GPTC ANSI Technical Report - Review of Integrity Management for Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines
|Publication Date:||1 November 2001|
Purpose of Integrity Management Plan
The purpose of an IMP is to maintain a safe and reliable pipeline system by monitoring and acting upon threats to pipeline safety in a systematic fashion. The plan provides for an initial pipeline integrity assessment and periodic confirmation of the pipeline's integrity through inspection, testing, and assessment of historical data. When an operator maintains the integrity of its pipeline system, it can provide reliable service for an indefinite number of years.
There are a number of reasons why maintaining the integrity of a pipeline is important to the operator. These include:
1. Protecting the public and employees. Where pipelines and people are in close proximity to each other, or where population development encroaches on areas where pipelines exist, maintaining pipeline integrity is important to reduce the probability of incidents that could affect the safety of the public and employees.
2. Protecting the environment. Although natural gas generally does not adversely affect the environment, ignition of leaking natural gas could produce adverse consequences.
3. Preventing interruption of service. Transmission pipelines are installed for the purpose of transporting natural gas from production areas to areas of consumption. The public relies on these pipelines to provide a reliable source of fuel. Effective integrity management reduces the unacceptable disruptions of service.
4. Reducing liabilities. It is in the operator's best interest to ensure that compromises in pipeline integrity do not result in failure of the pipeline. The loss in public trust, the loss of revenues, and the potential liability associated with the consequences of failure are detrimental to the operator's business.
5. Protecting and preserving investment. Operators spend billions of dollars to construct, operate, and maintain the pipeline systems used to transport natural gas for consumption by the public. Operators follow industry standards that are based on good engineering principles in designing, testing, operating, and maintaining these pipeline systems. Maintenance of pipeline integrity will permit safe and reliable operation of pipeline systems for many years. Many pipeline systems in this country are over 50 years old and continue to operate safely. Continuous integrity management will provide safe and reliable gas supply to the public at a reasonable cost.