The Australian approach to management of pipeline safety and risk differs from that used in most other parts of the world. There is a strong focus on identifying causes of failure and designing against them using a cause/control model of risk management, and little use of quantitative risk assessment. Oil and gas pipelines in Australia are designed, constructed and operated in accordance with AS 2885. Since a major revision in 1997 this has been a risk-based standard. While it does contain numerous design rules, their application is flexible and to some extent dependent on the outcomes of a mandatory safety management study. Key elements of the standard include separation of wall thickness selection from pressure design factor, mandatory protection against external interference, special requirements for high consequence areas, and a safety management study process including qualitative assessment of residual risks. The AS 2885 process has been shown to be workable and effective. It results in a design which is optimised for safety at every point along the pipeline while not incurring costs for features that do not reduce risk. The process is oriented principally to design of new pipelines but is equally applicable to management of older pipelines which are suffering degradation or subject to changed conditions such as urban encroachment.

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