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Proceedings of the 2012 9th International Pipeline Conference IPC2012 September 24-28, 2012, Calgary, Alberta, Canada



Fiddoson S. Fiddo Subsea Integrity Group, School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom KEYWORDS Subsea Architecture, Maintenance, and Decision-making NOMENCLATURE


Bayesian Networks Conditional Probability Distribution Conditional Probability Table Directed Acyclic Graph Health & Safety Executive Influence Diagram International Oil Companies Marginal Distribution Risk-Based Maintenance Reliability-Centered Maintenance Shut down

the challenge of making maintenance decisions as they aim to reduce downtime while carrying out their operations. Subsea oil and gas pipeline maintenance is very critical, given the hazardous nature of their contents and this becomes more important especially when the subsea oil and gas pipelines are fast approaching, have reached or have exceeded their original design life. In aging conditions, decision making for subsea oil and gas pipeline systems becomes very crucial given the important role which such systems play in the subsea architecture, and the consequences that arise if the hazard of their failure is released. This paper highlights the factors prompting decision-making in subsea oil and gas pipeline maintenance under aging conditions. The paper also analyses the risk based maintenance approach for such systems and also introduces the Bayesian Network Model as a tool for decisionmaking in subsea oil and gas pipelines maintenance. INTRODUCTION Offshore developments are highly dependent on the subsea architecture for the importation of the hydrocarbons from the subsea well to the platform for further separation. With the introduction of subsea oilfield developments in the late 60s, the components that make up the subsea architecture of such fields, including those developed in the early 80s should have exceeded their original design life by now. Pipelines both subsea (offshore) and onshore are critical components for the successful transportation of hydrocarbons during extraction, production and distribution, therefore, their shut-down has always had an impact on the production of oil and gas.

ABSTRACT The principle of the maintenance process has as its objective to achieve the highest possible standard of safety with the lowest possible cost. As the majority of oil and gas subsea pipeline systems world-wide are approaching the end of their original design-life, operators of such systems are faced with

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Although shut-downs could either be planned or unplanned, the latter has more negative effect as it usually arises due to unexpected incident or failure. Operators of subsea oil and gas pipelines are faced with a peculiar challenge: how these pipeline systems will be operational for as long as possible and as economically as possible without compromising their reliability or safety[1], and in order to tackle this challenge and also ensure that unplanned shut-downs due to failure are minimal, the philosophy of maintenance which has as its objective to make use of the knowledge of failures and accidents to achieve the highest possible level of safety with the lowest possible cost [2] was adopted. With the development of oil recovery technology, most of the sub-sea pipelines which are fast approaching or have reached the end of their lifecycles would continue to be in use in the mid-term, but the cost of maintenance remains on the rise, in absolute terms and as a proportion of total expenditure [1]. With the metamorphosis over time of maintenance techniques, there exists the challenge of making the right maintenance strategy to apply when the age of the pipeline system is incorporated and with the aim of extending the life or usage of such systems. The structure of this paper is as follows: The introduction of the paper is outlined followed by the factors prompting maintenance in aging subsea pipelines, after which an overview of the risk factors that usually lead to pipeline failures was discussed. This is followed by a historical overview of maintenance and an outline focusing on RBM. An introduction to Bayesian Networks is discussed after which the conclusion was given. FACTORS PROMPTING MAINTENANCEN IN AGING SUBSEA PIPELINES. Due to the hazardous nature of contents of subsea pipelines and the harsh environments which they are usually found, their operations must ensure that: The level of risk in their use to the environment must be very low They must comply with both local and international laws and regulations They must be highly reliable and available in a continuous manner [3]. Apart from the above reasons, when their age is factored in, other challenges that prompt decision-making as their operators need to justify their continuous service include: Improved Technology: With the discovery of technology to improve oil recovery from depleting reserves, some seemingly mature fields will still be producing longer than originally forecasted. On the other hand, new reserves could be discovered within close proximity to already existing infrastructure, and in such occasions, operators prefer to tieback production to already existing systems, hence, the subsea pipelines affected would be in service longer than their original design life.

