Management Remains Key Issue in Pipeline Safety

October 2016, Vol. 243, No. 10

By Mike Poland and Elaine Horn, Accenture

The rupture of a pipeline near Santa Barbara, CA on May 19, 2015 resulted in the release of an estimated 2,934 barrels of crude oil on land, on beaches and into the Pacific Ocean. The incident had serious consequences for the pipeline operator, which has spent over $150 million on the response effort, cleanup and related matters. A year after the event, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration released the results of their investigation into the rupture. Their Failure Investigation Report identified external corrosion as the primary reason for the…

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