OptaSense, a QinetiQ company and the global leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) has been recognised for its unique contribution to effective pipeline leak and intrusion detection by being shortlisted for a prestigious international award.
The company has been recognised in the ASME Pipeline Systems Division Global Pipeline Awards for the innovative use of its award-winning DAS system on Columbia’s Bicentennial oil pipeline.
The judging panel recognised OptaSense’s unique use of a single fibre system to provide both leak detection and intrusion detection on the country’s largest pipeline. The 235Km first phase of the pipeline was completed in 2012 and has a diameter of 36-42 inches with the capacity of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude.
The integrated DAS solution works across multiple functions via a single fibre-optic cable that effectively “listens” to the pipeline in order to provide detailed data about its current status. Any changes to the condition of the pipe are fed back through an interrogator unit in real time, allowing users to identify and address issues early and maintain the highest level of pipeline integrity and product throughput.
Leak and intrusion detection are vital to maintaining pipeline integrity and production maximisation in the oil and gas industry. The pipeline was closed last year due to third party attacks on it, costing the Columbian economy thousands of barrels per day in lost deliveries.
OptaSense executive director Magnus McEwen-King said: “This award not only recognises the innovative use of fibre but also the engineers of Ecopetrol and OptaSense who have jointly worked to deliver real improvements to the integrity management process of the Bicentennial pipeline.
“This nomination is a further acknowledgment of our leading position in South America, and highlights our commitment to continued growth in the region. Our award-winning technology has a proven record of reducing the costs of asset ownership and providing life-long intelligence through highly effective monitoring, thereby reducing incidents and extending asset life.”
The annual awards ceremony aims to recognise pipeline technology innovation processes in phases such as: research laboratory, field applications, technology incubators, and development of markets for new products, and is open to all companies. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony held on Thursday 24 September 2015. The four other finalists are: Rosen Group, GMC Inc., Subsea 7, and LABMETRO, CENPES Petrobas Research Center.