Properly characterizing the consequences of pipeline incidents is a critical component of assessing pipeline risk. Previous research has shown that these consequences follow a Pareto type distribution for gas distribution, gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines where low probability – high consequence (LPHC) events dominate the risk picture. This behavior is driven by a combination of deterministic (e.g. pipe diameter, pressure, location factors, etc.) and random factors (e.g. receptor density at specific time of release, variable environmental factors at time of release, etc.). This paper examines how the Pareto type behavior of the consequences of pipeline incidents arises and demonstrates how this behavior can be modeled through the use of a quantitative pipeline risk model. The result is a more complete picture of pipeline risk, including insight into LPHC events. Use of the modelling approach for integrity management is discussed.

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