Pipeline operators usually are very concerned to reduce the possibility of damage to their facilities by third-party action. The third-party action is an important failure mode in buried pipelines. Pipeline crossings are a point of special consideration in assessing the risks due to damage possibility by others. In general, means of protecting the line from mechanical damage are used in these situations. These means include concrete coatings of different thickness, pipe casing, concrete slabs, warning tapes, warning mesh and signs.

When a new pipeline is under construction mechanical protection is in general considered in the design phase. However due to urbanization and construction of new roads many new pipelines crossings can exist without any additional mechanical protection. Due to the large amount of such points, there is no feasible plan to act on every single point at the same time. This happens due to problems controlled by financial, time and technical resources. Such a cumbersome task demands a procedure to assess the risks due to third-party action, to rank the points and to receive proper treatment.

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