A significant amount of effort has been expended in the area of advancing pipeline dent remaining life assessment methods beginning in the late 1980s and extending to the current day. Initial research efforts were primarily empirical in nature while more recent research efforts have incorporated finite element modelling. Coupled with advancements in assessment techniques, the capabilities of advanced in-line inspection (ILI) tools have increased to a point where they can provide consistent, reliable information that is suitable for dent assessments. As a result of these advancements in assessment models and ILI tools, operators can now perform remaining life assessments using ILI data, and a multitude of remaining life assessment models are available, including solutions from the European Pipeline Research Group (EPRG), Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI), American Petroleum Institute (API), and finite-element based approaches. In addition to these remaining life assessments, many operators routinely perform strain-based assessments based on guidance from ASME B31.8. To date, there have been few studies comparing the various assessment methods on large numbers of dents, and as a result, significant questions persist as to the conservatism inherent in each method. In addition, the EPRG and PRCI methods are largely based on full-scale testing and finite-element models performed with idealized indenter shapes while actual pipeline dents typically exhibit complex shapes and interactions between multiple dents. Each model also has limitations and advantages that are discussed in this paper, such as ease of use and how pipeline geometry and weld association are considered. This paper provides a robust comparison of selected dent assessment methodologies on 220 actual dents from a 24-inch pipeline with depths ranging from 0.6–4.5% OD, and 32 dents from a 30-inch line with depths ranging from 1–2.5% OD. The assessment includes both top and bottom of line dents and investigates the influence of restraint on remaining life. The results presented in the paper are based on high-resolution ILI caliper data collected during two in-line inspections. Furthermore, the paper provides statistical comparisons between strain and remaining life methodologies and also between the various remaining life assessments. The paper also provides a comparison of the restraint parameter from the PRCI model with calculated stress concentration factors from finite-element models. The paper provides a first of its kind comparison of the various methods and discusses how the work may be extended to other pipe diameters and wall thicknesses.

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