Individual risk analysis of high-pressure natural gas pipelines

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Transmission pipelines carrying natural gas are not typically within secure industrial sites, but are routed across land out of the ownership of the pipeline company. If the natural gas is accidentally released and ignited, the hazard distance associated with these pipelines to people and property is known to range from under 20 m for a smaller pipeline at lower pressure to up to over 300 m for a larger pipeline at higher pressure. Therefore, pipeline operators and regulators must address the associated public safety issues. This paper focuses on a method to explicitly calculate the individual risk of a transmission pipeline carrying natural gas. The method is based on reasonable accident scenarios for route planning related to the pipeline's proximity to the surrounding buildings. The minimum proximity distances between the pipeline and buildings are based on the rupture of the pipeline, with the distances chosen to correspond to a radiation level of approximately 32 kW/m2. In the design criteria for steel pipelines for high-pressure gas transmission (IGE/TD/1), the minimum building proximity distances for rural areas are located between individual risk values of 10-5 and 10-6. Therefore, the risk from a natural gas transmission pipeline is low compared with risk at the building separated minimum distance from chemical industries. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

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Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries