Dynamic probability assessment of urban natural gas pipeline accidents considering integrated external activities

Xinhong Li , Yi Zhang , Rouzbeh Abbassi, Ming Yang , Renren Zhang , Guoming Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Urban gas pipelines usually have high structural vulnerability due to long service time. The locations across urban areas with high population density make the gas pipelines easily exposed to external activities. Recently, urban pipelines may also have been the target of terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, the intentional damage, i.e. terrorist attack, was seldom considered in previous risk analysis of urban gas pipelines. This work presents a dynamic risk analysis of external activities to urban gas pipelines, which integrates unintentional and intentional damage to pipelines in a unified framework. A Bayesian network mapping from the Bow-tie model is used to represent the evolution process of pipeline accidents initiating from intentional and unintentional hazards. The probabilities of basic events and safety barriers are estimated by adopting the Fuzzy set theory and hierarchical Bayesian analysis (HBA). The developed model enables assessment of the dynamic probabilities of consequences and identifies the most credible contributing factors to the risk, given observed evidence. It also captures both data and model uncertainties. Eventually, an industrial case is presented to illustrate the applicability and effectiveness of the developed methodology. It is observed that the proposed methodology helps to more accurately conduct risk assessment and management of urban natural gas pipelines.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104388
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Urban gas pipeline
  • External activities
  • Integrated risk assessment
  • Bayesian network


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