U.S. Energy Groups Review Pipeline Safety

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 (UPI) — Industry leaders in the U.S. energy sector said they were creating leadership teams aimed at improving the safety record of oil and natural gas pipelines.

The American Petroleum Institute and the Association of Oil Pipelines announced they developed teams to examine ways to reduce hazards associated with pipeline accidents.

The teams are charged with investigating all aspects of pipeline safety, ranging from leak detection to lessons-learned approaches to pipeline accidents.

Steve Wuori, president of pipelines at Enbridge Inc. and chairman of the AOPL board, said the safety record for the pipeline industry is improving but more work was needed.

Crews in southern Michigan are cleaning up a spill from an Enbridge pipeline carrying heavy crude oil from Alberta tar sands more than a year after a pipeline ruptured. U.S. regulators are examining pipelines buried under the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers because erosion is leading to pipeline damage.

Pressure on a natural gas pipeline in San Bruno, Calif., caused a weld seam to rupture in September 2010, causing an explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

U.S. lawmakers are examining safety and pressure issues associated with pipelines to improve safety records.

“We are committed to continuous improvement in pipeline performance and safety, with an ultimate goal of zero accidents,” added Wuori in a statement.

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