GAO-17-639: Published: Aug 3, 2017. Publicly Released: Aug 3, 2017.
What GAO Found
The U.S. gas and hazardous liquid pipeline network is constructed primarily of steel and plastic pipes, both of which offer benefits and limitations that present trade-offs to pipeline operators, as do corrosion prevention technology options. According to data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), over 98 percent of federally regulated pipelines that gather natural gas and other gases and hazardous liquid products, such as oil, and transmit those products across long distances are made of steel. An increasing majority of pipelines that distribute natural gas to homes and businesses are made of plastics. Steel pipelines are manufactured in various grades to accommodate higher operating pressures, but require corrosion protection and cost more than plastics, according to operators and experts. In contrast, plastics and emerging composite materials generally are corrosion-resistant, but lack the strength to accommodate high-operating pressures.
Read more: https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-639