OptaSense will be participating in the 2020 Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS), February 11-13 at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. We’ll be joining with our partner, HitekNOFAL Solutions to showcase our fiber-optic monitoring solutions for pipeline monitoring, as well as perimeter and intrusion detection.
January 29-30, 2020 | The Houstonian Hotel | Houston, TX
Dr. Chris Minto, Engineering
Director for OptaSense will be presenting “Challenges In Performance
Validation Of Fiber Optic Leak Detection” at the Pipeline Leak
Detection Congress USA 2020 on Wednesday, January 29 at The Houstonian Hotel,
Dr. Minto will be discussing how
External Leak Detection systems based on distributed fiber optic sensors (DFOS)
offer the exciting potential to significantly reduce the overall amount of
spilled product before a leak is detected. As an external system, the
validation of system performance and equally the verification of an operational
installed system is a known challenge since, unlike in a conventional system,
leaks cannot easily be simulated.
Discussions of the need for large-scale validation approaches to performance bound acoustic-based leak detection systems.
What are the typical challenges in validating system performance data?
Presenting established options for in-field verification on customer owned systems.
OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, a world leader in
fiber-optic-based acoustic sensing, recently invited several key customers and
interested parties to witness a one-of-a-kind demonstration of its
fiber-optic-based pipeline leak detection technology.
Even the smallest leak in a pipeline carrying oil, gas, or
water, if not detected quickly, can result in significant financial loss and
potential environmental damage. Identifying and locating these leaks quickly
allows Operators to take immediate steps to address the issue and mitigate any
potential negative impact.
Not only do pipeline operators need a system that detects
leaks, it’s critical that they have confidence that their system of choice can
effectively detect leaks under different flow conditions and in varying
environmental conditions. Traditional testing methods typically fall short
because of their inability to replicate “real-world” conditions.
To prove the effectiveness of the leak detection system
delivered by OptaSense, guests were invited to view a unique demonstration at
the Centro de Tecnologia em Dutos, or CTDUT, pipeline testing facility in Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil. The unique facility
features a closed-loop pipeline run that allows engineers to test leak
detection systems in an actual pipeline flow situation. By creating a leak in a
targeted section of the pipe, OptaSense was able to validate that their system
was able to immediately identify a leak and accurately pinpoint its location
along the pipeline.
During the demonstration, the test pipeline, carrying water
and inert gas, was pressurized to the point that a burst disc installed on a
section of the pipe was triggered. The OptaSense system was able to identify a
leak, down to 15 lpm, within seconds of its occurrence and provide critical geolocation
information to 10m, back to the control room onsite, validating that the system
works exactly as intended.
“OptaSense has participated in many industry sponsored tests
over the years but these have fallen short of replicating the behavior of leaks
in real life conditions, leaving operators short of full performance validation,”
said Dr. Chris Minto, Engineering Director for OptaSense. “To close this gap,
OptaSense has funded the most comprehensive and valid set of tests to date,
providing a full set of performance, accuracy and reliability data to validate
our unique four-mode leak detection specification.
In conjunction with the demonstration, Minto also delivered
a presentation at the Rio Pipeline 2019 conference in Brazil, “Challenges in
Validation and Verification of External Fiber Optic Leak Detection
Systems,” which focused on the need
pipeline leak detection providers to demonstrate the efficacy of their system
in a controlled manner and the need for customers to gain assurance their
system is truly meeting their operational and safety objectives.
With this real-world testing approach taken by OptaSense,
pipeline operators can have confidence that the system they select for leak
detection will work and provide the level of protection they expect.
OptaSense is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group.
It is a platform technology which
has applications in a number of markets, including infrastructure security
where the technology is already in use to monitor 25,000 km of assets,
principally providing leak detection and third-party intrusion detection for
oil and gas pipelines.
