Abstract

Pipeline operators assess metal-loss corrosion anomalies identified on pipelines to determine whether such anomalies require remediation. The assessment of metal-loss anomalies can be performed using deterministic or probabilistic approach. In deterministic method, the failure pressure ratio (FPR) for a metal-loss corrosion anomaly is evaluated against a predetermined safety factor, where FPR is defined as the predicted burst pressure of the anomaly divided by the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) or maximum operating pressure (MOP). Conservative characteristic values are used for the variables such as measurements of metal-loss, pipe geometry, material properties, operating pressure and assessment model in calculating FPR. Safety factors in deterministic assessment are used to account for residual uncertainties, human error and consequence levels. Safety factors are established in various codes and standards in North America. However, those safety factors are not consistent across codes and standards as demonstrated in this paper. This paper describes the fundamentals of how appropriate safety can be assured for pipelines containing metal-loss anomalies by selecting appropriate safety factors. The effect of using different safety factors on the reliability level of the pipeline system is examined in this study. A set of new safety factors to ensure consistent safety level for pipelines containing metal-loss corrosion are proposed in this paper. The impact of the proposed safety factors on the integrity decisions are also demonstrated.

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