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A Systematic Framework for Root-Cause Analysis of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Using the AcciMap Methodology: Implication for Underground Gas Storage Facilities

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According to the US Energy Information Administration [1], the natural gas industry supports 33% of electricity generation in the US. Despite this critical role, the importance of safety and safety culture in the natural gas industry has not been adequately highlighted. The absence of strict regulations and lack of attention towards precautionary measures have allowed the industry to persevere with insufficient urgency for implementing innovative technologies and safety-first protocols. On October 23, 2015, the Aliso Canyon natural gas accident highlighted how the lack of regulatory oversight in a low probability, high consequence industry could have such impactful and unpredictable repercussions. This paper analyzes the concatenation of events that led to the Aliso Canyon gas leak. It adopts the AcciMap methodology, which was originally introduced by Rasmussen in 1997 as an accident investigation framework, to conduct a systematic root-cause analysis and capture different involved socio-technical factors that contributed to the leak. It is, however, noteworthy that the lessons learned from this study have implications for other underground gas storage facilities.
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Keywords: ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION; ACCIMAP; ALISO CANYON GAS LEAK; NATURAL GAS; RISK MANAGEMENT; ROOT-CAUSE ANALYSIS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2017

This article was made available online on 13 December 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "A Systematic Framework for Root-Cause Analysis of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Using the AcciMap Methodology: Implication for Underground Gas Storage Facilities".

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