Analyzing Stakeholders' Perceptions of the Critical Risk Factors in Oil and Gas Pipeline Projects
Currently, there are enormous Risk Factors (RFs) threating the safety of Oil and Gas Pipelines (OGPs) at all stages of projects. However, there is a lack of information about the root causes of pipeline failures and an absence of trusted data about the "probability and severity" levels of the RFs; this hinders the risk management in such projects. To improve the safety level of OGPs, this paper aims to explore stakeholders' perceptions about pipeline failures issues to analyze the RFs and recommend effective Risk Mitigation Methods (RMMs). Due to the lack of trusted data about the RFs and RMMs, this paper started with extensive investigations to identify the critical RFs and the applied RMMs in OGP projects in different circumstances. The findings of these investigations were used to design a questionnaire survey, which was distributed to analyze the "probability and severity" levels of the RFs and evaluate the "usability and effectiveness" degrees of the suggested RMMs. The survey results revealed that RFs related to Third-Party Disruption (TPD) including sabotage and terrorism, corruption and insecure areas are the most severe RFs. Additionally, based on the survey some RMMs such as anti-corrosion efforts, laying the pipelines underground and using technologically advanced risk-monitoring systems were found to be effective RMMs. These results were found to be varied based on the stakeholders' occupation in the projects; for example, the overall survey results indicated that terrorism and sabotage is the most critical RF, while the planners and the researchers identified corruption as the most critical one. It was also observed that using anti-corrosion measures such as isolation and cathodic protection would be the most effective RMM, while the other stakeholders have different perceptions like moving the pipelines underground an advanced risk-monitoring system are the most effective RMMs as indicated by the consultant, planner or designer and researches respectively.