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API RP 581 - Risk Based Inspection Technology

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API RP 581, Risk-Based Inspection Technology, is a recommended practice developed and published by the American Petroleum Institute (API) to provide quantitative risk-based inspection (RBI) methods that support the minimum guidelines presented by API RP 580. This RP was originally published in 2000, and the most recent 3rd Edition was released in April of 2016.

API RP 581 details the procedures and methodology of RBI, an integrated methodology that uses risk as a basis for prioritizing and managing in-service equipment inspection programs by analyzing both the likelihood and the consequences of equipment failure. RBI is a methodology that involves quantitative assessment of the probability of failure (PoF) and the consequence of failure (CoF) associated with each equipment item in a particular process unit. A properly-implemented RBI program categorizes individual pieces of equipment by their risks, prioritizes inspection efforts, and provides guidance for risk mitigation efforts, such as changes in materials of construction, the addition of linings, changes in operating conditions, etc.

API RP 581 has been developed based on the knowledge and experience of several global practitioners of RBI with extensive experience in its implementation. According to API 581, an RBI program has four major goals:

  1. Identify and measure risk for all covered equipment.
  2. Impart an accurate understanding of risks and risk drivers.
  3. Enable effective risk management.
  4. Reduce risks associated with operating processing facilities.

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Articles about API RP 581 - Risk Based Inspection Technology
July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article examines the quantitative tank RBI method found in API 581 and discusses uses for tank RBI other than deferral of scheduled internal inspections.

Authors: Joel Andreani
Blog

A summary of some of the important topics that were discussed at the API Fall 2020 Refining and Equipment Standards Meeting that was held via virtual conferencing.

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Facilities that can successfully leverage both their data and expertise while effectively integrating this unified model into their core business processes can improve performance and eliminate non-value-added activities.

July/August 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article explores the API RP 581 third edition approach to HTHA damage factor calculations to obtain a probability of failure that subsequently affects risk. Sample calculations are provided to affirm an understanding of the concept.

Blog

A summary of some of the important topics that were discussed at the API Spring Refining and Equipment Standards Meeting that was held via virtual conferencing.

Authors: John Reynolds
Partner Content

Auto-refrigeration can impose low temperatures onto process vessels and piping causing them to be at risk of brittle fracture, the sudden break-before leak phenomena that can result in catastrophic rupture of the equipment.

Blog

A summary of some of the important topics that were discussed at the API Fall Refining and Equipment Standards Meeting in Atlanta.

Authors: John Reynolds
September/October 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

The author discusses a method being used in most of their refineries and petrochemical facilities that allows them to optimize the scope of NDT during turnarounds, while improving the reliability of bundles.

Authors: Ricardo Gonzalez
Blog

A summary of some of the important topics that were discussed at the Spring Meeting, including the recently-held API Inspection and Mechanical Integrity Summit, subcommittee activities, and progress with the API Individual Certification Program.

Authors: John Reynolds
Blog

Corporations now have the flexibility to choose RBI software from vendors offering a variety of tools and features to keep track of calculations, records, and data. This infographic shows 11 things you should consider when selecting an RBI software.

March/April 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

This article shares some benefits of pro-actively performing RBI assessments during the design and construction phase of the plant with professionals involved in fixed equipment mechanical integrity programs.

Partner Content

Training options to meet your needs. E²G contracts with API to deliver training programs for FFS, Risk–Based Inspection, Damage Mechanisms, and Pressure Relieving Systems. ETI and Customized Training offers specialized courses based on industry...

January/February 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

An effective RBI system implementation results in, not only safeguarding your assets & people, but can also reduce unnecessary inspection activities that may be required due to conventional & nonsystematic approaches.

Blog

The 2019 API Inspection and Mechanical Integrity Summit will be kicking off later this month in Galveston, TX. This four-day event will begin with 14 high level training courses offered Monday, January 28th, and then a top notch conference and...

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article shares examples of where RBI work processes either broke down or were non-existent, or where the user did not fully understand the technology or overall RBI logic and the results.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Blog

A quick summary of some of the important topics that were discussed at the Fall Meeting, including the upcoming API Inspection and Mechanical Integrity Summit, subcommittee activities, and progress with the API Individual Certification Program.

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Software implementation, including RBI, comes with a lot of ad-hoc challenges and pitfalls. There are numerous options for RBI software currently available, and they may differ by design, purpose, function, scope and capabilities. This article...

Authors: Ibrahim Kodssi
Partner Content

Are you truly prepared for your next Turnaround? Effective work processes are required to successfully plan, manage, review and supervise plant turnarounds. Inspection planning and work scope selection are critical aspects of any turnaround...

May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article intends to use a top-down approach of describing RBI methodology and how it fits in a facility management system. The main idea of this article is to provide a comprehensive picture of RBI methodology in terms of basics, technology...

Authors: Dheeraj Narang
March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Implementing RBI for process piping can be a very tedious and lengthy exercise, especially for major process plants with thousands of feet of interconnected piping. This article shares the experience of ADNOC LNG following a structured RBI approach...

March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Myths, challenges, and good practices related to process piping integrity management activities that help inspection and maintenance managers make the right decisions to develop cost-effective piping inspection plans without compromising the...

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Historically, if asked when or how likely an austenitic series stainless steel component is to crack, the usual answer was “very” or “maybe” or, later, “I didn’t see that coming.” With API’s new risk assessment methodology, the...

