The surveillance of the integrity of pipeline installations is the main task of the pipeline manager. A pipeline installation has a shell function by which a medium can be transported separated from the environment. The integrity is a value for safety, usefulness and availability of a pipeline installation. The integrity also is the resultant of a large number of influences coming from both the medium as well as the environment of the pipeline installation. These influences are partly predictable and therefore well controllable. Other influences however, have an unpredictable character and for that reason are more difficult to control. This (un)predictable controllability forms a certain degree of risk for the integrity.
It’s the pipeline managers task to control those risks for the pipeline integrity in an effective way.
On the one hand this control happens by periodical surveillances and continuous monitoring of processes and on the other hand by guarding activities near the pipeline. A huge amount of all sorts of data proceeds from these control activities.
You can think of Cathodic Protection values, composition of the medium, third party interferences, public authority plans, activities of landowners, ground composition, condition of the pipeline coating and internal and external deterioration of the pipeline. The surveillance of all these aspects usually takes place in different departments and within these departments by different persons and in different ways (by observation or acquisition of data). Because of the often vast length of a pipeline the control is being done by several persons. Non of the persons involved has an overall picture of the risks and surely not of the addition of risks, where risks accumulate. Common control methods can therefore easily lead to inattention and errors, consequently to a reduced integrity which can mean risks for safety, usefulness and availability.
By (real-time) input of separate control data into a control system the addition of risks can be executed continuously and automatically, the value of integrity of which can be shown with a (warning)signal. This leads to an internal, external and total integrity value which helps to take measures in a purposeful and efficient way. The application also makes these risks visible on the pipeline itself which at the same time creates understanding and insight of the causes of the risks, the locations with a higher risk and the most efficient measures to be taken.
With this control system de management of risks is more purposeful and efficient and less dependant from the attention of employees and therefore gives a strong pipeline integrity prevention.