from the back cover of the book Pipeline Risk Assessment:
The Definitive Approach and Its Role in Risk Management
The optimum management of risks emerges from the best understanding of risks. Risk understanding is now available to all, via efficient and intuitive risk assessment. This book presents the definitive approach to assessing risks from pipelines—an approach that overcomes the limitations of previous methodologies.
As the definitive approach, the methodology must:
- Provide clarity—generating immediately useful information to decision-makers
- Be comprehensive and complete
- Capture and integrate real world processes
- Dispel myths arising from risk assessment past practice
- Remove unnecessary complexity that interferes with understanding risk
- Be cost-effect to create, apply, and manage.
As with the author’s previous works, the recommended methodology detailed here is a practical, easy-to-apply approach to measuring risks associated with operating any type of pipeline in any environment. Risk assessment need not be a complex academic exercise. It should be a straightforward practice, used by—and useful to—any and all stakeholders in a pipeline’s operation.
Some specific features of the definitive approach include:
- The three critical determinants of failure probability—exposure, mitigation, resistance.
- Using inspection information directly, intuitively, and efficiently in a risk assessment.
- Measuring damage potential separately from failure potential.
- Automatic and intuitive incorporation of interacting threats—weaknesses overlapping failure mechanisms.
- The role of time-to-failure estimation in modeling corrosion and cracking.
- Using hazard zones to understand potential consequence scenarios.
- Representing all possible consequence scenarios with a manageable set.
- The best use—not the most common use—of historical incident statistics
- The essential role of the risk profile—proper risk management cannot occur without it.
- Conservatism—both P50 and P90+ risk assessments are needed.
- Making the risk assessment readily expandable—it should ‘get smarter’ as new knowledge becomes available.
Herein lies essential guidance for keeping pipelines safe: Improving risk knowledge, leading to superior risk management, leading to safer pipelines.