Onshore pipeline industry has deployed in the last decade comprehensive integrity management programs in a constrained environment. These programs address all types of threats and resulting defects, yet the most complex defects are those due to mechanical damage, as they can combine local pipe deformations (dents) with metal removal (gouges) or even cracks.
These programs are first placed in the broader risk management perspective that justify the whole approach and provide a view of the context. Then, operational threat management programs for mechanical damage as implemented by operators are briefly described here, and serve as a basis to identify the main gaps in terms of technology and knowledge. Finally, both incremental and more game-changing innovations as produced by R&D performed by PRCI and consultants, are described in subsequent sections as possible options to fill the identified gaps.
Examples of roadmaps are provided that explain the coverage in terms of existing and evolving knowledge and technology, as provided by these R&D programs, to fill these gaps.
These various levels of representations are complementary tools to communicate about links between operations, R&D, and their contributions to public safety.