Pipeline Integrity: History of Direct Assessment Process

As printed in Pipeline & Gas Journal
By Joe Pikas, Corrosion Specialist, Technical Toolboxes

Direct assessment (DA) is a process through which a pipeline operator determines a pipeline’s integrity through integrating knowledge of the physical characteristics and operating history of a pipeline with the results of diagnostic testing. The process is further validated by the physical examination of the pipeline, to verify that the interpretation of the diagnostic testing results matches the actual condition of the pipeline upon direct examination.

External corrosion direct assessment (ECDA), like most other processes, is not without limitations in its application. Depending on available information about the pipeline, and the operating conditions the pipeline is, or has been, under, ECDA may provide all of the information that is needed to determine the integrity of the pipeline. Alternatively, ECDA may be used in conjunction with, or as an enhancement to, the findings of other available technologies, such as hydrostatic testing or smart pigging. Direct assessment is intended to be one of the valuable tools an operator has available to enhance the safety of their operations.

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