The Purpose and Reliability of Pipelines

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC operates approximately 15,000 miles of pipeline and nearly 50 storage terminals. Each day we safely transport raw petroleum products, like crude oil, and refined products, like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Energy products like these are part of our daily lives and necessary as we fuel our cars, cool our homes and use manufactured plastics products.

Operating with Integrity

Operating with Integrity

Pipelines are the most reliable method to move energy products, helping to meet our nation’s growing economic and energy needs. They operate under many government regulations and industry standards. These measures address all aspects of pipeline operation, such as where and how they are built, operated, tested and maintained – and we strive to exceed each requirement and best practice.

Our commitment to safety goes further, with the goal that everyone who lives or works near our assets is aware of our lines and facilities, adopts safe digging practices, learns the signs of a pipeline leak and knows how to quickly respond if he or she suspects a problem.

Committed to Safety & Reliability

As part of the Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC on-going damage prevention program, many integrity management tactics are employed to maximize the safety of our communities by ensuring our pipelines, tanks and pumps operate safely, reliably and in compliance with federal and state law.

Operational data is transmitted by a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, which is a series of land-line and satellite electronic controls and computers. This system allows Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC to remotely operate valves and pumps and monitor pressures and other vital information from our control center, located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Some additional components of the integrity management program include:

  • Inspection of surface conditions via aerial patrol or on foot, per U.S. DOT regulations
  • Pipeline inspection using in-line inspection devices, also known as smart tools or PIGs
  • Pipeline integrity analysis through hydrotesting
  • Pipeline corrosion mitigation through cathodic protection, chemical inhibitors and special pipeline coatings
  • Support and participation in the One-Call center network
  • 24-hours a day, controllers located at the Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC control center monitor consoles that provide continuous data on products, pressures, flow rates and emergency information

At storage terminals, Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC meets or exceeds applicable federal and state laws regarding safety and environmental protection in the operation of our terminals. Additional storage terminal program components include:

  • Tanks that are designed, constructed and maintained to rigorous standards and surrounded by earthen or concrete walls, called dikes, to effectively keep fuels on our property in the unlikely event of a spill
  • Systems in place to mitigate against overfilling tanks and to alert in case of possible leaks
  • Technical truck driver training before clearance to load at Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC facilities
  • Corrosion control, overpressure protection and mechanical damage prevention to protect facility pipe
  • Regular visual inspections of equipment
  • Precautions taken to protect waterways at marine terminal locations

High-Consequence Areas (HCAs) are locations where a pipeline leak could have a particularly high impact on health, safety or the environment. Examples of HCAs include dense population centers, drinking water zones, ecological areas and navigable waterways. Preventative and mitigative measures are given the highest priority in HCAs in order to protect these sensitive and vital areas. Contact our non-emergency number at 1-800-231-2566 to learn more about identified HCAs in your jurisdiction or to share information about a new HCA in your community.

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC has procedures in place for conducting excavations and repairs on pipelines in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. These procedures include risk assessment as well as planning and safety requirements. A written plan is prepared for each project and, where applicable, all affected parties—including employees, pipeline controllers, contractors, other utilities, neighbors and local emergency responders—are made aware of the plan.

Product Hazards & Characteristics

Our nation’s pipeline industry maintains a consistently successful record of safety and reliability. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) touts pipeline to be the safest mode of transportation for energy products. That said, serious health, safety and environmental hazards do exist and emergencies can occur.

Agencies must develop a safe and effective tactical response plan to any pipeline emergency based upon rapidly identifying the material(s) involved and understanding the behavior of the material(s) being transported in the pipeline. Oftentimes, the initial response to a pipeline emergency may be dispatched as a call for a strange odor in the area or as an unknown type of hazardous materials leak or spill. Responders must be cautious in approaching these incident scenes and look for visual cues that a pipeline is involved.

The most common types of liquid products transported in pipelines are flammable and combustible liquids, ammonia, liquefied petroleum gases, and carbon dioxide. Products transported and stored in Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC pipeline and terminal systems include refined products, crude oils, highly volatile liquids (HVLs), natural gas and hydrogen.

