Advanced Technology Takes Aim at Leak Detection

Siemens Energy and Proflex Technology recently highlighted technology that utilizes a modified negative pressure wave and the Internet of Things to find leaks.

Modified negative pressure waves and the Internet of Things are being used together to quickly detect leaks. (Source: Pam Demin/Shutterstock.com)

A leak from a damaged subsea oil pipeline that went unnoticed for some time, temporarily shuttering a beach offshore California recently, put leak detection and related protocols back into the spotlight.

Backers of an award-winning technology say modified negative pressure waves combined with the Internet of Things are capable of detecting such leaks in less than a minute or two, pinpointing its location within a few feet and notifying key personnel and authorities.

“Because we’re detecting [leaks] so quickly, we’re reducing your loss,” said Matthew Grimes, who specializes in digital onshore solutions and is the customer success manager of SLD (Spontaneous Leak Detection) for Siemens Energy. So not only are we saving you money, environmental cleanup, bad publicity—all those things that come with the offshore leaks and such—depending on the pipeline, the size, the pressure, we can detect anywhere from a half-inch or larger.”

He called that a comfort zone, considering the company—which has a testing loop at its Houston facility—has been able to detect oil leaks that are about one-eighth of an inch.

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Velda Addison

Velda Addison is the senior editor of digital media for Hart Energy’s editorial team. She covers exploration and production.