Reliability Engineering Application to Pipeline Design

O. Omoya, Kassandra Papadopoulou, E. C. W Lou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose - This paper investigates the application of reliability engineering to oil and gas pipeline systems with the aim of identifying means through which reliability engineering can be used to improve pipeline integrity, specifically with regards to man-made incidents (e.g. material/weld/equipment failure, corrosion, incorrect operation, excavation damages).

Methodology – A literature review was carried out on the application of reliability tools to oil and gas pipeline systems and four case studies are presented as examples of how reliability engineering can help to improve pipeline integrity. The scope of the paper is narrowed to four stages of the pipeline life cycle, the decommissioning stage is not part of this research. A survey was also carried out using a questionnaire to check the level of application of reliability tools in the oil and gas industry.

Findings – Data from survey and literature shows that a reliability centred approach can be applied and will improve pipeline reliability where applied, however, there are several hindrances to the effective application of reliability tools, the current methods are time-based and focus mainly on design against failure rather than design for reliability.

Limitations/implications – The tools identified do not cover the decommissioning of the pipeline system. Research validation sample size can be broadened to include more pipeline stakeholders/professionals. Pipeline integrity management systems are proprietary information and permission is required from stakeholders to do a detailed practical study.

Originality/Value -This paper proposes the minimum applied reliability tools for application during the design, operation and maintenance phases targeted at the oil and gas industry. Critically, this paper provides a case for an integrated approach to applying reliability and maintenance tools that are required to reduce pipeline failure incidents in the oil and gas industry.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Quality & Reliability Management
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2019


  • Reliability centred design
  • reliability centred maintenance
  • failure centred design
  • oil and gas
  • pipeline
  • pipeline integrity

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy


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