Toggle Menu

Probabilistic Failure Models for Pipeline Risk Assessment
Led by Thomas Dessein and Daryl Bandstra
December 4-5, 2024 | Online

Register before November 20, 2024 and save $200!

Day 1
  9am-1:30pm CDT  Course
Day 2
  9am-1:30pm CDT  Course


Probabilistic models are used in pipeline risk and reliability assessment to predict the probability that the structure may fail. Structures in general, and pipelines in particular, have increasing performance expectations. This increase in performance is to be achieved despite many sources of uncertainty, such as incomplete knowledge of the physical properties, limited physical performance models, and uncertain future loading conditions.

The defining characteristic of probabilistic models is that the model inputs are characterized using probability distributions, which can incorporate the uncertainty and variability in each model input. The probability of failure estimated by these models are commonly used as part of a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) of a pipeline system to evaluate concerns such as life-safety, environmental and economic risk.

When compared to other quantitative models, such as models based on industry-wide failure rate statistics, probabilistic models are better at providing data-driven risk insights and supporting decision making. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has identified probabilistic models as “a best practice for supporting all decision types.”


The content of this course provides an overview of the concepts and implementation of probabilistic failure models for transmission pipelines, with a particular focus on the assessment of anomalies measured during in-line inspections. The material is aligned with guidance provided in pipeline industry standards such as CSA Z662 Annex O and ISO 16708, and is consistent with the approaches used by many major North American pipeline operators.

The course attendees will be introduced to the process of performing a probabilistic structural reliability analysis, which includes:

  • hazard identification,
  • definition of a failure condition (the limit state),
  • the statistical methods needed to characterize uncertainties such as defect measurement error and material property variability,
  • calculation of the probability of failure,
  • evaluating the risk against risk-based criteria, and
  • performing what-if analysis to evaluate mitigation options.CEU

This course is interactive with a mix of presentations and hands-on examples, where participants will have the opportunity to implement example probabilistic models in Microsoft® Excel® to reinforce the concepts. No special software is needed.


This course is designed for pipeline engineers, designers and managers involved in pipeline integrity management and risk assessment.


Complete course presentation material will be available as a PDF download prior to the course.


Upon completion of the course, participants will be eligible to receive .7 Continuing Education Units.

Course structure and delivery

The course consists of:

  • The delivery platform will be GoToWebinar.
  • The instructor will be online with you during the Lecture sessions.
  • Live Question & Answer sessions with the instructor will follow each lecture. 5 minutes per session, with a 30-minute summary Q&A session at the end of the course.
  • You will be able to submit your questions to the instructor via live Chat during the lecture sessions, and he will address them in the Q&A session that follows.

 Organized by:

Clarion Technical Conferences