The Energy Institute (EI), in partnership with the Oil & Gas UK, has published the sixth edition of its Pipeline and Riser Loss of Containment (PARLOC) report, containing statistics from a 12-year operating period. The PARLOC report is concerned with loss of containment statistics i.e. average failure (leak) frequencies and probabilities, and it is produced to support the oil and gas industry in risk assessment procedures, and in the design and operation of offshore oil and gas pipelines.

The data gathered covers loss of containment incidents at pipelines and risers on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) between 2001-2012. These have been collected from incidents that have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), together with a survey conducted by pipeline operators, with additional information provided from a commercial pipelines database developed by Infield Systems and a database compiled by Oil & Gas UK.

Jim MacRae, vice chair, EI Scientific Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), says, ‘PARLOC is part of the continuous improvement approach to managing safety in the offshore oil and gas sector, and provides another good example of a collaborative industry approach to gathering important safety data. As incoming chairman of the EI STAC and member of the PARLOC steering group, it has been great to work closely with the HSE and the Pipeline Users Group to update this report. We have all worked very hard over the last two years and the steering group have used the combined resources of the EI’s Technical group and Oil & Gas UK to produce a quality piece of subsea pipeline failure rate data on the UKCS.’

Robert Paterson, health, safety and employment issues director, Oil & Gas UK, added, ‘Oil & Gas UK welcomes publication of the PARLOC report which provides up-to-date details of the incidents involving UKCS offshore pipelines in which containment was lost. It indicates the historical level of reliability achieved in the operation of UKCS pipelines, which can be used in the context of quantified risk assessment. Information contained in the PARLOC report will be important to pipeline engineers and technical safety specialists for safety case analysis.’

PARLOC reports are recognised within the oil and gas industry as the preferred source of statistical data regarding loss of containment frequencies. The report summarises loss of containment frequencies for both steel and flexible pipelines averaged across categories and sizes of pipelines. It shows the numbers of incidents by pipeline and riser type and also the pipeline operating experience.