Every manager knows the stress of budget planning; stretching your dollars to maximize the improvement of your operations. Most pipeline operations and control room managers face this budgeting ordeal between now and early autumn. Here are a few items to consider that will add great value in terms of risk reduction, increased productivity and demonstrating improvement in your leak detection program per API RC 1175.

Atmos guardian leak detection for high consequence areas

Good engineering practices and pipeline regulations require an operator to take measures to mitigate the consequences of a pipeline failure that could affect a high consequence area and suggest improvements that can include augmenting the leak detection systems that detect leaks in an HCA segment.

Adding Pipeline Guardian hardware upstream and downstream of an HCA removes influences and uncertainties, such as operational transients, vapor pockets, and measurement uncertainties external to the segment, allowing detection of leaks as small as 0.2% of the nominal flow. Isolated, the Pipeline Guardian system is highly reliable and the controller will have the confidence to shut down the pipeline quickly when an alarm is received. Pipeline Guardian supplies all the components for a turnkey solution, instrumentation, processing and communications, even for locations with no power or communications.

Pipeline rupture detection

Leaks and ruptures should not be considered a single class of pipeline failure. When a pipeline ruptures, the volume of escaped fluid can be unavoidably large even if detection, response, and containment are performed very quickly. Robust rupture detection is not easy given challenges such as the diversity of pipelines, and the need to detect and alarm the rupture quickly, even when a pipeline is already shutting down automatically. The references in best engineering practices and pending regulations to address pipeline rupture detection in company leak detection programs mean that companies who have not already done so will need to review their rupture detection methods soon.
Atmos Rupture is an inexpensive system that can detect ruptures with 100% reliability, and issues no false rupture alarms. Rupture detection available as an add-on module to existing Atmos Pipe and Wave Flow systems.

Maintenance and 24/7 emergency support

API 1175 reminds us that a successful leak detection system (LDS) requires good instrumentation and telecommunications as well as leak detection software. The LDS and the supporting components must be maintained. Budgeting for renewal of your LDS maintenance support assures that your LDS will be optimized and you have an Atmos LDS, the automated tools will monitor your leak detection KPIs and track the reliability of the supporting components such as which sensors or communications are failing and how often.
Adding 24/7 Afterhours LDS emergency response assures that your pipeline controllers will have fast access to an Atmos leak detection engineer at any time when they have a leak detection emergency. They will make vital decisions faster, minimizing the consequences in the event of a leak.

Pipeline trainer

It is difficult to expose pipeline controllers to abnormal operating conditions if they are only trained on real pipelines. A pipeline simulation trainer is extremely effective in preparing controllers for abnormal events such as leaks that cannot be practiced on a real pipeline. Atmos Trainer mimics the unique operational characteristics of a specific pipeline. It uses a flexible software model to provide a high-fidelity, virtual copy of the selected pipeline and its associated equipment in a computer interfaced to a full SCADA system. A comprehensive Operator Scoring and Qualification Module maintains records of each controller’s training history and performance improvements in accordance with regulatory requirements and API recommended practices.

Upgrade Atmos Pipe for extremely accurate leak location and additional, complimentary, pressure wave LDS

Fast Scan - Atmos AWAS high-speed data acquisition units can collect pressure data at a high scan rate locally and store it. When a leak occurs on the pipeline, the Atmos Pipe system can retrieve a period of historical data from the AWAS units allowing leak location using the high scan rate data. The Fast Scan option makes leak location up to 10 times more accurate, allowing leak location as accurate as 250 meters.
SCADA Wave This new rarefaction wave leak detection module uses SCADA data from existing pressure meters and the normal SCADA scan rate to identify the onset of a leak. This module can make the leak detection time significantly faster and provide better sensitivity. This can be a great improvement for pipelines with faulty flow meters. The technology is designed for long sections of pipeline, with several blocks valves and pressure meters.

By: Atmos International
Date: 11 October 2019