In December 2009, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) released the final rule for integrity management for gas distribution pipelines. This new rule requires all gas distribution systems to "identify the characteristics of the pipeline's design and operations and the environmental factors that are necessary to assess the applicable threats and risks."
To assist gas utilities with complying with this new regulatory requirement, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) provided funding to Technical Toolboxes, Inc., to develop an online application called the Simple, Handy, Risk Assessment, Integrity Management Plan (SHRIMP). This online application was released in August 2010 and has been widely utilized by the gas distribution industry.
The SHRIMP application requires an extensive amount of information to allow it to assess applicable threats and risks. Much of this information is currently managed in the geographic information systems (GIS) currently utilized by the gas distribution industry. The most widely deployed GIS solution for the natural gas distribution industry in the United States is ArcGIS system provided by Esri. Esri is the world‟s largest provider of GIS solutions.
In 2011, Esri and Technical Toolboxes jointly developed the Esri-SHRIMP Interface to allow the information stored within the ArcGIS system to be shared with the SHRIMP application.
The purpose of the Esri-SHRIMP Interface is to significantly reduce the amount of manual data entry a gas distribution operator must enter into SHRIMP to have the gas system assessed. This reduction in data entry is intended to make it easier for gas distribution operators to subdivide their gas systems and provide a more granular assessment of risk.
The Esri-SHRIMP Interface tools have been developed as a set of geoprocessing models for the ArcGIS system. These models can be manually reconfigured to accommodate variations in a gas utility local geodatabase data model.
When the SHRIMP model is executed it takes the name of a service area and the report year as input parameters. The output information will be for the selected service area summarized up to and including the report year.