An Assessment of Environmental Costs Associated with Crude Oil Pipeline Damage Caused by Earthquakes

by Ronald T. Eguchi, EQE Int, Costa Mesa, United States,
Susan D. Pelmulder, EQE Int, Costa Mesa, United States,
Hope A. Seligson, EQE Int, Costa Mesa, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lifeline Earthquake Engineering in the Central and Eastern U.S.


This paper presents a methodology for assessing the risk of environmental contamination from oil pipeline leaks caused by earthquakes. Risk is measured both as volume of oil released and remediation cost. The methodology was developed for use on a regional scale and thus relies on a limited amount of input data. Monte Carlo techniques are used to simulate earthquake events, while a deterministic model is used to estimate the volume of oil released at a particular site. A library of cost models is used to estimate the contamination and resulting remediation cost based on the volume of oil released and the general site conditions. This methodology has been implemented in a computer program, OILOSS, and the results are presented as frequency of exceedance curves for volume of oil released and cost of remediation. The methodology is applied to two crude oil pipelines near the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) and preliminary results are presented. This study is being sponsored by a grant from the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER).

Subject Headings: Oil pipelines | Earthquakes | Environmental issues | Risk management | Pipe leakage | Pollution | Remediation | Simulation models | Europe | Washington | United States | North America | Monte Carlo | Monaco | Madrid | Spain

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