Abstract

The integrity of transmission oil pipelines are often managed through in-line inspections (ILI) at regular intervals. For the last two decades, such ILI-based integrity programs along with excavations and field non-destructive testing (NDE) have proven their effectiveness in terms of reliability. In a few cases, some pipes contain; for example, a unique cracking mechanism exhibited by short, deep axial cracks located in the vicinity of girth welds. These attributes pose sizing difficulties for ultrasonic crack ILI tools. Accordingly, operators may lean on supplemental integrity activities to prove the safety of the pipelines such as; but not limited to, hydrostatic testing, laboratory testing of cut-outs, qualitative ranking of features, borehole leak detection analysis, Just-Missed-Flaw (JMF) or Just Surviving Flaw (JSF) analysis, discharge and/or point pressure restrictions, and/or a mix between all the previous techniques. Moreover, it is the operators’ responsibility to evaluate the risk associated with their integrity plans. Hence, it is important to be able to analyze the reliability of such integrity activities quantitatively. This paper presents an event-tree approach which can augment standard ILI or hydrostatic test results and probabilistic analysis with non-ILI integrity measures under one umbrella. In this approach, the likelihood of failure for both leak and rupture modes can be comprehensively estimated. The event tree approach is used herein as an inductive analytical diagram in which failure events are analyzed using Boolean logic to examine a chronological series of subsequent integrity actions and consequences. The proposed approach is also designed to capture subject matter experts’ opinion into the analysis as part of the integrity management program. The work discusses a real practical application along with verification and validation elements of the proposed integrated approach.

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