Asset Integrity Management: Where Process Safety Meets Reliability
Keywords: Asset Integrity Management, Corrosion Control, Pipeline Integrity, Mechanical Integrity, Process Safety, Risk-based Inspection (RBI).
According to climate activist group TckTckTck.org and other sources, in the 30 days from March 11 through April 9, 2013, the global oil industry experienced 13 spills on three continents. These spills involved nearly 1.2 million gallons of oil and other chemicals. While catastrophes such as the Deepwater Horizon incident received a great deal of media and regulatory scrutiny, the reality is that small leaks and spills are an everyday occurrence in the hydrocarbon processing industry. Moving product through the value chain introduces significant risk to personnel and the environment. Increasing rates of oil transport, as well an aging infrastructure (particularly aging pipelines), raises the likelihood of a failure as products progress through the value chain. Asset integrity management systems (AIMS) account for changes to equipment over its operating life to assess remaining asset life, providing an essential tool to help minimize. Identifying and evaluating the consequences of failure are also key elements in the asset integrity management process.
Rating the Risks
Respondents to multiple ARC Advisory Group surveys on asset lifecycle management consistently rank unscheduled shutdowns and slowdowns as the leading performance challenge facing the heavy process industries. It may appear that safety takes a back seat to profits at times, but it ranked a close second in the surveys. Also making the risk rankings are environmental risk and capital asset health, respectively.
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