An international oil pipeline customer was faced with a problem of how to test leak detection performance of different fiber optic distributed acoustic sensing systems. Various methods were proposed by different OEM suppliers that either relied on third party proxy tests or installing fiber test equipment along the pipeline requiring 3-4 months of activity to undertake. This process also meant the existing systems had to be taken offline during the tests, which was untenable to the end-customer especially as the method would not be repeatable through the life of the pipeline. Sintela was tasked to develop a leak detection verification product and process that reduced time and complexity of the system and could be operated in real time without interference with the fiber sensing system or the fiber comms network.
We created a synthetic leak verification solution which operates in real time, requires no fiber intervention and was able to verify the performance of 3rd party fiber sensing leak detection capability. Additionally, we delivered the ability for the customer to train and verify the performance of its operations staff to respond to leak events thereby improving the knowledge and effectivness of their operations staff.
By intelligently applying our expertise and knowledge of fiber sensing technology, Sintela saved 90% of cost in comparison with the previous systems, reducing the time for leak verification tests from over a 100 days to just 10 days as well as delivering an operator training and verification tool to operate through the lifetime of the pipeline.