Decommissioning: According to the UKOOA, the estimated cumulative cost of total removal of offshore facilities was 8.4 billion in 2001, which had increased in real terms to 8.8 billion by 2002. These figures would become about 13-20 billion if the Norwegian and Dutch offshore sectors were included [4]. With such huge amounts involved, operators of subsea facilities (pipelines inclusive) prefer to continue using already existing systems by extending their life span as much as technically possible. Investment Decision: Cost of acquiring new infrastructure is enormous and given the seemingly short time left for production in the North Sea, the benefits to be derived from the cost of investing in entirely new systems would be grossly disproportionate when compared to the gains expected from such a business decision. Legislation: The HSE requires that the IOCs operating in the United Kingdom can prove that their assets are safe for operations with risks as low as reasonably practicable. They require proving to the HSE that these pipelines are still fit-forpurpose. Given the above factors, subsea pipeline maintenance becomes inevitable, and this makes it mandatory that a suitable strategy for their maintenance is deployed especially when aging and limited maintenance resources are factors to be considered.

RISK FACTORS THAT LEAD TO SUBSEA PIPELINE FAILURES The risk factors that could lead to pipeline (both onshore and subsea) failures are similar. They could fail due to one of the following reasons: Human factors Corrosion Third party activity Design Natural disasters The manner in which subsea pipelines are operated affects their availability. Operational errors emanating from operators lack of training required to operate them, standardized operating procedures being ignored, improper inspection etc could jeopardize the subsea pipeline. A critical factor that could lead to pipeline failure is corrosion [5], [6], which is an electrochemical reaction that reverses metal to ore, and usually occurs when there is a difference in potential between two areas having a path for the flow of current, which causes one of the area to lose metal [7]. Third party activities pose a risk to subsea pipelines. Activities from fishing trawlers, offshore supply vessels to seismic activities could cause damage to subsea pipelines. In regions of the world with high level of poverty and corruption, sabotage is a common factor that causes damage to pipelines [7] .

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In some cases the design, construction and laying of subsea pipelines leave defects on them, which could lead to failure during their life span, especially if they are left undetected during inspection or ignored during maintenance. Material selection can also be classified under this caption, as depending on the terrain which they are used, the wrong material could lead to fast deterioration. Natural disasters such as earth quakes, tremors, seabed movements etc affect subsea pipelines, more so when they are located in geological sensitive areas. HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF MAINTENANCE The growing knowledge of the impact of maintenance on the profitability of business and safety of both personnel and the environment has caused noticeable change over time to the maintenance process. The need to carry out maintenance to achieve an immediate objective and the ability to forecast how the procedure could affect the future behavior of equipment or systems has led to the development of different maintenance techniques, or has caused maintenance to undergo different phases over time. The metamorphosis over time of maintenance process from its original fire brigade state to the current philosophy is shown in Fig. 1 [2], [8], [9], from which it is shown that it can be classified as first, second, third and recent generations[2].

