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Topic 48: Safety issues during transportation and distribution of oil and gas.
Transportation and distribution are two sectors of industry which should also be mentioned regarding safety issues applied there. Many incidents are indicating that there is a need of some improvements in practices applied so far. So, my suggestion is to discuss this topic further.
Recorded incidents provide important information regarding hazardous events for example like oil spills, which usually are caused at terminals or by vessels’ leakage. These are damaging the environment and may even cause human losses. Also, these accidents are damaging the reputation of companies which usually have to deal with extra costs of oil recovery and compensations. Sometimes vessels and crews are faced with piracy which is not a random failure event. Also, terrorists could target pipelines and vessel as the potentially flammable material enables huge explosions. In these occasions safety problems are caused by criminal activity of some groups of people and not by random failures. Such dangerous conditions are unpredicted and in case of being attacked the destiny of the crew, the vessel and the containing fluids is unknown.
Offshore and onshore pipelines are also sometimes hazardous. According to many incidents demonstrating the fact that humanity has encountered many problems caused either by failure of the equipment or by criminal and in some cases by political activity. In these cases the potential victims are also the people working in these facilities, the surrounding area and definitely the company exploiting the entire facility. But there is a significant difference between supplying fuels to a specific area and to the entire country, in terms of relying on the pipeline or the vessel as the only energy source. The pipeline has the property of constant flow which means that consumers are depending on this kind of energy supply, in contrast with tankers, where is some kind of flexibility related to product delivering. Thus these damages, explosions, sabotages or even closed valves after the decision of operators of the pipelines reflect to the energy reliability of dependent consumers.