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

IPC2012-90424
APPLICATION AND VALIDATION OF STATISTICALLY BASED CORROSION GROWTH RATES
Clifford J. Maier Det Norske Veritas (USA), Inc. Dublin, Ohio, USA Pamela J. Moreno Det Norske Veritas (USA), Inc. Katy, Texas, USA

William V. Harper, PhD, PE Otterbein University, Mathematical Sciences Westerville, Ohio, USA

David J. Stucki Otterbein University, Mathematical Sciences Westerville, Ohio, USA

Steven J. Polasik Det Norske Veritas (USA), Inc. Dublin, Ohio, USA

Thomas A. Bubenik, PhD, PE Det Norske Veritas (USA), Inc. Dublin, Ohio, USA

David A. R. Shanks, P. Eng. Det Norske Veritas (Canada) Ltd. Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Neil A. Bates, P. Eng. Det Norske Veritas (Canada) Ltd. Calgary, Alberta, Canada

ABSTRACT When it comes to managing the integrity of corroded pipelines, operators are confronted with many difficult decisions one of which is the level of conservatism that is used in pipeline integrity assessments. The financial implications associated with excavation, repair, rehabilitation, and inspection programs typically balance the level of conservatism that is adopted. More conservative approaches translate into more spending, so it is important that repair strategies developed based on the integrity assessment results are effective. As integrity assessment methodologies continue to evolve, so does the ability to account for local conditions. One development in recent years has been the ability to evaluate multiple MFL in-line inspections to determine areas of active corrosion growth, through the combined use of statistics, inspection signal comparisons, and engineering analysis. The authors have previously outlined one approach (commonly known as Statistically Active Corrosion (SAC)) that has been successfully used to identify areas of probable corrosion growth, predict local corrosion growth rates, and maximize the effectiveness of integrity assessments.[1]

Validation of the SAC-predicted corrosion growth rates is important for establishing confidence in the process. This is achieved through inspection signal comparisons, integrating close interval survey (CIS) results, and (when possible) field verification. The means by which these methods are used for validating the SAC method are described in this paper. INTRODUCTION In the interest of the public safety and regulatory compliance, minimum standards exist for the repair of critical anomalies that are identified. So, the decision to address critical anomalies is pre-determined. However, it is often more difficult to make integrity management decisions for sub-critical anomalies. For these anomalies, operators must decide how much conservatism to build into integrity assessments. The financial implications associated with excavation, repair, rehabilitation, and inspection programs typically balance the level of conservatism that is adopted. More conservative approaches translate into more spending, so it is important that repair strategies developed based on the integrity assessment results are effective.

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Pipeline integrity assessments are useful in guiding pipeline operators to areas of corrosion that pose an integrity threat to the pipeline. However, the assessments are often based on conditions that are assumed constant over long sections of pipeline perhaps entire pipeline systems. Such assumptions generally lead to conservative but unrealistic results. Excess conservatism can result in unnecessary mitigative activities, especially in areas that arent actually impacted by a particular threat in the first place. One development in recent years has been the ability to evaluate multiple MFL in-line inspections to determine areas of active corrosion growth, through the combined use of statistics, inspection signal comparisons, and engineering analysis. The authors have previously outlined one approach (commonly known as Statistically Active Corrosion (SAC)) that has been successfully used to identify areas of probable corrosion growth, predict local corrosion growth rates, and maximize the effectiveness of integrity assessments.[1] Many operators using this approach have experienced significant cost savings because integrity management activities were more effectively targeted to areas where corrosion growth is occurring. Confidence in the SAC approach is realized through inspection signal comparisons, integrating close interval survey (CIS) results, and field verification. The SAC verification process is outlined in this paper, following a brief review of the SAC methodology. REVIEW OF THE SAC METHODOLOGY Figure 1 shows the components of the SAC approach, which uses statistical analyses to identify areas where growth may be occurring.

