About the security and safety of oil pipelines

Sep 18, 2001 02:00 AM

In response to inquiries concerning the security and safety of oil pipelines, Ben Cooper, Executive Director of the Association Of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) released the following statement:

The American public should rest assured that oil pipeline operators nationwide have heightened security measures and increased surveillance of sensitive locations for the purpose of ensuring the security and safe operation of this nation's oil pipeline system.
Because oil pipelines carry more than two-thirds of our nation's oil supply, this network is critical to our nation's economy. The security of this system is our industry's top priority. In some cases, pipelines have been temporarily shut down while operators reviewed security risks. None have been detected, but operators are fully prepared to act if shutdowns are necessary in the future. Currently, all oil pipelines are operating under normal conditions.

The oil pipeline industry is in close contact with DOT Secretary Norman Mineta and the US DOT Office of Pipeline Safety. Pipeline operators will be complying with DOT directives to protect pipelines and to develop longer-term plans for protecting this vital transportation system. While oil pipelines have emergency security measures to address natural disasters or other catastrophic events such as terrorism, these measures are being reviewed in light of recent tragic events. As part of this process, we are surveying our members to gather information on specific steps they are taking to enhance protection against possible terrorist activities.

The nation's economic growth and lower energy costs depend upon a network of approximately 200,000 miles of oil pipelines. Oil pipelines deliver approximately 14.4 bn barrels annually (a barrel holds 42 gallons) of crude (6.9 bn) and refined (7.5 bn) products to their destinations. Compared to other modes of transport (truck, barge or rail), pipelines carry approximately 67 % of the ton-miles annually, 17 % of all US freight and cost only 2 % of our nation's freight bill.
Ninety-7 % of all transportation energy is supplied by petroleum, and petroleum fuels power virtually all modes of transportation. The US Defence Department purchases $ 3.6 bn of fuel annually, which makes it the single most significant purchaser of refined oil products in the world.

As the leading industry association, the AOPL acts as an information clearinghouse for the public, the media and the pipeline industry; provides coordination and leadership for the industry's ongoing Joint Environmental Safety Initiative; and represents common carrier crude and product petroleum pipelines in Congress, before regulatory agencies, and in the federal courts.

Source: At Home Corporation
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