Tag: Pipeline

22 Nov 2016

Pipeline Leak Detection

Detect leaks faster and with confidence

Detecting a pipeline leak quickly and effectively can be limited by a systems level of sensitivity, accuracy, reliability and robustness.

Eliminate the guesswork that compromises safe and reliable pipeline management by detecting and locating leaks accurately and in real time, regardless of fluctuating pipeline conditions with the OptaSense pipeline leak detection system.

Detect leaks faster with superior sensitivity
Internal leak detection systems are one of the most common technologies used to detect a leak. Common pipeline leak detection technologies 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 multimode leak detector to identify the physical characteristics of a leak, such as changes in temperature, pressure, ground strain and acoustics, in real time. This patented multimode detector delivers increased sensitivity and reliability so you can identify leaks faster, in order to eradicate minor issues before they become major incidents. In fact, our fiber-based 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.

Locate leaks with increased accuracy
Another issue with with leak detection methods used in many common systems is their inability to identify the location of a leak. With internal systems, leaks are determined by analyzing discrepancies between predicted and measured values. For accurate computational modeling, these systems require a large number of point sensors to monitor the extended range of a pipeline. Due to cost, sensors are only installed in increments along key areas of the pipeline, which limits their coverage and reliability.

With the OptaSense pipeline leak detection system , the fiber-optic cable acts a fully distributed sensor that offers thousands of detection points along the entire pipeline, capable of pinpointing the location of a leak within 10m, in real time.

Increase confidence in alarm reliability
Point sensors not only struggle to detect and locate leaks, calibration errors and fluctuating pipeline conditions can impact a system’s reliability—resulting in false alarms, missed leaks, or an unnecessary shutdown. Nuisance alarms are also an issue with many external fiber-based systems because they rely on a single detection method, such as temperature.

To minimize the costly impact of an unreliable system, the OptaSense leak detection application validates leaks before sounding an alarm. Using a patented multimode leak detector, our system detects and locates suspected leaks by measuring changes in noise, temperature, pressure, and ground strain, simultaneously and in real time. Multimode detector settings can be customized across every 10m section, adjusting to the environment and operating states at various locations.

Rely on robust system performance
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 leak detection application eliminates these issues by performing reliably 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.

Validate Performance Basis
Trust in a leak detection system lies in two areas. Is the performance fully validated? Can you prove the pipeline leak detection system works? We take these questions seriously and to answer the first question of “validated performance” we have gone to great lengths to undertake full scale tests on both above ground and below ground pipelines in both gas and liquid at world leading 3rd party facilities. Please contact us for copies of our white papers.
Established Verification Options
The second question – Will the pipeline leak detection system work on my pipeline? We have again undertaken a lot of work on this – all traceable back to our primary validation work. We have a range of options available to clients for in-field verification and are development more. Contact us for a copy of our Leak Spec and Leak Testing Methodologies document for more detail. We also present on these topics at industry fora and can provide a number of published papers.
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Ready for faster, more reliable leak detection?

22 Nov 2016

Inline Inspection Tool Tracking

Monitor the progress of inline inspection tools

Another means to monitor the condition of a pipeline, as well as removing accumulated pipeline debris, is the use of an inline inspection tool. Often times an inline inspection device can get stuck in long pipelines, making it difficult and expensive to locate—but not with the OptaSense inline inspection tool tracking application.
Locate inline inspection tools fast and affordably
By tracking the acoustic signature, our inline inspection tool tracking application follows the progress of a device throughout the pipeline network. As an inspection tool passes through a girth weld inline, the resulting pressure pulses propagate through the pipe. These pulses can be detected a considerable distance away, enabling operators to swiftly identify the location of a stalled device.
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Want to locate inline inspection tools effectively?

22 Nov 2016

Ground Movement Monitoring

Predict potential pipeline geohazards

Monitor nearby ground movement or seismic disturbances for an early warning of potential pipeline damages.
Monitor seismic disturbances
Detect sizeable ground shift and rock fall events with the OptaSense ground movement monitoring application.

By recording all activity in the vicinity of a pipeline before and after a large scale, widespread disturbance such as earthquake, engineers can gain an understanding of resulting damages and whether asset integrity has been compromised.

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Want an early warning of buckling or upheaval?

22 Nov 2016

External Interference Monitoring

Reduce the risk of external interference

Pipelines are susceptible to various external threats that can result in significant damage, or worse, a rupture. However, a majority of these incidents can be prevented.
The OptaSense pipeline monitoring system detects external events that lead to pipeline damage, so you can respond to threats before incidents occur.
Prevent incidents
along the right of way
Offering third party interference and right of way monitoring, OptaSense fiber optic pipeline monitoring alerts operators of potentially hazardous activity occurring within the pipeline corridor, such as digging, vehicle movement and other large machinery, before contact with the pipe is made.
Protect pipeline infrastructure
Protecting pipelines and above ground infrastructure from sabotage and theft in high-risk areas typically requires a separate security monitoring program, but the OptaSense pipeline monitoring solution can do both.

By integrating leak detection, security monitoring and theft prevention into a single system, the OptaSense pipeline monitoring solution provides the sensitivity and reliability required to detect and locate suspicious activity, such as illegal hot taps and vandalism, up to 100km from a single location with no other infield equipment required—making it one of the most cost effective means of monitoring long linear assets.

With this knowledge, you not only improve incident reduction, you increase the effectiveness of response mechanisms by ensuring manual inspection is focused on areas of real activity.

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Ready for faster, more reliable leak detection?

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)

22 Sep 2015

OptaSense named finalist in Global Pipeline Awards

Unique use of acoustic sensing by world leader provides effective leak and intrusion detection

ASME-logo22 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.


About OptaSense

  • 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.
  • Website: www.optasense.com

About QinetiQ

  • 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.
  • Follow us on twitter @QinetiQ
  • Visit our blog www.qinetiq-blogs.com
07 Sep 2015

Cost-effective security monitoring (BTC)

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.


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.”