This paper establishes a broad approach including a process to verify and where necessary achieve integrity of pre-regulation pipelines based on fitness for service (FFS) analysis. FFS is an accepted set of processes to demonstrate the mechanical integrity of in-service equipment, including pipelines. FFS analysis is specifically designed and has been demonstrated to support decisions on future disposition of equipment. The analysis for pre-regulation pipe rigorously focuses on material and construction threats, the primary threats to pre-regulation pipelines. All other threats to these pipelines are otherwise addressed through B31.8S and CSA Z662. The FFS analysis for pre-regulation pipe includes consideration of material properties, testing history, and operating history and provides guidance for achieving integrity where the FFS deems either insufficient data or actual pipeline characteristics warrant action. The methods currently used in FFS evaluations have been applied in the petroleum refining, petrochemical, nuclear, paper and steam electric power industries as well as the pipeline industry since the 1980s. One of the first acknowledged threat specific applications was actually in the pipeline industry with the development of B31G, a method for calculating the remaining strength of pipelines in areas with metal loss, first published in 1984. In the late 1990’s, subject matter experts across a number of these industries created a compendium of methods to address a breadth of flaw types. The document was first published in 2000, as American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 579. It was updated in 2007 through a joint effort between API and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and published as API RP 579-1/ASME FFS 1. Implementing the FFS process will require time to evaluate pipelines in a prioritized manner, manage customer service impacts and implement necessary actions. The paper addresses how to start applying the process and extend it over time. The FFS process prioritizes the right place to start as pipelines within high consequence areas (HCAs) that have incomplete strength test records. The testing, repair, remediation or replacement of these pipelines within HCAs will be accomplished over a defined time frame, and during that period findings will be continually evaluated to derive lessons learned for future work. In parallel, consistent with NTSB’s goal of making systems capable of accommodating in-line inspection tools and advancing research, industry and in-line inspection (ILI) providers will work to commercialize ILI technology that can more rigorously demonstrate FFS, from the standpoint of construction and material threats, for pre-regulation pipe. Innovative ILI technologies will be incorporated into the FFS protocol on a risk-prioritized basis.

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