Quantitative analysis based on structural reliability methods is ideally suited to managing corrosion and cracking damage in pipelines as identified through in-line inspection. An ongoing industry-sponsored initiative has laid out a reliability-based process that is intended to form the basis for an industry-accepted approach to assessing and managing pipeline integrity with respect to these damage mechanisms, with an initial focus on metal-loss corrosion. The process combines 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. It also provides the means to assess the beneficial impact of selective and staged defect remediation and to evaluate candidate remediation strategies to determine the most cost-effective approach. This paper summarizes the reliability-based assessment and integrity management process. It also illustrates how the results provided can be used to determine the most cost-effective maintenance strategy in terms of the number of features to be remediated and the preferred time to next inspection.

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