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Published by: api-3733731 on Oct 18, 2008
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PAPER No. : M - 19
Dr. G. Madhu*

Division of Safety and Fire Engineering
School of Engineering
Cochin University of Science and Technology
Cochin 682 022, India
Tel : 91-484-2576167 , Fax : 91-484- 2577405
E-mail :g madhu@cusat.ac.in


A major oil company in India proposes to lay two 600mm dia pipelines for transporting hydrocarbon products like naphtha, motor spirit, high speed diesel and superior kerosene from a South Indian port to their storage terminal about 15 kms away. There are five major river crossings, three railway crossings and one NH crossing along the proposed route. It is proposed to transfer about 3000 m3/hr of hydrocarbon product through each pipeline. A booster pumping station is provided at an intermediate location to overcome the pressure drop and to provide sufficient pressure at the storage terminal end.

National and international codes and practices are usually followed while laying hydrocarbon pipelines. The welded joints would be radiographically tested and cathodic protection would be given to the pipeline to minimize the effects of corrosion. The pipeline will be mostly laid underground except at the booster pumping station. It is proposed to incorporate advanced instrumentation and communication system based on supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA).

Inspite of all the safety standards and practices, failure of pipeline resulting in release of hydrocarbons cannot be ruled out. The present paper discusses the result of a risk assessment study carried out for the pipeline system. As part of the study, the probable failure modes associated with different operational areas for the proposed facility were identified. The predominant causes of hydrocarbon release from the pipeline have been identified as failure due to external factors, corrosion, construction defects and human error.

Consequence analysis was carried out for the identified failure scenarios using empirical models. The impact distances for pool fires and explosion were estimated. The catastrophic failure of the pipeline at booster pumping station results in the maximum impact distances. An attempt has also been made in the study to assess the probability of failure of the pipeline. Based on the risk assessment study a few recommendations have been made for the safe operation of the piping system.

Key words : Risk assessment, Hydrocarbons, Pipelines, Failure modes, Consequence analysis,
Probability of failure.
Formerly with the Process Engineering Department of FACT Engineering and Design
Organisation, Udyogamandal, Cochin, India

Chemical process industries handle, store and process large quantities of hazardous chemicals and intermediates. These activities involve many different types of material, some of which can be potentially harmful if released into the environment , because of their toxic, flammable or explosive properties. The rapid growth in the use of hazardous chemicals in industry and trade has increased the risk to employees as well as the neighbouring community.

Under these circumstances, it is essential to apply modern approaches to safety based on good design, management and operational control (Wells, 1980). The major hazard units should try to achieve and maintain high standards of plant integrity with due regards to the probabilities of undesirable events. While assessing design and development proposals for plants which handle hazardous materials, it is essential to identify potential hazards. Risk assessment techniques have been recognized as an important tool for integrating and internalizing safety in plant operation and production sequencing (Hoffman, 1973). In India risk assessment is mandatory for all new projects in chemical process industries dealing with hazardous chemicals and severe operating conditions.

Risk assessment includes identification of hazard scenarios and consequence analysis. Scenario identification describes how an accident occurs, while consequence analysis describes the anticipated damage to environment, life and equipment. This paper presents the results of a risk assessment study carried out for a pipe line system proposed for the transportation of petroleum products.

Description of the proposed facilities

The proposed project involves laying of two 600 NB diameter pipelines for the transport of petroleum products from the tanker berth at a south Indian port to the marketing terminal of a major oil company which is located about 15 Km away from the port. One of these lines will be used for the transport for superior kerosene oil (SKO) / high speed diesel (HSD) and the other for naphtha / motor spirit (MS). About 3000 m3 / hr of each product available at the ship end at 10 kg/cm2g pressure will be transferred


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