In-Line Inspection (ILI) is used to prioritize metal loss conditions based on predicted failure pressure in accordance with methods prescribed in industry standards such as ASME B31G-2009. Corrosion may occur in multiple areas of metal loss that interact and may result in a lower failure pressure than if flaws were analyzed separately. The B31G standard recommends a flaw interaction criterion for ILI metal loss predictions within a longitudinal and circumferential spacing of 3 times wall thickness, but cautions that methods employed for clustering of ILI anomalies should be validated with results from direct measurements in the ditch. Recent advances in non-destructive examination (NDE) and data correlation software have enabled reliable comparisons of ILI burst pressure predictions with the results from in-ditch examination. Data correlation using pattern matching algorithms allows the consideration of detection and reporting thresholds for both ILI and field measurements, and determination of error in the calculated failure pressure prediction attributable to the flaw interaction criterion. This paper presents a case study of magnetic flux leakage ILI failure pressure predictions compared with field results obtained during excavations. The effect of interaction criterion on calculated failure pressure and the probability of an ILI measurement underestimating failure pressure have been studied. We concluded a reason failure pressure specifications do not exist for ILI measurements is because of the variety of possible interaction criteria and data thresholds that can be employed, and demonstrate herein a method for their validation.

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