Improvement of integrity management for pressure vessels based on risk assessment - A natural gas separator case study (2023)


The pressure vessels in oil and gas processing plant are used to store flammable and explosive media (Qingfeng et al., 2011). Once the oil and gas storage and transportation equipment fail, oil and gas leakage, explosion and other risks may occur, threatening the safety and economic production of oil and gas processing stations. Therefore, it is urgent to carry out integrity management for pressure vessels in oil and gas processing plant, build a scientific and feasible equipment integrity management mode, and timely and effectively eliminate potential safety hazards (Wilson, 2022; Ni et al., 2022).

Pipeline integrity management started early. In the 1970s, pipeline integrity management began to appear. The six-step integrity management method of “Data collection - Identification of high-risk areas - Risk evaluation - Integrity evaluation - Maintenance - Efficiency management” was established. After 50 years of development, pipeline integrity management has evolved from prescriptive visual inspection and assessment to risk-based integrity management using real-time data (Khan et al., 2021). The integrity management of pressure vessels started late. At present, equipment integrity management follows the Shewhart Cycle.

The Shewhart Cycle is developed by Edward Deming, who is considered by many as the father of modern quality control. The Shewhart Cycle is based on a scientific method thought to originate from the work of Francis Bacon. The basis is written as “hypothesis” – “experiment” – “evaluation” or “plan” – “do” – “check”. The plan (hypothesis) step of the Shewhart Cycle establishes the objectives up front. This activity focuses on developing a set of strategic objectives which include providing a strategic direction along with resources needed to execute them. It can also be used as a benchmark to judge the performance of integrity management. The do (experiment) step addresses the implementation phase of the plans. The check step measures the performance of each process from the data collected in the DO step and compares it against the benchmark results from the plan step.

The final step of the cycle, “act,” is added by Shewhart in order to take action based on the conclusions of the evaluation. The ACT step involves addressing any deviations in our process in order to continually improve our performance. This step takes the form of an analysis of the deviations in order to understand their root causes. The act step also provides a mechanism for continuous improvement, especially when we want to assess whether our strategic planning for managing the integrity of our facility has been successful.

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The steps of the cycle then become “plan” – “do” – “check” – “act” or PDCA, as shown in Fig. 1 (Isniah et al., 2020). PDCA is a continuous improvement cycle, which includes iteration to continuously promote the “excellence” of facility integrity.

Based on PDCA cycle, the traditional equipment integrity management system mainly consists of four links: strategy development (Plan), implementation and execution (Do), inspection and audit (Check) and continuous improvement (Act). It consists of 10 primary elements, including policies and objectives, risk management, organization, resources, training and document control, equipment selection and hierarchical management, risk management, process quality assurance, inspection, testing and preventive maintenance, defect management, change management, inspection and audit, and continuous improvement. The elements are interrelated and mutually infiltrated to ensure the systematicness, unity and standardization of the system, as shown in Fig. 2.

At present, an equipment integrity management system architecture based on PDCA cycle has been formed. Most petroleum companies also recognize the importance of oil and gas equipment integrity management. The road to equipment failure free (Fig. 3) requires the combination of multiple technologies and continuous improvement, such as risk assessment, repair and maintenance, inspection and detection and other technologies.

As a key link in improving equipment integrity management, risk assessment has been proposed by many scholars (O'Connor et al., 2019; Guo et al., 2018). Risk assessment methods are divided into three categories: qualitative risk assessment, semi quantitative risk assessment and quantitative risk assessment (RADU, 2009). In oil and gas production, oil and gas processing plant are generally divided into Ι, II and III Class according to process conditions. Different risk identification methods are used, as shown in Fig. 4. Quantitative or semi quantitative risk identification is adopted for Class II stations, semi-quantitative risk identification is adopted for Class II stations, and qualitative risk assessment method is adopted for Class III.

Qualitative risk assessment methods mainly include risk checklist qualitative risk analysis, which includes safety inspection, preliminary hazard analysis (PHA) (Hadj-Mabrouk, 2017), list inspection, hypothetical accident and consequence analysis, failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) (Liu et al., 2013), hazard and hazard regulation study (HAZOP) (Siddiquia, 2014) and other hazard identification methods (Cai et al., 2022; AlKazimi and Grantham, 2015). The qualitative method can provide the relative levels of high, medium and low risks according to experts' opinions, which is convenient and quick to operate. However, the frequency of dangerous accidents and the consequences of accident losses cannot be quantified. Semi-quantitative risk assessment is a risk analysis method based on quantitative indicators of risk.