OptaSense is the world leader in Distributed
Acoustic Sensing and operates in 40 countries globally across multiple
industries including Oil & Gas, Defense & Security, Transport and
OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, a world leader in fiber-optic-based acoustic sensing, was recently awarded a key pipeline and gas producing facility /central producing facility perimeter intrusion detection system (PIDS) project by the pipeline and facility operator.
successfully installed the first pipeline protection system of its kind in
Pakistan on a pipeline network in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Northwest
Pakistan, the operator selected OptaSense to follow up the initial procurement
with another project that covers the Mardankhel west pipeline and wells, also
located in the same province.
Building on the success of the Makori East pipeline network protection project, and utilising the existing fiber-optic infrastructure already in place, OptaSense will install a second intrusion detection system to protect the pipeline right-of-way from third party intrusion (TPI), covering the entire Mardankhel Pipeline network, as well as providing perimeter intrusion detection on the producing facility perimeter. This project included upgrading the existing system to the latest software version and integrating a new CCTV system covering the producing facility perimeter, enabling cross-cueing of the CCTV system to the respective alerts.
Jeff Williamson, Managing Director of OptaSense’s Infrastructure Security Monitoring (ISM) division stated “Not only is this the first project with our regional partner, but this is the first of its type in Pakistan. It will provide the customer with a secure pipeline and ensures a safe corridor to operate in. We hope that this provides a benchmark in countries where pipeline hot taps are wide spread.”
OptaSense is a
wholly-owned subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group
It is a platform
technology which has applications in a number of markets, including
infrastructure security where the technology is already in use to monitor 30,000
km of assets, principally providing leak detection and third-party intrusion
detection for oil and gas pipelines.
OptaSense is the
world leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing and operating in 40 countries
globally with operations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas,
Defence & Security, Transport and Utilities.
When it comes to today’s vast and complex oil pipeline systems, even the smallest leak can lead to extensive financial loss and lasting reputation damage.
The recent rare unplanned shutdown of the Forties pipeline in the North Sea, which supplies 450,000 barrels per day of crude to Britain, along with a third of the UK’s total offshore natural gas output, was caused by a crack found in the pipeline. The nearly month-long shutdown resulted in major refinery capacity shutdown, force majeure being declared and oil and gas prices reaching their highest points in years. Additionally, the owner of the pipeline has faced harsh criticism for its handling of the situation.
Internal pipeline leak detection systems are commonly used to detect a leak. These systems use point sensors to track flow rates, as well as apply mathematical and statistical computations to monitor flow rates, pressures, temperatures and product characteristics. Although these systems are useful in identifying leaks, they lack in sensitivity. Leaks take longer to detect, and small leaks may go completely undetected.
Instead of relying on computational assumptions, the OptaSense pipeline leak detection system uses distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology to transform a standard telecommunication fiber optic cable into a fully distributed sensor capable of detecting the physical characteristics of a leak, including changes in noise, temperature, pressure and ground strain—simultaneously and in real time. The integration of these four modes into a single leak detection system not only provides improved sensitivity, it delivers the reliability required to identify and validate leaks faster and with more confidence so minor issues can be addressed before they become major incidents. The OptaSense system can detect small leaks 10 times faster than internal systems—allowing you to detect a 0.1% leak size within a matter of minutes.
Today’s complex pipeline networks require robust systems that perform under changing fluid compositions, temperatures and pressures, which for many internal systems often result in computational errors and false alarms. The OptaSense pipeline monitoring solution eliminates these issues by delivering a system that performs under transient, slack-line, and multi-phase flow conditions. Even when critical pipeline infrastructure goes offline, this fiber-based system ensures continuous and reliable real-time event detection, classification and location.
To validate the performance of it’s pipeline monitoring system, OptaSense recently performed a series of tests at the CTDUT Pipeline Testing Facility in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The facilty houses a unique closed-loop system that simulates a real-world pipeline environment. The OptaSense monitoring system was able to quickly identify and locate even the smallest leaks along the pipeline. Read more about the testing here.
OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, and its partner Optilan, a telecommunications systems integrator, have been awarded the combined leak detection and security package from ABB, the Engineering, Procurement and Construction prime contractor for the delivery of the control infrastructure* for the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP).
