Topic: Applications

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The economics of acceptable risk

While avoiding the many nuances of ‘acceptable’ vs ‘tolerable’ risk and ‘How safe is safe enough?’ issues, let’s scratch the surface of setting, moving towards, or sustaining a target risk level. We begin with a premise that risk reduction is sought for some asset or collection of assets. We explore the risk reduction opportunities with […]

Due Diligence—Risk Costs of Asset Ownership

In this column, we occasionally highlight applications of risk assessment that are perhaps less apparent to some.  Since risk permeates almost all industrial endeavors, it is not surprising that risk understanding is or should be an essential part of many types of decision-making.  We have already covered risk assessment in incident investigation and as a […]

The PHMSA has recently criticised how Integrity Management Plan (IMP) risk assessments (RAs) for pipelines are being conducted. Do you also see problems?

There is a wide range of practice among pipeline operators right now. Some RA is admittedly in need of improvement, not yet meeting the intent of the IMP regulation. However, I believe that is not due to lack of good intention, but rather incomplete understanding of risk. Risk is a relatively new concept, and is […]