Development of a monitoring tool for high pressure oil and gas pipelines.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Abstract

Ensuring that oil and gas pipelines remain free of blockages and leakage is a challenging problem and one with enormous financial ramifications. Research at the University of Manchester has led to the development and preliminary commercialisation of an acoustic based system for detecting blockages and leakage in pipelines filled with static gas. An important benefit of the technique is that it is non-invasive and only requires access to one end of the pipeline. The project proposed here will extend the technique further by developing a prototype system that will be suitable for liquid filled pipelines and pipelines containing flowing gas or liquid.

Publications

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Wang X (2011) Detection of hydrate and other blockages in gas pipelines using acoustic reflectometry in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science

 
Description Acoustic tools and data processing methods were identified that enabled acoustic signals to be used to detect the location of obstructions and holes in gas filled pipelines.
Exploitation Route The findings are being used to develop acoustic instruments for monitoring pipelines across a number of industries.
Sectors Energy,Transport

 
Description The findings from this work have been used to develop new techniques for detecting and locating blockages in gas filled pipelines. This has led to the development of equipment and techniques that have been utilised extensively in the oil & gas industry.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Energy
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Acoustic Monitoring of heat Exchanger Tubes
Amount £62,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2011 
End 11/2012
 
Description EPSRC
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID "UoM Specific Calls (KTA173, KTA161, KTA207, KTA125)" 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2011 
End 11/2013
 
Description Energy Innovation Centre - Pipeline Monitoring
Amount £423,000 (GBP)
Organisation Energy Innovation Centre 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2014 
End 04/2016
 
Description Acoustek 
Organisation National Grid UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution All four gas companies contributed to the development of an acoustic probe for surveying gas distribution pipelines.
Collaborator Contribution Funding and trials sites.
Impact An acoustic probe is now being deployed on a prototype basis in the UK.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Acoustek 
Organisation Northern Gas Networks Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution All four gas companies contributed to the development of an acoustic probe for surveying gas distribution pipelines.
Collaborator Contribution Funding and trials sites.
Impact An acoustic probe is now being deployed on a prototype basis in the UK.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Acoustek 
Organisation Scotish Gas Networks
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution All four gas companies contributed to the development of an acoustic probe for surveying gas distribution pipelines.
Collaborator Contribution Funding and trials sites.
Impact An acoustic probe is now being deployed on a prototype basis in the UK.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Acoustek 
Organisation Wales & West Utilities Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution All four gas companies contributed to the development of an acoustic probe for surveying gas distribution pipelines.
Collaborator Contribution Funding and trials sites.
Impact An acoustic probe is now being deployed on a prototype basis in the UK.
Start Year 2014
 
Title REMOTE PIPELINE ACOUSTIC INSPECTION 
Description Acoustic pipeline monitoring system 
IP Reference EP1448970 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2004
Licensed Yes
Impact The licensed technology has been used on a commercial basis in the North Sea, SE Asia and US.
 
Title Signal Processing Systems and Methods 
Description A signal processing technique to allow blockages to be detected in pipelines 
IP Reference P207083WO 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2014
Licensed Yes
Impact None.