New research could make pipelines safer

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Whether it’s the TransMountain expansion or Northern Gateway, pipelines are regularly in the news.

One engineering expert has just completed research he hopes could make them safer.

For companies operating pipelines, it can be difficult to determine which areas of pipelines should be the focus of inspections for things like corrosion and integrity testing.

“With thousands of kilometres of pipelines that they’re operating, to inspect and check every pipe would be prohibitively expensive,” says UBC Okanagan associate professor Solomon Tesfamariam.

So Tesfamariam has developed an engineering model he says could help prevent pipeline failures.

“Pipelines have been operated for several years, so with this type of decision-making tool, the pipeline operators can identify the high-risk pipes and do more inspections,” says Tesfamariam.

The next step is expanding the model to include external factors like earthquakes and climate change.

Tesfamariam’s full study can be seen in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries.

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