High Fidelity Dynamic Sensing for World Class Preventative Pipeline Leak Detection

When:  Jan 17, 2019 from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM (MT)
Associated with  Calgary Section

Data Analytics Breakfast Series:
 High Fidelity Dynamic Sensing for World Class Preventative Pipeline Leak Detection

Date: Thursday, 17th of January 2019
Speaker: John Hull, P. Eng. CTO and Founder, Hifi Engineering Inc.
Location: Calgary Petroleum Club 
Time: 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM 
$45 Members, $55 Non-Members, $15 Student

Series Overview:
This series isn’t about the edge of your desk it’s about the edge of your work data universe. Edge computing pushes applications, data and computing power away from head office – away from 10 square blocks of dense fibre optic networks – away from the comfort of a Plus 15 connected office – away from reliable cell service. Data is gathered, devices monitor data streams, and decisions get made on the edge. This is a four-part series exploring different opportunities to use knowledge gained from the edge to further push the limits of our work data universe.

Session 2 of 4


Preventative leak detection and third party intrusion detection are growing fields in the pipeline monitoring industry. Distributed fiber optic sensing is a major technology platform for this service. We present a high fidelity dynamic sensing system (HDS), which is capable of sensing acoustics, temperature, strain, and vibration in or near a pipeline. The system, which can monitor up to 100 km from a base station, has been successfully used for leak detections in pipelines. Other applications of the technology such as flow monitoring and pig tracking will be presented as well. Results will be shown from independent lab tests where the efficacy of the system in detecting pinhole leaks with pressure ratings as low as 5 psi and flow rates down to 0.1 LPM has been proven.

A major benefit of the described HDS system is the ability to monitor the strain on the pipe or in its surrounding environment. Two case studies from pipelines in Canada will be presented to show how fiber optic monitoring can be beneficial for detecting abnormal and cumulative strain induced on the pipe, seismic activity, and river bank erosion. In one case, an investigation triggered by a cumulative strain alarm revealed the presence of a 40 cm wide fissure in the hill hosting the pipe. In another case study, the HDS system detected the operation of an excavator in the close vicinity of the pipeline.

A major practical challenge of distributed fiber optic monitoring of pipelines is the fact that terabytes of data are collected from remote pipeline segments on a daily basis. A discussion of the utilization of edge analytics for real-time processing of the data, along with efficient cloud-based alarm notification and event signature delivery to the pipeline operator will also be provided.

Speaker Bio:
John Hull is a professional engineer with over 18 years of experience working with sensor systems for the oil and gas industry. He previously worked for Schlumberger on/offshore performing open and cased hole logging services in Canada, US, and the North Sea. He has been the vice president of two other small privately held startup technology companies. John holds a B.Eng. (Electrical) from Lakehead University, and Electronics Engineering Diploma from SAIT. He is a member of APEGA and IEEE.

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Calgary Petroleum Club
McMurray Room
Calgary, AB