Topic: Articles

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 […]

ILI vs DA—The Risk View

A rather common issue these days is decision making involving comparisons between In Line Inspection (ILI) vs Direct Assessment (DA, and, in particular, External Corrosion DA or ECDA).  You may need to research these techniques, if not already familiar to you, since we will assume the reader is fairly familiar with both. Both are acceptable […]

Damage vs failure: a risk assessment needs to know the difference

To measure resistance in a way most useful to a risk assessment, we must estimate the possible presence of weaknesses, the rate of emergence of future weaknesses, and the role of each weakness in strength reduction. By W. Kent Muhlbauer, WKM Consulting, Austin, TX, USA Since several of our recent columns have dealt with management-of-risk […]

Certifications: The Leaning Tree Incident

An operator recently experienced damage to their pipeline when a metal pipeline marker post was driven into the ground by a falling tree – the ‘leaning tree incident’. This is certainly not a common pipeline failure scenario. How much criticism against a risk assessment is warranted if this obscure event is missed? CERTIFICATION With growth in both the number of […]

Where is the Risk Control Strategy?

In an earlier article, we noted that risk management is, in effect, often unintentionally delegated to decision-makers occupying the lower portions of the corporate org chart.  In many companies, the field personnel are essentially setting corporate risk levels via their choices in day-to-day activities and their perceptions of priorities. While we noted some advantages of […]

Troubles with Weightings

There is currently great disparity in approaches and level of rigor applied to risk assessment by pipeline operators.  This is largely due to the absence of complete standards or guidelines covering this complex topic.  The disparity leads to inconsistent and problematic risk management, as was discussed in a previous column. Most operators desire sound and […]