A pipeline operator set out to assess the risk of circumferential stress corrosion cracking and to develop a proactive management program, which included an in-line inspection and repair program. The first step was to screen the total pipeline inventory based on pipe properties and environmental factors to develop a susceptibility assessment. When a pipeline was found to be susceptible, an inspection plan was developed which often included ultrasonic circumferential crack detection in-line inspection and geotechnical analysis of slopes. Next, a methodology was developed to prioritize the anomalies for investigation based on the likelihood of failure using the provided in-line inspection sizing data, crack severity analysis, and correlation to potential causes of axial or bending stress, combined with a consequence assessment. Excavation programs were then developed to target the anomalies that posed the greatest threat to the pipeline system or environment.
This paper summarizes the experiences to date from the operator’s circumferential stress corrosion cracking program and describes how the pipeline properties, geotechnical program, and/or in-line inspection programs were combined to determine the susceptibility of each pipeline and develop excavation programs. In-line inspection reported crack types and sizes compared to field inspection data will be summarized, as well as how the population and severity of circumferential stress corrosion cracking found compares to the susceptible slopes found in the geotechnical program completed. Finally, how the circumferential SCC time-average growth rate distributions were calculated and were used to set future geohazard inspections, in-line inspections, or repair dates will be discussed.