Traditionally, the pipeline maintenance plans were mainly based on In-Line Inspection data or visual inspection results where the activities were more reactive than preventive, but the industry has been evolving and , “Integrity management“ appears as a relevant process that emerges to support operators with the maintenance plan definition with the goal of ensuring safety, profitable and continuous operations.
After the oil prices dropped in 2014, operators had to maintain their system with reduced budgets without affecting the operations. For this reason, Risk management is an essential element in the pipeline integrity management process that will guide operators through the decision making process of optimizing resources allocation based on the criticality of the systems.
The integration of pipeline data and the implementation of ROSEN’s Quantitative Pipeline Risk Assessment Methodology (QPRAM) enables operators to perform risk assessments of their system, to highlight those segments that require proactive risk treatment. It is important to mention that once the critical segments are identified, several mitigation measures can be implemented, which will depend on several influencing factors, such as the approved budget and available resources; so multiple measures and scenarios could be analyzed to determine the best combination of activities from both a technical and financial perspective. This paper describes how QPRAM implemented in collaboration with a European liquid pipeline operator could support with the maintenance plan definition and resource optimization, through sensitivity analyses of different scenarios.