External corrosion growth rate is an essential parameter to establish the time interval between successive pipe integrity evaluations. Actual corrosion rates are difficult to measure or predict. NACE Standard RP0502 [1] recommends several methods including comparison with historical data, buried coupons, electrical resistance (ER), and Linear Polarization Resistance (LPR) measurements. This paper presents a testing program and procedure to validate the use of the LPR and ER methods to enhance the estimation of corrosion growth rates and improve the selection of reassessment intervals of gas transmission pipelines. Laboratory and field tests were performed using the LPR and ER technologies. The evaluation of soil parameters that affect localized corrosion included its type, moisture content, pH, resistivity, drainage characteristics, chloride and sulfite levels, and soil Redox potential. The results show that the LPR device provides instantaneous measurement of corrosion potential and it may be used to reflect the variations of corrosion rates with the changes of soil conditions, moisture, and temperature. However, LPR measurements are more efficient in saturated soils with uncertainty about its validity in partially and totally dry soils. Consequently, seasonal changes in soil conditions make it difficult to estimate total corrosion growth rate. On the other hand, the measurements using the ER method provided consistent estimates for long-term corrosion growth rates. Corrosion growth rates were also evaluated from a previous study by the National Institute of Standards (NIST) [2]. A procedure was developed to correlate soil properties to corrosion rates from the ER measurements and NIST data. The procedure was implemented in a computer program to provide an estimate of corrosion rate based on the soil input data and allows the operator to use the ER probes to improve the reliability of corrosion rate estimates.

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