Topic: FAQ

Note: the following answers are short and direct, sometimes omitting information that might be helpful for full understanding. Please consult your copy of the book or other resources on this site for more complete answers.

Geohazards

Many miles of pipeline around the world are subject to damage from geohazards.  As used here, ‘geohazard’ refers to any earth movements sufficient to damage a pipeline, and can also include weather- and water-related events that are potentially damaging.  So, we often group, under the heading ‘geohazard’, a wide range of phenomena such as: landslide […]

Pipeline Risk Assessment

Risk assessment on any facility is most efficiently done by first dividing the facility into components with unchanging risk characteristics. For a cross-country pipeline, this involves collecting data on all portions of the pipeline and its surroundings and then using this data to ‘dynamically segment’ the pipeline into segments of varying length. Risk algorithms are […]

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 […]

Is this the same as SRA, LSD?

This recommended pipeline risk assessment methodology is similar to SRA (Structural Reliability Analyses) and LSD (Limit State Design) or LRFD (Load and Resistance Factor Design).  This is coincidental, since the methodology was developed independently from these techniques.  However, despite the similarities, there are key differences. Similarities include: Focus on engineering principles rather than incident history Accommodates […]

Pipeline Reliability–Service Interruption As ‘Failure’

Generally, a pipeline’s reliability includes consideration of all leak/rupture scenarios PLUS all other scenarios that could prevent the system from performing its intended function.  With the normal ‘intended function’ being something like:  deliver product to point B from point A at specified flow rates, pressures, temperatures, and product quality, a reliability failure occurs when any […]

Monetized Risk

Quantifying potential consequences with a common scale can be challenging. Using a measure such as cost—the monetized loss associated with the damages—forces some difficult judgments to be made among various receptor damages. For example, not only must a value be assigned to a statistical human life, but also to various injury types, environmental damage, damage […]

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 […]