Find specific information about energy product hazards and product characteristics using the charts below. Be aware that both flammable and combustible liquids may have more than one hazardous property. You can review response tactics by reviewing the U.S. Department of Transportation Emergency Response Guidebook.

Flammability Chart

Product Flash Point (F)  Flammable Range Vapor Density  Hazard Identification
BUTADIENE Gas 2.0 12.0 1.9 2 4 2
BUTANE Gas [-76] 1.9 8.5 2.0 1 4 0
BUTENE Gas 1.6 1.0. 1.9 1 4 0
ETHANE Gas 3.0 12.5 1.0 1 4 0
ETHANOL 55 3.3 19 1.6 2 3 0
GASOLINES -50 to 0 1.2 to 1.4 7.1 to 7.6 3.0 to 4.0 1 3 0
HYDROGEN Gas 4.0 75 0.1 0 4 0
ISOBUTANE Gas 1.8 8.4 2.0 0 4 0
ISOPENTANE <-60 1.4 7.6 2.5 1 4 0
JET FUELS -10 to +150 0.6 to 1.3 3.7 to 8.0 <1 0 to 3 2 to 3 0
KEROSENE 100 to 162 0.7 5 2 2 0
METHANE Gas 5.0 15.0 0.6 2 4 0
NATURAL GAS  — 3.8 to 6.5 13 to 17 1 4 0
PROPANE Gas 2.1 9.5 1.6 2 4 0
PROPYLENE Gas 2.0 11.1 1.5 1 4 1
SOUR CRUDE OIL 20 to 90 2 3 0
SWEET CRUDE OIL 20 to 90 1 3 0

UEL stands for Upper Explosive Limit.

LEL stands for Lower Explosive Limit.

Note: Many of these products are transported through pipelines as liquids, but turn to gas if released and may form a vapor cloud.

This table was compiled using information from the National Fire Protection Association's Fire Protection Guide to Hazardous Materials (2020) and includes some, but not all, products transported by Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC or present at Phillips 66 facilities. This table is intended to provide a general overview of these products and their flammability characteristics. For general information about fire hazard properties, please reference the Fire Protection Guide to Hazardous Materials. For additional product information, including specific products transported and their flammability, health and instability details, safety data sheets may be requested from Phillips 66 by calling the non-emergency phone number: 1-800-231-2566.

Energy Product Characteristics

Information obtained from 2020 DOT Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG). Refer to ERG for more details. The ERG can be downloaded to computer or as a mobile app—click here for details.

Product Color & Description Location Flammability Health Hazard Notes

(Gasoline, Diesel Fuel, Distillates, Jet Fuel and Heating Fuels)
Refined products vary widely in color. Many products have dye added to indicate the grade, quality or brand. Vapors are heavier than air and tend to settle to the ground. Gasolines of various kinds are the most
Kerosene and fuel oil are somewhat less likely to ignite, but shall still be considered dangerous.
Breathing low concentrations of refined products leads to little health hazard. Contact can sometimes cause minor skin irritations.
Higher concentrations of refined products may lead to asphyxiation.
Refined products include several grades of finished gasoline, gasoline blending components, aviation fuels, diesel fuel and heating fuels.
Some refined products remain in a liquid state at normal temperature and pressure. Others remain as liquids to begin with, but will gradually evaporate. Gasolines evaporate rather quickly; other fuels more slowly.

(Sweet Crude, Sour Crude, Diluted Bitumen and other grades of Crude Oil)
Color can vary from yellow to nearly black.
Sour crude contains hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and, under certain conditions can be recognized by its rotten egg odor.
Vapors are heavier than air and tend to settle near the ground. Flash points of crude oil mixtures can vary.
Crude oils are not as flammable as some other products, but will burn, producing heat and smoke.
Light concentrations of H2S will cause throat and eye irritation as well as breathing difficulty.
Heavier concentrations will cause dizziness similar to intoxication and may lead to serious breathing difficulty, even death.
Crude oils are liquids at normal temperature and pressure. However, the more volatile components will vaporize or boil off.

