API Defends Pipeline Industry After Enbridge Report

The industry group's pipeline director, Peter Lidiak, said initiatives are under way to improve recognition of large pipeline ruptures and responses to them.

The American Petroleum Institute's pipeline director, Peter Lidiak, issued a defense of the pipeline industry in response to the July 10 National Transportation Safety Board report faulting Enbridge Energy Partners L.P.'s response to the crude oil spill from its pipeline in July 2010 near Marshall, Mich. The board's report, issued that day, faulted Enbridge personnel for not recognizing the spill for hours and for mounting an inadequate response, according to the safety board.

The spill amounted to 843,444 gallons of crude oil, and cleaning up the Kalamazoo River and surrounding areas in that location has so far cost more than $767 million, according to NTSB.

"A number of industry safety enhancement initiatives are under way that include improving recognition of, response to, and reporting of large ruptures; accelerated research and development to improve in-line inspection tools, or smart pigs; and better ways to share industry learning from incidents, like the Marshall release," Lidiak said in an API news release. "The industry continues to strive for zero incidents. Our goal is to continually improve our practices and procedures to have the highest safety record in the world."

The release said API and its members will work with regulators and NTSB to address the recommendations in NTSB's final report on the spill. API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies.

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