Inspectioneering Journal

When More Means Less: Increasing Inspection Effectiveness to Reduce Remediation Costs

Greater Accuracy in New Inspection and Assessment Tools Provide Operators with New Options for Reduced Operational Costs and Safety Risks

By Stefan Papenfuss at Quest Integrity Group. This article appears in the November/December 2009 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
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Pipeline integrity management programs are largely driven by regulatory compliance and are typically budgeted years in advance. Operators of all sizes are looking for ways to reduce expenditures related to operational efficiency and safety in order to maintain optimal profitability while sustaining safety and compliance.

Pipeline operators can reduce expenses while maintaining the integrity of their assets through utilization of technologically advanced inspection and assessment programs. Although this can be challenging in a depressed economic climate, it is important to note that diligent inspection and assessment of operating assets often result in significant savings related to operational effectiveness and safety. Decreases in inspection frequency increase the probability of an unplanned failure, resulting in high remediation costs. Advanced inspection and assessment programs provide operators with time-critical data, thereby empowering operators to make well-informed decisions. Investment in more sophisticated inspection and assessment methodologies can allow operators to more accurately identify and quantify piping anomalies and remaining life, resulting in decreased remediation costs and extending the useful life of their assets. This is especially important in secondary pipelines that feed into primary distribution lines, which are sometimes neglected in the inspection process but can have a significant cost impact if not adequately maintained.

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