The pig that burst the Keystone Pipeline
NOTE: At a pipeline safety conference in November, even those aware of pipeline safety concerns did not mention this specific problem.
"The Pig That Burst The Keystone PipelineFriday, November 17, 2017by Greg PalastYesterday, the Keystone pipeline cracked and dumped 210,000 gallons of oil onto the South Dakota prairie.Here’s the reason the pipeline burst: the PIG didn’t squeal. The PIG, the Pipeline Inspection Gauge, is sent through the Keystone to check for evidence of any leak, failure, or corrosion that will cause it to burst. But the PIG didn’t squeal a warning. Why not?
Because, as disclosed in my investigation for Britain’s investigative TV series Dispatches in 2010, the PIG has been silenced, its software jacked and hacked by a company that provides PIGS. The software is deliberately set to reduce the warning signals and thereby cut costs of replacement and repair by billions of dollars on the Keystone and other pipes.We warned you. In the Dispatches report, in our print reports, and in the "The Pig in the Pipeline", a chapter in Vultures Picnic.
No oil or gas pipeline should ever leak, burst or explode if the PIG is working as it should. Absent of sabotage, pipelines don’t just suddenly crack and break. The signs of thinning of the walls, small warning leaks, corrosion, failing gauges, should all provoke the PIG to squeal. (Technically, the issue is the software that analyzes the billions of data points transmitted by the PIG, which looks like…well, a pig…as it travels through the pipe.)
We have obtained independent confirmation from three software engineers who designed the PIG "warning" system."