PE Introduces Acoustek® Technology
(November 24th 2008)
PE has recently introduced Acoustek®, a revolutionary system that uses acoustic technology to detect full and partial blockages as well as leaks in gas pipelines. This Acoustic® technology is set to revolutionise the market as it can quickly and accurately locate features at distances of up to 10km.
Acoustek® has been developed with the support of an academic team at Manchester University via its intellectual commercialisation company UMIP with additional funding from sources including BP, EPSRC and KTP.
Pipeline Engineering has a long history of providing pipeline pigging and pipeline management solutions for the flow assurance industry and Acoustek® is a revolutionary new system which keeps it at the forefront of the market sectors in which it operates.
The partnership with BP has enabled the development team and PE's field service team to trial Acoustek® on a live subsea gas pipeline in the North Sea with excellent results and giving further confidence in the technology.
Acoustek® was able to survey a section of an offshore gas pipeline and correctly identify and locate a near complete blockage, approximately 500m from the host platform. The blockage was identified within hours and was monitored over a couple of months as the obstruction moved along the line. The technique offered several advantages over radiographic techniques, including remote survey without the need for an ROV support vessel, and the ability to survey sections of the pipeline buried under rock.
This trial has shown just how well Acoustek® technology processes the signal and provides a much clearer picture of the problem in a short time, which enables appropriate remedies to be put in place quickly.
The benefits of early detection using Acoustek® are obvious when one considers that traditional detection methods such as radiographic detection and diver interventions, which can incur enormous costs, plus loss of production and environmental implications.
Acoustek® can be applied using ATEX certified equipment which is introduced either via the pig trap or permanently attached for continuous monitoring of a gas pipeline. Over the next two years the team aims to further develop the system to extend the range and improve the accuracy of the technique.
PE welcomes interest from all O&G companies who require assessments of their gas networks.