% for natural gas, and 2% for other substances. Overall, the number of fatalities and injuries was low, with only one case of a high number of injuries. While this incident was due to multiple pipeline breaks caused by wide-scale flooding it clearly demonstrates the potential for a major impact on the population of Natech events. More than two thirds of the releases from ruptured pipelines entered inland water bodies, followed by on-land releases (25%). The combined property damage due to onshore pipeline natech events amounts to 650 million USD (in 2012 USD). In contrast to the U.S., the data collection process for Europe was severely hampered by the lack of publicly available pipeline incident information. Generally, for Europe only overview data could be found, whose level of detail was not sufficient to allow an in-depth analysis of incident causes, dynamics and consequences. It would be desirable that information on pipeline incidents and their consequences be collected at a central level in Europe and made available for lessons-learning research. Using the limited European data available, the analysis results show that landslides and floods seem to pose the biggest threat to both oil and gas pipelines in Europe. Lightning is also a non-negligible threat with a high ignition probability in case of gas releases, as well as cold weather, which was identified as the main hazard for the French pipeline natech accident data set. In the 12 months following this report the in-depth analysis of incident data will be continued with a view to identifying impact and failure modes and lessons learned for future accident prevention and consequence mitigation will also be identified. Based on this, recommendations for Natech scenario development in pipelines and for the formulation of prevention and mitigation measures will be prepared.
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... Furthermore, the increasing penetration of gas-fired DG and the use of electricity-driven gas compressors have increased the interdependence between the power system and the natural gas system. On the other hand, extreme natural disasters that we consider in power system resilience study can damage gas distribution pipelines as well, e.g., prior work has found that natural hazards such as landslide, lightning, floods are non-negligible threats to gas pipelines [10]; according to [11], [12], Hurricane Sandy caused severe damages to gas distribution pipelines, affecting approximately 32,000 customers of New Jersey Natural Gas. According to [13], the gas industry and the power industry in Japan have already established a system of information sharing and a mutual co-operation scheme for rapid recovery. ...
... Their status is represented by binary variables ul l,t , ug j,t , uz z ,t ; 3) The power system and natural gas system are coupled through gas-fired DGs and gas compressors run by electricity; 4) In consistency with previous works [4], [5], the remotely controlled automatic switch devices are assumed to be installed on each distribution lines. 5) It is assumed that the natural gas system topology is radial, and the gas flow direction is fixed [10]. 6) A linear relationship between gas consumption and active power output is adopted [22]. ...
... Find-Natech could be considered as a substitution on visualizing collected Natech data and improved tool on further understand the spatial characteristics of those data in the process of mainstreaming Natech risk management, evolving out of the seminal works of Cruz and Krausmann [46], Girgin and Krausmann [47,48] and Sengul et al. [22,49]. These studies examined past accidents involving hazardous material releases from industrial installations due to natural hazards for various regions in Europe and the United States. ...
Technological accidents triggered by natural hazards are considered as Natech events. Natech events involve chemical releases, which could cause serious health and environmental problems and large economic losses. Several studies have pointed out that the number of Natech events is on the rise. Learning lessons from Natech event data could provide critical ideas to risk managers and local governments to take action towards Natech risk reduction. However, there are currently only limited efforts to collect and analyze Natech event data, and especially there are no tools to manage historical Natech data from spatial perspective. This study proposes and develops of a web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) tool, Find-Natech, to collect, analyze and share historical data of Natech events. It presents a case study on analyzing the temporal-spatial distribution of hurricane-related Natech events in the United States based on data from the National Response Center (NRC) database. Furthermore, the case study shows that Find-Natech can support risk managers in understanding the geographical distribution of historical events, their spatial variation by changing over time which could be further used to understand the characterization of Natech events. In addition, the proposed tool can support conducting studies on understanding incidence of Natech events during natural hazards with scale effects at city, state, or national levels, to support risk governance and risk reduction strategies.
... Natural hazards such as volcanic activity, lightning strikes, earthquakes, land displacement, and flooding are uncommon [32]. To avoid this type of failure, geotechnical and hydrotechnical investigations are conducted before pipeline installation. ...
