Subsea Leak Detection

April 21, 2022

Every day, oil and gas companies worldwide face the threat of subsea leaks—a problem that is causing billions of dollars in damage and causing valuable oil to be wasted. A problem that could be easily avoided with Silixia's methods of subsea leak detection. But why is it so hard to detect subsea leaks? It is difficult because leaks are slow to develop and are usually in places that cannot be easily seen. This article will focus on how a subsea leak detection system works and its importance.

The Importance of a Leak Detection System

Identifying and locating a leak early can control the impact of the leakage on the marine ecosystem. Leak detection systems vary depending on the kind of property that requires monitoring or the location where a leak or seep occurs. Various approaches should be taken to establish a timely intervention.

Various leak detection systems can locate very tiny leaks in the marine and extremely challenging environmental situations. The systems have been in development for the past years, and the involved organisations have obtained international patents.

Leak Detection for Installations and Pipelines

This is the most accurate, fast and reliable means for leak inspection, and it is a perfect choice when emergencies occur. The system can detect leakages as tiny as 0.2 litres per minute. The underwater leakage detection system is characterised by a subsea sensor that accumulates acoustic data while scanning the pipeline. Collected acoustic data gets moved online to the onboard receiver, afterwards to a computer for analysis and display, and recorded using the proprietary software.

Benefits of Underwater Pipeline Leak Inspection

  • This system is not impacted by turbidity, currents, or pipeline burials.
  • It has high sensitivity, so it can detect the tiniest leakages.
  • It is reliable and has recorded a success rate of 100%.
  • Its rapidity enables fast mobilization around the world.
  • It has no environmental impacts.

Subsea Inspection Techniques and Leak Detection

There are various underwater inspection and leak detection techniques that have been developed over the years, and some are:

Towed fish: The sensor is in a fish configuration, and it is towed using a vessel along the track of the pipeline.

ROV inspection – here, there is a presence of a vehicle where the sensors are installed, and the vehicle follows a certain line at the speed of 0.7kts thereabout.

Diver – a diver drives a sensor with a handheld design; it is a perfect choice for inspections of the flange.

Vertical deployment – The sensor is dropped in a vertical line, kept by ballasts from a boat.

Contingency Plan for Leakages

A contingency plan is considered during the subsea installation hydro test. This process typically involves injecting fluorescent or any other type of dye and subsequently continuing with visually inspecting if it is needed.

However, a visual inspection is bound to fail, considering leaks on the new installations feature very tiny, leaking flange or FJ solder split. It is quite challenging to spot the signs of the dye. Notably, if you are experiencing poor visibility, this may show that burial and current are present. Thus, it is essential to contact leak detection services after hydro test failure with a formal visual assessment.

It is crucial to seek professional services on the scene during a hydro test to ensure the perfect leak detection at a pocket-friendly cost.

Dyes are prohibited in many parts of the globe since they lead to pollution. Using non-pollutants such as ALD is recommended since they do not result in environmental impact. ALD can offer an environmental-friendly and effective leak contingency arrangement.

Monitoring Acoustic Leak Installation

The network consists of one of the top intelligent sensors installed underwater and on the station's surface for alarms and settings generation. The units are developed to have a life expectancy of 25 years with an operational depth of 2500 metres and without maintenance. Some systems can permanently monitor major critical parts of the subsea installation, such as a wellhead, valves and manifolds.

Services of Underwater Noise Assessment

Some companies provide good measurement services supported by acoustic software and equipment. The services can be designed and customised for special operations. The acoustic effect of a vast range of artificial structures includes platforms, barges, submarines, piling operations, research vessels and racing boats.

The equipment is swiftly deployed on little backup vessels by acoustic engineers. Ideal organisations take salinity measurements and aquatic column temperature at the assessment site. The data obtained is useful in positioning hydrophones at a real assessment depth.

Search News

Latest News

Other News 

Join our newsletter today