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Quantitative risk analysis (QRA), also known as Probability Risk Analysis, is a rigorous mathematical and statistical method for quantifying absolute accident frequency (Steijn et al., 2020). This evaluation and analysis method has been widely used in nuclear industry, aviation industry and petrochemical industry. Quantitative risk assessment can also be used in the analysis of risk, cost and benefit, which is beyond the former two methods. At present, the commonly used quantitative risk assessment method of the station is Risk Based Inspection (RBI) (YNER, 2002). RBI establishes the risk matrix of failure probability and failure consequence for equipment risk assessment. The risk assessment method provided by RBI can guide the inspection of stations and improve economic benefits (Singh and Pokhrel, 2018).

Although RBI includes risk assessment of corrosion thinning failure mode, its objects are mainly oil refining, petrochemical and chemical plants, many failure conditions belong to high temperature conditions, which do not match the working conditions of oil and gas processing plant. At the same time, the application of RBI needs to collect a large number of data, and the accuracy of the evaluation results is difficult to guarantee. The existing equipment integrity management process failed to integrate with the pipeline and pressure vessels integrity management in the application of oil and gas stations, resulting in difficulties in the implementation of equipment integrity management. Secondly, the risk management link relies on many parameters such as failure data, which does not form a pre-emptive risk assessment and cannot effectively support preventive maintenance elements.

Therefore, this paper has innovated a risk assessment method. Based on the analysis of different failure modes of pressure vessels, RBFM has been created, which can quickly prepare risk assessment for failure modes of pressure vessels. RBFM circumvents a large number of failure data statistics such as RBI, combines the failure mechanism, starts from the failure development trend, establishes relevant factors and indicators, and identifies the possibility of failure. The main innovations of RBFM risk assessment method are as follows:

  • (1)

    This manuscript evaluated the risks of different failure modes, laying a solid foundation for later detection and maintenance.

  • (2)

    By comparing various standards, specifications and literature studies, the invalid database is avoided, and this manuscript established indexes and value ranges under different failure modes, and fully considered the influence of medium and working conditions on the occurrence of failure.

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The correlation between detection methods and risk levels has been improved. Based on failure mode, failure probability and risk level, a detection strategy including detection method and detection cycle is established, which improves the accuracy rate of equipment inspection. Based on this method, the integrity management of pressure vessels is improved, which makes the risk assessment of pressure vessels more accurate and improves the integrity management level of pressure vessels in the station.

Section snippets

Static equipment integrity management method

Based on the characteristics of complex media, diverse types and variable working conditions of static equipment, a 6-step loop centered on the previous risk assessment is established to form a continuous iterative optimization of the integrity management method for pressure vessels, as shown in Fig. 5. Develop facility strategic objectives, Data acquisition and risk identification, Inspection, detection and evaluation, Repair and maintenance, Effectiveness evaluation, Risk Management. The

Case study - implementation process of integrity management of natural gas separator in H processing plant

The treatment process in the processing plant is complex, as shown in Fig. 13, Including feed gas separation and pressurization, MDEA desulfurization, dehydration, deethanization and other units. It has been put into use for more than 20 years. During the operation, the pressurization separation unit is often abnormal because the feed gas is not treated. Therefore, the inlet separator of the feed gas compressor in the booster separation unit is selected to carry out the detailed implementation

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In view of the characteristics of many types of pressure vessels and complex working conditions in oil and gas processing plant, this paper establishes the integrity management business flow of pressure vessels based on PACA cycle, and creates a risk assessment method and inspection and detection strategy based on failure modes.

  • (1)

    A six-step closed loop centered on the previous risk assessment has been formed, forming a continuous iterative optimization of the integrity management method of

Credit authorship statement

Kexi Liao: formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims; Funding acquisition, Min Qin: Calculation; Drafting the manuscript; Guoxi He: Analysis and/or interpretation of data, Sijia Chen: Acquisition of data, Xinhui Jiang: Investigation, Shijian Zhang: Acquisition of data.

Declaration of competing interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (52174062) and Scientific Research and Technology Development Project of CNPC (No. 2021DJ2804).

