Category: News

08 Apr 2020
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OptaSense Introduces Support Services For Distributed Fiber Optic Systems

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OptaSense’s long-term support for distributed fiber optic sensing systems can maximize operator’s fiber optic sensing system reliability and availability through a range of balanced service packages that combine both technical support, services management and a framework that is focused on system Uptime, Maintainability and Life of Asset Support.

18 Nov 2019

OptaSense Demonstrates Ability to Detect Pipeline Leaks Using Fiber Optic Sensing in Unique Testing Environment

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.

About OptaSense

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 Utilities.

19 Jun 2019

OptaSense Awarded Key Pakistan Pipeline and Producing Facility Perimeter Intrusion Detection Project

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.

Having 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.”

About OptaSense

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.


27 Sep 2016

OptaSense and Optilan to monitor 1,850km TANAP pipeline project

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)

02 Sep 2015

OptaSense major pipeline monitoring project in Mexico

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.”

22 Oct 2014

OptaSense provides revenue assurance to LNG pipeline by reducing the impact of third party intrusion

October 22nd, 2014

OptaSense, a QinetiQ company and global leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technology, has successfully prevented external threats to a natural gas pipeline in the republic of Yemen, according to a case study paper due to be presented by Total at ADIPEC, the  oil and gas show in Abu Dhabi, 10-13 November 2014. The paper notes “that since the pipeline intrusion detection system was installed, there has been a significant improvement in pipeline availability and regular LNG shipments.”

The OptaSense system was originally installed, as an integral part of the pipeline security operation in late 2013, on the 320 km long pipeline that runs liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Marib to Balhalf in the Republic of Yemen. The pipeline had previously encountered a number of incidents that disrupted product supply. The paper, originally presented by Total at Rio Oil & Gas trade show in September 2014, adds that “no attempt at intrusion on the pipeline resulted in damage to the facilities” as a result of integrating OptaSense with other security measures.

Magnus McEwen-King, Managing Director at OptaSense, said: “We are extremely pleased to work with Total and its local partners to ensure the availability of their pipeline. This project demonstrates that through the implementation of OptaSense into operations, it enables pipeline operators to reduce damage resulting from third party interference to zero. Ensuring pipeline integrity and availability is essential to enabling a continuous supply of product and therefore revenue from their pipeline assets.”

The project requirements were to implement a security system to allow early detection of potential threats and to minimize the amount of new equipment installed in the field by making use of already installed fibre optic communications cable. OptaSense will be demonstrating its Distributed Acoustic Sensing technology at ADIPEC 10-13 November 2014, Hall 12, stand number 12334.

To find out more information, please visit www.optasense.com

For further information please contact:

25 Feb 2013

Indian state controlled oil company BPCL selects OptaSense for new national pipeline monitoring security contract

February 25th, 2013

  • Fibre-sensing solution to be deployed along BPCL’s Bijwasan pipeline
  • New technologies allows more sophisticated data management and detection

Real-time intelligence company OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, today announces that, following a proven track record of operating in India, it has been contracted by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) to protect the Bijwasan pipeline in India. The pipeline is owned and operated by Indian state-controlled oil and gas company BPCL, and runs from Kota, Rajastan to Mathura, a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The contract with OptaSense is for its Third Party Intervention (TPI) application, and has been awarded through the Indian subsidiary of OptaSense’s distribution partner, Optilan. The project will protect approximately 200 km of pipeline and BPCL will be implementing the system on further pipeline lengths upon successful completion of this phase. When completed the system will comprise approximately 20,000 virtual microphones along the pipeline and brings the total amount of pipeline monitored in India to approx. 1,000km making OptaSense by far the largest operator in the region.

OptaSense are worldwide leaders in creating distributed fibre sensing solutions, which use existing fibre-optic cables running alongside pipelines and other installed infrastructure to act as virtual microphones. These microphones are monitored and analysed in real-time, to allow users to ‘hear’ if pipeline are under threat – the real time nature of the system will enable BPCL to prevent damage to their pipeline increasing the assurance of product supply.

Bal Kler, Sales Director for Optilan, commented: “Pipeline integrity and safety is always of the highest importance to our customers, and we are pleased BPCL have chosen the most commercially advanced solution. The award follows on from our successful delivery of other pipeline security projects in India, such as the Mangala Development Pipeline (MDP) operated by Cairn India which was commissioned in 2012, and further cements our strategic commitment to expanding our existing local capability, through our Optilan India subsidiary”.

Magnus McEwen-King, Managing Director for OptaSense, said: “Our latest contract, with BPCL, shows both the confidence being expressed in OptaSense for pipeline protection by the Indian government, and as a result of the rigorous processes engaged during the assessment phase is further recognition by the best scientists and engineers from BPCL, that we deliver the highest standards and the strongest technical solution.

“We pride ourselves on our unrivalled ability to put meaningful data in our customers’ hands, and the BPCL deal means we now protect approx. 1,000 km of pipeline asset in India alone. We look forward to providing BPCL with real-time intelligence data which will help to protect this important pipeline, and to bringing in and securing new jobs and investment locally.”

