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Leak Detection Technology in Pipelines

Pipelines are essential in the oil and gas industry, used to transport hydrocarbons from production areas to refineries. While their designs are optimised to ensure safe transportation, leaks still occur, resulting in huge financial losses and devastating environmental effects.

Recent advancements in leak prediction and leak detection technology have made dramatic improvements to the safety and reliability of pipeline networks. High-performance reporting sensor nodes, for instance, are installed along pipelines where they can continuously monitor conditions and transmit data to a central control room in real-time.

Key fact: A pipeline defect that occurred in Michigan, USA in 2010 led to the spill of over 840,000 gallons of crude oil, and over $800 million in costs

IIOT sensor systems can also be used to detect early signs of wear in pipelines, replacing the need for costly and time consuming manual inspections.

Other leak detection methods can either be externally based systems, like acoustic emission detectors, fibre optic sensors, and infrared thermography, or internally based systems, like pressure point analysis, mass-volume balancing, and negative pressure waves.

Benefits

  • Enhances pipeline integrity

  • Minimises maintenance costs

  • Limits environmental impact


Learn more insights by browsing our resource centre and learn more about digital trends shaping operator responses to the coming hydrocarbon boom and energy transition in the Innovation Forecast in Energy.

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