The SAC process (as implemented by the authors) is based on the reported features from the pipe listings, which are coupled with sensitivity adjustments, statistical comparisons, and a manual ILI signal review. While verification through ILI signal review is deemed critical by the authors, elements of this approach reflect additions and adaptations that have occurred since the SAC concept was introduced. Initial work on statistically active corrosion was done by Lara [2] in 1997 and Rust, Burgoon, and Lara in 1999 [3]. Follow-on applications were done by Rust and Johnson in 2001 [4]. There were several problems with these initial methods are briefly described below: 1. Much of the ILI data was not used. 2. Assumption that an extreme-value distribution fit the data. 3. Estimated representative corrosion was much less than mean corrosion. 4. Analysis only involved moving windows (generally 100 feet). With regard to data usage, initial approaches considered only those windows that have reported features in at least 10 feet of the 100-foot moving window. This in several ways resulted in much of the data not being used to estimate corrosion growth. For the second point, it was not realistic to assume that an extreme-value distribution would fit each moving window. Often an adjustment factor had to be used depending on the data set (this was typically done for 25% to 40% of the moving windows). Thirdly, the corrosion estimate used was the Estimated Pit Median Depth (EPMD) based on the extreme-value distribution that grossly under-estimated the mean depth of the reported features. In an analysis of 309,269 moving windows by two of the co-authors, the EPMD was always less (see Figure 2) than the corresponding simple sample mean with an average difference of 20.3 mils (EPMD average of 42.3 mils versus sample mean average of 62.6 mils). The EPMD ranged from 1.5 to 82 mils less than the sample mean in these moving 100-foot windows.
Histogram of EPMD-Mean
9000 8000 7000 6000 Frequency 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 -73.5 -63.0 -52.5 -42.0 -31.5 EPMD-Mean -21.0 -10.5 0.0

Figure 2. EPMD Minus Mean for 309,269 Moving Windows. Figure 1. Overview of the SAC Approach.

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These and other concerns led to new developments in how statistically active corrosion is evaluated. These developments were driven by efforts to include all data. Based on this foundation, new routines were established to deal with a variety of real world issues such as having data in the most recent ILI run but none in an earlier ILI run. A variety of statistical methods are used as appropriate to the given situation. The analysis is performed on moving windows (of usually 30 m or 100 ft lengths), joints, and girth welds. Statistical techniques compare the means, maximums, and counts between the ILI runs for each item of interest (window, joint, girth weld). Bias detection statistical algorithms are employed to aid the comparison of ILI runs. Depending on the operators needs, the output options are numerous including potential summary information such as km (mi) ranking, worst 25 joints, etc. These output options can be used to either establish general corrosion growth rates over contiguous areas or to pinpoint specific joints of concern. Results are based on average depth changes over time (for joints or windows), maximum pit depth change over time, or items such as whether there is a statistically significant increase in the number of reported features over time along the pipeline. The desired confidence level may be specified for statistical significance, which can be important when identifying areas of the pipeline for further investigation. The statistical comparison is improved by reviewing the alignment of box dimensions, as provided by the ILI vendor (typically in spreadsheet format) in the length, width and depth measurements. Through a comparison of these anomaly dimensions, small localized areas of corrosion growth can be characterized for further investigation. Inspection signal comparisons confirm where real change has taken place. Such comparisons are used to also identify locations that may be missed by the use of statistics alone. A good understanding of corrosion mechanisms helps in determining remaining life by estimating mean and maximum corrosion growth rates. Ultimately, local corrosion rates are determined, which are commonly incorporated into a probability of exceedance (POE) analysis. The POE analysis provides a long-term integrity assessment based on ILI data by evaluating the likelihood of a leak and the likelihood of a rupture; whereas, a deterministic analysis evaluates the time to failure of a leak and the time to failure of a rupture. Both methodologies assume a leak occurs when the depth of external metal loss exceeds 80% of the nominal wall thickness and a rupture occurs when the predicted burst pressure is less than the maximum operating pressure (MOP). One POE methodology has been proposed by Mora et al. [5] and Vieth et al. [6]. Since local corrosion growth rates from the SAC approach are used in the integrity assessment, operators can better prioritize repairs and set re-assessment intervals as compared with approaches where uniform corrosion growth rates are assumed. Ultimately, action plans involving knowledge about

the CP system, coating condition, corrosion criticality, and estimated corrosion rates can be developed. VALIDATION VIA INSPECTION SIGNAL COMPARISONS In some approaches, little or no attention is given to the manual ILI signal review. In other cases, the techniques used to analyze the ILI signals might ignore characteristics that reveal important information about the corrosion anomalies. As illustrated below, a detailed review of the ILI signals is critical to achieving the desired level of confidence (i.e., verification) and ultimately ensuring that integrity activities are directed to the locations where they are needed. Some engineers may be inclined to only consider ILI vendor spreadsheets for performing statistical comparisons of multiple inspections. Limiting the scope of the comparison in this way discounts the additional knowledge that can be gained by reviewing the raw inspection signal data. Moreover, there is an increased likelihood of predicting corrosion growth in areas where no change is actually occurring, or vice versa. Common issues that can result in false hot spots are: The two ILI tools may have a different number of sensors, which could cause differences in grading of some anomalies. Many anomalies, especially near welds, may be reported on one survey but not the other. The actual signals associated with these anomalies may not show evidence of significant growth (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Comparison Between 2005 (Top) and 2010 Data (Bottom) for Anomalies near Girth Weld.