have shown the close relationship between the application of maintenance and the occurrence of major accidents [10]. Profitability in business is related closely to the availability and reliability of a system which is further dependent on the condition of the system or equipment [11]. This paper focuses on the risk-based maintenance approach which belongs to the recent generation from the classifications shown in fig. 1. RISK-BASED MAINTENANCE Risk can be defined as the product of the probability of failure and the expected consequences which occur as a result of the failure. In terms of subsea pipeline maintenance, reduction of the risk is achievable through militating against the failure that is, putting measures in place to ensure that the probability of failure is very low. This is because very little or nothing can be done as regards reducing the consequences that come with failures in subsea pipelines when compared to other systems whereby significant consequences of their failures could be controlled. Therefore, in the pipeline industry, resources are geared towards the reduction of the likelihood of failure, which results in the reduction of the risks. Most Pipeline operators have adopted maintenance practices which were developed using experience mainly. With the aging of the pipelines, limited resources, the ever increasing costs of inspections and the enactment of tough legislation protecting people and the environment [13] the need for a strategy which aims to assist operators of pipelines to choose the most suitable type of maintenance technique for sections that need it most cannot be over emphasized. Risk based maintenance is process which is applied to optimize maintenance/integrity budgets without compromising the safety of the environment, people and assets as well as the reputation of the business. This methodology aims at reducing the overall risk which could result as the consequence of unexpected failures of operating facilities [2], [12]. The methodology is one which identifies and ranks sections of a system into categories based on perceived risk levels which are usually obtained via quantitative and qualitative approaches and concentrates maintenance efforts to the sections where they are most required. This results in the reduction of maintenance efforts as well as costs in a well structured and justifiable manner. The risk based maintenance methodology is a comprehensive analysis and planning strategy which apart from optimizing maintenance efforts is also used to develop and improve maintenance management systems. The methodology consists of three main parts which are; i) Detailed Analysis ii) Screening iii) Maintenance planning considering the risk factors. Risk based maintenance process achieves the optimization of the maintenance decisions by the integration of the acquired risk information into the decision-making process. It also focuses maintenance activities on the most critical sections of a system based on the level of risk, identification of the critical

Fig. 1 Maintenance Strategies [2], [8], [9] Following the reviews given by Pintelon et al [17] and Kelly , Dekker [19] noted in his paper that scientific approaches to maintenance only began in the 1950s and 1960s when preventive maintenance was applied as a method of reducing failures and preventing downtimes. He noted that the 1970s heralded the birth of condition monitoring which focused on techniques to predict failures using available information on the actual state of the equipment. With continued growth in plant complexity and the development of stringent legislation coupled with other factors [9] the 1980s saw the use of computers into the maintenance function. System failures tend to have a negative effect on the environment and may likely result in the occurrence of major accidents. Previous studies

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hazards, development of appropriate failure mitigation activities as well as optimization of maintenance costs by the application of appropriate models and techniques.

Fig. 2 Risk-Based Maintenance Process [2], [11], [12], [14] In order to analyze the subsea pipeline lengths critically, the RBM process begins with the creation of sub-systems by the division of the subsea pipeline into manageable units so that each unit can be independently analyzed. When this has been done, the three main parts of the RBM methodology mentioned earlier are then implemented and a description of what they entail is given below; Detailed Analysis: The analysis begins with the hazard identification. The information required to make the judgments can be obtained from previous inspection results, geometry of the system, safety arrangements in place within the system, operational characteristics of the system as well as experience. With these, possible failure scenarios can be developed. Failure scenarios which are a description of a series of events which may result to system failure are the basis of the risk study as they try to predict what may happen. Just because a failure scenario is developed does not necessarily imply that it will occur, there is only a level of probability of its occurrence. Calculating the probability of occurrence of the developed failure scenarios is the objective of the likelihood estimation step. Probabilistic tools are used to carry out such calculations to determine the POF over a defined period of time. The next step in the detailed analysis stage of the RBM process is the consequence assessment which quantifies the consequences of the release of the failure scenarios. These consequences could range from damage to the environment, loss of lives, loss of asset, loss of production (which could

