The design standards of gas pipeline NBR 12712 and ASME B31.8, although having their own safety factors, had not incorporated explicitly the risk concept for the population in their definitions. However, the orientation of the Brazilian Environment Agencies is that the risk level of transportation activity for gas pipelines must be controlled to the health and the safety of the population. These facts can create a critical management situation because a gas pipeline can be in compliance with the design standards and not in relation to the criteria of the Environment Agencies. In this scenario, the establishment of risk based design guidelines becomes an essential action. In this article, a methodology for the elaboration of these guidelines is presented. We analyze not only the influences of the main operational and design parameters on the risk, but also the impact of the main risk acceptability criteria for the approval of the gas pipelines operation license. The result of this article is an excellent decision management tool on the management and the viability evaluation of this type of project and its application provides important technical knowledge to definitions of routes, operational and design parameters, and the optimized selection of risk reduction measures.

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