Accurate prediction of the burst pressure is indispensible for the engineering design and integrity assessment of the oil and gas pipelines. A plenty of analytical and empirical equations have been proposed to predict the burst pressures of the pipelines; however, it is difficult to accurately predict the burst pressures and evaluate the accuracy of these equations. In this paper, a failure window method was presented to predict the burst pressure of the pipes. First, the security of the steel pipelines under the internal pressure can be assessed. And then the accuracy of the previous analytical and empirical equations can also be generally evaluated. Finally, the effect of the wall thinning of the pipes on the failure window was systemically investigated. The results indicate that it is extremely formidable to establish an equation to predict the burst pressure with a high accuracy and a broad application, while it is feasible to create a failure window to determine the range of the dangerous internal pressure. Calculations reveal that some predictions of the burst pressure equations like Faupel, Soderberg, Maximum stress, and Nadai (1) are overestimated to some extent; some like ASME, maximum shear stress, Turner, Klever and Zhu–Leis and Baily–Nadai (2) basically reliable; the rest like API and Nadai (3) slightly conservative. With the wall thinning of the steel pipelines, the failure window is gradually lowered and narrowed.

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