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

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

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. Read more . . . 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Measuring Failure Potential—What is Attacking? 

How Effective are Defenses?  Can it Survive? In several previous columns, we have noted the need for a very specific approach to measuring failure probability (PoF).  Three factors must be independently measured/estimated in order to fully understand PoF.  Let’s explore those factors a bit deeper here. Regardless of the definition of ‘failure’ being used, failure […]