(Video) Risk Managment Part 1 Case Study

© 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


What are the elements of pipeline integrity management? ›

A pipeline integrity management plan includes all the activities aimed at the maintenance or repair of pipelines, such as defining operations and procedures, inspections, maintenance, pipeline monitoring, and corrosion prevention.

What is pipeline integrity management? ›

Pipeline integrity management (PIM) is a system used by pipeline owners and operators to ensure a pipeline's safety from its conception to its retirement.

What are the objectives of asset integrity management? ›

The primary objective of Asset Integrity Management (AIM) is to maintain the asset in a fit-for-service condition while extending its remaining life in the most reliable, safe, and cost- effective manner.

What is asset integrity in oil and gas? ›

An effective Mechanical / Asset Integrity program provides assurance that a facility's equipment and systems are designed, fabricated, procured, installed and maintained in an appropriate manner that assures their continued and safe operation throughout the life of the operation.

What are the three elements of the integrity management program? ›

Three main elements of an integrity management review involve the reliability and integrity of the assets; the effectiveness of the systems and procedures that are in place to control operation and maintenance; and the knowledge and competence of the workforce who's managing and maintaining the assets.

What is pipeline integrity assessment? ›

“Integrity Assessment” refers to measurements made by pipeline operators to determine whether their hazardous liquid or natural gas pipelines have adequate strength – integrity – to prevent leaks or ruptures under normal operation and upset conditions.

What is integrity risk management? ›

Integrity risk management aids decision-making and ultimately helps to ensure the achievement of integrity objectives.

Why is pipeline integrity important? ›

Pipeline Integrity safeguards the pipeline, ensuring all its components are working properly and no harmful chemicals are released from the pipeline. This means, from designing to operating pipelines, everything is reliable, efficient and safe.

What are the three basic performance measures for the pipeline? ›

(a) Speed-up of the pipeline, (b) efficiency of the pipeline, and (c) throughput of the pipeline.

How do you implement asset integrity management? ›

How to implement Asset Integrity Systems
  1. Organizing asset information and engineer documents.
  2. Training and qualification of teams involved in the project.
  3. ITPM (Inspection, Testing, and Preventive Maintenance) implementation.
  4. Implementation of an integrated asset integrity management system.
Jan 13, 2022

What is asset integrity process safety management? ›

Physical Asset Integrity Management (AIM) is a widely known and well-defined process that, if applied in the correct way, can offer asset owners and operators the ability to manage risk and assure the integrity of assets throughout their life cycle.

How do you maintain asset integrity? ›

Ensure inspection intervals are not exceeded. Perform risk-based inspection (RBI) Conduct life extension studies. Perform fitness-for-service reviews.

What is risk assessment in oil and gas industry? ›

A risk assessment is a process of identifying potential hazards and analyzing the eventualities if a hazard occurs. This procedure consists of three steps: Hazard identification: identify internal and external hazards, and risk factors that have the potential to cause harm.

Why asset integrity is important in oil and gas industry? ›

Asset integrity, including maintenance and inspection, ensure that major accident hazards are prevented. On-time and well-executed inspection and maintenance prevent unplanned outages, reduce downtime, save costs, and most of all, improve safety and could save lives.

What is risk management in oil and gas? ›

The concept of risk management:

The goal of risk management is to eliminate or reduce unacceptable levels of risk. In oil and gas, for example, this might mean comparing a new project to an existing one based on cost, time to market, and other factors.

What is an example of integrity management? ›

An example of integrity in a manager who conducts regular performance appraisals is one who devotes enough time to reviewing employee performance to prepare an objective and realistic evaluation.

What are 3 things to encourage integrity? ›

These include:
  • Respecting the privacy of colleagues in private conversations.
  • Communicating honestly.
  • Taking responsibility for your actions.
  • Making promises you keep.
  • Supporting your organisation's values with or without recognition.
  • Acknowledging your colleagues when they perform high quality work.
  • Being trustworthy.

What are the four 4 key dimensions of integrity capacity? ›

The authors propose the integrity capacity construct with its four dimensions (process, judgment, development and system dimensions) as a framework for analyzing and resolving behavioral, moral and legal complexity in business ethics' issues at the individual and collective levels.

What are the two main types of integrity tests? ›

So as I said, there are two main types of integrity tests: covert (personality-based) tests that measure traits linked to rule adherence; and overt tests which assess an applicant's attitudes towards various counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs) directly.

