Quantitative risk assessment of a natural gas pipeline in an underground utility tunnel

Weipeng Fang, Jiansong Wu, Yiping Bai, Laobing Zhang, Genserik Reniers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


With rapid urbanization in China, many underground utility tunnels have been established these years. This huge underground construction facilitates city life, but may introduce societal risks due to the installation of high-risk pipelines. Natural gas pipelines have the potential to cause catastrophic accident if a gas leakage and a subsequent explosion occurs. The potential hazards in the gas compartments of a utility tunnel are quite different from those in conventional directly buried gas pipelines. This study developed a dynamic quantitative risk analysis method for natural gas pipelines in a utility tunnel. First, potential accident scenarios of natural gas pipelines situated in a utility tunnel were identified and implemented in a Bow-tie diagram based on case studies of typical gas pipeline accidents and expert experience. Then, a Bayesian network was established from the Bow-tie diagram using a mapping algorithm. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the results of probability updating and sensitivity analysis, critical influencing factors were identified. The proposed framework provides a predictive analysis of the gas pipeline accident evolution process from causes to consequences and examines key challenges in gas pipeline risk management in utility tunnels.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalProcess Safety Progress
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bayesian network
  • bow-tie diagram
  • gas pipeline accident
  • quantitative risk assessment
  • utility tunnel

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