Safety and security of oil and gas pipeline transportation: A systematic analysis of research trends and future needs using WoS

Chao Chen, Changjun Li*, Genserik Reniers, Fuqiang Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


The terrorist attack on the Abqaiq oil plant in Saudi Arabia on September 14, 2019 attracted global attention to the significant role of safety and security in the sustainable oil and gas supply chain and the vulnerability of supply infrastructures subject to intentional and unintentional damages. Different from other oil and gas supply infrastructures, oil and gas pipelines may be more vulnerable to accidental, natural and intentional threats due to their widespread distribution. Therefore a systematic and thorough review is carried out to investigate safety and security of oil and gas pipelines based on bibliometric analysis. First, a total of 598 publications between 1970 and 2019 related to safety and security of oil and natural gas pipelines was retrieved and refined from the database of Web of Science (WoS). The 598 publications are analyzed by the bibliometric software VOSviewer to obtain the temporal and regional distribution of publications, to identify “productive institutions” and “productive authors”, and create the cooperation networks between institutions and authors. Besides, the evolution of research topics and research methods are identified based on keywords and bibliographic analysis. Moreover, the main research topics and research methods are analyzed to obtain insight into the research evolutions and trends. Risk assessment, leakage, and corrosion are the main topics while QRA, fuzzy theory and the Bayesian network are the most frequently used research methods. To further improve the sustainability of oil and gas pipelines, this study provides and discusses future research needs such as pipeline security, environmental sustainability, pipeline system resilience. According to these results, the research on risk assessment based on Bayesian network and consequence analysis using CFD may increase in the future. Besides, more research and guidelines on pipeline security, resilience, and environmental impacts to better protect pipelines, are expected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123583
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Oil and gas pipelines
  • Research evolution
  • Safety and security
  • Sustainable transportation


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