Defect Assessment in Pipelines
Led by Dr. Phil Hopkins
November 30 - December 2, 2020: Calgary


Courses with the symbol have been evaluated by the QPPI and their contents are aligned to their competency standards set out in the Competency Standards Manual for Pipeline Integrity Management. More information is available on the QPPI website:


Day 1
  7:30am Registration & coffee
  8:00am-5:00pm Course
Day 2
  8:00am-5:00pm Course
Day 3
8:00am-noon Course


Organized in association with Penspen Integrity

"Through this required operator must evaluate all defects and... develop a schedule that prioritizes the defects for evaluation
and repair."

—from the Final DOT Rule: Pipeline Integrity Management in High Consequence Areas

Many transmission pipelines are now over 50 years old. This is "middle aged" in pipeline terms, and even the best designed and maintained pipeline will become defective as it progresses through its design life. Therefore, operators need to be aware of the effect these defects will have on their pipeline, and — more importantly — be able to assess their significance in terms of the continuing integrity of the pipeline. The increasing use of high-technology maintenance (for example, intelligent pigs) is helping pipeline owners to assess the condition of their lines, and if these modern maintenance methods are combined with modern defect-assessment methods, they can provide a very powerful, and cost-effective, tool. This course, organized in association with Penspen Integrity, will present the latest defect-assessment methods to pipeline engineers and managers. These methods will range from simple, quick, assessment methods, to the more-detailed —fitness for purpose— analysis. The course is highly interactive and takes the form of lectures, workshops, and case studies.


Regulatory authorities and standards bodies now require pipeline engineers to have demonstrable competencies. Competence is gained from a combination of skills, experience, and knowledge. ASME B31Q defines skill as "... the ability to perform mental and physical activities acquired or developed through training or experience," and ASME B31.4 defines experience as "... work activities accomplished... under the direction of qualified supervision... but not including time spent in organized training program." Training is thus a key element of competency. PHMSA defines training as "… an educational or instructional process (e.g., classroom, computer-based, or on-the-job) by which an individual's knowledge, skills, and his/her capacity to do or act, physically and/or mentally, are improved." It is essential that any training a pipeline engineer undergoes is contributing to his/her competencies, and can be shown to be doing this. This course is based on classes in Master Degree programs at UK universities, and has been presented for over 15 years. The trainers are demonstrably world authorities. This combination of an established course and elite trainers allows companies to state that their engineers have attended a training course that is demonstrably best practice.

Course Objectives

The course will cover methods available to assess the significance of defects detected in onshore and offshore pipelines. It will introduce simple analytical methods used to assess internal and external corrosion, dents and gouges, cracks (e.g. SCC), weld defects, and fatigue. The course is unique as it is a holistic approach to defect assessment, and it ensures the student appreciates all aspects of the subject, including repair and risk management.

Who Should Attend

Pipeline engineers, designers and service professionals who are involved with the maintenance, inspection, and repair of pipelines.

Course Notes

All delegates will receive a detailed set of lecture notes totaling more than 500 pages, providing an invaluable reference document.

Continuing Education Units

Upon completion of the course, participants will be eligible to receive1.4 CEUs.


Dr. Phil Hopkins has over 35 years' experience in pipeline engineering, and is an independent consultant based in Newcastle, UK. Prior to establishing his consultancy, Phil was Technical Director with the engineering company Penspen Ltd., and Managing Director of the pipeline engineering consultancy Andrew Palmer and Associates. He has worked with most of the major oil and gas companies and pipeline companies around the world, providing consultancy on management, business, design, maintenance, inspection, risk analysis and safety, and failure investigations. He is the past-chairman of the ASME Pipeline Systems Division, and has served on many other professional committees, including the British Standards Institution, European Pipeline Research Group, the Pipeline Research Committee International, and the DNV Pipeline Committee. More than 6000 engineers and technical personnel around the world have attended his courses. He has also contributed extensively to master's programs at Newcastle and Northumbria universities in the UK.

Course Program

Day 1

Introduction to Basic Pipeline Engineering Principles

  • Basic pipeline design principles
  • Stresses in pipelines
  • Routing of pipelines
  • Basic pipeline operating and maintenance parameters
  • Maintenance and inspection methods
Introduction to Pipeline Defects - Why Pipelines Fail
  • How safe are pipelines?
  • How often do they fail?
  • What causes pipelines to fail?
  • Pipeline risks
  • History of pipeline defect assessment
Introduction to Fracture Mechanics (handouts and notes only, no lecture)
  • Basic theory
  • Brittle & ductile fracture
  • K, J, and CTOD

Understanding Fatigue (handouts and notes only, no lecture)

Fundamental Pipeline Defect Failure Relationships

  • Why pipeline defects fail
  • Fundamental failure relationships
  • Explanation of key parameters
How to Assess Corrosion Defects
  • Introduction to basic theory
  • Background, strengths and weaknesses
  • Methods to assess corrosion
  • ASME B31.G and RSTRENG methods
  • DNV, BG, etc., methods
  • Interacting defects
  • Universal curves for assessing corrosion defects.

Workshop: Corrosion Assessment using Fitness for Purpose


How to Assess Gouges

  • Introduction to basic theory
  • Methods to assess gouges
  • Additional problems and concerns with gouges
How to Assess Dents
  • Introduction to basic theory
  • Methods to assess dents
  • Methods to assess dents containing gouges
  • Rock dents
  • Problems with fatigue loadings
How to Assess Cracks
  • Basic theory
  • The problems with cracks in pipelines
  • Stress corrosion cracking (low and high pH)
How to Assess Weld Defects
  • Welds in pipelines
  • Assessing defects in pipeline girth welds
  • Assessing non planar defects in welds
  • The EPRG girth weld defect guidelines
  • Fatigue design of girth welds
Setting Intelligent Pig Inspection Levels
  • Pigs - where they came from and what they can do.
  • Basic theory
  • Magnetic, ultrasonic pigs - their accuracy and limitations.
  • What pigs can detect
  • What operators want to detect
  • Setting intelligent pig inspection levels
Fracture Propagation and Arrest (handouts and notes only, no lecture)
  • Why fractures propagate
  • Brittle and ductile propagation
  • Fracture arrest
  • Calculating toughness requirements
Pipeline Repair and Rehabilitation
  • Repair and rehabilitation strategy
  • Response to discovering defects
  • What are the cost implications?
  • Types of repair and rehabilitation methods
  • Grinding
  • Weld deposition
  • Shells (including epoxy-filled)
  • Composite wraps
  • Cut outs
  • Mechanical clamps/connectors
  • Time to repair
Risk and Integrity Management and Analysis
  • What is risk and risk analysis?
  • Risk management around the world
  • Risk management in the USA
  • Risk management methods - API 1160 and ASME B31.8
  • Baseline and direct assessment - discussion item
  • Integrity Management Programs
  • Prioritisation schemes
Workshop: Setting Priorities

 Organized by:

Clarion Technical Conferences