Posted: 05 Dec 2012

Atmos Pipe leak detection system has passed the site acceptance test on Total UK’s Finaline pipeline. The test included the detection of a series of controlled liquid releases to fully verify the leak detection function. To make the testing more comprehensive, liquid releases were made during all normal pipeline states including steady state, transient and shut-in conditions.

Atmos International has installed an Atmos Pipe leak detection system incorporating a hot standby failover option on the Finaline, a 10”, 232.8 KM long multi-product pipeline between Total Lindsey Oil Refinery and the Buncefield terminal.

A total of 9 controlled liquid releases were made from the pipeline by siphoning oil to a tank midway along the pipeline. The liquid release to a tank along the pipeline simulates a real leak while ensuring that no fluid is released into the environment and that all safety procedures are complied with. Orifice plates of different sizes were used to control the release size between 1% and 10% of nominal flow rates. These trials were part of a comprehensive Site Acceptance Test Procedure that also included other tests such as failover testing to verify the full capability of the system.

Testing highlights include:

  • 4 releases of different sizes were tested in steady state at 2 different flow rates
  • 1 release was tested where some instruments were made unavailable to test robustness
  • 2 releases during transient conditions caused by reducing the flow rate and stopping the pipeline
  • 2 releases during shut-in conditions

All releases were correctly detected as leaks by the leak detection system and the sensitivity was within specification. During these tests, the Atmos Pipe system was reliably detecting releases created by an orifice plate of only 3.1mm in diameter which is the same as detecting a leak with a hole of the same size. This highlights the high sensitivity of the Atmos Pipe leak detection system.