YEG: Experimental Evaluation of External Leak Detection Technologies for Liquid Hydrocarbon Pipelines

Speaker: Mathew Bussiere, Lead technical resource for leak detection research at C-FER

Topic: “Experimental Evaluation of External Leak Detection Technologies for Liquid Hydrocarbon Pipelines”

Pipeline leak detection systems are divided into internally and externally based systems. Conventional internal systems, which tend to use field instrumentation to monitor internal pipeline parameters, are well suited to detect relatively large leaks however they generally exhibit difficulty detecting smaller leaks. In contrast, external methods use standalone, and often proprietary, sensors to directly detect leaked or leaking commodity. Small pipeline leaks are particularly concerning because they could contribute to the release of significant amounts of commodity over time if they remain undetected.

General capabilities and limitations of both classes of leak detection systems will be discussed however, the focus is on external leak detection systems and on how to experimentally verify their performance in a representative way. A research collaboration to evaluate the performance of commercially available external leak detection technologies on liquid hydrocarbon transmission pipelines is discussed. Testing takes place in the External Leak Detection Experimental Research (ELDER) apparatus at the C-FER Technologies pipeline research facility. The participating organizations include 3 large operating companies, federal and provincial government agencies and a number of technology vendors. Participating technologies include: Vapor Sensing Tubes (VST), Hydrocarbon Sensing Cables (HSC), Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS). The ELDER apparatus was designed to simulate leaks from transmission pipelines under real world operating conditions. It is capable of simulating realistic soil conditions and burial depths, realistic oil/soil temperature differentials, a range of circumferential release locations, driving pressures and release rates. The test program is focused on facilitating unbiased evaluation of external leak detection technologies by ensuring identical, or equivalent, test conditions for competing technologies, and by making provisions to ensure “blind testing” from the vendors’ perspective.

Speaker Biography:

Mathew earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in mechanical engineering at the U of A. His academic research focused on fluid control systems as well as vortex detection and tracking algorithms. Mr. Bussiere is currently the lead technical resource for leak detection research at C-FER. Over the past few years he has worked on a number of leak detection related research projects both of experimental and analytical nature.

Date: Thursday, December 3rd, 2015


5:30pm – 6:00pm – Registration & Networking

6:00pm – 7:00pm – Dinner

7:00pm – 8:00pm – Speaker Presentation

Location: Ramada Edmonton Hotel & Conference Centre, 11834 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB Cost:    $5 for students and $20 for non-students.

A full buffet dinner is included with your ticket reservation.

Registration: Register Here