Pipeline Integrity Issues

I’m under the impression that most Australian pipelines don’t have serious integrity issues.  There are one or two notable exceptions, and everyone has to keep a close eye on corrosion no matter how well-coated and well-protected their assets are, but on the whole I don’t think too many operations people lose sleep over the integrity of their pipelines.  But I don’t work in operations, nor do I work very closely with operations people except in SMS workshops, so perhaps I’ve got that wrong.

So a question for those of you who work in operations:  Are there pipeline integrity issues that make you worry?  That’s a pretty broad topic.  It could cover corrosion, ground movement, construction defects, unpiggable pipelines, inspection accuracy, inadequate design or construction data for older pipelines, … … the list goes on.

I’d love to hear about the topics that trouble you – please don’t be shy.  If you comment anonymously, be assured that I really can’t identify you.

(I have a hidden agenda in asking this question, related to pipeline research needs.   At some later time I may write more about it.)

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4 Responses to Pipeline Integrity Issues

  1. Liz Brierley says:


    Given we are a relatively new pipeline the biggest issue for us at the moment is third party damage. However, our pipeline traverses some areas prone to landslip and with active sink holes and we are currently reviewing our management of these areas.


    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Liz,
      Do you plan to apply a strain based design model to assess the pipeline’s performance in these areas? I note AS2885 doesn’t cover the subject specifically, so would be interested in which standards you default to for this assessment. There were a couple of papaers in the recetn JTM that looked at strain based design and safety of pipelines in landslip areas you may be interested in.
      Josh Wickham

  2. Ares Rheantoro says:

    Some of the integrity issues on onshore pipelines in Australia:
    – Preventing uncoated above ground pipeline to be buried on sand dunes (sand movements)
    – Old or inadequate external coating application leads to SCC on ‘old’ pipelines
    – Inadequately mitigating internal corrosion threats on gas lines, e.g. lack of pigging, monitor corrosion inhibitor chemical injection to prevent CO2 or MIC
    – Inadequate pipeline crossing design that leads to 3rd party damage and external corrosion (casing type protection on sand dunes)
    – CP monitoring on flooded area where pipeline was laid
    – Unburied liquid line converted to gas line (which has to be buried)
    – Development of pipeline integrity engineers and work load management
    – Other design issue such as unbarred tees, no isolation valve on tie-ins, no provision for pig launchers

  3. Anonymous says:


    In saying that integrity issues are rare, are you again thinking of a pipeline as something big with sales gas going through it? If so, I agree with you. However, there are numerous smaller flow lines and field gathering pipelines out there with integrity issues related to any number of issues such as posted already. If we think really hard, I am sure we can all think of a recent failure in this country that might suggest that everything is not as rosy as we would wish.

    Thanks for your efforts with this blog – excellent!

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