Topic: Key Points

Situations in life often permit no delay; and when we cannot determine the action that is certainly the best, we must follow the action that is probably the best. If the action selected is indeed not good, at least the reasons for selecting it are excellent.
–Descartes

“Don’t Worry — We did an ILI”

Many newbies in our industry have never been without the ability to ILI a pipeline.  ILI is now considered a normal and essential part of owning and operating many pipelines. However, we should take a moment to make sure we are not losing perspective.  Let’s recall our origins.  When ILI first became a practical tool, […]

Life Cycle Risk–An HDD Example

Life cycle risk assessment is an interesting topic in and beyond the integrity management field. This article features a discussion of this special type of risk assessment applied to a certain pipeline installation method, in this case, HDD installation. In previous articles, we’ve discussed some non-regulatory integrity management program applications of pipeline risk assessment (including […]

Avoiding Missteps: Risk vs Rate of Risk

Forming a strategy to mitigate pipeline risks can be complicated by how the length of an asset impacts the numbers. Data and statistics must be carefully considered and interpreted in light of the ‘length’ factor. This article discusses a subtle but critical aspect of understanding risk on a long, linear asset like a pipeline. Risk […]

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

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 […]

Updating guidance documents for pipeline threat identification and risk assessment

Unfortunately, the US guidance documents for pipeline risk assessment are still not up to date.  This continues to be a source of confusion for some and frustration for others. Please click this link to read the pdf file of this article.

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 […]