The contract, in excess of $30 million split evenly with Optilan, was awarded at the start of the year and now enters the equipment delivery phase, marks a significant milestone for OptaSense, the global leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and Optilan, an international communications and security systems provider. This will be the world’s largest fibre distributed sensing project, protecting and monitoring more than 1850km of pipeline, including perimeter security for all facilities.
The TANAP natural gas pipeline runs from Azerbaijan through Georgia and Turkey to Europe. The project is of strategic importance for the region, as it will enable the first Azerbaijani gas exports to Europe, while strengthening the role of Turkey as a regional energy hub. Construction of the pipeline began in 2015 and is scheduled to be completed in 2018, with expected costs in the region of $10-11 billion.
Magnus McEwen-King, Executive Director at OptaSense commented: “This project marks a significant turning point in the adoption of fibre sensing globally with delivery of security and leak detection from a single fibre system. This approach will enable us to demonstrate superior technical performance and value for money. With our partners ABB and Optilan we look forward to helping TANAP use the OptaSense technology to deliver the highest levels of pipeline availability and reduce the cost of asset ownership.”
Mr Bal Kler, Executive Director at Optilan said: “We are pleased to be partnering once again with the world’s leading fibre sensing company to deliver the world’s largest pipeline monitoring project. Implementation of this project for TANAP will deliver total security and monitoring over the entire pipeline length and follows on from other successful security projects in Turkey.”
OptaSense’s award-winning integrated DAS solution works across multiple functions via a single fibre-optic cable that effectively “listens” to the pipeline in order to provide detailed data about its current status. Any changes to the condition of the pipe are fed back through an interrogator unit in real time, allowing users to identify and address issues early and maintain the highest level of pipeline integrity and product throughput.
Leak and intrusion detection are vital to maintaining pipeline integrity and production maximisation in the oil and gas industry. In 2015 an attack on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which exports crude from Iraq to Turkey, halted operations resulting in significant repairs and thousands of barrels per day in lost deliverables.
*Control infrastructure includes telecommunication, pipeline monitoring, security systems, control systems and integrating SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition)
Unique use of acoustic sensing by world leader provides effective leak and intrusion detection
22 September 2015: OptaSense, a QinetiQ company and the global leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) has been recognised for its unique contribution to effective pipeline leak and intrusion detection by being shortlisted for a prestigious international award.
The company has been recognised in the ASME Pipeline Systems Division Global Pipeline Awards for the innovative use of its award-winning DAS system on Columbia’s Bicentennial oil pipeline.
The judging panel recognised OptaSense’s unique use of a single fibre system to provide both leak detection and intrusion detection on the country’s largest pipeline. The 235Km first phase of the pipeline was completed in 2012 and has a diameter of 36-42 inches with the capacity of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude.
The integrated DAS solution works across multiple functions via a single fibre-optic cable that effectively “listens” to the pipeline in order to provide detailed data about its current status. Any changes to the condition of the pipe are fed back through an interrogator unit in real time, allowing users to identify and address issues early and maintain the highest level of pipeline integrity and product throughput.
Leak and intrusion detection are vital to maintaining pipeline integrity and production maximisation in the oil and gas industry. The pipeline was closed last year due to third party attacks on it, costing the Columbian economy thousands of barrels per day in lost deliveries.
OptaSense executive director Magnus McEwen-King said: “This award not only recognises the innovative use of fibre but also the engineers of Ecopetrol and OptaSense who have jointly worked to deliver real improvements to the integrity management process of the Bicentennial pipeline.
“This nomination is a further acknowledgment of our leading position in South America, and highlights our commitment to continued growth in the region. Our award-winning technology has a proven record of reducing the costs of asset ownership and providing life-long intelligence through highly effective monitoring, thereby reducing incidents and extending asset life.”
The annual awards ceremony aims to recognise pipeline technology innovation processes in phases such as: research laboratory, field applications, technology incubators, and development of markets for new products, and is open to all companies. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony held on Thursday 24 September 2015. The four other finalists are: Rosen Group, GMC Inc., Subsea 7, and LABMETRO, CENPES Petrobas Research Center.
