Pipelines have been a vital component of the energy supply chain in India; have to be laid in harsh surroundings; crossing mountain ranges characterized by unstable grounds; where seasonal soil texture changes increase the probability of hazards and uncertainties. Therefore, pipeline monitoring systems for leakage, ground movement, and intrusion detection are part of new pipeline projects. Leakage detection using distributed fibre-optic sensors can be a comprehensive solution for continuous, in-line, real-time monitoring of various pipelines.
The monitoring of temperature profiles over long distance by means of optical fibres represents a highly efficient way to perform leakage detection along pipelines. Different techniques have been developed taking advantages of the fibre geometry and of optical time domain analysis for the localization of the information. Raman-based systems have been envisaged for one of the very first projects of India where leakage detection using Distributed Temperature Sensing has been envisaged. The paper presents and discusses the possibility to actively and automatically monitor leakages using distributed fibre optics sensing techniques. The second part of the paper focuses on the monitoring of leakage and third party intrusion detection of petroleum product pipelines. The key features and performances of the technology are reviewed in this paper.