Property Damage vs Release Volume

While we should view database-input information suspiciously, insights may nonetheless emerge.  Joel Anderson recently compared the reported property damage costs with the reported release volumes in PHMSA data 2010 to 2018. spill vol vs prop damage cost This is just pipeline spills, excluding tanks, etc.   Note this plot is log-log scale so small changes can equate […]

Pipeline Hazardous Liquid Spills Analyses

Liq Spills Analyses Here’s some more interesting work from Joel Anderson:  an examination of recent hazardous liquid spill volumes, from the PHMSA reporting databases. Analyses like these not only help us with basic understanding of pipeline releases, but also provide useful input into risk assessments.  In many cases, our estimates of location-specific loss potential are […]

The Essential Elements of Pipeline Risk Assessment

Here’s an update to the original 2012 article introducing the essential elements of pipeline risk assessment. Little has changed–the originally introduced elements seem to be robust and comprehensive, as suggested by having weathered a few years of scrutiny now. PIN_March_2018_Kent_Muhlbauer

Statistical Life Valuation

As monetization of risk becomes more mainstream, values must be assigned to the potential for human injury or fatality.  The risk assessor need not generate values himself since such numbers are published in various sources.  This includes values that have been used in US government decision-making for years. Here is some example guidance:  VSL Guidance 2013 […]

Can you explain more about Geohazards and Weather-Related Outside Forces?

Geohazards and Weather-Related Outside Force The threat category ‘Outside Force’ in a risk assessment typically includes forces such as ground/earth movement, flooding, cold weather, and lightning. When buried pipelines cross sloping terrain, there is a danger that soil movement (down the slope) will impose an excessive load on the pipe that could lead to failure.  […]

Optimizing the use of Inspection Results

A limitation that continues to plague older risk assessment methodologies is the inability to fully include the results of inspections.  None dispute the value of inspection and its critical role in failure avoidance.  Yet, neither the classical statistics-centric QRA nor the common relative risk ranking methodologies, can capture inspection activity in a meaningful way. A […]

Risk Profiling

Pipeline Risk Assessment—Risk Profiling In earlier installments of this column, we introduced the concept of pipeline risk assessment Essential Elements (EE’s).  That guideline is a list of ingredients that must be included in any pipeline risk assessment before that assessment can be considered complete.  Following these guidelines helps to ensure a technically sound risk assessment […]