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Fate and Transport Modeling: Quantifying Potential Impacts for Pipeline Integrity and Emergency Response Preparedness

[+] Author Affiliations
Jason Humber

Integrated Informatics Inc., Calgary, AB, Canada

Edgar Ivan Cote

Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc., Calgary, AB, Canada

Mitch Glass

Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada

Allison Denby

Tervita Corporation, Calgary, AB, Canada

Paper No. IPC2012-90743, pp. 339-343; 5 pages
  • 2012 9th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 1: Upstream Pipelines; Project Management; Design and Construction; Environment; Facilities Integrity Management; Operations and Maintenance; Pipeline Automation and Measurement
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 24–28, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute, Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4512-7
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Regulations for pipeline operators within the Oil and Gas Pipeline Industry are becoming increasingly rigorous especially in the fields of pipeline integrity and emergency response and as such the need for equally rigorous approaches to analyzing, understanding, managing, and reporting of the effects of a pipeline release has increased.

Trans-Northern Pipelines (TNPI) undertook a detailed fate and transport modeling project for its Ontario and Quebec based pipeline systems. These pipeline systems are relatively complex products delivery systems that handle multiple fluids and, for some pipeline segments, allow for flow in either direction. The goals of the project included understanding and improving risk management of the systems through consequence reduction and to identify and quantify potential impact to surrounding areas and risk receptors within the vicinity of the pipeline systems. The receptors are the focal points that receive the negative impact if there is a leak (i.e. pin-hole, small and large scenarios) or rupture of the pipeline. These can include health/safety, environmental, property damage, reputation and public disruption, and financial impacts.

The outcomes from the project included a continuum of potential release volumes along the pipeline systems for each product and operational scenario from which a spatial representation of the potential impact areas (due to overland flow) along the pipeline system were derived and locations were identified where potential release volumes (i.e. initial and drain down volumes) could affect streams and could possibly be transported along the stream. Potential impact areas and representations of the stream transport were used to identify possible risk receptors.

A unique aspect to this modeling project was that it was undertaken utilizing a four dimensional (4D) model thus allowing for the results to be visualized within a GIS and as animations; both of which facilitated visualization of potential release impact over time (e.g. a 48 hour period). Utilizing the time domain provided unique insights that were used to augment TNPI’s emergency response plan.

Based on a review of the preliminary results Trans-Northern undertook additional effort to investigate what-if scenarios for valve placement. The purpose of these what-if scenarios was to quantify the improvement of additional valves on lowering the overall potential impact and thus allowing for a quantitative basis for valve placement.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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