Pipeline operators sometimes face challenges in finding an optimum decision while executing both capital and operational projects. Utility- and risk-based decision-making approaches could create a framework for devising an optimum solution, especially in cases involving multi-parameter decision making. From a utility function perspective, an optimum solution would be the one with the least amount of cost and the highest benefit. In other words, an optimum solution could be achieved by maximizing a utility function. Accordingly, as an optimization problem, constraints related to safety, risk, and reliability for a given scenario could limit or dictate the space of feasible solutions. Addressing the problem of arriving at an optimum solution for a multi-parameter decision is the core topic of this paper. Moreover, optimized utility functions — decision making analyses based on probabilistic risk assessment — are discussed. In addition, the paper introduces a conceptual approach that has been utilized for infrastructure decision making: the life quality index (LQI) approach.

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