To gain a financial benefit, a “smart operator” views inspection as part of an overall strategy to maintain a safe pipeline. This paper shows how periodic internal inspections, followed by defect assessments using fitness-for-purpose criteria and selective repair, is the most cost beneficial way of maintaining the safety of a pipeline. It is highlighted that it is important to use (i) genuine high resolution pigs for the inspection and (ii) expert fitness-for-purpose assessment. The cost savings on the optimized future safe operating strategies for the pipeline offset the costs of the inspection and expert assessment.

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