Our Client was commissioned to construct an onshore high pressure gas pipeline. The pipeline was to be about 50km in length, 1066mm diameter, 15.88mm nominal wall thickness and constructed from X65 material. During the route selection phase it was discovered that it would be very difficult to avoid passing the pipeline through a locally highly populated area. In view of this it was naturally decided that the pipeline should be constructed from heavy wall sectioned pipe to mitigate the threat of failure due to causes including mechanical damage and corrosion. However, there was still a concern that the residual risk, even when the above mitigating measure had been taken, would still be unacceptably high. In view of this Andrew Francis & Associates Ltd (AFAA) were commissioned to assess the remaining risk levels using a quantified risk assessment technique in accordance with the UK pipeline design code, IGE/TD/1 Edition 4, which provides for the use of such techniques. The technique used by AFAA involved detailed Structural Reliability Analysis (SRA) combined with an assessment of the consequences of failure. AFAA began the study by identifying the possible failure modes and these included mechanical damage, external corrosion, fatigue crack growth and AC induced corrosion. However, discussions were held between AFAA and the Client and after giving due consideration to the benefits of modern construction standards, and the use of Fusion Bonded Epoxy (FBE) coating, it was agreed that the only significant threat to integrity was mechanical damage. AFAA used SRA to determine the likelihood of failure due to mechanical damage based on a state-of-art-limit state function taking account of key areas of uncertainty including variations in defect dimensions and material properties. A consequence model was used to determine the possible effects on the local population if a rupture of the pipeline was to occur. The consequence model was used to determine the amount of thermal dose that personnel, in the vicinity of the release, might receive, taking account of the transient nature of the gas flow. The mitigating effects of nearby buildings that would afford shelter from the effects of the thermal radiation levels were naturally taken into account. The results were expressed in terms of an F/N curve and assessed against the risk criteria contained in IGE//TD/1. It was concluded from the analysis that the proposed design did not pose an unacceptable level of risk and moreover that part of the proposed heavy wall section was unnecessary. However, in the interests of conservatism our customer proceeded with the original design. This paper describes the modelling technique used by AFAA and clearly presents the results and conclusions of the analysis.

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