Read It and Weep!!!Factory, Generating Plant and Pipeline Explosions and Fires in the 90s! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From Downstreamers site; 1990=3, 1991=1, 1992=1, 1993=1, 1994=1. 1995=2, 1996=6, 1997=5, 1998=29, 1999=90, 2000=64 in first 22 days!

-- Alfred E. (WhatMe@Worry .com), January 23, 2000



-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), January 23, 2000.

Nice cluster pattern developing, around year 2000?

-- JIT (, January 23, 2000.

Here's a link to Marcia's site:

Problems in the petroleum industry


-- Ray (, January 23, 2000.

I still think that a great deal of the incidents in 1999 reflected testing (and therefore y2k-related) mishaps.

-- Brooks (, January 23, 2000.

What Brooks said - we were all suspicious last year too!!! :o)

-- Andy (, January 23, 2000.

A couple of questions:

1. How many of these have been determined to be the result of Y2k bug by unbiased investigators? By that I mean investigators on a physical site and not web searches.

2. How much of the increase is due to the growth of the web, both in terms of the number of newspapers online and also users searching them out? I suspect that there are people who have bookmarked the web sites for local newspapers and make it their mission in life to hunt down this type of story, and that there are more of these people than in years past and their search techniques are more sophisticated.

Here's something to consider. A good friend of yours gets a "new" car which is actually used. Suddenly you notice large numbers of people driving the same kind of car. Did large numbers of people suddenly buy the same car model as your friend, or did your perceptions change?

So are there more explosions and fires? Perhaps, but I doubt the year variance is as large as represented here. I'd really need to know more details about how this data was compiled.

-- Mikey2k (, January 23, 2000.

Fine. I'll tell you how the data was compiled. It was obtained from the traditional news media. Each incident has a link to the article where it was reported. Many of the reports come from OPIS, a petroleum industry group. Many others come from Bloomberg, Bridge News, Reuters, AP, Yahoo!news, and the BBC.

All you have to do is go look at the table (click this: and you can click each "Data Source" link and go read the original article for yourself and decide if it's credible.

OK? Hope that helps.

-- marc1a (, January 23, 2000.

Mikey2k asked,

"1. How many of these have been determined to be the result of Y2k bug by unbiased investigators? By that I mean investigators on a physical site and not web searches."

Mikey2k, here is a question for you. How many unbiased y2k investigators are in the field reporting these incidents to the general public???

Take your time, no rush here!!


-- Ray (, January 23, 2000.

Let me try reposting the link again. Sometimes HTML doesn't convert as expected on this forum.


Sorry for my incompetence with HTML.


-- marc1a (, January 23, 2000.

At the rate of incidents per day, (2.9 per day) as it stands now, that would make over 1000 incidents by the end of the year. It'll hurt the pocketbook regardless of how the data was compiled and whether it's y2k or not. Lots of $$$$$$$$$--that's what I see.

-- Dee (, January 23, 2000.

Mikey2k, as a clarification, how many of these incidence are being reported as y2k related???


-- Ray (, January 23, 2000.

Ray, if these incidences are not Y2k related, then they're off-topic for this forum.

Ray, in answer to your other question, I doubt there are any unbiased _Y2k_ investigators. From what I've seen, they all have one side of the axe or the the other to grind. An unbiased investigator would be searching for the actual causes of the explosion and would not have a bias for or against a Y2k bug as a possible cause. I also would expect the investigator to have the technical competence either to make the determination or ask for assistance if that is the direction the investigation headed.

Marcia, your answer is consistent with my expectations and I think even implied by my question. I am not disputing the credibility of the reports you have on your page. Nor am I questioning your ethics.

What I am questioning is the method you used to compile them. - When did you start compiling this data? - Did the sources you use have equal representation (archives) of events which occurred before you started this project? I notices on your page that only articles from this year are linked. Not implying anything nefarious in this -- I expect it's because these news sites tend to pull articles and put them in archives after awhile, which is a part of why I'm questioning your research. - Did the scope of your search increase as your research went along? Did you find new links to monitor as you went along? Did your techniques improve as time went on?

