Topic: Myths and Misconceptions

“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, […]

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 […]

Seduced by graphics: the myth of risk management by images

While there are a number of visual techniques that can help in interpreting large amounts of data, many graphical analyses provide little to no value for in-depth risk assessment. Here we explore some common graphical techniques and discusses why they can’t replace data analyses in risk management. Seduced by Graphics: The Myth of Risk Management […]

Interview

The Outlook for Pipeline Risk Assessment A 2014* Interview with W. Kent Muhlbauer *but still relevant! PHMSA has recently expressed criticism regarding how Integrity Management Plan (IMP) risk assessment (RA) for pipelines is being conducted.  Do you also see problems? There is a wide range of practice among pipeline operators right now.  Some RA is […]

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.

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 […]

Pipeline Risk Assessment–The Trouble with Weightings

Tackling specifics of pipeline risk in bite-sized portions to make this challenging subject more approachable. 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 […]

Formal Risk Assessment—Is it helping me?

Ever consider that true risk management sometimes occurs only at the lower levels of some pipeline organizations?  That is, personnel performing field activities are in effect setting risk levels for the company.  Their choices of day-to-day activities are essentially driving risk management and thereby establishing corporate risk levels.  This is not just theoretical—real choices are […]

Myth Busting—I don’t have enough data (Part 2)

In the first part of this discussion, we hopefully dispelled some myths about low data availability.  We discussed how reasoning is used to generate data and how many useful pieces of risk insight emerge from even simple pieces of knowledge. We also contrasted a statistical approach to risk assessment with a physics based approach.  The […]