Case Study

Landslide Risk Prediction for Williams Strategic Sourcing Company

Wednesday June 8, 2016

Williams Strategic Sourcing Company (Williams) communicated a need for assistance in predicting and mitigating landslide-initiated pipeline ruptures in the Ohio Valley Midstream (OVM) region. The methods they were employing to assess landslide risk, such as LIDAR and manual overhead land surveys via helicopter, were proving inadequate for accurately predicting landslide events across the pipeline region. Pipeline ruptures are extremely costly, both to Williams and to the surrounding environment. In order to support their objectives, Williams contracted SIMCON in October of 2015 to develop a quantitative methodology for determining the sections of pipeline most susceptible to landslides and, consequently, pipeline ruptures. The risk model was to be used to determine areas of existing pipeline where mitigations should be implemented and areas of land that should be avoided for new pipelines. The primary objectives of this project were to:

  • Accurately predict past, present, and future landslide events as a function of available data
  • Generate landslide risk estimates for existing pipelines
  • Generate landslide risk estimates for potential future pipelines
  • Provide a means for visualizing landslide risk across the pipeline using heat mapping in Williams GIS software