April 2009 Vol. 236 No. 4


Risk-Management Process For Urban Utilities

The distribution of natural gas in an urban utility has inherent risks. Distribution networks are located underground, out of sight and typically under pavement in close proximity to buildings, residences and subsurface structures. Urban customers in older cities are located in densely populated centers that have piping systems dating back to the 1800s. These facilities vary widely in composition, pressure, age and type. Many factors influence the risk of distributing natural gas in such an environment. Despite the many risks, the natural gas distribution industry has an extremely safe and reliable record of transporting gas to millions of consumers every day. The industry̵

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