DOGAMI Open-File Report Series

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Open-File Report O-13-09, Earthquake Risk Study for Oregon's Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub, by Yumei Wang, Steven F. Bartlett, and Scott B. Miles

This 159-page report was originally presented to Oregon Department of Energy and Oregon Public Utility Commission in August 2012.

Order publication CD-ROM, $15, from Nature of the Northwest.

—from the report summary:

Six magnitude 5 or higher earthquakes have occurred within the Portland metropolitan area in the past 150 years. The Cascadia Subduction Zone has produced more than 40 large magnitude earthquakes in the past 10,000 years. The most recent occurred on January 26, 1700 with an estimated magnitude 9. These occurrences and extensive scientific understanding of seismic processes indicate that it is not a question of if Oregon will experience a catastrophic earthquake, but when it will occur.

Oregon’s critical energy infrastructure (CEI) Hub is located in an area with significant seismic hazard. Significant liquid fuel, natural gas and electrical infrastructure and facilities are situated in this relatively small area in Portland. The CEI Hub covers a six-mile stretch on the lower Willamette River located between the south tip of Sauvie Island and the Fremont Bridge on US Highway 30. The energy sector facilities in the CEI Hub include:

More than 90 percent of Oregon’s refined petroleum products come from the Puget Sound area of Washington State. Oregon imports the product by pipeline and marine vessels to the CEI Hub before it is distributed throughout Oregon to the end user. One large consumer is the Portland International Airport. In addition, much of NW Natural’s natural gas passes through the CEI Hub. A high voltage electrical transmission corridor crosses the area as well as supplies distribution for this area.

The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) conducted an earthquake risk study on Oregon’s CEI Hub as part of the Oregon Energy Assurance Project (EAP) with Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) and Public Utility Commission of Oregon (OPUC). The study focuses on a large-magnitude Cascadia earthquake which because of widespread shaking and vulnerable infrastructure poses a high risk to the health and safety of Oregonians and the region’s economy. The study identifies and defines the CEI Hub area, assesses the seismic hazards and identifies the vulnerabilities of the petroleum (liquid fuel), natural gas, and electric energy facilities in the CEI Hub.