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The algorithms used on the two surveys may indicate different depths for signals that did not show evidence of significant growth. These algorithms are proprietary and generally cannot be reviewed. The interaction criteria may be more conservative in one year compared to the other. This could cause anomalies to be represented differently in the boxed data (i.e., ILI vendor spreadsheet) whereas they are the same in the raw data. Additionally, there are some important considerations when automated approaches are used for comparing datasets. In most cases, an automated approach alone is very challenging and prone to misconceptions. In such cases, comparing the actual signals recorded in each inline inspection run can improve the automated approach. By comparing actual signals (see example in Figure 3), low levels of corrosion growth can be verified or removed from consideration. This is often useful in determining differences in tool recording capabilities versus actual corrosion growth on a pipeline segment. Anomaly by anomaly comparison may also be useful when a particular anomaly needs to be reviewed over several inspections to determine its severity and/or origin.

the verification work, attention is drawn to these areas. The sensitivity of the surveys influence signal amplitude, which is addressed before the SAC statistical work is performed (refer to Figure 1).

Figure 4: Comparison of Same Portion of Line from Older Inspection (Left) to More Recent Inspection (Right). Raw ILI data from both the previous and the current inspections is also used to review previous excavation results. Previous repair locations are included in the manual review to understand the differences in the signal data between the two runs for locations that are not expected to have grown. This understanding aids in verifying the survey accuracy. Once the accuracy of the survey is verified, the sensitivity of surveys can be matched to represent the actual condition of the pipeline as closely as possible. This results in a good ILI representation of the actual condition of the pipeline. For example, adjustments are made to account for instances where corrosion areas have appeared to heal themselves. These results can then be used to match the ILI data sets in sensitivity to ensure that standard tool differences have been removed prior to the statistical processing. The numerical comparisons can now be completed. Here the potential hot spots of corrosion growth are identified utilizing multiple statistical and non-statistical comparison methods, such as: Statistically significant differences in the mean depth in 2010 versus 2005. Unusual differences in the numbers of anomalies graded per joint in 2010 versus 2005. Unusual differences in the maximum depth in 2010 versus 2005. Overall highest depths in 2010 Areas with small numbers of anomalies but high SAC growth rates Other joints which stood out in the statistical analysis as unusual or likely to have had growth. Areas are classified in during the review based on evidence suggesting the likelihood of corrosion growth. Typical classifications used are shown in Table 1.

Figure 3: Anomaly by Anomaly Comparison. When a manual review of the raw signal data is performed for validating the SAC results, there are many aspects that are considered: Differences in sensitivity between surveys Degree of signal noise Distinguishing manufacturing anomalies from corrosion anomalies Number of sensors used for each inspection Reporting thresholds Interaction rules Integration to other ILI Figure 4 shows the change in raw signal traces over a 4 year time horizon for one pipeline section. Some changes in the signal patterns are evident, as indicated by the ovals. During

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Figure 5a: 2005 Signal Data (Run 1). Table 1. Classifications Assigned to ILI Signals During Manual Signal Review. Classification 1-Probable Significant Growth Description The ILI signals appear to demonstrate a large difference between each tool run for depth, length, or width The ILI signals appear to demonstrate a difference between each tool run, but this difference is not as pronounced as Probable Significant Growth The ILI signals indicate that a new pipe joint has been installed with some evidence that metal loss may have occurred The ILI signals do not appear to demonstrate a difference between each tool run The ILI signals indicate that a new pipe joint has been installed The ILI signals are difficult to interpret to determine if growth has or has not occurred. An example would be metal loss within the girth weld.

2-Possible Growth

3-Possible Growth on New Pipe Installed

4-Unlikely Growth

5-New Pipeline Installed 6-Inconclusive

Figure 5b: 2010 Signal Data (Run 2) Probable Significant Growth Areas Indicated.

Figures 5-8 show various ILI vendor software representations of areas identified in this type of procedure. The areas contained within the blue ovals were identified as active corrosion through the comparison of the multiple ILI raw data sets.

Figure 6: Comparison Between 2005 and 2010 Data Representing Possible Significant Growth.

