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Siemens Energy has collaborated with Houston-based ProFlex Technologies to provide spontaneous leak detection services for pipeline operators

zachary theodore guADzpF9pDI unsplash 1The solution enables oil, gas, and petrochemical operators to reduce their environmental footprint by minimising unplanned product releases. (Image source: Zachary Theodore/Unsplash)

As part of the agreement, Siemens Energy has exclusive access to ProFlex Technologies’ digital Pipe-Safe advanced leak detection technology.

The technology combined with Siemens Energy’s Internet of Things (IoT) system will enable operators to reduce the environmental risk associated with the operation of their infrastructure by minimising unplanned releases of the product to the ecosystem.

The solution leverages remote pressure monitoring and complex data processing algorithms to rapidly detect and localise pipeline leaks within +/-20 feet of their location. It is particularly relevant for companies that operate aging infrastructure, enabling detection of small leaks in pressurised lines transporting virtually any type of liquid or gas medium (e.g., natural gas, crude oil, water, petrochemicals, etc.).

Specific applications include long-distance oil and gas transmission lines (such as multi-node systems); production gathering networks at well sites; and offshore production risers.

“The use of Siemens Energy’s IoT technology, together with the Pipe-Safe technology, is a powerful combination that will help operators safely operate their assets and mitigate against the impact of unplanned product release through the early detection of leaks,” said Nico van Rensburg, head of onshore solutions’ digital solutions and portfolio innovation at Siemens Energy. “The IoT-based leak detection solution uses highly sensitive pressure sensors connected to pipelines at key locations to monitor internal pressure continuously.”

The pressure pulses generated by the leak are identified, and the location of the leak can be precisely determined. These data can be transmitted to mobile devices or back to a central location using the latest cloud-based technology. Immediate action may be taken to repair the leak. The IoT-based approach has broad applicability and is suitable for use with any type of asset, including new installations and existing assets.

“Combining state of the art remote pressure monitoring and data processing technologies within Siemens Energy’s IoT systems represents a cost-effective leak detection solution that’s easy to install and requires little ongoing human intervention,” said Stuart Mitchell, managing partner, ProFlex Technologies. “The solution provides peace of mind to customers that any unexpected damage to their pipeline can be immediately detected and located, significantly reducing the volume of any liquid spill and the associated impact to ongoing operation.”

The spontaneous leak detection as-a-service is immediately available from Siemens Energy, with initial implementations expected early next year.