Characteristics of Oil and Gas Pipeline Accidents Caused by Climate Change Intensified Hurricanes
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Scientist now believe with more confidence that human activities contribute substantially to the observed upward trend in hurricane activity. An occasional casualty of hurricanes is energy infrastructure like hazardous liquid and gas pipelines. The objective of this study is to use pipeline accident data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) to search for the characteristics indicative of the most severe pipeline accidents caused by hurricanes. Using a multivariable regression analysis, this study demonstrates a weak relationship between hurricane damages and offshore gas pipelines’ pressure, size, and strength. The data for hazardous liquid and onshore gas pipelines was too limited to draw any definite conclusions. In regions susceptible to hurricanes, policy makers who govern areas near offshore gas pipelines, or companies who move product via offshore pipeline of significant pressure, size, and strength may want to consider the implications of these findings when evaluating risks to energy infrastructure.