(Butane, Propane, Propylene, Natural Gasoline, Butadiene, Ethane and other Liquified Petroleum Gases and Natural Gas Liquids)

Transported as a liquid when under pressure in the pipeline, but becomes a gas and forms a vapor cloud when released into the atmosphere. Vapors can vary in size depending on wind and humidity conditions. Can drift from immediate vicinity of a leak, becoming much less visible and detected only by a monitor.
Vapors are heavier than air and tend to settle to the ground, especially in low-lying areas. Vapors are highly flammable and ignite very easily.
Fire hazard is higher on a calm day, since vapors remain more concentrated instead of dispersed in the air.
Vapor displacement of oxygen can result in asphyxiation. Vapors can cause severe freeze burns when in contact with skin. Some HVLs contain hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Light concentrations of H2S will cause throat and eye irritation as well as breathing difficulty. Heavier concentrations of H2S will cause dizziness similar to intoxication and may lead to serious breathing difficulty, even death. HVLs are comprised of products such as ethane, butane, propane or mixtures of the individual components after processing.
NATURAL GAS Colorless gas Vapors from liquefied gas are initially heavier than air and spread along the ground. Vapors may travel to source of ignition and flash back. Natural gas alone does not burn. Combustion only occurs when there is a mixture of gas and air, containing between five and 15 percent of natural gas. Harmful or fatal if inhaled or absorbed through skin. A gaseous fossil fuel consisting of mostly methane, but may include ethane, butane, propane, CO2, nitrogen, helium and H2S. Found in crude oil, natural gas and coal beds.
HYDROGEN Colorless gas with no odor Vapors may travel considerable distances to a source of ignition where they can ignite, flash back or explode. Extremely flammable, burning with a clear flame that can be difficult to see. Can reduce the oxygen available for breathing.  

Planning and Prevention Measures Taken

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC follows the U.S. Department of Transportation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The Company developed a public awareness program that strives to educate, inform and collaborate with local, state and federal agencies, first responders, neighbors, excavators, schools and public forums. It benefits all parties for Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC to nurture a good relationship with our communities so that during the unexpected emergency we will be able to effectively work together with trust and efficiency.

Periodically, tabletop and emergency response exercises are conducted with local agencies. Annually, Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC response teams invite response agencies for tactical training or to participate in general pipeline safety courses.

Our employees have been trained as First Responders, Operations Level - a term to describe a defensive response to contain a release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading and prevent exposure. In an actual emergency, Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC personnel will advise and can assist during response and recovery phases.

Your role in incident mitigation

Local emergency responders are usually the first boots on the ground in the case of an incident, and as such, play a crucial role in pipeline safety. You can help ensure the safety of our community, as well as Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC pipeline and terminal operations, by using these important, preventative tactics:

  • Know the location of pipelines and storage terminals in your community. Look for pipeline markers and use the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) to find pipeline locations in your jurisdiction.
  • Review the Emergency Response Action Plan provided by Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC and participate in training exercises with local Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC personnel. A copy of the Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC Emergency Response Action Plan has been provided to your local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and is updated annually.
  • Excavation activity is the number one cause of serious pipeline damage. Encourage farmers, ranchers, developers, contractors, landscapers and anyone else who might need to dig in your community to comply with federal guidelines by always calling 811 before beginning any excavation projects. 811 is a FREE service that will mark buried pipelines and utilities on a proposed dig site at no cost.
  • Watch for unusual, suspicious or unauthorized activity in the area of a pipeline or near a storage terminal. Call the Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC emergency number at 1-877-267-2290 in the event of an emergency or if you observe unusual or suspicious activity.
In an Actual Emergency

In the event of an unplanned release of product, our facilities have fail-safe systems that are designed to help mitigate hazards. The emergency shutdown (ESD) system can be activated manually on-site, remotely at the Company’s control center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, or by one of many electronic detection devices.

