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3rd edition of the API RP 581 RBI standard and application within the French process industries

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The Risk Based Inspection (RBI) methodology is widely used internationally, especially in the Oil & Gas Industry and is well accepted in France. Several RBI projects have been reported in the literature demonstrating the strengths of the approach in controlling risks and optimising inspection schedules. API RP 581 is a well-established methodology for conducting RBI in the downstream industry and the 3rd edition of the standard has just been published in April 2016. This paper examines the new features of the 3rd edition particularly for internal and external thinning and corrosion under insulation and it also discusses a case study of the application of this latest RBI methodology in France. This happens in the context of a recognised inspection service operating under the French regulatory framework. The paper is interested in the challenges of application of the RBI methodology in this context when inspection planning needs to combine risk calculations with regulatory constraints. The quantitative approach of API RP 581 proves to be a good basis for optimised, consistent and “automatic” scheduling of inspections and can be made to work under the existing regulations. 

Key Words: Risk assessment, risk-based inspection, probability of failure, consequence of failure, inspection planning

Author: P. Topalis, K. Smialkowski, I.F. Cornic

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