What are common integrity tests? ›

The two types of tests related to integrity testing are called overt and personality-based measures. The overt test asks about past behavior and attitudes about theft and counterproductive behavior. The personality-based measures of personality traits that are associated with theft and counterproductive behavior.

What questions are in an integrity test? ›

Typical covert integrity questions include:
  • True or False: I don't like people telling me what to do.
  • True or False: I consider myself a risk-taker.
  • True or False: I find it hard to make connections with the people around me.
  • True or False: I like to attend social functions at least once a week.

What are the 4 C's of risk management? ›

4C's risk management services encompass each phase of the risk lifecycle – identification, analysis, evaluation and treatment – and integrates risk with business continuity and crisis management to ensure organisation-wide resilience.

What are the three C's of risk management? ›

Organizations that consider a connected GRC strategy now based on the three C's (cognitive, continuous and cloud) will have a quantitative, actionable view of all areas of the business, ensuring board, management, and shareholder expectations are met and put practitioners back in control of their risk strategy.

What are three the three main integrity concepts? ›

Three types of integrity constraints are an inherent part of the relational data model: entity integrity, referential integrity and domain integrity. Entity integrity concerns the concept of a primary key.

Why is integrity and compliance important? ›

To that end, integrity and compliance management helps companies manage risk, investigate alleged misconduct and measure the financial implications when issues arise. In addition, industry-specific regulation as well as geographical reach can have a major impact on the compliance strategy and effectiveness.

What is the importance of integrity system? ›

Integrity stimulates employees to comply and helps to instil values that support a commitment to ethical conduct. Therefore, integrity system is very important and it plays a major role in ensuring accountability and transparency within the organization.

What is the goal of pipeline management? ›

Pipeline management is the process of identifying and managing all the moving parts — from manufacturing to your sales team— within a supply chain. The best-performing companies learn how to identify where their cash is flowing and then direct that money where it's most productive. This is called “pipeline management.”

What are the 5 instruction in pipeline? ›

Fetch, Decode, Execute, Memory, Write.

What are five 5 key components of an effective performance measurements system? ›

All five component processes (i.e., planning, monitoring, developing, rating, rewarding) work together and support each other, resulting in natural, effective performance management.

What are the 4 stages in pipeline? ›

A pipelined processor uses a 4-stage instruction pipeline with the following stages: Instruction fetch (IF), Instruction decode (ID), Execute (EX) and Writeback (WB).

What is an example of asset integrity? ›

An example of a company practising asset integrity management would be an airline that schedules routine inspections based on risk analysis and overhauls only when necessary, instead of following a schedule regardless of whether an engine or landing gear has reached its end-of-life point.

How do you build an integrity based organization? ›

How to Build a Company That (Actually) Values Integrity
  • Lead by example. Leadership must openly and directly embrace integrity. ...
  • Make your ethics code your own. ...
  • Talk about it. ...
  • Make sure people know how to report violations. ...
  • Demonstrate the consequences. ...
  • Remember that repetition matters.
Jul 30, 2020

What is asset integrity assessment? ›

A comprehensive evaluation understanding of the real cause of material ageing related to degradation, corrosion control and monitoring or manufacturing deficiencies in the equipment allows for optimising short and long term repair decisions while balancing the economics, safety and overall life management of the asset.

Which 3 are principles of asset management? ›

Extending asset life • Optimizing maintenance and renewal • Developing accurate long-term funding strategies • Sustain long term performance!

Who is responsible for managing process safety and asset integrity? ›

The Asset Manager is Accountable for requirements: • (14) Establish and Maintain Procedures to operate HSSE Critical Equipment within its Operational Limits. managing the Assets. HSSE Critical Equipment safe for maintenance activities.

What are the three key ISO standards for asset management? ›

The three international standards (ISO 55000, 55001 and 55002) are important because they represent a global consensus on asset management and what it can do to increase value generated by all organisations.

What are the challenges of asset integrity management? ›

Many of the challenges of integrity managers relate to the lack of precise and accurate data, the misunderstanding of integrity priorities, and the need for better leveraging of budget resources.

