"Mind the Gap!" - Pipeline Integrity Framework
Roy van Elteren
Roy van Elteren, Jochen Spalink
Part of the proceedings of

With the energy industry seeking to increase the economic life of assets, many will remain in operation longer than anticipated. Alternative use (e.g. hydrogen) of our pipeline systems -incentivized by the energy transition – adds an additional challenge in managing our ageing assets. Best practices from projects are a major component contributing to the success and safety of the industry. With cost pressures, an ageing workforce and delivery deadlines, the time and effort required to capture and share those lessons are frequent casualties of those challenges. At the same time, pipelines are increasingly under the watchful eye of the public, demanding what has been referred to as a Roadmap to Zero Incidents.

Systematic approaches derived from industry best practices may not sound like rocket science, but, working with many operators around the world, we experience many approaches and collect hard evidence on the results of those approaches. We firmly believe that most operators can achieve substantial efficiency gains and cost reductions by taking a value-chain approach.

In this paper, we discuss a generic Pipeline Integrity Framework that enables the sharing of best practices and adds value to risk-based pipeline integrity decision-making.

Examples are given of interaction, or gaps, between 1. threat identification (data quality, predictive analytics, likelihood or identification of threats); 2. selection of combinations of inspection tools; and 3. data evaluation strategy and defining corrective actions.

In addition, the described Framework will be instrumental in harvesting the value of the “digital promise” on data analytics and predictive analytics, ultimately contributing to efficiency and operational cost reduction.

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