Within the pipeline industry, there is a concerted push towards reducing the risks associated with the transportation of hazardous products. In the event of hydrocarbon liquid pipeline failure, major concerns are the negative effects on the environment and the socioeconomic impacts on the neighbouring population.
The impacts are highly variable and depend on the type of fluid released and the locations affected by the spill; however, there is agreement that the consequences of failure increase with the amount of product released. Therefore, the ability to predict the potential volume of a spill due to a hazardous liquid release is an important consideration in assessing the risks associated with pipeline failure, and in preparing for and mitigating any detrimental effects.
Analytical models have been developed to make spill volume predictions based on pipeline and terrain characteristics. However, we wanted to address the same issue by looking at what the historical data says about the outcomes of previous pipeline failures, and to use that information to make predictions about future spills. As such, our analysis focused on examining publicly available historical failure records to determine whether correlations could be drawn between key pipeline attributes and the reported spill volumes.