Quantitative Risk Assessment: Underground Natural Gas Storage Facilities

TransGas undertook a risk-ranking project for storage facilities as the first step in the process of evaluating the financial and life-safety risk associated with the eight storage facilities that they operate in Saskatchewan, Canada. Based on this analysis, two salt cavern storage facilities were selected for a quantitative risk assessment. The most cost-effective maintenance actions for each cavern were determined as follows: Fault trees were prepared for all of the identified failure scenarios. Several unique computer models were developed to predict the failure rates of the events identified in the fault trees and the consequences associated with both sub-surface and atmospheric releases from the storage facilities. Both life-safety and financial risk were considered in the analysis. For each of the caverns, a number of potential maintenance scenarios were selected that address the dominant failure causes. Life-safety risk was assessed first and compared to the TransGas tolerance. A cost optimization analysis was then carried out in which the total expected future cost associated with each maintenance option was amortized over the benefit period and compared to the total expected future cost associated with the current maintenance practice. The paper describes the risk analysis and cost optimization approach and provides case study examples of the caverns analyzed and the recommendations reached in each case.

 

Author: Wickenhauser, P.L., Wagg, B.T., and Barbuto, F.A

Publisher: 2006 International Pipeline Conference

Year: 2006

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