Free Swimming Acoustic Tool For Oil And Gas Pipeline Leak Detection

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Technical Toolboxes has partnered with Pure Technologies Ltd. to offer a complete solution for leak and theft detection in oil and gas pipelines. The solution combines the Technical Toolboxes pipeline integrity approach with SmartBall® leak detection, which offers unparalleled size estimation and location accuracy.
  Oil and gas pipeline operators are responsible to multiple stakeholders with their pipeline integrity programs. Not only must they meet or exceed federal and state regulatory requirements, but also answer to stakeholders that are concerned with economic and environmental losses.
  Through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) R&D grant the SmartBall has been optimized to detect and locate very small leaks in gas pipelines.
  According to the PHMSA website, line leakage of oil and natural gas systems can result in significant financial and environmental consequences. Often, small leaks lead to ruptures in the pipeline that result in product escaping into the surrounding soil. The objective of this joint academic-industry research project was to develop and test a free-swimming device capable of detecting small leaks in oil product (< 1gpm) and natural gas pipelines. The SmartBall swims through the pipeline being assessed and produces results at significantly reduced cost to the end user compared to current leak detection methods. Additionally, the leak detection threshold of the SmartBall will be 50 to 100 times greater than currently provided by conventional computational pipe monitoring (CPM) systems. GIS based above ground loggers that are GPS synchronized will capture low frequency acoustic signatures and digitally log the passage of the SmartBall through a pipeline.
  The Arizona State University-Pure Technologies Limited team brings complementary expertise to the project. Additionally, industrial partners Imperial Oil and Southwest Gas provided end user technical expertise during development.
  “This solution will become the new standard in pipeline leak detection prove-up,” said Joe Summa, Technical Toolboxes president and CEO. “The SmartBall solution will radically change the way pipeline owners and operators conduct pipeline leak sensitivity studies, over/under business audits, respond to issues and maintain regulatory compliance.”