Calgary Herald

-

Eye in the sky detects even smallest pipeline leak
Calgary Herald

Edmonton-based Synodon Inc., which has used its helicopter-mounted detection system to check natural gas pipelines for 15 companies over the past three years, is starting to add oil pipelines to its repertoire.

The realSens device was built to detect vapour plumes, which are tiny emissions of gases. Earlier this year, the firm completed field trials in Alberta and Arizona to perfect the detection of pentanes, gasoline and condensates used in bitumen. And Synodon just signed a contract with Suncor Energy to survey the oilsands pipeline that was built in 1966 to carry synthetic oil from Fort McMurray to Edmonton.

Natural gas firms are content with annual line inspections, but Banica said oil firms are now very sensitive about any spill. “No spill is acceptable, so there is the impetus for oil pipeline firms to buy our service more frequently, to fly over their line once a month or perhaps once every three months at the most,” he said, adding that this will change the business outlook for his firm.

Synodon has one $800,000 detector, and has the material to construct a second. Its helicopter will fly between 500 and 600 kilometres per day, at 100 km/h and an altitude of 300 metres. Their helicopter is inspecting pipelines all over Canada and the U.S.

Quand Stephen Guilbault fait sa propagande anti-pipeline dans le Bas-St-Laurent (taux de chômage de 8,9%), je me demande s’il parle des avancées technologiques qui rendent les pipelines encore plus sécuritaires.