Emergency Response

Key Takeaways

  • Pipeline operators regularly conduct training and exercises to ensure they are prepared to respond if needed
  • The oil and natural gas industry works closely with government agencies through drills for seamless coordination during an emergency
  • The pipeline industry provides free trainings for first responders and emergency officials so they are informed and prepared in the event of an emergency

How do pipeline operators prepare for emergencies?

Pipeline incidents, while rare, do still happen. Pipeline operators prepare for the unlikely event of an incident through the use of control room technologies and training to stop the flow of a pipeline quickly upon a release. 

Operators also develop emergency response plans which have to be approved by regulators, deploy resources, and work closely with local first responders to reduce the impacts of any release. For more information of how companies respond to incidents, we encourage you to find out here.

Pipeline operators reduced the number of liquids pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment by 20% from 2014 to 2018.

Training and Coordination with First Responders

Successfully dealing with a pipeline incident requires information sharing and practice in advance. Pipeline operators conduct tabletop drills and live “on site” drills with local first responders such as local fire departments, law enforcement and emergency management.

Operators conduct exercises and drills in coordination with first responders.

These training exercises are used to establish a clear understanding of the manpower and resources each group will bring to a potential incident, to assign roles for each group, and to establish a decision making process that ensures any necessary response is safe, coordinated and efficient.

During drills, operators and first responders come to a designated area to walk through a “live incident.” Operators share pipeline locations, maps, products traveling through the line and potential hazards so that everyone involved is informed and prepared in the event of an incident.

Pipeline operators also provide online training courses and resources to help first responders prepare for an incident.