APGA Weekly Update, November 19, 2015
PHMSA Releases Pipeline Safety Performance Measures
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has posted on its website performance measures for evaluating the safety of the US natural gas pipeline system. The performance measures are taken from PHMSA’s incident and annual report data and include trends in the number of serious incidents per mile, leak repairs, excavation damages and mileage of cast iron and bare steel pipe. These performance measures were developed by a working group comprised of PHMSA, state regulators, industry and the public. Matt Stennett of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas and APGA’s John Erickson represented public natural gas in the working group.
Some of the highlights of the performance measures are:
The gas distribution serious incident per million mile rate has fluctuated since 2005. The overall decrease in the rate since 2005 is 19 percent. Serious incidents include a fatality or injury requiring overnight, in-patient hospitalization, but “fire first” incidents are excluded. “Fire first” incidents are gas distribution incidents in which the gas release was a result of the fire, not the cause of the fire.
The leading cause of serious incidents on gas distribution systems is excavation damage. Within the excavation damage cause, third-party damage is responsible for the 84 percent of the incidents. Third-party damage occurs when a person other than the pipeline operator or its contractor excavates and damages a pipeline system.
The second leading cause is other outside force damage. Within the other outside force damage cause, vehicular damage is responsible for 72 percent of the incidents. The narrative accompanying incident reports from operators usually mentions impaired and reckless drivers. PHMSA plans to collect data about driver behavior in future revisions of the gas distribution incident report.
Cast and wrought iron main miles have decreased 26 percent since 2005 and now are only two percent of the total gas distribution miles.
The complete performance measures can be viewed here. For questions on this article, please contact John Erickson of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-0834 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EIA Reports Storage Increase of 15 Bcf to Put Working Gas Storage at 4,000 Bcf
Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, November 19, 2015, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, November 13, 2015. A 15 Bcf increase has been reported.
Working gas in storage was 4,000 Bcf as of Friday, November 13, 2015, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 15 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 404 Bcf higher than last year at
this time and 207 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,793 Bcf. At 4,000 Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range.