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Oil and gas pipelines are lifelines for a country's economic survival. As a result, they must be closely monitored to maximize their performance and avoid product losses in the transportation of petroleum products. However, they can collapse, resulting in dangerous repercussions, financial losses, and environmental consequences. Therefore, assessing the pipe condition and quality would be of great significance. Pipeline safety is ensured using a variety of inspection techniques, despite being time-consuming and expensive. To address these inefficiencies, this study develops a model that anticipates sources of failure in oil pipelines based on specific factors related to pipe diameter and age, service (transported product), facility type, and land use. The model is developed using a multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network, radial basis function (RBF) neural network, and mul-tinomial logistic (MNL) regression based on historical data from pipeline incidents. With an average validity of 84% for the MLP, 85% for the RBF, and 81% for the MNL, the models can forecast pipeline failures owing to corrosion and third-party activities. The developed model can help pipeline operators and decision makers detect different failure sources in pipelines and prioritize the required maintenance and replacement actions.
... That is, the results of loess collapsibility risk in each sample area are TC results , which are TC1 (0.6210, 0.0670, 0.0073), TC 2 (0.6552, 0.0679, 0.0075), TC 3 (0.5646, 0.0572, 0.0068), TC 4 (0.5733, 0.0665, 0.0067), TC 5 (0.5394, 0.0568, 0.0060), TC 6 (0.7517, 0.0797, 0.0085), TC 7 (0.5648, 0.0589, 0.0065), TC 8 (0.6473, 0.0679, 0.0076), TC 9 (0.5220, 0.0539, 0.0067), TC 10 ( 0.4708, 0.0551, 0.0058). ...
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The comprehensive evaluation of pipeline loess collapsibility risk is a necessary means to control the safety risks of pipelines in the collapsible loess section. It is also one of the critical scientific bases for risk prevention, control, and management. The comprehensive evaluation system of cloud theory consists of quantitative and qualitative indexes, and the evaluation system has the characteristics of randomness and fuzziness. In view of this problem, the standard qualitative and semi-quantitative evaluation methods have intense subjectivity in dealing with the uncertainty problems such as randomness and fuzziness of the system, the cloud theory, which can effectively reflect the randomness and fuzziness of things at the same time, is introduced. The state scale cloud and index importance weight cloud of pipeline loess collapse risk are constructed by the golden section method. The uncertainty cloud reasoning process of the quantitative indexes and the expert scoring method of the qualitative indexes are proposed. The comprehensive evaluation model of loess collapsibility risk of oil and gas pipeline is established, and the engineering example is analyzed. The complete evaluation results of 10 samples to be evaluated are consistent with the results of the semi-quantitative method and are compatible with the actual situation. The evaluation process softens the subjective division of index boundary, simplifies the preprocessing of index data, realizes the organic integration of quantitative and qualitative decisions, and improves the accuracy, rationality, and visualization of the results.
... Finally, despite the high impact of adverse climate conditions on industrial facilities and pipelines [96], research concerning the effect of extreme temperatures on industrial facilities and the potential to result in Natech accidents has received less attention, although its importance has been highlighted [2 •• ]. Contributions include the risk assessment of gas pipelines and oil reservoirs operating at low temperatures in Russia [97]. ...
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Natural hazard triggered technological accidents involving the releases of hazardous materials (hazmat) are known as Natechs. These types of complex events were studied for the first time at the end of the 1970s, and in recent years have gained importance due to their increasing trend. This paper presents an overview of the advances in Natech research right up to 2018. The paper shows how Natech research was first focused on earthquakes as the main triggering event, and later shifted to hydrometeorological hazards, multi-hazard studies and cross cutting issues. The paper identifies current challenges and research gaps in both the theoretical understanding and the practical implementation and streamlining of Natech risk reduction in chemical accident regulations, and proposes a way forward for future research. Some of the main findings include the importance that interdisciplinary approaches have gained in the Natech context and the need for analyzing Natech accidents' long-term effects. Overall, increased contributions have supported Natech risk assessment and management development, but efforts are needed to enhance risk treatment, risk reduction, and risk communication strategies, without neglecting Natech education and awareness raising.
