Guided wave monitoring tool
With annual losses of approximately $10 billion due to oil leaks in the United States alone, oil and gas companies could benefit considerably from improved pipeline safety and reliability. Research shows that although 30% of all oil pipeline accidents are attributable to corrosion, the average annual corrosion-related cost for monitoring, maintenance and replacement of pipeline stands at $7 billion. At present, there are more than 40 major transnational oil and gas pipelines traversing Europe, accounting for over 34,565km of strategically critical large-bore pipeline infrastructure. According to the European association of oil companies, more than 15,900km (46% of the total) is over 40 years old, while only 1,120km (6% of the total) is less than ten years old.
This challenge is impacting negatively upon European society and its economy and needs to be addressed immediately. But oil and gas companies are unable to react to this challenge on their own. Global oil prices have decreased significantly since their 2014 peak and future prices for delivery of Brent crude in 2020 show that the markets expect oil prices to remain low for the following five years. Addressing this structural weakness in oil prices require more than financial adjustments; it demands a change in the industry’s approach to technology: from operational technologies to technology-enabled strategies that are decidedly operational in focus. Installing more operational hardware and software with limited pre-defined tags (eg pressure, temperature, volume, vibration) and following rules-based approaches (eg statistical, historical) would hardly reduce risks or improve reliability of a network, whereas increasing manual inspection frequency comes at a prohibitive cost for the new normal of low oil prices. The situation calls for a shift toward data-enabled infrastructure; in other words, investing in sensor systems that create new data.
The principal goal of this project is to optimise the manufacturing process of the iPerm system. iPerm is a monitoring system employing Plant Integrity’s patented guided wave technology, permanently mounted on the outside of pipelines in environmentally hostile, safety critical or difficult-to-access areas, creating data about potential leakage.
Manufacturing of low-cost, high-performance and permanently installed guided wave system capable of assessing the condition of the structure.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
For more information, please visit the iPerm website.