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 […]

The Test of Time Estimation of Exposure

In the absence of more compelling evidence, an appropriate starting point for the exposure estimation may be the fact that a component or collection of components has not failed after x years in service. This involves the notion of having ‘withstood the test of time’. A component having survived a threat, especially for many years, […]

Certifications: The Leaning Tree Incident

By W. Kent Muhlbauer, WKM Consulting, Austin, TX, USA   An operator recently experienced damage to their pipeline when a metal pipeline marker post was driven into the ground by a falling tree – the ‘leaning tree incident’. This is certainly not a common pipeline failure scenario. How much criticism against a risk assessment is warranted if this obscure event […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pipeline Risk Assessment—Myth Busting Part 1

In the first installment of this column, we introduced the concept of pipeline risk assessment Essential Elements.  This is a list of ingredients that arguably must be included in any pipeline risk assessment.  In this installment, let’s examine “I can’t do good RA because I don’t have enough data.” There are at least two aspects […]

Pipeline Risk Assessment—Controlling the Bias

In the first installment of this column, we introduced the concept of pipeline risk assessment Essential Elements.  This is a list of ingredients that arguably must be included in any pipeline risk assessment.  Last time, we covered one of these essential elements—the need for measurements.  This time, we address another essential element, closely related to […]