An increasing demand for safety among the public frequently leads to criticism with regard to pipe routing and the construction of electrical and high-pressure gas pipelines. Although the decision by the Higher Administrative Court (OVG) of Lüneburg to provide for a safety clearance of 350 metres between a high-pressure gas pipeline route and building development is not a generally legally valid specification, it has sparked discussion.
In the Netherlands and Switzerland, this discussion has changed course as in both countries, probabilistic evidence of pipeline safety must be provided for the construction and operation of high-pressure gas pipelines where, specifically, a Structural Reliability Analysis (SRA) establishes the pipeline safety and the individual risk for residents affected is determined by means of a Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA). The results of these analyses are compared with specified limit values and the final results revealed to the public.
In addition to the legally and according to technical regulations required analyses, ONTRAS has acquired experience in an initial project based on this procedure, and optimised the approach as follows:
1. The Structural Risk Analysis is determined for the entire pipeline within the framework of the Pipeline Integrity Management System (PIMS).
2. For all areas in the vicinity of building development, busy traffic junctions etc., additionally a QRA is drawn up and compared with the Dutch limit values.
The result shows that these limit values have not been exceeded in any case. By combining the PIMS-based Structural Risk Analysis and the QRA, a tool has been created at reasonable expense for providing evidence of the high safety of a high-pressure gas pipeline.