Produced Water Pipelines Leak Detection Technology Evaluation


Selected leak detection technology for two existing blow down and produced water pipelines


Water pipeline


Alberta, Canada



Groups Involved

Advisory Services, Civil Engineering, Facilities Engineering

The Challenge

The boiler blow down and produced water pipelines presented many challenges for a leak detection system. Operating lines were buried 8-10 feet below grade, the brine was hot (32-65 oC), there were more than one creek crossing, and the terrain was predominantly muskeg with limited accessibility. The pipeline operates at 9300kPa, where a small leak would result in a significant volume of fluid being discharged, which could negatively impact the surrounding environment.

The Result

Over 30 different suppliers of leak detection technologies were reviewed as part of this study, based on the understanding that they were commercially available. A Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) tool was then used to evaluate the applicable leak detection technologies. The MCA framework helped to compare cases based on a set of pre-defined triple-bottom line criteria.

Our recommendation for this application was ultimately fiber optics based on an acoustic platform.