At terminals, ESD systems will shut down pipeline receipts, stop truck-loading and close storage tanks. At pipeline pumping stations, ESD systems will shut down pumping units and close key block valves. Along the pipeline, block valves are placed at strategic levels for use in isolating a section of the system.

Emergency Response Programs

Each emergency response program Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC participates in is outlined in the respective emergency response manual. To obtain a copy of the Emergency Response Plan for your area, log into the resources section.

In response to the federally-mandated requirements of the Oil Pollution Act (OPA 90), specifically the rule which asserts that an owner or operator of a “substantial harm” facility must develop and implement a Facility Response Plan, Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC developed an emergency response manual for maintenance groups and terminals. The emergency response manuals provide a wide range of information, including the following:

  • Emergency Response Action Plan (ERAP)  Provides a quick reference guide to emergency responder phone numbers, contractor capabilities, an immediate needs checklist, and response times
  • Facility Information  Includes detailed information about the facility, legal description, types of products handled, qualified individuals, etc.
  • Hazard Evaluation  Includes spill history, spill planning, distance calculations and vulnerability analysis for downstream receptors
  • Oil Spill Response Scenarios  Includes scenarios of all sizes and may be used during drills or simply to review procedures
  • Plan Implementation  Defines each individual role and describes how Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC will work within the Unified Command
  • Self Inspections, Drills and Training  Outlines steps that will be taken to ensure that each facility is prepared in the event of an emergency
  • Appendices  Includes attachments like detailed pipeline maps, report requirements, a site-specific health and safety plan, etc.
National Preparedness for Response Program (PREP)

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC has participated in PREP since its inception, helping develop the voluntary PREP guidelines. We follow PREP to maintain compliance with OPA 90 regulations and to ensure that our personnel are prepared in the event of an emergency.

The primary elements of the drill program are notification drills, tabletop exercises, facility-owned equipment deployment drills, contractor drills, unannounced drills by government agencies, and area-wide drills conducted by agencies. Drills serve to evaluate the thoroughness and effectiveness of the emergency response component of the emergency response plan by testing it under simulated conditions. Drills are conducted with the PREP to maintain maximum effectiveness of the plan.

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC implemented an emergency preparedness program not because we anticipate emergency situations arising, but because we recognize that even the safest environments can have emergencies thrust upon them. We care for our employees, community and the environment around us and want to minimize the effects of an emergency should one arise. The program provides the framework for preparing our employees and responders to appropriately take action in an emergency situation.

Emergency Preparedness Communications

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC has adopted the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Incident Command System (ICS) for response during emergency situations. By utilizing NIMS ICS and the Unified Command, all parties involved in a response effort will be informed and involved in decision-making. Public agencies have valuable expertise in emergency response situations and Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC personnel are knowledgeable concerning the products that we work with on a day-to-day basis.

Utilizing NIMS ICS will enable all parties to work together efficiently and effectively to address any emergency situations that could occur.

In An Emergency

In the Event of an Emergency:
  • Obtain detailed information about the emergency. Refer to the U.S. DOT Emergency Response Guidebook.
  • Call the Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC control center at 1-877-267-2290. Be prepared to provide any information you have gathered at that point. Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC emergency personnel will immediately be deployed to the emergency site.
  • Approach the emergency site from an upwind direction and park your vehicle at a safe distance away from the site. A vapor cloud may not be visible, but vapors may be on or near the ground.
  • Evacuate people from the danger area to an upwind location. Obtain medical help if needed.
  • Keep the danger area secure. Block off roads, railroads and eliminate other ignition sources such as car engines, pilot lights, smoking materials, radios and cell phones.
  • Do not attempt to close any valves without direction from Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC.
  • Do not attempt to extinguish a highly volatile liquid (HVL) fire– such as ethane, butane, propane or mixtures – on the pipeline unless instructed by a Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC representative. Accumulation of HVL vapors can pose a greater hazard of explosion if re-ignition occurs.
  • Perimeter fires can be extinguished. Be careful when containing liquid spills and using techniques like building earthen dams to prevent oil from flowing further, setting up booms or setting up flumes on waterways.
Signs of a Potential Pipeline Leak:

Do not depend on odor alone to determine if a leak exists. Most large-diameter pipelines are not odorized, and the intensity of odor is no indication of the severity of a leak. Be observant of all visual cues and unusual sounds in the area of a pipeline.

