PRCI's Commitment to Fund Strategic Industry Research

Thu, April 02, 2020

Chantilly, Virginia - Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) is pleased to announce that its Executive Assembly has approved the development of Strategic Research Priorities (SRPs). Identifying and executing SRPs allows for PRCI to collaboratively address key strategic industry initiatives and issues in which there are near term opportunities to develop significant outcomes for the industry in the interest of public safety.

A number of important candidates for SRPs have been identified, and through an objective prioritization process supported by data-driven metrics, PRCI recently approved the following three SRPs for funding in 2020 and 2021.

  • Optimize the Detection and Mitigation of Mechanical Damage
  • Greenhouse Gases Emissions Reduction
  • Pathway to Achieving Efficient and Effective Crack Management

The agility of the PRCI research model will also allow us to continue to address and conduct research in the following additional areas identified as high-priority issues.

  • Geohazard Management
  • Liquid Leak Detection
  • Emerging Fuels
  • Weld Undermatch & Heat Affected Zone Softening
  • Optimized Integrity Management of Corroded Pipelines

PRCI Board Chair Walter Kresic stated, “Focusing efforts and funding to address significant industry challenges demonstrates PRCI’s recognition of the current state of the industry and the position that it has in providing the key solutions needed to enhance the safety and integrity of our global pipeline systems.”

Upon the approval of the SRPs, PRCI President Cliff Johnson emphasized, “By executing Strategic Research Priorities, PRCI will enable a greater focus on the key challenges facing the industry that impede the attainment of the goal of zero failures. It will also enhance engagement among our members, government, and the industry as a whole by being more strategic and intentional about breaking down silos and working cohesively as groups to solve problems that cross disciplines. This allows PRCI to lead industry research in a more significant way by making impactful advancements in technology and R&D to improve pipeline safety and performance.”

Additional information about the funded SRPs can be found below.

Optimize the Detection and Mitigation of Mechanical Damage
Considering the current state of the industry with regard to dents and dent management, a key research priority for PRCI is to close the gaps on mechanical damage (MD) research and produce a comprehensive set of guidelines and engineering assessment tools for managing the threat of MD that are aligned with current ILI & NDE inspection technologies. This effort is targeted to consolidate over 15 years of research and provide all pipeline operators with a technically defensible case to effectively manage deformations that are identified through integrity assessments and focus energies/resources to ensure repairs are being made where repair is truly needed.

Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Emissions Reduction
Although the pipeline industry has made significant improvements in reducing GHG emissions, there is a drive across the industry to address the issue more aggressively through efficiency improvements and reducing methane emissions. The largest GHG emissions by pipeline transportation stem from the power used to drive compressors and pumps. Even marginal improvements in efficiency can have a significant impact in reducing GHG emissions (mostly CO2) for equipment that has high utilization. This is applicable to all aspects of the system including the driver (engine/motor), the driven equipment (pump or compressor), and ancillary equipment (transformers, variable speed drives, boilers, heaters, etc.).

Pathway to Achieving Efficient and Effective Crack Management
The industry has devoted a significant amount of time and resources to managing cracks as a pipeline integrity threat, but even with all of this investment, there have still been high profile failures. Operators are continually striving to make their crack management programs more effective and efficient. This research effort has identified a series of deliverables that can be developed in parallel to make a step change in the Plan, Do, Check, Adjust cycle of integrity management for the threat. A substantial body of research is underway and some elements are near completion will be coordinated and analyzed collectively.


About Pipeline Research Council International
PRCI is a non-profit research organization that is comprised of energy pipeline operating companies located in Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Middle East, South America, and the United States. Augmenting the pipeline membership are associate members drawn from companies in the Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, South America, and the United States that serve the industry as pipe and equipment manufacturers, service providers, and vendors. To learn more about PRCI, visit