The pipeline industry is moving to embrace more quantitative analysis methods for assessing pipeline integrity and demonstrating the benefits of integrity maintenance programs. Analysis based on structural reliability concepts is ideally suited to this purpose. In the context of corrosion management, the essence of this approach is to combine appropriate failure prediction models, in-line inspection data, the physical and operational characteristics of the pipeline, and corrosion growth rate projections, within a probabilistic analysis framework, to estimate the likelihood of corrosion failure as a function of time. A key element in this analysis approach is explicit consideration of all significant forms of uncertainty, including the uncertainties inherent in the data obtained from in-line inspection. This paper provides an overview of an ongoing research project, sponsored by the Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI), which is developing a reliability-based process that will form the basis for an industry-accepted approach to assessing and managing pipeline integrity with respect to corrosion. It also discusses the sources of uncertainty inherent in the in-line inspection process and their significance in the context of corrosion reliability analysis.

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