Study Finds No Submerged Pipeline Incidents Outside Gulf of Mexico

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration announced the availability of its study on submerged pipelines, which it conducted to study the hazards to navigation from offshore submerged pipelines. The agency asked for comments on the study by May 21 as it evaluates the need for further analysis.

Joy Kadnar at 202-366-0568 is the contact for more information. PHMSA did issue regulations in August 2004 that require pipeline operators to develop and follow a procedure to identify and conduct periodic inspections of submerged pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico that pose a hazard to navigation. But National Transportation Safety Board expressed concern that the 2004 final rule did not address offshore submerged pipelines outside the Gulf of Mexico and asked for further study. PHMSA has now met that request.

The study found that since 1990, there have been 58 reported instances of a vessel or its equipment striking a submerged pipeline offshore and 64 reported instances where a submerged pipeline was uncovered or presented a hazard to navigation. No incidents were found outside the Gulf of Mexico.

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