Safety in the Transportation of Oil and Gas: Pipelines or Rail?

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Title: Safety in the Transportation of Oil and Gas: Pipelines or Rail?

Author: Kenneth P. Green and Taylor Jackson

Publisher: Fraser Institute

Date: August 2015

Full Text Article

Summary:

  • Transporting oil and gas by pipeline or rail is in general quite safe.
  • But when the safety of transporting oil and gas by pipelines and rail is compared, taking into consideration the amount of product moved, pipelines are found to be the much safer transportation method.
  • Specifically, rail is found to be over 4.5 times more likely to experience an occurrence when compared to pipelines.
  • Over 70 percent of pipeline occurrences result in spills of 1 m3 or less, and only 17 percent of pipeline occurrences take place in actual line pipe, meaning that the vast majority of spills occur in facilities, which may have secondary containment mechanisms and procedures.

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