Availability-based reliability-centered maintenance planning for gas transmission pipelines

Kimiya Zakikhani, Fuzhan Nasiri, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


A large portion of natural gas is transferred through transmission pipelines. For these facilities, in the United States, external corrosion has led to more than 1700 failures in the past decades, causing a property damage of approximately $189 M. Such numbers highlight the importance of maintaining such facilities in safe conditions to postpone corrosion failure. Given such criticality, addressing pipeline availability is of high importance from economic consequences perspective for a national economy. However, most of the developed methods merely rely on considering costs, reliability or condition levels as maintenance decision criteria and ignore the importance of continuity of operation and pipeline availability. In this research, a maintenance planning framework is proposed for external corrosion of gas transmission pipelines through an availability-centered reliability-based maintenance planning procedure. This framework is based on the pipeline reliability profile obtained from a Monte Carlo simulation. This simulation is carried on a previously developed failure prediction model for gas transmission pipelines buried in the Great Plains region of the U.S. and considers failure uncertainties. In addition, a discrete event simulation (DES) approach is proposed to assess an availability-cost indicator of different maintenance scheduling alternatives for the case study of a 24-inch gas pipeline. This research reveals that a combination of wrap and replacement maintenance actions at the service life of 30.1 and 40.5 years respectively, is the most effective maintenance alternative in terms of improvement of availability per unit cost for the presented case study. This framework can help pipeline professionals in maintaining such facilities by considering their criticality using an availability-based maintenance scheduling approach. Such method can complement the conventional cost-based industry practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104105
JournalInternational Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Availability
  • Cost
  • External corrosion
  • Gas
  • Mean time to failure
  • Mean time to repair
  • Pipeline
  • Planning
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Reliability
  • Transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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