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Development and Implementation of a Liquid Pipeline Quantitative Risk Assessment Model

[+] Author Affiliations
Jerico Perez, David Weir, Caroline Seguin, Refaul Ferdous

Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Edmonton, AB, Canada

Paper No. IPC2014-33705, pp. V003T12A029; 7 pages
  • 2014 10th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 3: Materials and Joining; Risk and Reliability
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 29–October 3, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4612-4
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


To the end of 2012, Enbridge Pipelines employed an in-house developed indexed or relative risk assessment algorithm to model its liquid pipeline system. Using this model, Enbridge was able to identify risk control or treatment projects (e.g. valve placement) that could mitigate identified high risk areas. A changing understanding of the threats faced by a liquid pipeline system and their consequences meant that the model changed year over year making it difficult to demonstrate risk reduction accomplished on an annual basis using a relative scoring system.

As the development of risk management evolved within the company, the expectations on the model also evolved and significantly increased. For example, questions were being asked such as “what risk is acceptable and what risk is not acceptable?”, “what is the true risk of failure for a given pipe section that considers the likelihood of all threats applicable to the pipeline”, and “is enough being done to reduce these risks to acceptable levels?”

To this end, starting in 2012 and continuing through to the end of 2013, Enbridge Pipelines developed a quantitative mainline risk assessment model. This tool quantifies both threat likelihood and consequence and offers advantages over the indexed risk assessment model in the following areas:

• Models likely worst case (P90) rupture scenarios

• Enables independent evaluation of threats and consequences in order to understand the drivers

• Produces risk assessment results in uniform units for all consequence criteria and in terms of frequencies of failure for likelihood

• Aggregates likelihood and consequence at varying levels of granularity

• Uses the risk appetite of the organization and its quantification allows for the setting of defined high, medium, and low risk targets

• Quantifies the amount of risk in dollars/year facilitating cost-benefit analyses of mitigation efforts and risk reduction activities

• Grounds risk assessment results on changes in product volume-out and receptor sensitivity

• Balances between complexity and utility by using enough information and data granularity to capture all factors that have a meaningful impact on risk

Development and implementation of the quantitative mainline risk assessment tool has had a number of challenges and hurdles. This paper provides an overview of the approach used by Enbridge to develop its quantitative mainline risk assessment model and examines the challenges, learnings and successes that have been achieved in its implementation.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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