realSens Remote Leak Detection, Performance Analysis based on a 4-Year Operations Record
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In a number of papers previously presented at the Pipeline Technology Conference, Synodon discussed the science behind its proprietary realSens™ technology and how it can remotely detect both simple hydrocarbon molecules such as methane (found predominantly in natural gas) as well as complex ones such as butanes or pentane which evaporate from various products such as condensates, gasoline, crude oil, etc.. The realSens™ system and it’s corresponding services have been commercially available since 2010 and the system has participated in a number of blind tests conducted by natural gas and oil pipeline operators or related research organizations. The technology has also been used to survey nearly 60,000 km of operational underground natural gas pipelines in North America and it has detected and accurately located 100’s of leaks and emission sources with virtually no false positives. This paper will discuss briefly the operational principle behind the technology, present the results from a number of blind tests organized by pipeline operators and a geologic research organization (showing strikingly consistent results from the very different test setups) as well as an oil producer and outline a number of real-life leak detection case studies from live, operational pipeline systems. The paper will conclude with a summary of the demonstrated leak detection capabilities and their importance to pipeline operators.
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