Bruno Felippe Silva, Erica Vanessa Albuquerque de Oliveira, Marcelo Goncalves da Cunha

Change of location class in gas pipelines from a regulatory perspective

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Chemical Engineering

AbstractLocation class is an essential factor in the gas pipeline project because it considers factors such as population density and the number of buildings along the gas pipeline route. As these parameters change, the pipeline operator needs to review the location class, also requiring a possible assessment of changes in allowable pipeline operating pressure. Brazilian regulations related to the safety of pipeline processes are defined in the Onshore Pipeline Technical Regulation and this document indicates the application of the requirements of the ASME B31.8 standard for changing the location class. Although there are preventive and mitigating measures in the ASME B31.8 standard, they are seen as overly conservative. Other international standards have different concepts, with evaluation criteria based on risk analysis. The issue has also been a challenge for other countries, which are reviewing their regulations and developing guidelines for gas pipeline operators. The main objective of this study is to carry out a survey of international practices related to changing the location class of gas pipelines and to propose a criterion based on the best international practices based on risk management, allowing a more comprehensive view of this subject.

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