either be operational loss or performance loss) to damage to reputation. Finally, the results of the estimated POF and that of the consequences obtained are then used to give an estimate of the level of risk in a given segment of the pipeline. Screening: After the level of risk for each segment has been determined the process of screening, which has as its objective to identify low risk segments of the system and focus attention towards the high risk segments which are the major contributors to the operational risk, begins. This first step in the screening phase involves setting up an acceptance criteria which is based on the levels of safety anticipated to meet regulatory requirements, thereby ensuring best practice. In the United Kingdom, the principle of ALARP is usually applied, whereby an attempt is made to achieve the highest possible level of safety with the lowest possible cost, that is, the benefit obtained from investing to achieve a desired safety level is not grossly disproportionate when compared to the cost involved. Some other acceptance criteria in use include the USEPA acceptance criteria and the Dutch acceptance criteria [15] . The second step in the screening phase is the comparison of the risk against the acceptance criteria. When the acceptance criteria is applied to the risk obtained for each segment of the pipeline, the identification of high, medium and low risk segments is achieved and maintenance planning can commence. Maintenance Planning Considering Risk Factors: With the identification of the risk hierarchy achieved, the high risk level segments whose level of risk is above the acceptance criteria are focused upon with the appropriate maintenance strategy applied to achieve the reduction of the risk level so that it would be within the margins of the acceptance criteria. Usually, an in depth study on the individual causes of failure to ascertain the one which has the most effect on the POF. When the maintenance plan is agreed, a re-evaluation of the risk is carried out to verify if the objective of reducing the total risk level for the segment of the pipeline system considered is achieved by the adopted maintenance plan. When this is done, the process is repeated for the remaining segments of the system that are still in the region of high risk until they are all within the acceptance criteria. BAYESIAN NETWORK MODELS Bayesian network models are part of the family of probabilistic graphical models which have been used to successfully diagnose faults in systems [20]. They were introduced in the 80s [21] and have been effectively used as a model for reasoning under uncertainty. Bayesian networks usually follow a structure known as a directed acyclic graph (DAG) in which the random variables of interest are represented with nodes and directed arcs are used to represent relationships between nodes. The uncertainty of the interdependence of the variables are represented locally by the conditional probability table (CPT) Pr (xi | i ) associated with each node xi, wherei is the parent set of xi. An assumption of independence is also made with BN that xi, given its parents i,

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assumes independence over all other variables except its descendants. The graphical structure of BN allows an unambiguous representation of interdependency between variables. This together with the independence assumption, leads to one of the most important features of BN: the joint probability distribution of X= ( xi ,........, xn ) can be factored out as a product of the conditional distributions of the network(16), Pr( X= x )= i 1 Pr (xi | i) = A basic example of a BN is shown below;

Family Out (FO) FO Family Out (FO) T 0.15 F 0.85

Bowel problem (BP) Bowel problemBP (BP) T F

0.01 0.99

Dog-out (DO)
Light on (LO) LO Light on (LO) FO T F T 0.60 0.05 F 0.40 0.95 DO T F BP=T BP=T DO FO=T FO=T FO=F T 0.99 0.99 0.90 F 0.01 0.01 0.10 BP=F BP=F FO=F FO=T FO=T FO=F 0.90 0.97 0.97 0.03 0.10 0.03 0.03 0.97

the desired outcome [16]. A decision node is usually connected to the chance nodes whose probability distributions are directly affected by the decision. On the other hand, a utility node is a random variable whose value is the utility of the outcome. Utility nodes, like other random variables, hold a table of utility values for all value configurations of their parent nodes. In an influence diagram, the value of each decision variable is not determined probabilistically by its predecessors, but rather can be imposed from outside by the decision maker to meet some optimization objective [28]. Assuming in an ID, let A = { a1, a2,, an }, be a set of mutually exclusive actions, and let H be the set of determining variables. A utility table U(A,H) is required to yield the utility for each configuration of action and determining variable in order to assess the actions in A. The problem is solved calculating the action that maximizes the expected utility: EU(a) =HU(a,H)P(H | a), Where U(a,H) are the entries of the utility table in the value node U. The conditional probability P(H|a) can be computed from the CPT of the variable hi H, given the action a is fired.
Forecast T F Weather Rain Sun 0.60 0.30 0.40 0.70 Forecast BP=T BP=F FO=F 0.90 0.10 Umb Carry Carry Not Carry Not Carry Weather Rain Sun Weather BP=T FO=F 0.90 0.10 BP=F FO=T 0.97 0.03

FO=F 0.03 0.97

0.60 0.40


HB Hear-Bark (HB) Hear-Bark (HB) T F

DO T 0.60 0.40

F 0.05 0.95

DO T Umbrella F

FO=T 0.99 0.01

FO=T DO FO=T FO=F 0.97 T 0.030.99 Satisfaction 0.03 F 0.970.01 WeaDog- Sat out(DO) Rain Sun Rain Sun 9 2 -4 10

