The vast majority of buried pipelines are not designed to accommodate significant localized ground movement caused by landslides, earthquakes, or subsidence/settlement. When a ground movement event occurs along the ROW of a buried pipeline, it is imperative that the pipeline operator determine whether the ground movement is a threat to pipeline integrity to protect those responding to the event, those living near the affected ROW, and the environment.
This paper covers the development of a response plan that provides guidance to pipeline operators responding to a ground movement event while considering the unique conditions associated with such events.
The response plan covers some critical decisions after an event, including, but not limited to (1) whether the event affects the pipeline, the local ROW, or those living adjacent to the ROW, (2) control of flow, i.e., the need for shutdown or pressure reduction, and (3) work needed to return the line to full-pressure service. The overall response plan is presented in three main phases:
• Phase 1: Immediate Response,
• Phase 2: Follow-on Assessment and Actions, and
• Phase 3: Long-term Management.
The structured response plan and associated guidance are presented in a self-contained stand-alone document available from PRCI. Parts of the document or the entire document can be adopted by operators, depending on the extent of existing procedures an operator may have. Alternatively, company-specific information and procedures can be added to the document to form a company-specific SOP.