... The latter is supported by the fact that cold weather-related hazards are increasingly affecting the process industry. As evidenced by (Girgin and Krausmann, 2014), onshore pipeline releases in Europe and the U.S. account for 94% of the onshore pipeline Natech events caused by adverse climatic conditions. ...
In recent years, the severity of technological accidents caused by natural hazards (Natechs) has been increasing. This trend has resulted from the combination of several factors including three main causes, a growing population worldwide, rapid urbanization, and an increasing number of industrial facilities located close to communities in natural hazard-prone areas. With the growing urgency created by this trend, many methodologies and tools have been developed to help us understand the characteristics of Natechs and develop measures to deal with their consequences. In this paper, we carry out a systematic literature review and qualitative meta-analysis regarding Natech risk management in order to obtain a clear understanding of the main contributions realized during the past 40 years. Our main findings suggest that although historically most of the research has been developed for earthquakes, the focus has shifted to hydro-meteorological hazards. Also, we find that more than half of the papers published during the years considered treat multi-hazard and cross-cutting issues. This reflects the increasing awareness in the research community of the necessity to have an all-inclusive understanding of hazards in order to properly deal with the threats posed by Natech risk. In addition, we discuss emerging research areas on the impacts of Natechs and highlight opportunities for innovative contributions. In brief, this study presents an analysis of the recent history and current state of Natech risk management, identifies the main gaps in both our theoretical understanding and the practical implementation thereof, and proposes a way forward for the development of new research. 50 days' free access
The increasing frequency of major energy outages in recent years has significantly affected millions of people around the world, raising extensive concerns about enhancing infrastructure resilience to withstand and quickly recover from disasters. However, the post-disaster recovery of infrastructure functionality has been hindered by the lack of interdependency modeling of energy networks and priority identification of components, resulting in long-duration energy supply scarcity, wide-ranging service disruption, and huge social losses. Here, a skeleton-network based strategy for enhancing the resilience of integrated electricity-gas systems (IEGSs) is proposed, which can provide a clear representation of which network components should be protected and how to determine the component recovery priority considering interdependencies of power and gas systems. Using energy systems in New England and northwest China, the skeleton-network is uncovered to quickly recover more than 90% of system functionality using less than 44.3% of total resources, and consumer-affected time by energy outages decreases by more than 53%. The analysis also indicates that compared to conventional methods, the skeleton-network based strategy performs best in improving infrastructure resilience. These results elucidate the implications of skeleton-networks on quick recovery of infrastructure functionality and demonstrate resilience enhancement methods that are applicable to a wider class of coupled infrastructure networks in hazard-prone areas.
In the distribution networks, catastrophic events especially those caused by natural disasters can result in extensive damage that ordinarily needs a wide range of components to be repaired for keeping the lights on. Since the recovery of system is not technically feasible before making compulsory repairs, the predictive scheduling of available repair crews and black start resources not only minimizes the customer downtime but also speeds up the restoration process. To do so, this paper proposes a novel three-stage buildup restoration planning strategy to combine and coordinate repair crew dispatch problem for the interdependent power and natural gas systems with the primary objective of resiliency enhancement. In the proposed model, the system is sectionalized into autonomous subsystems (i.e., microgrid) with multiple energy resources, and then concurrently restored in parallel considering cold load pick-up conditions. Besides, topology refurbishment and intentional microgrid islanding along with energy storages are applied as remedial actions to further improve the resilience of interdependent systems while unpredicted uncertainties are addressed through stochastic/IGDT method. The theoretical and practical implications of the proposed framework push the research frontier of distribution restoration schemes, while its flexibility and generality support application to various extreme weather incidents.