Authors: Murry Funderburg
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Human factors, inspection effectiveness, and RBI all play an important role in running an effective asset management program. This article discusses how each is applicable to inspecting equipment in processing facilities.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Partner Content

Becht’s industry-leading Corrosion and Metallurgical experts are here to help with significant owner-operator experience covering the refining, petrochemical and chemical industries. This expertise is leveraged to help our clients become more...

November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This paper provides the background for the technology behind the Third Edition thinning model as well as step-by-step worked examples demonstrating the methodology for thinning in this new edition of API RP 581.

Authors: Lynne Kaley
Blog

The Fall API Standards Meeting was incredibly productive and addressed, among other issues, the API Inspection Summit, balloting for the 11th edition of API 510, and improvements to the inspection section of each damage mechanism in API RP 571.

Authors: John Reynolds
Blog

Experienced material specialists are in short supply and high demand these days. So if you are lucky enough to have one at your disposal, how can you squeeze the most out of that opportunity?

Authors: Lynne Kaley
Blog

Anyone who knows me knows that Risk Based Inspection (RBI) and Risk Management are true passions of mine. I have dedicated much of my career to studying them, understanding their intricacies, and witnessing the benefits of their successful...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This brief article contains updates and highlights related to the Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) at the 2016 API Spring Refining Equipment and Standards Meeting.

Authors: John Reynolds
Partner Content

In this interim report, Pinnacle analysts take data from the oil refining industry and dive into how that key sector is being affected by reliability today. Download your free copy!

Blog

When was the last time you reviewed your Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) methodology? Are you using calculation procedures for probability of failure, consequence of failure, and risk that haven’t had their basis reviewed in years?

Authors: Valerie Magyari
Blog

This article provides a summary of the Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) discussions that occurred at the Fall 2015 API Refining Standards Meeting, including the Inspection Summit Planning Committee and the API ICP Task Group.

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Asset managers need to know when repairs and replacement are required for many reasons, including safe operation, accurate budgeting, replacement planning, and on-going reliability. When predicting design life based on a simple, linear corrosion...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Today, more than ever, refinery operators are focused on maintaining safe operations for their employees and extending the life cycle of valuable operating equipment to optimize efficiencies and avoid expensive unforeseen shutdowns. When process...

Blog

One of the most significant advancements to come along in the fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) business in the past two decades is the application of risk-based inspection (RBI) for inspection prioritization, planning, and scheduling. The...

Authors: John Reynolds
Partner Content

Antea delivers highly flexible risk-based asset integrity software with 3D Digital Twin integration to optimize maintenance, reduce risk, and improve mechanical integrity for oil and gas, power generation, and chemical plants and facilities. Whether...

May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

As an RBI consultant, I frequently get involved in discussions spawned from a misunderstanding of the relation between Risk Based Inspection (RBI) approaches and Fitness for Service (FFS) assessments. Questions like: If thickness is below the...

Authors: Luciano Narcisi
Blog

A paper was presented at the 68th Conference of the Italian Thermal Machines Engineering Association entitled Updated Failure Rates and Risk Management in the Process Industries. It was presented in October 2013 by INAIL, an Italian insurance...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Blog

We’ve been discussing Scalable Accuracy and its use related to Lifecycle Management technologies available to owner/operators. The last few topics have included Risk Based Inspection, Fitness for Service using Accuracy, the approach for Equipment...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Blog

We’ve been discussing Scalable Accuracy and its use related to Lifecycle Management technologies available to owner/operators. The last few topics have included Fitness for Service using Scalable Accuracy, the approach for Equipment Lifecycle...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Blog

This is the third of four blogs in a series about Risk Based Inspection (RBI). You can read the previous blogs on a history and reasons for RBI and on starting to define risk. This post deals with the second half of the equation used to define...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Blog

Anyone who knows me knows that Risk Based Inspection (RBI), and Risk Management, are a passion of mine, so my next few posts will feature these topics. These are not all-inclusive, but Inspectioneering.com has dozens of articles and you can...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

As refiners continue operating aging infrastructure, safe operation and equipment availability continue to be key components of a sustainable operation. When considering optimizing inspection projects, more and more refiners are making Risk-Based...

May/June 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is Part 3 of a 3-Part series. The articles in this series provide a step-by-step example of utilization of API RP 581 and build off of each other. This article (Part 3) will cover the final risk analysis, inspection planning, provide a...

Authors: Lynne Kaley
March/April 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

The previous article (Part 1) covered Probability of Failure (POF), including modeling of thinning and stress corrosion cracking and demonstrated how API RBI provides credits for past inspections, considering their effectiveness in detecting those...

Authors: Lynne Kaley
January/February 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

This article provides a unique opportunity to guide the reader through API RBI quantitative calculations per API RP 581, Second Edition, September 2008, using real data. The author guides you step by step from input data to final answers including,...

Authors: Lynne Kaley
January/February 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

Part 1 provided a review of RBI for pressure vessels and piping and an introduction to application of RBI to rotating equipment and the differences between approaching the two different types of equipment. As promised, Part 2 will delve more deeply...

Authors: Gene R. Meyer
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        This Asset Intelligence Report on Risk Based Inspection serves as a primer to increase your familiarity with the principles of RBI, RBI implementation, and maintaining an RBI program.

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