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Preventing Gas Pipeline Disasters

June 13, 2013

It was something of a miracle that no one was injured seriously when a 20-inch natural gas pipeline exploded near Sissonville, W.Va. in December....

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Jun-13-13 11:54 PM

I’m just curious how WVUGEO proposes we transport all that methane he keeps telling us we need to be making from CO2. Should we transport it through one of those astonishingly dangerous pipelines you loons are always complaining about? Or maybe in those heavy road-destroying trucks you loons are always complaining about? Or perhaps by those water-polluting barges you loons are always complaining about?

Maybe converting CO2 to an astonishingly dangerous gas isn't such a good idea after all...

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Jun-13-13 8:48 PM

I then went to the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration - National Gas Transmission: Significant Incidents Summary Statistics: 1993-2012.

Pretty nice summary there! The 20 Year Average (1993-2012) is 61 events per year, 2 fatalities, 10 injuries and $84,616,960 property damage per year.

That's about 1 incident every 5,000 miles of pipeline per year and approx $285 in property damage for every mile of line.

It's certainly not the cleanest of industries, but I found the numbers far from astonishing.

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Jun-13-13 8:39 PM

WVU, You're topics do interest me so I checked out the NTSB site and found 32 accident reports over the last 20 years. So I went next to the U.S. Energy Information Administration website and found the following;

The natural gas pipeline grid comprises: More than 210 natural gas pipeline systems.

305,000 miles of interstate and intrastate transmission pipelines (see mileage table).

More than 1,400 compressor stations that maintain pressure on the natural gas pipeline network and assure continuous forward movement of supplies (see map).

More than 11,000 delivery points, 5,000 receipt points, and 1,400 interconnection points that provide for the transfer of natural gas throughout the United States. 24 hubs or market centers that provide additional interconnections (see map). 400 underground natural gas storage facilities (see map).

49 locations where natural gas can be imported/exported via pipelines (see map).

8 LNG (liquefied natural gas) import facilities

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Jun-13-13 2:20 PM

The actual number of gas transmission pipeline ruptures and accidents that occur is astonishing. Go to the National Transportation Safety Board web site, and, in the upper right corner, enter "Pipeline Accident Reports" in the search/subject block. Or, go the Wikipedia and check out the articles: "List of pipeline accidents in the United States 1975 to 1999" and "List of pipeline accidents in the United States in the 21st century". Not all the ruptures documented in those resources involve gas transmission lines, but many of them do. There have been some in WV you've never heard of. For instance, on August 5, 2002: "a natural gas pipeline exploded and caught fire .. near Lanham, WV. Kanawha and Putnam Counties in the area were requested to Shelter-In-Place. Parts of the pipeline were thrown hundreds of yards away, around, and across Poca River".

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