Risk management of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline systems is a core element of US integrity management regulations (49 CFR part 192, subpart O; 49 CFR 195.452) and a challenging responsibility facing operators worldwide. The importance of health, safety, and environmental protection demands a continuous evolution of industry expectations, practices, and regulations, with regulators and operators invariably seeking ways to advance risk modeling methodologies for pipeline risk assessment. The evolution to more advanced risk modeling methodologies marks a transitional trend from simple, relative risk models to robust, quantitative risk models. A common challenge when implementing a more advanced risk model is supplying sufficient supporting data. This challenge highlights a necessary, parallel progression; the expansion of data availability and improvement of data quality to support risk management.
Many data resources have become available to aid this progression through advancements in spatial processing, computational technologies, and data collection and availability across industries. Powerful analysis tools are now available to supply pressure loss, overland flow, liquid trace, and gas dispersion information to enhance risk modeling, along with a vast and increasing amount of publicly available data and statistics. Proper integration of this information can greatly reduce the challenges associated with the implementation of quantitative risk assessment and better support risk-based decision making. This paper details the availability and utilization of modem data and technologies for pipeline risk assessment. Examples are provided which illustrate the integration of data and technology resources to support a robust, quantitative risk model.