Limit load analysis of defect free thick walled pipes and cylinders subjected to internal pressure and combined internal pressure and axial loading is commonly performed as part of integrity assessment procedures for transmission pipelines and pressure vessels across the industry. Moreover the potential impact of environmental assisted or accidental damage that result in creation of surface defects and consequently affects the ability of vessel to withstand the applied loading conditions. This paper attempts to demonstrate the effect of surface defects on the limit load of cylinders by use of finite element method. ABAQUS software has been used for FE analysis and modeling. Approximate analytical solutions for benchmark model have been used for validation/verification of numerical results.