Benefits of Using Gas Cloud Imaging Technology to Detect Leaks on Gas Pipelines
Managing the integrity of pipeline system and gas process facilities is the primary goal of every gas field operator, particularly in sour gas operations. This document presents the benefits of utilizing Gas Cloud Imaging (GCI) technology to detect leaks on gas pipelines. It introduces the unique sequence of this sour gas operation and pipeline infrastructure layout that introduces challenges in achieving safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to their customers without adverse effects on the public, customers, employees, or the environment. It provides informative methodology and principles regarding infrared absorption spectroscopy and hyperspectral infrared imaging. The paper also shares how the detection capability and operational feasibility are proven through a field pilot implementation. It further introduces how the operator designs the GCI technology applicable to the entire pipeline route and combines with gas point detectors to achieve full detection coverage. Finally, it makes recommendations how to make the technology benefit a wider range of usage in oil and gas industry to improve safety and a reduction in the number of incidents.
KeywordsPipeline Sour gas Hydrogen sulfide H2S Leak detection Fiber optic Loss of containment Community response protocol Gas Cloud Imaging technology Infrared absorption spectroscopy Hyperspectral infrared imaging Non-destructive testing (NDT) Ultrasonic thickness (UT) In-line inspection (ILI) Maximum distance test
As is true for any advanced new technology implementation, there are tremendous efforts from many individuals and organizations to make a dream come true. To all of those who supported the project, we want to say “thank you”.
There are some individuals that the authors do want to thank personally. Special thanks to Kevin Drake, who has contributed many important ideas and played an important role in managing pipeline integrity. Gary Nall and Jason Mathis served as pipeline leak detection subject matter experts, whose support was crucial and brought the conceptual foundation to the project. Scott Bates and Zhen Mei Yap, as the project lead engineers, did an outstanding and professional job in designing and executing the project. Chris Buterbaugh provided valuable pipeline risk assessment inputs. Robert Kester was instrumental in introducing the technology and supporting the pilot field tests. Lastly, special acknowledgement to the project management team, who has managed every facet of this process and personally ensured its success.
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