Posted: 27 Jan 2014

Executive Summary

The vast majority of the operators’ events cited in the Leak Detection Study – DTPH56-11-D-000001 [1] that reported leaks in the period between 1 January 2010 and 7 July 2012 had no CPM leak detection systems (LDS) or only very basic LDS. Gas operators who use no CPM for leak detection accounted for 43% of the events, instead, gas operators rely on the rate of change monitoring in SCADA.

The majority of the few liquid pipelines with more sophisticated CPM systems used Real-Time Transient Models (RTTM), many of which failed to detect the leaks. The report blames the failures on a recurring theme of false alarms and the inability of the cited CPM systems to maintain sensitivity during transient operations. Some of these companies are now installing Atmos Pipe to improve their chances of detecting and locating a leak.

The other methods, including RTTM, failed because they issue false leak alarms or automatically reduce sensitivity or suspend leak detection during transient operations. Frequent false leak alarms destroy operator confidence. This happened when the CPM analysts did not believe the CPM that alarmed the largest leak addressed in the report.

In stark contrast, the patented statistical algorithms allow Atmos Pipe alone to maintain a low false leak alarm rate and not reduce the sensitivity during transient operations. High reliability and high sensitivity, particularly during transients gave Atmos Pipe a 100% success rate in detecting real leaks, including the four recent leaks. On January 23, 2014, Atmos Pipe detected a real leak on a copper concentrate pipeline, and the pipeline was shut down immediately, minimizing the damage from the leak.

Atmos Pipe has never failed to detect a real leak larger than the quoted minimum detectable leak size. In the period from 7 July 2012 to 27 January 2014, four pipelines fitted with Atmos Pipe did suffer leaks, all of which were detected and alarmed by Atmos Pipe, allowing the operators to shut-down operations immediately. In addition, three pipeline operating companies that had major leaks since this DOT report are now installing the Atmos Pipe system.