Quantitative Safety Assessment of Hydrocarbon Transportation Pipelines
The International Energy Agency estimates that the global energy demand will increase by 40% to 2040, with fossil fuels still accounting for the largest part of the world’s source of energy. Pipelines are generally considered to be the safest mode of transportation of hydrocarbon products. To secure this increasing demand in energy, over 3.5 million km of pressurized pipelines have been constructed over the world to transport the very significant quantities of hydrocarbons. However, significant safety challenges are associated to the use of this transportation mode.
In Qatar, over 3,830 km of hydrocarbon pipelines connect the 3 major industrial hubs (Ras Laffan, Messaied and Duhkan) and the capital Doha. The safe design and economic operation of hydrocarbon pipelines is of paramount importance in ensuring energy security. The State of Qatar is uniquely placed to play a key role in meeting this challenge due to its position of major producer and exporter of oil and gas.
The aim of this proposal involving international collaboration of academic researchers and the active support of major stakeholders and safety legislators in Qatar is to undertake fundamentally important research to develop state of the art mathematical tools urgently needed to accurately assess and improve the safety of high pressure hydrocarbon transportation pipelines. An important component of the work proposed involves the validation of the mathematical models developed using a unique fully instrumented realistic-scale pipeline rupture test facility recently constructed by the present project partners in collaboration Institut National de l’EnviRonnement Industriel et des RisqueS (INERIS) in France.