An increasing trend in the number of reported natural hazard-triggered technological accidents (Natechs) worldwide has led to the development of contributions in Natech risk assessment and management, risk reduction and emergency response strategies, risk communication, risk perception, and risk governance. Yet, although some studies have underscored the need for resilient industries, only recently researchers have called for an area-wide perspective, where a paradigm shift in Natech risk management fosters a holistic systems approach. That approach should contemplate the facilities and their surrounding environment, and encourage multi-stakeholder interaction to advocate for more resilient societies. However, there are currently no methodologies for evaluating, rating, and certifying industrial facilities' level of preparedness to Natech risk; nor are there any tools available to inform the governments and the public, on industry's Natech risk management practices. In response to this need, we propose Natech RateME, a comprehensive, area-wide risk management, and rating system framework. The proposed framework is premised on a probabilistic risk assessment methodology, that can support industrial facilities' management of onsite and offsite risk from complex events and that rates their performance in terms of minimum life losses. By evaluating their safety performance, their engagement to develop cooperation mechanisms with local authorities and neighboring communities, and their commitment to disclose risk information, amongother aspects, the framework, and the rating system, seek to contribute to overall territorial resilience. To do so, Natech RateME considers the interaction between infrastructure systems present at industrial parks, the technical and organizational systems, governance, risk communication, and community participation, constituting the first approach to support the strengthening of prevention and mitigation measuresby enhancing facilities' and governments' abilities to manage Natech risk comprehensively.
Natural hazard triggered hazardous materials (hazmat)-release accidents, known as Natechs, can cause extensive damage and losses. Several studies found that tropical storms are becoming an important cause of Natechs. Understanding whether and how climate change affects the incidence of tropical storms-related Natechs becomes a crucial issue for industrial risk management and adaptation to climate change. This study analyzed the temporal-spatial variation of tropical storms-related Natech incidence on the eastern side of the United States (US) from 1990 to 2017 based on the analysis of hazmat-release accidents reported to the US National Response Center. The results show that the frequency and density of tropical storms-related Natechs are on the rise. In order to explore the cause of such changes, this study investigates the relationships between the temporal-spatial variation of the incidence of tropical storms-related Natechs, and the accumulated cyclone energy, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), and other variables. The results suggest an indirect link between climate change and the temporal-spatial variation of the incidence of related Natechs due to its effect on tropical storm activity. The presented evidence suggests that, when developing Natech risk management plans, the potential effects of climate change should be considered. Not only facilities’ owners/operators, but government, first responders and other stakeholders should consider how climate change will affect the Natech risk landscape, and implement more effective regulations to manage Natech risk in wider areas.
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A discussion on the performance of European cross-country oil pipelines covers the details of the pipeline inventory covered by the survey conducted by CONCAWE and how this has developed over the years; safety performance, i.e., the number of fatalities and injuries associated with pipeline spillage incidents; analysis of the spillage incidents in 2010 and of all incidents over the last 5 years; analyses spillage incidents for the whole reporting period since 1971; analysis of the causes of spillage; and account of in-line inspections.
Pipeline incident data between 1970 and 1992 (involving unintentional release of gas) has been collected by a group of eight major gas-transmission system operators in Western Europe from their pipeline systems. This data forms an extensive database, and is of direct relevance to pipeline design, operating, and maintenance practices in Europe. In the light of this broad experience and degree of participation, the database can be used to monitor the safety record of gas-transmission systems. The overall incident frequency has been gradually reduced over the last ten years to 0.575 incidents per 1000km-yr in 1992. The major cause of incidents is still external interference, followed by construction defects/material failure, and corrosion. All incident causes show a decreasing frequency due to management-, supervision- and construction/technical measures taken in the past period. In only a small minority of the incidents (3.4% on average) did the leaked gas ignite.
The purpose of the present analysis is to determine the main features of accidents occurring in the transportation and distribution of natural gas (in a gaseous state). A survey of 185 accidents taken mainly from the database MHIDAS has been performed. Of these, 131 (70.8%) occurred in transport systems, 32 (17.3%) in process plants, 13 (7.0%) in storage plants and nine (4.9%) in domestic/commercial activities. The 131 accidents occurring in gas pipes were selected for further analysis. The data show that the most frequent accident was explosion (86 cases, 65.6%) followed by loss of containment (63 entries, 48.1%) and fire (56 entries, 42.7%). The cause of the accident was identified for 90 cases (68.7%). Of these, the most frequent causes were mechanical failure (39 entries, 43.3%), impact failure (37 entries, 41.1%) and human error (32 entries, 35.6%); of the specific causes, impact failures due to excavating machinery were especially numerous (21 cases, 23.2% of known causes). The consequences of the accidents, in terms of both human and economic losses, are assessed. Finally, some conclusions are given about the risks involved in natural gas transportation.
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