This paper presents a tool for surface loading stress analysis that was developed in-house by TransCanada (TCPL). This tool utilizes fundamentals of the surface loading assessment method developed by Kiefner & Associates Inc. (KAI) for Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), but incorporated many advanced functionalities to improve the accuracy, efficiency and transparency of the analysis. The new functions of the tool include the batch analysis, multiple angle analysis, generic/site-specific loading analysis, graphical display of stress distributions for refined assessment, user-defined impact factor and automated reporting for documentation of surface loading calculations. This tool also incorporated the improved numerical algorithm for longitudinal global bending stress considering the actual live load pressure distribution over a certain length of pipeline.
The accuracy of the developed tool was validated by comparing it to the KAI tool. The improved algorithm for longitudinal global bending stress calculation reduces the conservatism of the longitudinal global bending stress compared to the original simplified method but does not sacrifice safety, which has been demonstrated by comparison with the experimental results. The new functionalities improved the business efficiency and maintains safety and regulatory compliance.