OptaSense is a platform technology which has applications in a number of markets, including infrastructure security where the technology is already under contract to monitor 23,000kms of assets, principally providing leak detection and third party intrusion detection for oil and gas pipelines.
OptaSense is the World leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing and operating in 50 countries globally with operations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Defence & Security, Transport and Utilities. It is managed as a subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group.
A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its world class knowledge, research and innovation to provide high-end technical expertise and advice, to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ’s unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments as well as other international customers in targeted sectors.
The BTC is one of the longest crude oil pipelines in the world. The Turkish section of the BTC export system included four pumping stations, two pigging stations, 52 block valve sites and the Ceyhan marine export terminal. At a throughput of 1 Million barrels per day, ensuring successful and uninterrupted operations is of key strategic importance.
Offering cost-effective security monitoring, OptaSense was selected to monitor the pipeline to prevent incidents of theft or accidental damages.
Shortly after the system was installed, the OptaSense pipeline monitoring system detected the approach of a vehicle, footsteps and periods of manual digging near the pipeline. The system raised an alarm, alerting operators to initiate and mobilize appropriate response mechanisms to the exact location of the incident. A significant impact to the environment and business operations were prevented.
The system continues to demonstrate its performance in detecting and classifying events ranging from third party intrusion, agricultural and construction activities near or within the right of way corridor and seismic activity, as well as slack line and inline inspection tool tracking.
OptaSense technology to be deployed on Mexican pipeline to improve security and reduce cost of asset ownership
02 September 2015: OptaSense, a QinetiQ Company, has announced that its award-winning fibre-optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) system has been chosen to provide improved pipeline monitoring, including leak detection, on a gas pipeline in Mexico.
The contract, agreed at the beginning of 2015, is worth $4 million and has just started the implementation stage. The contract marks a further step forward in international expansion into the Americas, following on from projects in Brazil, Colombia, the USA and Canada.
OptaSense will be used for advanced leak detection using its patent pending, “4-mode” leak detection technology. OptaSense will also provide enhanced security monitoring to detect third party intrusion events, as well as ground movement monitoring.
The integrated solution works across these multiple functions via a single fibre-optic cable that effectively “listens” to the pipeline in order to provide detailed data about its current status. Any changes to the condition of the pipe are fed back through an interrogator unit, allowing users to identify and address issues early and maintain the highest level of pipeline availability and product throughput.
Magnus McEwen-King, Executive Director, OptaSense said: “This pipeline provides a vital natural gas supply to feed growing demand in central Mexico and we’re delighted that our DAS system will play a crucial role in keeping it safe while helping maintain the flow of gas.
“Mexico is currently building numerous new infrastructure projects for the future, with new pipelines, plants, rail and road infrastructure projects all being fuelled by huge investment. As part of our international investment strategy OptaSense is committed to supporting critical national infrastructure owners throughout Latin America to reduce the costs of asset ownership through real time monitoring and security.”
Farnborough, 22 April 2015: OptaSense, part of the QinetiQ Group, has entered into a two year framework agreement in the Middle East to deliver enhanced security, using its Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, on up to 8,000km of assets.
The framework agreement will see a major programme to install up to 200 OptaSense systems to protect oil & gas pipelines, refineries, airports and other critical national infrastructure sites. The contract follows the successful completion of previous work in the region to protect similar facilities.
OptaSense’s Managing Director, Magnus McEwen-King said: “The protection of critical national infrastructure, in particular oil & gas pipelines, is vital to assure revenue generation, especially in the Middle East. We are particularly pleased to be chosen to protect an entire regional asset base through a structured two year implementation programme. This framework agreement is an endorsement of OptaSense’s proven capability in delivering large scale projects reliably.”
“We know our customers rely on our systems to keep their assets safe and productive and often OptaSense is the first line of defence against theft & terrorism. As such, our customers not only rely on an excellent technical solution but also in having the depth of resources to deliver in field performance reliably over many thousands of kilometres of critical national infrastructure.”
Upon completion of this programme OptaSense will be protecting approximately 23,000km of assets globally in 50 countries.