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Enhanced Gas Leak

Enhanced Gas Leak

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Published by Aiman Chaouachi
Uploaded by: Aiman Chaouachi,
Uploaded by: Aiman Chaouachi,

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Published by: Aiman Chaouachi on Sep 13, 2013
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ENHANCED GAS LEAK VISUALIZATION TOOLSACCELERATE BETTER DECISION MAKING
Special to Pipeline & Gas JournalOctober 2009 Vol. 236 No. 10
 For operators of underground transmission pipelines and/or aboveground
natural gas processing facilities, finding and fixing “fugitive emission” leaks
continues to be a business-critical task for safety, environmentalstewardship, preservation of a finite resource and revenue enhancement.And for those engaged in natural gas exploration, finding and capturingmethane emissions from naturally occurring underground sources is anadditional motivation.The question is: How can the process of finding leaks, emissions andseeps
 –
and taking action on those findings
 –
be accelerated?Increasingly, industry leaders in each of these segments are turning tocompanies which specialize in enhanced leak- and seep-detection and
 
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visualization tools needed to inform and guide critical business decisions inreal time.
Visualizing Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Leaks
Surveying underground natural gas pipelines for leaks remains critical toensure public safety, continuity of service and environmental protection,not to mention necessary to comply with regulatory requirements. Whilegas lines have traditionally been leak-surveyed by walking the lines tomeasure for elevated concentrations of gases, this consumes a great deal
of time and resources as well as putting the line workers‟ safety at risk.
 To address this ongoing challenge, ITT Corporation developed AirborneNatural Gas Emission Lidar (ANGEL) Services, delivering a safe, cost-effective way to aerially survey extensive networks of undergroundpipelines for leaks while maintaining a high level of accuracy andsensitivity. In the context of transmission pipeline surveys, customers sayANGEL Services combines the speed, efficiency and practicality of anaerial visual patrol with the confidence of an instrumented leak survey.With a growing recognition that walking transmission pipelines in search ofleaks is time-
consuming and prone to missing leaks, the industry‟s more
progressive transmission pipeline operators have increasingly been turningto the advanced leak detection and visualization services. One such firm isNorthern Natural Gas (NNG), headquartered in Omaha, NE.NNG recognized the daunting task of walking its pipelines to fulfill itsperiodic pipeline leak-survey requirements to satisfy U.S. Department ofTransportation regulations and selected ITT to perform aerial leak surveysover a specific pipeline segment. Jeff Cullison, regional pipeline specialist,
said that decision was “based on proven accu
racy as well as the short time
duration to cover the network.”
 On one survey flight over the NNG segment, a new underground leakindication was detected. Based on the data collected, NNG was presentedwith the exact spatial location and plume visualization of a major
 
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underground pipeline leak (Figure 1). Upon investigation, the leak
represented a serious safety concern. “This crack probably wouldn‟t have
been discovered for another year - when the pipeline was next scheduled
for inspection,” said Cullison. “Or, it would have split open.” But a pipelineintegrity issue was quickly identified and a potential disaster averted.”
 Figure 1: An example of an underground pipeline leak found and visualized- a two-dimensional visualization of a three-dimensional gas plume.(Courtesy of Northern Natural Gas)This customer deliverable imagery visualizes:
 
Methane gas detection and location.
 
Gas concentration in ppm-m.
 
Gas concentration contour mapping.
 
Location and context of buried gas pipeline centerline.
 
Color right-of-way mapping imagery, showing nearby structures androadway.
 
Differential Absorption Laser (DIAL) scan swath (the “blue ribbon”).
 
Visualizing Leaks At Processing Facilities
Just as with natural gas transmission pipelines, operators of natural gasfacilities - such as compressor stations, gas-processing operations, etc. -

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