How can asset management be improved? ›

Improving your asset management process
  1. Take inventory. Before you can manage your assets, you first need to take stock of each one, big or small. ...
  2. Identify and evaluate your asset obstacles. ...
  3. Designate a team member to manage assets. ...
  4. Automate your asset management process.
May 9, 2023

Which of the following are key elements of a asset integrity? ›

The elements are as follows:
  • Risk assessment,
  • Engineering,
  • Construction and fabrication quality control and assurance,
  • Integrity operating windows,
  • In-service inspection,
  • Corrosion management,
  • Management of change,
  • Reliability centered maintenance,
Oct 29, 2020

What are the 5 points of a risk assessment? ›

You can do it yourself or appoint a competent person to help you.
  • Identify hazards.
  • Assess the risks.
  • Control the risks.
  • Record your findings.
  • Review the controls.

What are the five major risks faced by oil and gas companies? ›

  • Political Risk.
  • Geological Risk.
  • Price Risk.
  • Supply and Demand Risks.
  • Cost Risks.

What is risk assessment onboard a vessel? ›

Regular risk assessments must be carried out to see how accidents, injuries or illnesses could be caused on the ship and what can be done to reduce the chances of them happening. Risk assessments must be reviewed every year and whenever there are significant changes to either the ship or working activities.

Why oil and gas industry is high risk? ›

The oil and gas industry perpetually seems rife with uncertainty and a potential volatility. Between rising and diminishing consumer demand, price fluctuations, and of course, geopolitical issues where one global supplier or another threatens to cut off supplies, every day holds surprises and risks.

What are the key success factors for the oil and gas industry? ›

Quality of Reserves and Replacement Strategy

The assessment on life of reserve and its quality are key factors used to determine the company's growth strategy, capital spending and future business performance.

What are the 5 types of risk management? ›

There are five basic techniques of risk management:
  • Avoidance.
  • Retention.
  • Spreading.
  • Loss Prevention and Reduction.
  • Transfer (through Insurance and Contracts)
Jun 22, 2022

What are the five 5 risk management steps for an effective risk management process? ›

The 5 Steps of an Effective Risk Management Process
  • Step 1: Identifying Risks. The first step of the risk management process is to identify all the potential risks your organization might be exposed to. ...
  • Step 2: Risk Assessment. ...
  • Step 3: Prioritizing the Risks. ...
  • Step 4: Risk Mitigation. ...
  • Step 5: Monitoring the Results.

What are the five risk management? ›

There are five basic steps that are taken to manage risk; these steps are referred to as the risk management process. It begins with identifying risks, goes on to analyze risks, then the risk is prioritized, a solution is implemented, and finally, the risk is monitored.

What are the elements of operational integrity? ›

The Operational Integrity framework promotes repeatable operational excellence and provides a platform for continuous improvement. It is based on the three core elements: people, process and asset.

What are the elements of a mechanical integrity program? ›

OSHA's Elements for an MI Program

Perform periodic inspection and testing, following “recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices,” and document that inspections have been done. Correct equipment deficiencies before further use or in a safe and timely manner.

What are the elements of a good data pipeline? ›

A data pipeline has five key components: storage, preprocessing, analysis, applications, and delivery.

What are the four elements of integrity? ›

The magnificent seven aspects of integrity
  • Honesty. This means telling the truth, being open, not taking advantage of others. ...
  • Respect. ...
  • Generating trust. ...
  • Pride. ...
  • Responsibility. ...
  • Keeping promises. ...
  • Helping others.
Aug 24, 2015

What are the 6 attribute of integrity? ›

The characteristics of integrity include honesty, responsibility, grace, respect, accountability, hard work , patience and any other action that describe being honest.

What is an example of mechanical integrity? ›

Some examples might be pressure vessels, dispersion tanks, piping systems and attached hardware (valves, fittings, etc), relief devices, vent hardware, and emergency shutdown/control systems.

What is a system integrity plan? ›

An operating system is said to have system integrity when it is designed, implemented and maintained to protect itself against unauthorized access, and does so to the extent that security controls specified for that system cannot be compromised.

What are the five data elements? ›

The 5 elements of a data analytics strategy
  • Collecting data.
  • Data analysis.
  • Reporting results.
  • Improving processes.
  • Building a data-driven culture.

What are 4 of the important steps in the solution pipeline of a data science problem? ›

Generally, the primary processes of a data science pipeline are: Data engineering (including collection, cleansing, and preparation) Machine learning (model learning and model validation) Output (model deployment and data visualization)

What is KPI on pipeline? ›

A sales pipeline key performance indicator (KPI) is any metric used to track the progress of leads through the pipeline. Metrics let reps measure the performance and effectiveness of their sales activities against concrete numbers.


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