Western european cross-country oil pipelines 30-year performance statistics

21 Feb 2002

CONCAWE has collected 30 years of performance data on Western European cross-country oil pipelines, which currently comprise 30.8 thousand km transporting672 million m3 per year of crude oil and oil products. This report shows how the pipeline system reported on has developed. The data on safety-related incidents are reported and the levels and trends of spillage incidence, gross and net spillage volumes and the significant features of individual cause categories: mechanical failure, operational, corrosion, natural hazard and third party. The pipeline system has always been considered to be a safe and reliable way of transporting oil in bulk.Most European pipeline spillages are small and effects are generally localised and temporary. Moreover, integrity is on an improving trend with spillage frequency over the period reduced from 1.2 to 0.25 spillages per 1000 km of pipeline. Subject to continuing performance monitoring and the use of improved and new techniques such as internal inspection using intelligence pigs, safe and reliable operation of the pipelines should remain possible for the foreseeable future.