Pipeline Integrity Management (PIM)
Towards responsible and sustainable operation whilst enhancing your pipeline safety and reliability.
Over the years, new regulations, safety and environmental concerns from the public have emphasized the requirement for pipeline owners to demonstrate and document the safe operation of their facilities.
What were originally technical issues related to inspection and maintenance have now been wrapped up in the general concept of pipeline integrity management. The safety and reliability of pipelines have indeed become a social accountability issue at corporate level for every operator, along with the easy access to the data and their transparency.
What is Pipeline Integrity Management (PIM)?
Just like any pressure equipment and facility containing and transporting hazardous products, pipelines are subject to regular statutory inspections, verifications and re-certifications. Until recently, such requirements were prescriptive and were launched due to a decision of a group of experts who studies manually and separately the condition of each pipeline.
Nowadays, a novel approach is being implemented, where the pipeline operators are now required to demonstrate and document that the integrity of their pipeline facilities is maintained at all times.
In other words, the operators are requested to have a comprehensive integrated Pipeline Integrity Management System (PIMS) in place: a PIMS is much more than a set of tools or an inspection and maintenance program. It is a quality management system encompassing engineering, operation, inspection, maintenance, HSE and corporate communication. What is at stake is not only the mechanical condition of the facility, its reliable operation and the fulfilment of its delivery obligations, but also, in case of any incident affecting the public and the environment, the image, reputation and business of the operator and his stakeholders.
The Pipeline Integrity Management concept of Bureau Veritas is to combine a general quality management approach with specific pipeline related expertise, the whole made automated in a software suite.
Since we are used to cover the whole life of pipelines, from assessing the design to controlling the execution of such in-line inspections, cathodic protection surveys, maintenance and repairs resulting from the operator PIM policy, operators can call upon our resources to intervene at very different stages. Therefore Bureau Veritas has developed a modular and step by step approach to PIM.
The approach includes among others: assessment of compliance of the operator’s practices towards pipeline integrity standards (through audits, voluntary or not); set up of pipeline integrity management quality system (through identification of processes, writing up of procedures and manuals); defining the appropriate methodologies (risk-based, threat-based etc.); performing high value technical analysis (such as risk analysis, corrosion study etc.); assisting and advising in the selection of the right pipeline integrity management tool; following the development and the implementation of the pipeline integrity management tool and certifying its conformity.
In order to complete our portfolio of PIM services to pipeline operators and also because not every operator wants/needs to achieve the same level of PIM tool sophistication, Bureau Veritas has developed different risk-based and threat-based methodologies for managing pipeline integrity.
One of them is called TAME [Threats And Mitigations MEthodology] and is a straightforward nmethodology that can be used by pipelines operators (gas, oil, onshore & offshore) for modelling the qualitative or quantitative threat assessment of their pipelines and for defining their integrity policy regarding the prioritization of corrective actions and the planning of inspections. TAME uses the principle of dynamic pipeline segmentation and can thus calculate the threat level of each pipeline segment along the entire pipeline network.
The pipeline operator can thus legitimate its corrective actions plan and its inspection strategy according to the real threat levels of its pipelines instead of arbitrary procedures or regulations
Bureau Veritas has been involved since its inception in the conformity assessment, and the certification of facilities and organizations and has developed a vast experience in the field of risk assessment, quality, safety, environment protection and regulatory compliance. Based on this expertise, Bureau Veritas has developed a practical approach to PIM, providing guidelines and methodologies for operators.
Bureau Veritas expertise will assist pipeline operators in designing Pipeline Integrity Management
Systems that comply with the latest regulations and standards, such as ASME B31.8S, API 1160, or other recognized methods. As a matter of fact, the implementation of a PIMS is much more than the installation of a new software or database: it embraces the operator management structure and work processes and provides a new approach to responsible and sustainable pipeline management.
WHY CHOOSE BUREAU VERITAS?
Bureau Veritas brings a wealth of experience in many integrity management-related fields such as QHSE, system certification, risk assessment, Fitness-For-Service evaluation, and Risk-Based Inspection.