Develop a Robust Leak Detection Program

Mission and Objectives

The desired goal of any pipeline operator is to maintain a robust leak detection program to facilitate appropriate actions to prevent adverse impacts to infrastructure, the environment, and public safety. The guidance in API Recommended Practice (RP) 1175, Pipeline Leak Detection – Program Management, provides the needed framework to develop sound practices within a pipeline company. This RP:

  • Provides liquid pipeline operators with guidance on development, implementation, and management of a sustainable Leak Detection Program (LDP) to minimize the size and consequences of leak events; while the focus is on liquid pipeline operation, the philosophy of the RP can be extended to gas pipeline operation.
  • Provides pipeline operators with enhanced guidance on selection of leak detection systems (LDSs) using a risk-based approach and establishes performance measures for the capabilities of these systems.
  • Provides information on how to address identified gaps.
  • Provides guidance in developing, maintaining and managing a pipeline LDP that conforms to current pipeline regulations, as well as encourages pipeline operators to “go beyond” in order to promote the advancement or stronger utilization of LDPs in hazardous liquid pipelines.
Relevant Documents

Relevant Documents

View RP 1175 Leak Detection brochures, fact sheets, FAQs and implementation tools

View RP 1175 Leak Detection brochures, fact sheets, FAQs and implementation tools

Guiding Principles

The overall goal of the LDP is to detect leaks quickly and with certainty, thus facilitating quicker shutdown and therefore minimizing negative consequences. There are several key parts within API RP 1175:

  • Leak Detection Culture & Strategy: Develop and create a LDP that is supported by all branches and departments of the company ranging from management down to daily operators. Outline how the company will meet minimum regulatory requirements and encourage going beyond the minimum to implement industry best practices.
  • Selection of Leak Detection Systems: Select the desired principles, methods and techniques that will become the foundation of the company’s LDP.
  • Performance Targets, Metrics, & KPIs: Establish performance targets, metrics, and KPIs for LDSs.
  • Testing: Perform periodic testing of LDSs within the LDP. This allows for the opportunity to improve the culture, procedures and knowledge levels.
  • Control Center Procedures for Recognition, Response & Alarm Management: Develop procedures to ensure that appropriate action, tools, analysis and understanding of any potential leak indication is carried out effectively.
  • Roles & Responsibilities: Pipeline operators should have clear descriptions of their employee’s roles and responsibilities, as well as the duties of any other stakeholders.
  • Training: An effective training program has the potential to greatly reduce the risk consequences of a pipeline leak. Employees should be trained to work together effectively as a team.
  • Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) for Leak Detection Equipment: Ensure that all components of the LDS and their supporting infrastructure components are designed for reliability and maintained appropriately.
  • Overall Performance Evaluation of the LDP: The LDP should capture noteworthy results of operations, examine company and industry performance and report to management the results of the overall performance on an annual basis.
  • Improvement Planning and Process: Efforts should be made to identify and define opportunities to improve any part of the LDP. The LDP should be updated and improved on regular basis to ensure an effective program.