Increasing concerns and attention to pipeline safety have engaged pipeline companies and regulatory agencies to extend their approaches to pipeline integrity. The implementation of High Consequence Areas (HCAs) has in particular had an impact on the development of integrity management protocols (IMPs) for pipelines. These IMPs can require that a risk based assessment of integrity issues be applied to specific HCA risk factors. This paper addresses the development of an operational risk assessment approach for pipeline leak detection requirements for HCAs. A detailed risk assessment algorithm that includes 25 risk variables and 28 consequence variables was developed for application to all HCA areas. The significant likelihood and consequence factors were chosen through discussions with the Leak Detection Risk Assessment Model Working Group and subject matter experts throughout Enbridge. The leak detection algorithm focuses on sections of pipe from flow meter to flow meter, as these are the locations that impact the leak detection system used by Enbridge. Each section of pipe is evaluated for likelihood, consequence and risk. When a high or medium risk area has been identified, an evaluation of potential Preventive and Mitigative (P&M) measures will be undertaken. A P & M Matrix has been developed to identify potential mitigation strategies to be considered for higher risk variables, called risk drivers, in the model. The matrix has been developed to identify potential risk mitigation strategies to consider for each variable used in the HCA Leak Detection Risk Assessment. The purpose of the matrix is to guide the user to consider actions identified for variables that drive the risk for the particular location. Upon review of the matrix, the user determines feasibility of the risk mitigation strategies being considered to identify an action. The paper will describe the consultative process that was used to workshop the development of this algorithm. Included in this description is how the process addressed various methods of leak detection across a wide variety of pipelines. The paper closes with “development challenges” and future steps in applying operation risk assessment techniques to mainline leak detection risk management.

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