​Pure Technologies’ SmartBall pipeline leak detection tech taking the plunge in the Gulf Coast

Image: Pure Technologies Ltd.

Pure Technologies Ltd.’s oil and gas pipeline integrity division PureHM has received purchase orders totalling over $3 million from U.S.-based pipeline companies for inspection work to be executed in the first half of 2017.

The new work includes confirmation of containment surveys using the company's proprietary SmartBall technology on major pipeline infrastructure connecting refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast to communities throughout the South and Eastern United States.

SmartBall leak detection is a free-flowing tool used to locate leaks and gas pockets in pressurized pipelines. Equipped with a highly sensitive acoustic sensor that is able to locate pinhole-sized leaks, it can complete long leak detection surveys in a single deployment without disruption to regular pipeline service, according to Pure.

The device consists of an instrumented aluminum core in a urethane shell and contains a range of instrumentation, including an acoustic data acquisition system that listens for product loss as the ball travels through the pipeline. It is inserted into a pipeline and travels with the product flow for up to 20 hours for four-inch (100-millimetre) lines and over 400 hours for larger lines while collecting information. It is tracked throughout the inspection at predetermined fixed locations on the pipeline.

In addition, PureHM said it has recently signed a contract renewal–valued at $1 million per year for three years–from an energy customer located in B.C. for pipeline cathodic protection surveys and related services. The work represents an expected extension of services previously conducted through E-MAC Corrosion Inc., whose business and assets were acquired by the company on December 30. Similar renewals are expected in the near future, the company said.