Making pipelines and rivers safer where we operate

Swift running waters are an iconic feature of the Rocky Mountains, but beneath the beauty on the surface, those waters can rapidly erode riverbanks and scour deep holes in riverbeds. In high runoff seasons like 2011, the depletion is even greater, potentially exposing pipelines that were trenched into riverbeds decades ago.

As one of the largest pipeline operators in the Rocky Mountain region, Phillips 66 is recognized by state and federal officials for taking a proactive stance on ensuring the integrity of our pipeline system. As a leader in safety, we are sharing best practices with other operators. Phillips 66 was also selected to take the lead on updating the American Petroleum Institute's recommended practices for pipelines and flood management.

Since 2011, Phillips 66 has ramped up its efforts to protect pipelines that cross rivers and landslide areas in the Rocky Mountains, spending more than $90 million to reroute, reinforce or re-bury approximately 50 sections of pipeline. These measures help ensure products continue flowing to consumers and help protect scenic rivers.

To prevent pipeline exposures, Phillips 66 often uses horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology to bury pipelines deep underneath riverbeds. As you'll see in this video, the company recently hosted a group of state and federal officials in Billings, Montana, where HDD technology was used to bury a 3,300-foot section of pipeline 40 feet below the Yellowstone River.

You can learn more about the company's river crossing mitigation program in this story about a pipeline we relocated in Idaho.