F 0

Figure 3.The Family out Bayesian Network . Various probabilistic queries can be answered. For example, P (HB), the prior probability of hearing barks is computed as 0.148, and the posterior probability P (FO=T|HB=T LO=F) = 0.689 In the Family Out BN above, the events Family-out and Bowelproblem are direct causes for dog going out, and Dog-out directly affects whether we hear barking or not. Once we know whether the dog is out or not, the probability of our hearing barking has nothing to do with Family-out and Bowel-problem because their influence on hearing barking is blocked by the instantiation of Dog-out= T. Each node in the network has a CPT. Each column in the table contains the conditional probabilities of all possible values of that variable, given a possible combination of values of its parent nodes. INFLUNCE DIAGRAMS BNs can be extended with two additional types of nodes, namely decision nodes and utility nodes. When this is done, the graphical representation is known as an influence diagram (ID). This is usually used for solving decision problems. Nodes for the random variables in the BN are called chance nodes in ID. A decision node defines the alternatives available or considered by the user. Every decision node has a finite number of alternatives standing for the actions that the decision maker can take to achieve

Dogout(DO )

Figure 4. An Example of an Extended BN (Influence Diagram)


The above ID is about the weather and a decision to carry an umbrella. The chance nodes in this ID are the forecast and weather which contain the probabilistic information for same. The decision node is the umbrella and the utility or value node is represented by the satisfaction. The objective is to maximize expected Satisfaction by appropriately selecting values of Umbrella for each possible forecast. In addition to probabilities, the values of Satisfaction for each combination of Umbrella and Weather are also given.

In the ageing infrastructure of subsea pipelines where a lot of uncertainties are encountered and there is dire need for optimal decisions to be made, BN models can become very useful, especially with the flexibility provided by their modeling framework. K.R McNaught and A. Zagorecki noted in their work that BN models are so flexible that they might be used to predict the POF of some equipment and could also be used to diagnose causes once a failure has occurred.

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A basic example showing how this can be applied to subsea pipelines is given below;

For the sake of clarity, a link in BN shows how two events are dependent on one another, in other words, a link from A to B shows that B is caused by A thereby denoting A as the parent of B and B as a child of A.

Failure BP=T DO T F FO=T 0.99 0.01 FO=F 0.90 0.10 BP=F Inspection FO=T 0.97 0.03 FO=F 0.03 0.97

Corrosion BP=T DO T F FO=T 0.99 FO=F 0.90 0.10 BP=F

FO=F 0.03


FO=T 0.97 0.03

Figure 5. Extended BN/ID for a Subsea Pipeline System Figure 5 above shows an extended BN/ ID when applied to subsea pipelines. Although no values are given for the possible probability queries that arise as a result of this, the figure serves the purpose of showing how the BN can be used to solve the problem of decision making for ageing subsea pipelines. The figure is about corrosion, the possibility of failure and the decisions to carry out inspection or maintenance activities. The decision nodes are the inspection and maintenance, while the utility node is represented by the cost. When real data is used, an optimization of the inspection and/or maintenance activities can be achieved by selecting the right value for the maintenance/inspection that achieves the set objective. A utility value for each combination of maintenance, inspection and cost can also be generated and the right one chosen. It is worthy to note that, maintenance and inspection decisions for subsea pipelines can be made given other factors as stated earlier; it is only for sake of clarity and presentation that corrosion has been used in the above example. PROPOSED FRAMEWORK In general, the BN/ID framework to aid decision making for subsea pipelines is made up of all the components that represent alternatives, preferences, relationships, states, and interrelations between them. A BN/ID can be used to model the maintenance decision for subsea pipelines by beginning with the identification of all the variables involved which include the set of possible alternatives, the set of criteria, the set of constraints and other factors that affect or influence them. When this is done, the framework will have three types of nodes which are the chance, utility and decision nodes as noted earlier. After all the variables are considered, the framework for the BN/Id of a subsea pipeline would become more complex and could take the form or hierarchy shown in the figure 6. BNs are graphical models which are made up of links and nodes. The nodes represent the stochastic variables while the links represent the conditional dependencies among them. In every node in the BN, the CPD should be clearly specified as the conditional of the parents. This implies that in any node without a parent, the marginal distribution should be specified.

