Geohazard Risk Management Strategy on Rights of Way of Pipelines in the Colombian Andes
Proceedings Publication Date
Jaime Aristizabal
Jaime Aristizabal, Carlos Motta
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CENIT, a midstream company in Colombia (South America) that operates nearly 9000 km of pipelines and is a subsidiary of Ecopetrol Business Group, crosses around 230 municipalities, and a large part of them are in the Andes Mountains that forms the most populated region of Colombia. Likewise, Colombian territory is recognized for its complex geological and geotechnical conditions, as well as the activity of triggering factors such as rainfall and earthquakes, aspects that generate a challenge for the geohazards management in the integrity of hydrocarbon transport systems. These aspects may be exacerbated due to occurrence of macroclimatic phenomena such as El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Based on the above, CENIT has implemented a Geohazards Management Strategy through an adaptive zoning with predictability purposes. This Strategy considers integration of information from several disciplines, based on geotechnical susceptibility, the influence of triggering factors and the analysis of the characteristics of the infrastructure (pipeline vulnerability). For this, pipeline inspection analysis with intelligent tools applied to the identification of instability processes and artificial intelligence techniques for identification of relationships between rainfall effect on the stability of Rights of Way through association rules with supervised algorithms to differentiate areas of interest based on the geohazards of hydrometeorological origin has been incorporated.

These preventive analyses are intertwined with inspection and verification strategies of integrity plans, which has made it possible to identify and manage geotechnical findings in a timely manner due to the materialization of slope instability processes, which could have represented a threat to pipelines integrity.

Finally, examples are shown to highlight this monitoring and mitigation Decision-making process, in which data supported analysis, expert judgement and knowledge management, are essential in defining operational strategies for eventualities of each system and emphasizes the importance to assessing and managing geohazards as a key for a safe co-existence.

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