-- Mikey2k (, January 23, 2000.

Brooks, I agree!

Mike, you give the impression that y2k is a technical, and not a legal label, hehe.

-- Hokie (, January 23, 2000.

John H Krempasky:

You have earlier requested a study similar to this be done. I would like to hear your comments please.

-- ilander -- (, January 23, 2000.

As Hokie has brought to my attention, I need to be more pedantic in my writing. Since "Y2k" means the year 2000, then anything that's happened since Jan 1 is Y2k related. It's snowing outside my house right now, and since the calendar says 2000, the snow is Y2k related.

So I've not been pedantic enough and wrote "Y2k related" when I meant "related to a Y2k computer bug". The fact that the topic of this forum is supposed to be Y2k computer bugs and their side effects and I was posting in that context does not excuse my carelessness.

So anyway, back to the topic of this off-topic thread, I refer back to my earlier post asking details about the research of this data.

-- Mikey2k (, January 23, 2000.

The problems are real, the reason behing them... well thats another story. Pipelines were laid in the 1950's, their locations were kept secret due tot he cold war.

Throughout the years, theupkeep and maintenance has slacked off, many are old and breaking down. Until the explosion here in Washington state, little notice was given to the problem in the mainstream media. Basically the companies that run them have been doing a very poor job of maintenance and upkeep. Most people are not even aware that they are located near their homes! I sure wasn't. Olympic pipeline wants to put their pipes back into commision with out complete testing, as a matter of fact they are refusing to do so. What they would have to do is run water through them, under pressure to test them. They claim that they have done the testing "required" of them, but the problem is that the "requirements" have been slashed to the point of not being effective, especially now with the pipes aging so badly and the land that they run under becoming populated. In the 1950's, they were laid in areas where they were safely away from most population centers, throughout the years those areas have been built around and almost on top of.

There are going to be increased problems and many more lives lost if there is not a public outcry demanding that they all be checked and replaced or fixed.

I do not know, this is only a guess, but I think the foundries are probably in the same condition, 50 years old and falling apart. The companies running them do not want to put the money into fixing and updating the equipment, or running new pipes so they are fighting tooth and nail to prevent new regulations and replacements.

Blaming the problems on Y2K is a disservice because you are ignoring the real problems which will continue until something is done.

Try to find the maps of the pipelines in your area and you will be surprised at the difficulty in getting them. The cold war is over, but the secrecy remains.

If you are anywhere near a boat "gas station" (even recreational) or airport (small as well as large) or even a fire station, ask yourself how the fuel is delivered to those places. You could have aging pipelines running down the center of the street in front of your house.

-- Cherri (, January 23, 2000.

mikey2k--your analogy might fit better if you stopped at the point where you perceive something (some people have perceptions that Y2k is causing oil production problems; everyone has an x car like your friend). the downstreamer report moves beyond perception into analyzing data regarding the premise. the downstreamer report is helpful and presents data as to the number, types of, and year of incidents. you would likewise need to go to the same extent because we need apples to apples for analogies not apples to oranges.

-- tt (, January 23, 2000.

Mikey .... You seem to have a real problem with facts ; but NO PROBLEM with trying to refute them with theories , possibilities and other polly " it can't be true because ... " .

Come up with some facts of your own , OR , go back to eating your cereal . You were such a nice little boy then . Can't you ever grow up ? Eagle

-- Hal Walker (, January 23, 2000.

Cheri said

The problems are real, the reason behing them... well thats another story..theupkeep and maintenance has slacked off, many are old and breaking down

Man you missed you calling gal, you should have been a political consultant. Or are you one?

-- (@ .), January 23, 2000.

Personally I think the figures prior to 1998 are too low. I lived in Houston for 18 years. Every year there were several major explosions in refineries and/or chemical plants. This is not reflected in the figures above. I'm sure there were explosions elsewhere, rather than only in Houston.