Dog- Maintenance out(DO )


0.01 Cost

0.97 Criteria




SubC11 Criteria Other Factors













Figure 6. BN/ID Hierarchy for decision making for subsea pipelines The decision nodes represent the set of alternatives { Ai,........, An }, the utility node represents the set of objectives (decision making preferences) to be optimized, and the chance nodes include the set the set of criteria and sub-criteria. Apart from the fact that these criteria have the ability to interact with each other, they may also be affected by various other factors as shown above. These factors may be either internal (those that may be able to be controlled) or external (those that cannot be controlled), which are also modelled as chance nodes. The interdependencies among these nodes are represented as directed arcs. Figure 6 above can be used to show/support McNaught and Zagoreckis statement that scarce statistical data can be combined with expert opinion regarding environmental factors or design considerations, hence, more optimal decisions can be achieved when a combination of the scarce statistical data, expert opinion and all available knowledge from the past are combined using Bayesian updating. BNs and IDs can be used for updating a damage model at any point when new information becomes readily available, therefore aiding optimal decisions to be made [22]. BNs have been used to assist the issue of decision making in various fields where the issue of decision making has been challenging. M. E. Bayraktar and M Hastak applied the BN model to the civil engineering industry in the transportation speciality [23]. In the telecommunication industry, Chan and McNaught gave a description of how BNs are critical to decision support systems which were designed to provide advice on fault diagnosis and correction during the final testing of mobile telephone base stations [24]. Langseth and Portinale

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showed an example of the use of BNs in traditional system reliability. Pourret and Bouissou [26] in their work also showed how BNs can be applied to assess the capacity of a production system represented as a series-parallel system in which each component was capable of processing and passing on a fraction of the total system capacity. They demonstrated the use of the system for troubleshooting. CONCLUSION The factors prompting decision-making in subsea oil and gas pipeline maintenance under aging conditions have been discussed and an outline of the risk based maintenance approach has been shown. The Bayesian Network model has been described and its applications to various fields have also been stated. The application of BN to aid decision making in the maintenance of oil and gas subsea pipelines has been explained and examples of how BN has been applied on other scenarios has been shown. I am currently working on the application of this network model in aging subsea pipelines and the results shall be shown and discussed in forth coming papers. REFERENCES [1]. N.S. Arunraj, T. Maiti; Risk-Based maintenanceTechniques and applications, Journal of Hazardous Materials 142 (2007) 653-661 [2]. R.B Faiz, E.A. Edirisinghe; Decision making for predictive maintenance in asset information management, Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, knowledge and management Volume 4 (2009) [3] P. Hopkins; Structural Integrity of oil and gas pipelines (2003) [4] P. Ekins, R. Vanner & J. Firebrace; Decommissioning of offshore oil and gas facilities (2005) [5] Pipes and pipelines International; Oil Industry pipeline leakage survey (Jan/Feb 1993) [6] Annual Report on CONCAWE; Conservation of clean air and water, Europe, (1994) [7] P.K. Dey; Decision Support System for Inspection & Maintenance: A case study of oil pipelines (2004) [8] J.M. Moubray; Reliability-Centered Maintenance (1994) [9] F.L. Cooke; Plant Maintenance Strategy: Evidence from Four British Manufacturing Firms [10] T.A. Kletz; What went wrong. (1994) [11] F.I. Khan, M.H. Haddara; Risk Based Maintenance: A Qualitative approach for maintenance/inspection scheduling and planning, Journal of loss prevention in process industries 16 (2003) 561-573 [12] F.I. Khan, M. Haddara; Risk-Based Maintenance: A new approach for process plant inspection and maintenance, Process Saf. Prog. 239(4), (2004), 252-265

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