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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A risk-based assessment of integrity management program for oil and gas pipelines : a regulatory perspective Iqbal, Hassan


Pipelines are one of the most critical components of oil and gas (O&G) industry for the product transportation from upstream and downstream operations. Pipeline integrity is vital to maintaining production operations, protection of natural environments and human life. Integrity management programs (IMPs) are developed and implemented in the pipeline industry to ensure safe and reliable operations. IMP is comprised of management systems and technical operational procedures. Regulators monitor the effective implementation of the IMPs through a periodic auditing system. Most of the discussion on integrity management is driven by technical aspects of integrity management. However, recent global accident investigations have instigated regulators and operators to focus on the management aspect of IMP. IMP is the formal process of planning, training, documenting, record management, management review, risk assessment, and learning from incident investigations. In Canada, the pipeline operators develop and implement IMPs based on industry standard guidelines (CSA Z662, API 1160, ASME B31.8) and regulatory protocols. These industry standard guidelines are goal-based, therefore the companies and the regulators have different interpretations of IMP requirements. The difference in the interpretation makes the IMP assessment a challenging task for the regulatory bodies. Compliance is not sufficient to measure the effectiveness of an IMP. Moreover, the industry is also striving to establish a culture of safety within the organizations. The culture maturity assessment is also a challenge. In this research, a novel approach is adopted to develop a framework to address the challenges of diverse interpretations and assessment methods by; categorizing IMPs requirements, linking with safety culture attributes; using risk assessment in the auditing process, and benchmarking. The noncompliance of IMP requirements and degree of effectiveness are taken as the risk of integrity failure. This research used modified failure mode effects analysis as risk assessment to incorporate in the auditing process. The framework is implemented for regulatory audits, and results are analyzed through benchmarking. The benchmarking analyses identified the low performing IMP components and set the targets for continuous improvement cycle. This research is a paradigm shift from conventional compliance assessment to the risk assessment of IMP performance and a safety culture maturity assessment.

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