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INTEGRATING CIS RESULTS AND FIELD VERIFICATION Additional verifications can be provided through an analysis of the cathodic protection (CP) system and by performing excavations. Excavations and direct examination offer the most conclusive evidence as to whether or not corrosion growth is occurring. Operators routinely use CIS and rectifier data to evaluate the performance of their CP system, so it makes sense to also use these readily-available data for verifying the SAC results. CIS and rectifier data provide valuable insight regarding the corrosion activity on the pipeline. The following activities are typically performed with the data, in conjunction with the SAC verification: Figure 7: Comparison Between 2005 and 2010 Data Representing Possible Growth. Evaluation of the adequacy of the CP protection with respect to the -0.85 V copper sulfate electrode (CSE) polarized potential criteria Evaluation of trends in the DC current output Evaluation of coating condition according to current density and CP design current requirements Identification of possible stray current interference locations Establishing the health of anode ground beds Further, areas of corrosion activity identified by the CIS/rectifier data review are compared with those areas predicted by the SAC analysis to have active corrosion or fast growth rates. Active corrosion areas predicted by both methods can be prioritized for verification excavations. Excavations that are identified can be prioritized using one or more of the following criteria: Manual Review Results those joints identified during the manual signal review to contain Probable Significant Growth CIS integration results - areas with insufficient cathodic protection, or where hot spots have been identified Deterministic Remaining Life the estimated time for the depth to reach 80% WT or the predicted failure pressure to reach MAOP ILI Vendor Review Results those joints identified during the ILI vendors manual signal review to contain new ML

Figure 8: Comparison Between 2005 and 2010 Data Representing Probable Significant Growth. As viewable in the above figures, the ILI raw data is an important data set for validation of the identified statistically active areas.

ADDITIONAL VALIDATION USING FIELD DATA Figure 9 [7] illustrates some of the aspects used in blending field data (or the lack thereof) into a strategic comparison to the ILI information. This is based on well-known epidemiology constructs [8] that provides a foundation that meets both engineering risk management protocols as well as demanding forensic medical requirements for the Center for Disease Control. Many things are put into perspective above and beyond the typical true positives, false positives, etc.

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Figure 9: An Epidemiological Approach to Validation Comparing Field and ILI Measurements. Complementing the comparison of ILI and field measurements (both with measurement errors) is the use of a more robust RMA regression over the theoretically unjustified least squares methods [9]. CONCLUSIONS The SAC methodology is one approach that can be used for predicting corrosion activity and corrosion growth rates in pipeline sections that have been inspected multiple times by MFL tools. The ability to predict local corrosion growth rates and improve long-term failure predictions benefits operators that use the SAC approach because mitigative activities can be more effectively targeted to specific pipeline sections where corrosion is actively growing. This paper presents methodologies that can be used for validating active corrosion and growth rate predictions, including a review of the inspection signal data, integration of CIS data, and field verification. The authors contend that a detailed review of the ILI signals is critical to achieving the desired level of confidence (i.e., verification) and ultimately ensuring that integrity activities are directed to the locations where they are needed. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors acknowledge the support of Det Norske Veritas (USA), Inc., DNV Energy Canada Ltd., and selected clients in carrying out the work needed to prepare this paper. REFERENCES [1] MORENO, P. J., MAIER, C. J., BATES, N. A., SHANKS, D. A., HARPER, W. V., STUCKI, D. J., and BUBENIK, T. A., Development and Application of Local Corrosion Growth Rates for Pipeline Integrity Assessments, NACE International, Proceedings of Corrosion 2012 Conference, 2012. [2] LARA, P. F., Pipeline Corrosion Rate Estimation from Smart Pig Data, RR 97-0008, ARCO Exploration and Production Technology, Plano, Texas, November, 1997. [3] RUST, S. W., BURGOON, D. A., and LARA, P. F., Identifying Active Corrosion Sites on the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, Report for Alyeska, January 11, 1999.

[4] RUST, S. W., and JOHNSON, E. R., Statistical Method for Identifying Active Corrosion Based on Data from Multiple In-Line Inspection Runs, Paper 01622, Corrosion 2001, NACE, March 11-16, 2001, Houston, Texas. [5] MORA, R. G., PARKER, C., VEITH, P. H., and DELANTY, B. Probability of Exceedance (POE) Methodology for Developing Integrity Programs Based on Pipeline Operator-Specific Technical and Economic Factors. Proceedings of the 4th International Pipeline Conference, ASME, 2002. [6] VEITH, P. H., RUST, S. W., and ASHWORTH, B. P., Use of In-line Inspection Data for Integrity Management, NACE International, Proceedings of Corrosion 99 Conference, 1999. [7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensitivity_and_specificity [8] GORDIS, L., Epidemiology, 4th ed., Saunders, Philadelphia. [9] HARPER, W. V., STUCKI, D. J., BUBENIK, T. A., MAIER, C. J., SHANKS, D. A. R., and BATES, N. A., Improved Comparison of ILI Data and Field Excavations, Proceedings of the 2012 9th International Pipeline Conference, Paper 90440, Calgary, 2012.

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