The use of pipelines for the transport of large quantities of natural gas to industry and to commercial and domestic consumers represents a safe mode of transport in terms of the impact on the environment and human health.
As a general policy the natural gas industry strives to design and maintain pipelines to zero occurrence of incidents/accidents with the aim to avoid any damage or harm to the public, public health and the environment. This business principle aims to secure the confidence of Authorities and of consumers as well as continuity of supply.
Although legal approaches may differ among European countries, and be influenced by cultural, historical and geographical factors, the gas industry conducts similar basic safety practices across Europe since the overall objective is to construct, operate and maintain safe pipeline systems. In 1982 six European gas transmission system operators took the initiative to gather data on the unintentional releases of gas in their pipeline transmission systems. This co-operation was formalised by the setting up of EGIG (European Gas pipeline Incident data Group). Now EGIG is a co-operation between a group of seventeen major gas transmission system operators in Europe and is the owner of an extensive gas pipeline-incident database.
The creation of this extensive pipeline-incident database (1982) has helped pipeline operators to demonstrate the safety performances of Europe's gas pipelines. This information has helped the pipeline operators to improve safety in their gas pipeline transmission systems.
Considering the number of participants, the extent of the pipeline systems and the exposure period involved (from 1970 onwards for most of the companies), the EGIG database is a valuable and reliable source of information. The regional differences are not taken into account so that the result of the database presents an average of all participating companies.
On this website you will find information on gas pipeline incidents collected by the gas transmission system operators from their pipeline system.