Colorado geospatial company Red Hen Systems (RHS) has created a multi-sensor detection system to locate and quantify in real-time fugitive methane through aerial and ground surveys.
The Pipeline Leak Detection Services (PLDS) technology is currently helping oil and gas producers in Colorado and neighbouring producing states to comply with state regulations in keeping their infrastructure safety gas-free.
"We try to find dangerous events that could possibly precipitate to explosion before they happen," Neil Havermale, RHS founder, said in a statement.
Colorado has large amounts of oil and gas assets with annual inspections requirements demanding, in many cases, the use of automated and high precision survey methods for asset inspection.
The system includes a BOREAL gas detector, FLIR Optical Gas Imaging (OGI), Sony colour cameras, Garmin GPS, and RHS video mapping software.
PLDS records the patrol, measures abnormal elevated gas concentrations, geo-locates the source of gas emissions in Google Earth, and generates a report for ticket filing and potential replacement of the defective part.
PLDS benefits include:
• Reliable- Eliminates uncertainties of false negatives due to cross-referencing. The gas detectors have a high sensitivity and absolute assurance measurement in tenths of parts per million.
• Fast- Inspects facilities quick and in detail, averaging 380 miles of surveyed pipeline per day. Provides elevated viewing position and narrow lenses (25mm) allowed ground resolution footprint.
• Simple- Generates automatically a report using a centralized operations controller. Operators can share the videos, report and data log files with their teams for further analysis and inventory.
• Safe – Eliminates exposure to potential emitting gas for the operator. "Methane is colourless, odourless and heavier than air. It concentrates in confined spaces making their detection difficult with handheld detectors," said Bogdan Besfamylnyy, RHS technical manager.
• Versatile- Adapts to various platforms, including helicopters, cars and drones.
PLDS has inspected over 5,000 miles of gathering and transmission pipelines, and 750 various facilities and well pads in Colorado, more than 16,000 wells have been processed, the company said.