OptaSense delivers an unrivalled pipeline integrity management solution, through analysing a range of data analysis modules where typically operators have traditionally had to rely on only one data measurement per sensor, OptaSense combines a number of data points. For example, OptaSense is able to simultaneously measure pipeline temperature change; acoustic fingerprint; negative pressure waves; and ground heave – all of which combine to provide an unrivalled complete pipeline integrity management tool.

As well as providing midstream applications in pipeline security and condition monitoring, OptaSense also provides upstream applications such as seismic and well monitoring, and other solutions for the transport, borders and military industries. OptaSense is a QinetiQ company.

26 Nov 2012

OptaSense begins work in Iraq

November 26th, 2012

OptaSense Secures Pipeline Security Deal In Iraq

OptaSense, the company that protects the world’s key infrastructures by turning fibre-optic cables into a listening device, has secured a key pipeline security contract in Iraq. The contract is to help provide protection to a new 180km pipeline corridor, owned and run by the State Company for Oil Project Iraq (SCOP).

OptaSense will be providing the technology to allow vital operational and security data to help operate, protect and secure the pipeline along both sides of a 60 meters wide pipeline corridor. When complete the pipeline corridor will be protected by over 20,000 virtual microphones making it one of the most monitored assets in the region. This means any activity in and around the pipeline corridor will be ‘heard’ whether these be footsteps, digging or vehicles. The OptaSense acoustic alert data will be used to inform and guide the correct response to maintain pipeline integrity.

The project, due to be completed in March 2013, will complement work already taking place in Oman, Qatar and elsewhere in Iraq. The project will be managed from OptaSense regional HQ in Dubai.

Magnus McEwen-King, MD for OptaSense said:

“This contract is a significant step for OptaSense in the Middle East and builds on our investment in a regional HQ in Dubai. OptaSense will, for the first time, be providing a secure corridor, between which multiple pipelines will be built. We already have a proven track record of providing pipeline security elsewhere in the Middle East and around the world, and we are pleased to be undertaking another major project in the region. This cutting edge technology will provide a cost-effective means of protecting vital Iraqi infrastructure.

“We are rapidly establishing ourselves in the Middle East, and working in Iraq is important for OptaSense and shows the growing economic confidence in the country as a whole.”

The success of OptaSense reflects the growing realisation that “Leak Prevention” is much more desirable to “Leak Detection” with OptaSense able to detect, classify, locate and alarm on the events that precede a pipeline leak. With oil theft and breaches of pipelines costing the industry billions of dollars in lost revenue every year, OptaSense has a cost effective means to help provide a leak prevention solution.

For further information please contact:

  • QinetiQ Press Office – pressoffice@qinetiq.com / +44 (0) 1252 39 3500
  • Rebecca Mitchell, Maitland – rmitchell@maitland.co.uk/ +44 (0)207 379 5151

Notes for Editors

About OptaSense

  • 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 13,000kms 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 40 countries globally with operations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Defence & Security, Transport and Utilities.
  • Website: www.optasense.com 
09 Nov 2012

OptaSense to Unveil Unique Solution to Railway Protection

November 9th, 2012

Trespass, theft from lines and track damage a growing concern

OptaSense, the company that protects the UK’s key infrastructure by turning fibre-optic cables into listening devices, will be sharing their vision for protecting our railways at the upcoming Transport Security Expo in London.

Fibre optic cables are already present near our rail networks, and the OptaSense system measures changes in the acoustic field along the whole length of the fibre, potentially stretching for thousands of miles. The technology means it is possible to detect a source event in real time, as well as analysing and locating it, from a rock fall, to theft of materials to damage to the track.

The company is already working with various rail companies in the US, and are now bringing their technology to the UK market. One recent study estimated overall theft of copper costs the UK economy £770m a year. With CCTV and fences being prohibitively expensive to construct and monitor, OptaSense’s monitoring system offers a new solution to a problem that affects our entire 10,000 mile rail network.

Magnus McEwen-King, MD for OptaSense said:

‘Railways keep Britain working and we are helping to keep them working. Ensuring our transport links and other national infrastructure are able to function efficiently and without interruption is vital to building and maintaining our economy. OptaSense converts customers’ existing fibre networks into a real time monitoring system giving rail operators decision ready information at a fraction of the cost of conventional sensor technologies.’

OptaSense will be exhibiting across the two days of the event, which takes place November 14-15 at the Olympia, London. Peter Bradley of OptaSense will deliver a speech on maintaining the integrity of railway infrastructure at 1335 on 15th Nov.

For further information please contact:

  • QinetiQ Press Office – pressoffice@qinetiq.com / +44 (0) 1252 39 3500
  • Rebecca Mitchell, Maitland – rmitchell@maitland.co.uk/ +44 (0)207 379 5151

Notes for Editors

About OptaSense

  • 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 13,000kms 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 40 countries globally with operations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Defence & Security, Transport and Utilities.
  • Website: www.optasense.com