The following indicate a possible pipeline leak:

  • Dead grasses or other vegetation
  • Liquid or fire on the ground near a pipeline
  • Dirt blowing into the air
  • Fire, dense white cloud or fog
  • Hissing, gurgling or roaring sounds
  • Strong petroleum-like or sulfur-like (rotten egg) odor

Locating Pipelines in Your Jurisidiction

Obtaining Maps

Visit our Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC Map Viewer now to find all Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC-operated pipelines closet to you.

You can obtain downloadable maps of Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC and all other hazardous liquids transmission, gas transmission and gas gathering operator locations for free by visiting the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS). The NPMS is a web-based application, managed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, in cooperation with other federal and state governmental agencies as well as the pipeline industry, which shows the approximate location of gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines, liquefied natural gas facilities and hazardous liquid storage tanks jurisdictional to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

The NPMS provides detailed information including geospatial data, attribute data, public contact information and meta data pertaining to lines and facilities in your jurisdiction. Operator contact information can be sorted by state, county or zip code and typically includes the operator’s name, product transported, contact name and phone number. As an emergency responder, you may request special access to download these maps into your local GIS system.

The One-Call System

811 National Call Before You Dig

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC is a member of the One-Call center network. Calls placed to 811, the federally-mandated “Call Before You Dig” phone number, are routed to your local One-Call center, which in turn contacts the appropriate company to locate pipelines or other buried utilities.

The One-Call system is typically used before starting an excavation project; however, the One-Call system may be the quickest way to bring all area utilities together in an emergency response. By calling 811 during an emergency, a responder could quickly be provided emergency numbers for all the utilities in a response zone.

Pipeline Markers

Be mindful of signs, called pipeline markers, placed along the pipeline right-of-way, the dedicated clearing of land that provides a safety buffer above and around a pipeline. They are commonly found at road and railway crossings, fence lines and street intersections. These pipeline markers identify the type of product carried in the line, the company name and the operator’s emergency phone number.

While a pipeline marker, like the one in the image to the left, is a good indicator that there is a pipeline nearby, it will only show the approximate location of a line and will not indicate how a pipeline curves or angles underground as it runs between markers.

Removing or tampering with markers is unsafe and violates federal law. If signs are missing or damaged, please contact Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC by visiting

Resources, training and Grants

It benefits all parties for Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC to nurture a good relationship with our community responders so that during the unexpected emergency we will be able to effectively work together with trust and efficiency.  Please contact your local Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC office representative to learn more about training opportunities available to you.


Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC makes several resources available online to emergency responders.  Most notably, all emergency responders in our areas of operation can access our Emergency Response Plans online.  Simply request a password to log-in.  Once access is granted, you can instantly view and download all plans.  

If you haven't already subscribed to our blog, you can do so by clicking here and entering the RSS Feed information into your blog reader tool of choice.  The Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC blog contains relevant information about tactical response, things to consider in your planning efforts, case studies and more.

Training Programs

We conduct tabletop and emergency response exercises with local agencies, including a full scale worst-case scenario exercise at least annually. Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC response teams invite response agencies for tactical training or to participate in general pipeline safety courses.

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC regularly trains with area responders at the prestigious Texas A&M Extension Service (TEEX).  At the TEEX facility, Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC employees work alongside local agency fire and rescue responders as customized, large-scale drills are performed.  If you have jursidiction in a county that houses Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC assets, you may be eligible to join one of several training sessions throughout the year.  Please visit our contact form to request more information.


811 ER

The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL), together with supporting emergency response organizations, have created a training program to assist first responders to learn the techniques and skills to address a hazardous liquid or natural gas pipeline incident. Using the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) Pipeline Emergencies program, this best-in-class training is provided free to all first responders.


Each year, Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC receives hundreds of grant requests. If you are interested in sharing information about a grant request, please complete our contact us form.