My guess is that most of the organized compilation started in '98, with increasing numbers of news sources on the web and increased internet usage for research.

I agree that it appears there are far more explosions and fires in the first few weeks of this year compared to '99 and '98. But only 1 explosion/fire for each year '91-94 is unbelievable. I think it's best to disregard these figures prior to '98.

-- Cheryl (, January 23, 2000.

Hal, no I don't have a problem with facts, but I do have a problem with "facts". I have grown up and now I won't eat it just because someone challenges me to. It's time you did the same.

tt, analogies are inherently imperfect. To bring mine closer to perfection, I'd have to continue it by charting the number of cars I saw, and then enlisting the aid of friends to add to the total. With this technique I could show the ownership of 1963 VWs on a steady increase. As far as the downstreamer forum, I didn't find it useful and Marcia posts there too.

Cheryl pretty much stated what I am suspecting, but I'd like to hear it from Marcia.

-- Mikey2k (, January 23, 2000.

I need to respond to Cherri's statements that the pipelines are all 50 years old and not documented. This may well be where she lives but I know for a fact it is not like that in Michigan. I have been in the land business for over 20 years and any pipelines are very well documented and very easy to find out about with a simple title search. I got a pipeline easement bought back last summer (that was never used) that dated back to l952. Any pipelines that are still in use are well marked. We snowmobile them all the time. Also laying new pipelines have been a regular business for at least the last 25 years I'm aware of. The oil companies are constantly asking me permission to go across properties I own in 4 counties. A very large one went through here 2 summers ago that had all the major highways tore up. Anyway just had to straighten out your statement as to pipelines are not all old and not being replaced.

-- Lucy (, January 23, 2000.


Listen, if you want to spend the money you can go to http:// for any map of any pipeline in the United States and Canada. We use these in our business. Now as far as pipes being 50 years old please go to and read up on corrosion protection of pipelines. A properly protected structure will last as long as the protection systems are maintained. Finally go to for the enforcement arm and regulations of the Federal Government. The only fault that I can find is that enforcement needs to be tightened up. This requires you to educate yourself about both corrosion protection and the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) regulations. All of this is on line. Then write your local representative to enforce the existing regulations. Finally, not knowing where you live, local state Utility Commissions also have regulations.

Age alone as a criteria for replacement is nonsense. I have worked on older cathodically protected lines that were in better shape than improperly protected and poorly coated lines after ten years of operation. If you are interested in why things fail let me know and I will post a session to TB2000.

PS. At OPS they keep yearly downloadable incident reports. You will be surprised to know that the number one cause of failure is 3rd party. You know the ones that never call before they dig.

-- PA Engineer (PA, January 24, 2000.

Obviously any set of data can have different interpretations put on it. In this case I would read the data as being evidence that more notice is being taken of such plant failures in the later stages of the decade than earlier. For example, I know of 3 generation plant explosions or fires in New Zealand in 1990, yet this is the amount that you have reported as having occurred in the entire world in that year. Does this mean that the rest of the world was perfect? or does it mean that there wasn't the same number of people researching and reporting on every known incident?

Incidentally, have you included in your data for 2000 the fact that we currently have a generator out of service due to a transformer fault that occured late last year? And if so, what year have you assigned it to? (Its due to a faulty cooling water pump, not any Y2K issue).

-- Malcolm Taylor (, January 24, 2000.

The reporting of older incidents is, should we say, slightly incomplete. Incidents in Iran, Canada and Ukraine get mentioned in 1999, but the tanker "Sea Empress" spilling at Milford Haven, UK in 1996 doesn't. This could be because it's easy to notice an incident when it happens, but harder to dig dirt out from several years ago.

-- xyz (x@y.z), January 24, 2000.

PA Engineer,

I believe your post re pipelines should have been directed to Cherri ... not me.

-- Cheryl (, January 24, 2000.



-- PA Engineer (PA, January 24, 2000.

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