In order to apply the Reliability Based Design and Assessment (RBDA) methodology to evaluate the equipment impact on the onshore natural gas transmission pipelines in China, a research project was undertaken by China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Corporation (CPPE) based on the framework developed by C-FER Technologies (C-FER) in “Guidelines for Reliability Based Design and Assessment of Onshore Natural Gas Pipelines” (sponsored by PRCI). The objective of the project was to collect native data and calibrate the probability models in order to make it suitable for the situations in China where there is dense population and many newly-built high pressure and large diameter pipelines.
The equipment impact model consists of two components: a) the impact probability model which calculates the frequency of mechanical interference by excavation equipment; and b) the failure model which calculates the probability of failure in a given impact. A detailed survey was undertaken in 2012 in order to collect the data required to calculate the impact frequency and the load applied by an excavator to a pipeline. The survey data for impact frequency calculation was gathered based on 19,300km of transmission pipelines from 4 operating companies in China. They reflect current prevention practices and their effectiveness. The frequencies of basic events summarized in this survey used to calculate the probabilities of the fault tree are generally agreement with the data summarized in PRCI’s report. The impact frequencies calculated by the fault tree under typical prevention measures are 400%, 200%, 20% and 0% higher than that in PR-244-9910 report for class 1, class 2, class 3 and class 4 areas respectively, which is due to dense population and more construction activities. Bucket digging forces of 321 types of excavators from 20 manufacturers were gathered. The survey data of the forces are slightly higher than that in the PR-244-9729 report as a whole due to the increase in mechanical efficiency of excavators in recent years. The excavator maximum quasi-static load model was calibrated correspondingly. Equipment impact probability calculation and model sensitivity analysis results are described to present several characteristics of onshore transmission natural gas pipelines in China.