“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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

How to do modern pipeline risk assessment?

Pipeline Risk Management Chapter 1 highlights 1.1 Risk assessment at-a-glance 1.2 Risk: Theory and application 1.2.1 The Need for Formality 1.2.2 Complexity 1.2.3 Intelligent Simplification 1.2.4 Classical QRA versus Physics-based Models 1.2.5 Statistical Modeling 1.3 The Risk Assessment Process 1.3.1 Fix the Obvious 1.3.2 Using this Manual 1.3.3 Quickly getting answers 1.4 Pipeline Risk Assessment: […]

The Basic and Critical Elements of PoF Estimation

Probability of Failure Based on Basic Engineering Principles All plausible failure mechanisms must be included in the assessment of PoF.  Every failure mechanism must be properly measured by independently measuring the following three elements: Exposure (attack) – The unmitigated aggressiveness of the force or process that may precipitate failure.  This includes external forces, corrosion, cracking, […]