Home Search Archives Subscribe Contact Editorial Board  

Abstract              Subscribe to view full article

  Title Learning from pipeline failures
  Author(s) Professor Phil Hopkins  
  Abstract ALL ENGINEERING structures can fail, and oil and gas pipelines can and do fail. What can we learn from these failures, and could they have been avoided? Pipeline failures continue to occur, as pipelines present a complex mix of problems, in particular deterioration with time, changing conditions, external factors, and – as always – the ‘human’ factor. This paper emphasizes that learning from pipeline failures can help us reduce these failures, and hence we should never allow a pipeline failure to pass without a thorough and wide-ranging ‘lessons-learnt’ exercise that is both used and shared within the pipeline community.

Three major conclusions emerge from this paper: pipelines are a safe form of energy transportation; current trends indicate reducing pipeline failure rates; and good training (knowledge transfer), a solid skills base, and strong management are keys to preventing failures, but safety always starts with good design.

Of particular note from recent failures is the increase in theft, sabotage, and terrorist attacks. It will be difficult to reduce these failures by detection methods; therefore, prevention will be the best approach.

References

1. P.Hopkins, 2000. Time to change? Pipes and Pipelines International, September-October. www.penspenintegrity.com.
2. idem, 2002. The challenge of change in engineering. Journal of Pipeline Integrity, 1, 2. www.penspenintegrity.com.
3. idem, 2002. Changing to pipeline integrity management. PMI Conference, Venezuela, 8-12 July. www.penspenintegrity.com.
4. Anon. Office of Pipeline Safety, USA. www.ops.dot.gov.
5. Anon., 2001. Managing system integrity for hazardous liquid lines. 1st Ed., ANSI/ASME Standard 1160-2001, November.
6. Anon., 2001. Managing system integrity of gas pipelines. ASME B31.8S 2001. Supplement to ASME B31.8, ASME International, New York, USA. See also K.Leewis, 2001. Integrity management of pipelines. International Pipeline Congress, Mérida, Mexico.
7. Anon., 1996. The Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996 (SI 1996 No. 825). HMSO, UK.
8. Anon., 1996. A Guide to the Pipeline Safety Regulations, Guidance on Regulations. L82, HSE Books, HMSO, UK.
9. L.Ulrich, 2001. OPS research: past, present and future. Pipes and Pipelines International, Nov-Dec.
10. P.Hopkins, 2004. Pipeline integrity: some lessons learnt. WTIA International Pipeline Integrity and Repairs Conference, Sydney, Australia, 9 March.
11. J.Reason, 2000. Human error: models and management. British Medical Journal, 320, 7237: 768–770.
12. L,Morrissey, 2007. Pipeline security – a pipe dream? World Pipelines. October, p17. See www.iags.org/iraqpipelinewatch.htm for other data.
13. M.Spelman, 2007. The war for talent. Petroleum Review, October, pp18-19.
14. P.Hopkins, 2007. Viewpoint: creating the missing generation – training new pipeline engineers. IPLOCA Newsletter, June, pp10-11.
15. S.Pfatteicher, 2002. Learning from failure: terrorism and ethics in engineering education. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine. Summer, p8.
16. S.P.Solow, 2003. US pipelines face increased criminal threat from heightened environmental scrutiny. Oil and Gas J., Dec. 22.
17. P.Hopkins, 2006. Pipeline engineers: ethics, responsibilities, and competency. Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence. www.gasandoil.com/ogel, January.
18. Anon., 2004. UKOPA pipeline fault database: pipeline product loss incidents (1962 - 2004). UKOPA. Report R 8099.
19. www.primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/Inspection.htm.
20. W.Guigt, 2004. Analyses of 30 years of incident data show US and European pipelines becoming safer. Pipeline World, June.
21. http://ops.dot.gov/stats/stats.htm.
22.P.Hopkins, 1993. Some experiences of applying the pressure systems regulations to older systems, IMechE Paper C454/006/93, Institute of Mechanical Engineers, London.
23. G.Knauf and P.Hopkins, 1996. The EPRG guidelines on the assessment of defects in transmission pipeline girth welds. 3R International, 35, Jahrgang, Heft 10-11, pp620-624.
24. G.B.Rogers et al., 2002. Integrity evaluation of older vintage ERW pipeline. 4th International Pipeline Conference, Calgary, Canada, paper IPC2002-27052.
25. M.Stone, 2005. The issue of terrorism. World Pipelines. May, pp22-27.
26. R.Brown, 2005. Iraq’s pipeline war. World Pipelines, May, pp22-31.
27. US Department of Transportation. Docket RSPA-00-7666.356.
28. R.Greenwood, 2001. Pipeline integrity data – management and applications. AGA Operations Conference, 29 April – 1 May, Dallas, TX, USA.
29. A.C.Palmer and R.King, 2004. Subsea pipeline engineering. Penwell.
30. K.Macdonald, A.Cosham, C.Alexander, and P.Hopkins, 2007. Assessing mechanical damage in offshore pipelines – two case studies. Engineering Failure Analysis, 14, pp1667–1679, Elsevier.

 
  Subscribe to view full article  
 
 
Home | Contact ISSN 1475 4584 Terms and Licence Agreement | Copyright | Privacy Statement