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How to perform quantitative risk analysis for transmission pipelines

Friday, September 21, 2018

Framework for the Quantitative Risk Analysis Process

Quantitative risk analyses are used in the pipeline industry to identify high-risk locations and main contributing threats; to evaluate risk against an acceptance criterion; to evaluate changes in risk over time; to guide integrity management decisions; and to demonstrate regulatory compliance.

We developed for the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) guidelines for the development and application of pipeline quantitative risk analysis models for natural gas and hazardous liquids transmission pipelines. The purpose of these guidelines...


How to improve corrosion assessment using reliability-based criteria

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Illustration of the probability of failure as a function of time for a corrosion feature

Corrosion assessment criteria in current standards for onshore transmission pipelines rely on safety factors that are experience-based, with their implication on the risk or safety level associated with the pipeline unknown.

Working as part of a joint industry project, we have developed reliability-based corrosion assessment criteria in a deterministic format that are calibrated to achieve a specified safety level. The main features of the criteria are:

  • Inclusion of calibrated safety factors and input parameters that result in intended reliability levels within a specified tolerance
  • Considera...

How to apply limit states design rules for geotechnical loads

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Using a structural reliability-based approach to develop the strain demand and strain capacity parameters

A limit states design approach for onshore pipelines has been developed with reliability-based design rules for geotechnical loads. In consideration of the modelling complexity of the soil movement mechanisms and pipe-soil interaction, and to allow for flexibility to incorporate future model developments, the design rule formation is directly based on the distribution parameters of the strain demand and capacity of the pipeline.

Working as part of a joint industry project, we used the structural reliability-based approach to develop the strain demand and strain capacity parameters required to...

How to analyze angled cracks in spirally welded pipelines
admin Mon, 09/17/2018 - 15:45
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Example of Spiral Pipe Manufacturing

Spirally welded pipelines (extensively used in liquid transmission pipeline systems) may contain manufacturing anomalies that are susceptible to fatigue growth. To account for the angle of these cracks with respect to the longitudinal pipe axis, modifications to inputs of crack assessment models are required.

Using the widely-used pipeline assessment model CorLAS®, we worked with Enbridge Pipelines to investigate two input modifications:

  • Consideration of the normal stress component perpendicular to the angled crack, for which we developed a stress transformation calculator
  • Using an effective...
Does feature length growth affect predicted burst pressure in pipelines?
admin Mon, 09/17/2018 - 14:52
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Effect of defect length growth on probability and mode of pipeline failure

The pipeline industry has established various methodologies to estimate corrosion growth in pipelines. However, growth of corrosion feature length is inconsistently addressed in these methods.

We worked with Enbridge Pipelines to review these methodologies and determine the impact of feature length on corrosion burst pressure predictions.

This review:

  • Considered methodologies that are applicable to both feature lengths and depths
  • Evaluated the methodologies’ abilities to identify unsafe defects using estimated burst pressure from repeated in-line inspections
  • Compared findings with feature...
How to apply limit states design checks to geotechnical loads
admin Mon, 09/17/2018 - 13:03
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Soil Movement Geometry and Orientation

A limit states design approach has been developed for geotechnical loads using a strain-based design format. This approach addresses the high level of uncertainty associated with the loading processed, which has limited the availability of design guidance in the past.

Working as part of a joint industry project, we have carried out a project to calibrate risk-consistent limit states checks that can be used for a range of strain demand and capacity distributions applicable to geotechnical loads.

The project:

  • Developed checks for local buckling and rupture
  • Defined criteria for selecting the...

Does reliability-based corrosion assessment criteria reduce risk?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Example of the Relationship between the Safety Factor and Feature Density

Corrosion mitigation for pipelines, vintage pipelines in particular, has a significant effect on the industry’s management systems and related costs. To help optimize the corrosion management process, deterministic reliability-based corrosion assessment criteria have been developed for onshore pipelines as part of a joint industry project.

We worked with TransCanada Pipelines to evaluate the assessment criteria to determine if they lead to reasonable corrosion management decisions and compare well to other deterministic and probabilistic criteria. The evaluation involved applying the criteria...

Learn how PIRAMID software improvements are making risk management easier than ever.
admin Wed, 09/12/2018 - 11:18
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PIRAMID Workshop Announcement


Pipeline operators are looking to understand the risks with their pipeline assets, recognize potential issues and know the best course of action to lower their risk profile. Risk and integrity management programs can help solve problems before they arise, lower costs and decrease environmental impact.

The challenge is these programs can be difficult because of the many variables that may impact the analysis. Risk management software can be complicated to use, slow to calculate results or the required data is missing.

C-FER’s PIRAMID software is a risk-based integrity...

C-FER to Present at the 2018 SPE Artificial Lift Conference & Exposition

Thursday, August 23, 2018

August 28-30, 2018, at the Woodlands Waterway Marriot and Convention Center in The Woodlands, Texas.

We are proud to be presenting the following three papers at the Society of Petroleum Engineers 2018 Artificial Lift Conference:

  • One Company’s Experience using Metal to Metal PCPs as the Primary Lift Method in a SAGD Operation. In partnership with PetroChina Canada, C-FER’s John Sheldon is presenting the paper on August 29, 2018 at 10:30 am in room Waterway 4.
  • Identifying Analogue Fields in PCP Applications using Classification Trees.  John Sheldon, Francisco Alhanati and Paul Skoczylas are presenting on August 29th at 11:00 am in room Waterway 4.
  • Use of Run-Life Measures in Estimating...

Thermal Design Course Announced

Friday, May 25, 2018

This course provides attendees with an overview of the considerations, key factors, industry guidelines and practices related to the design & integrity of thermal recovery wells.

November 6-7, 2018 (2 days) | Calgary, Alberta | Early Bird Price: $1,440 CAD | Register

This course will provide attendees with an overview of the considerations, key factors, industry guidelines and practices, examples, and field experience related to the design and integrity of thermal recovery wells.

The objective of this course is to review the:

Thermal well design process, industry regulations and recommended practices (IRPs);

Key material properties and damage mechanisms of casing and liner tubular steels, wellbore cements, and formations;

Casing and liner design approach and basis...


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