Leak Detection: A New Challenge for the Oil & Gas Pipeline Industry


More often than not, most oil and gas pipeline leaks aren’t known until pipeline operators receive a call from somebody complaining that there’s oil in their field. The leak detection technology around pipelines is not modern, nor is it scientific or even technical. But because of the increase in pipelines that are needed to transport the huge new supply of shale oil, and Canadian heavy oil, throughout the continent, there’s now a more public scrutiny to the industry than ever before. And this lack of more sophisticated leak-detection methods at this day and age will just not fly politically. The challenge is for the industry to take the lead through increasing their leak detection budgets and adopting newer technology that’s already available in the market along with government intervention or regulation. With billions of dollars and profits on the line as both USA and Canada are in need of thousands of miles of new pipelines to get their fast growing supply of oil to the market, this could be that big first step necessary to win over public opinion.

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