Application of High-Grade Steels to Onshore Natural Gas Pipelines Using Reliability-Based Design Method


Two example onshore gas pipelines were designed using a reliability-based approach. The first example (1219 mm, 17.2 MPa) represents a high-pressure large-diameter pipeline; the second example has a smaller diameter (762 mm) and lower pressure (9.9 MPa). Three steel grades (X70, X80 and X100) were used to develop three design solutions for each example. The wall thickness-related life cycle costs of the designs were evaluated. The design outcomes show that the reliability targets for both examples can be met using X100 steels and high equivalent design factors (0.93 for the first example and 0.9 for the second example). Moreover, ruptures and excessive plastic deformation of a defect free pipe were found to be insignificant integrity threats even when the design uses X100 and relatively high equivalent design factors such as 0.85 and 0.9. The economic assessment results show that the X100 design is the most economical option for the high-pressure large-diameter example. However, using X100 does not show a clear economic advantage over using X80 for the second example mainly because the wall thickness for the design using X100 is governed by the maximum D/t ratio constraint. The study also demonstrates the advantages of the reliability-based approach as a valuable tool in assessing the feasibility and potential benefits of using high-grade steels on a pipeline project.

Author: Zhou, J., Rothwell, B., Zhou, W. and Nessim, M.

Publisher: International Pipeline Conference, September 25-29, Calgary, Alberta

Year: 2006

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