As a result of numerous stress corrosion cracking incidents in the 1980s and early 1990 the National Energy Board (NEB) held an Inquiry1 in 1995 on the SCC failure mechanism and how to prevent failures. One of the recommendations of the Inquiry was Companies were to develop a SCC management program to proactively identify and mitigate SCC. Based on the apparent success of the SCC programs in significantly reducing SCC failures, the NEB revised its Onshore Pipeline Regulations in 1999 (OPR-99)2 to require companies to develop an integrity management program (IMP) for all hazards.
This paper discusses the evolution of integrity management program (IMP) requirements and evaluates incident rates and other performance metrics to determine if there is evidence that IMPs have contributed to the improvement of safety of pipelines. The paper highlights the challenges associated with gathering incident and IMP performance metrics and evaluating the data to determine if there is a correlation between the implementation of IMP and pipeline safety. In addition, the analysis discusses the challenges associated with comparing data between different countries and regulatory jurisdictions. Suggestions for future improvement are identified.