UBCO research targets oil and gas pipeline safety

Study helps create engineering model to determine potential pipeline prone areas to corrosion in need of integrity testing.

  • May. 20, 2016 12:00 p.m.

Solomon Tesfamariam

A recent UBC Okanagan study could make it easier for oil and gas companies to prevent pipeline failures.

This study has resulted in an engineering model that could help the companies determine which areas of their pipeline network could be prone to corrosion and should receive priority for integrity testing.

“There are over 40,000 kilometers of pipelines operating in Canada alone and deciding how best to schedule and complete testing on those lines can be a daunting task,” said associate professor Solomon Tesfamariam.

“We believe that inputting the appropriate data into this model will allow companies to identify and test the areas of their pipelines that would be most likely to fail.”

Tesfamariam’s pipeline inspection model combines numerous corrosion and pressure failure assessments, which to date have been largely considered in isolation. The result is a single, flexible tool that allows oil and gas companies to more easily estimate the probability of internal pipe corrosion and the associated risk of pipeline failure.

As part of his ongoing research, Tesfamariam is now working on expanding the model to include external, environmental factors that could result in weak sections of pipelines being prematurely compromised and their contents spilling into the environment.

“At this stage, it is well known to researchers that factors such as climate change and earthquakes that are being induced by current fracking methods are having an impact on sensitive infrastructure,” said Tesfamariam.

“For the next stage of this research, we are looking at how both internal and external risk factors can be considered in tandem to give companies a better chance at predicting and mitigating risk.”

According to Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB), there were more than 37 companies, including 11 focused on oil and gas, that transported 216 million cubic metres of oil along 21,636 kilometres of oil pipelines in 2014. That same year, the TSB reports that 67 companies, including 11 that transported both oil and gas, transported 152 billion cubic metres of natural gas along 55,982 kilometres of natural gas pipelines.

Tesfamariam’s study was recently published in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries.

Just Posted

Photos: Adventuring in Stuart Park

Have you seen Friday’s edition of the Capital News? Check out the photos featured

Rutland students help less fortunate

At Rutland Senior Secondary, students are helping the homeless this holiday season

Lake Country seniors receive Christmas surprise

Hampers will be given to 20 lucky seniors in need next week

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Lind nets three in Rockets win; Dube and Foote named to Canada’s roster

Kole Lind returns from national junior camp to lead Rockets to victory in P.A.

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Annual Christmas meal held as Kelowna Gospel Mission

The meal will be held tomorrow from 12 to 6 p.m.

Most Read