Pipeline Integrity Monitoring and Leak Detection | SLB

Remote Oil and Gas Pipeline Integrity Monitoring Systems

Distributed fiber-optic acoustic, temperature, vibration, and strain sensing

Pipeline integrity monitoring

Pipeline integrity monitoring systems

SLB’s pipeline integrity monitoring systems—part of the Optiq™ fiber-optic solutions family—enable pipeline operators to perform accurate leak detection and pig tracking while protecting pipelines from third-party intrusions. Using the latest fiber-optic sensing technology for pinpoint accuracy and continuous 24/7 real-time monitoring, our pipeline integrity monitoring systems provide uptime assurance of your assets. Remote monitoring and surveillance enables you to locate within a few meters a pipeline leak, stuck pig, and even theft from hot tapping.

Now deployed in more than 5,000 km of pipeline assets worldwide, SLB’s pipeline integrity monitoring systems are the first to detect real-world leaks on hazardous liquid pipelines and water pipelines, protect people and the environment—air and waterways—and avoid remediation and regulatory fines while unlocking access to energy for the benefit of all.

Schlumberger experts Adnan Chughtai and Jason Reynaud

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Leak detection

Pipeline leak detection

The environmental impact from a pipeline leak or rupture event can be devastating. Using remote fiber-optic sensing technologies, we help you quickly identify the location of the leak, so you can swiftly take data-driven action to minimize the severity. These technologies also enable you to reduce false positive events that disrupt your pipeline’s performance and throughput by characterizing anomalous events with greater certainty than conventional methods. Every second lost after a leak event impacts your environmental restoration costs, on-going license to operate, regulatory fines, and public trust in our industry’s efforts to deliver energy safer and more efficiently across great distances.

Leveraging fiber optics, SLB has developed an advanced, efficient pipeline leak detection system to accurately pinpoint and mitigate leak events in real time. The system is scalable for coverage of all pipeline assets, from above-ground gathering networks to buried transcontinental oil and gas transmission pipelines, and suitable for all fluid types.

The intuitive operator interface of the pipeline leak detection software enables both remote and control room alarms to be received by the pipeline operations staff via SCADA, text message, or e-mail, enabling personnel to act with the precise level of urgency while minimizing false positives.

Pipeline leak detection
Pig tracking

Pipeline pig tracking

Pipeline operators regularly perform mechanical pigging to ensure pipeline cleanliness, batch pigging to deploy different products, and inspection pigging essential to maintaining the integrity of a pipeline system by detecting pipeline anomalies such as dents, corrosion, and cracks. When pigs become stuck inside the pipeline, it can be highly disruptive to pipeline operations and potentially cause the total shut down of the pipeline system.

Fiber-optic pipeline monitoring enables pipeline operators to determine the velocity of pigs to calculate pig arrival times and inform maintenance crews. Fiber-optic detection capabilities quickly locate a stuck pig with a higher degree of accuracy than conventional methods, so you can make more informed decisions related to pigging events, enabled by remote pig monitoring. Pig monitoring can be used for routine events, such as pig arrival planning, or more critical events, such as mobilizing the appropriate personnel to remove a stuck pig by cutting into the pipeline.

Continuous pipeline monitoring enables you to automate batch pigging, in which pig launcher and pig receiver systems can locate pigs at any time and adjust pressure and flow to optimize the pigging schedule.

Pipeline pig tracking
Integrity threats

Pipeline integrity threats—perimeter intrusion and theft detection systems

One of the main causes for pipeline failure is mechanical damage to the pipeline from external sources. This is primarily due to accidental damage caused by unintended contact with excavation equipment, followed by theft of pipeline products that are sometimes part of organized crime activities. Prevention of loss from theft or other nefarious activities using fence detection and perimeter intrusion detection systems for remote oil and gas production, pipeline, and other sensitive facilities enables more rapid and targeted responses, even with limited security and remediation staff, and saves opex related to pipeline and facility safety.

Fiber-optic pipeline monitoring systems enable you to identify and characterize these threats to ensure the correct level of response is mobilized. In areas where theft is a regular event, the response can be combined with either law enforcement or military intervention to ensure the safety of pipelines, operational personnel, and the general public. Using the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques, SLB is able to use the collective learning from all its previous installations to enable accurate classification of pipeline intrusion threats from people walking, driving, or digging relative to the right of way to minimize false positive alarms and to help gauge the level of response required.

Pipeline integrity threats
Demonstration facility

Demonstration facility

At the SLB Cambridge Research (SCR) facility, we have a functional simulation and testing flow loop with preinstalled fiber-optic cables of various types and offsets with the ability to flow gas and heated liquid. The monitored flow loop, 300 meters in length, provides a holistic view of the distributed measurement data. This enables you to comprehensively visualize the leak propagation from the origin and observe transients across the full span of the monitored pipeline. The flow loop can showcase real-time leak detection and response of the pipeline monitoring system to pinhole leaks and rupture events. The system also displays responses to a variety of simulated events, including unauthorized walking, driving, digging, or tampering with fencing around protected facilities from a separate 750-m fiber-optic loop around the facility.

The SCR facility enables pipeline operators to simulate pipeline conditions to show performance of the monitoring systems in different controlled scenarios. This supports system design to meet precise requirements. The SCR facility is also used to test and refine new technology to solve critical pipeline operation and integrity challenges.

The SCR facility houses more than 920 m2 of laboratory space and offices for more than 100 scientists and technicians. Research focuses on drilling, chemistry, fluid mechanics, and seismic operations. In each domain, the SGR facility combines three areas of research: theory, experiment, and computational simulation. Research teams are multidisciplinary, embracing physics, chemistry, materials science, mathematics, statistics, earth sciences, solid and fluid mechanics, computer science, and instrumentation.

Demonstration facility
Form Factor
<100 W
3.2 m

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