Conveying hydrocarbons from offshore production facilities to onshore receiving stations presents risk to the environment, public health and safety. Pipelines are the most effective mode of hydrocarbon transportation but like every other asset they age due to various reasons. Despite their age, the use of pipelines often continues after their designed lifespan has ended and the major risk posed by aging pipelines is leakage. A substantial amount of major export pipelines in the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) have exceeded their design life. To ensure safety, it is important to manage the integrity of aging pipelines still in use and to extend any lifetime analysis of the system well beyond its designed end of use. This paper highlights a management cycle to justify the technical and operational integrity of aging carbon steel pipelines to ensure continuous safe operation beyond their design life. The paper focuses on time based degradation mechanisms and uses the results of a Failure Mode Effects and Analysis (FMEA) risk assessment in conjunction with pipeline safety regulations to obtain a robust method for determination of safe methods for extended lifespan use of pipelines.

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