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Long Term Structural Integrity Considerations for Abandoned Pipelines

[+] Author Affiliations
Shane Finneran, T. J. Prewitt, Joel Kaufman

DNV GL, Dublin, OH

Paper No. IPC2016-64686, pp. V002T01A025; 8 pages
  • 2016 11th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 2: Pipeline Safety Management Systems; Project Management, Design, Construction and Environmental Issues; Strain Based Design; Risk and Reliability; Northern Offshore and Production Pipelines
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 26–30, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5026-6
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


There has been increasing interest across the industry to better understand the possible long term risks associated with out of service pipelines. In Canada, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC), and the National Energy Board (NEB), have undertaken multiple studies to identify and assess the threats related to pipeline abandonment. [1][2][3]

The primary hazards typically identified across industry for pipeline abandonment are associated with long term corrosion degradation, potential for creation of water conduits, possible environmental impacts, and potential for pipeline collapse and associated soil subsidence. Unfortunately, little guidance is presently available to the industry for determining remaining structural capacity of a heavily corroded pipeline to establish likelihood, and possible timeline, of collapse, nor for determining possible subsidence magnitudes associated with large diameter transmission lines.

This paper presents a technical case study for an assessment approximating the remaining strength of an abandoned pipeline subject to long term corrosion degradation, considering both general metal loss, and randomized pitting and perforation growth. The work presented used a combination of finite element analyses, and existing industry models for determining load bearing capacity of an abandoned pipeline under varying levels of degradation.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Pipelines



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