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A Structural Reliability Approach to Management of Defective Spiral Welding in a ‘Legacy’ Pipeline

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael Gardiner

GL Noble Denton, Loughborough, UK

Ross Michie

BG Group plc, Reading, UK

Gerardo Douce

Metrogas SA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Paper No. IPC2010-31234, pp. 449-455; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/IPC2010-31234
From:
  • 2010 8th International Pipeline Conference
  • 2010 8th International Pipeline Conference, Volume 4
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 27–October 1, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute and the Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4423-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3885-3
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME

abstract

Metrogas SA operates a natural gas distribution concession within the Greater Buenos Aires region of Argentina. In August 2007 a failure occurred on a section of the 22-bar system that dates from the early 1960s and, as such, was ‘inherited’ by Metrogas at privatization. The line pipe in this part of the system is spirally welded and at the failure point the spiral weld root was found to have been incomplete. Subsequent investigations showed that incomplete spiral welds were also present at other locations in the same section of the system. This paper describes some of the steps taken to investigate the incident of 2007 and to manage the threat from other defective spiral welds in the same pipeline section. We present a limit state model for through-wall failure of such features and show how this was used to help understand the incident. We also discuss modeling of uncertainties in parameters of the model and look at results from a probabilistic structural reliability implementation of the limit state function, which allowed the failure frequency of other defective spiral welds in this section to be predicted for various reductions of the operating pressure. Metrogas was then able to use these quantified reliability data to make a responsible, informed decision to keep the affected section in downrated service.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME

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