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Field Test of a Leak Detection System: Planning, Execution and Results

[+] Author Affiliations
Daniel Sampaio da Silva

Petrobras Transporte S.A. - Transpetro, Joinville, SC, Brazil

Sílvio A. Melo Filho

Petrobras Transporte S.A. - Transpetro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Mauro Niehues de Farias, Anderson Pacheco

Petrobras Transporte S.A. - Transpetro, São Francisco do Sul, SC, Brazil

Paper No. IPC2010-31248, pp. 539-550; 12 pages
doi:10.1115/IPC2010-31248
From:
  • 2010 8th International Pipeline Conference
  • 2010 8th International Pipeline Conference, Volume 3
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 27–October 1, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute and the Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4422-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3885-3
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME

abstract

The OLAPA pipeline (Oleoduto Araucária–Paranaguá) is a 12in diameter pipeline and, with its 97,6 km in length, crosses a mountain region called “Serra do Mar” attaining elevations of about 900m in a dense forest region. Besides that, this pipeline crosses cities, farms, rivers, including a short submerse stretch in the Paranaguá’s bay. An incident in this pipeline could result in severe consequences, especially under the environmental point of view. Therefore, this pipeline was chosen to test the performance of a new leak detector system in Transpetro. The test consists in comparing the theoretical results with practical values of alarm times obtained from a controlled removal of product in an adequate point, in the middle of the pipeline, simulating a real leak. The system chosen to be tested was the LeakWarn system, which is a computational system that uses the mass balance principle with line pack change to analyze the pipeline operational parameters in order to alert when there is a risk of product leak. This test had the objective to evaluate the LDS and help Transpetro’s management team to analyze and decide whether or not to replace its current leak management system, since this new one showed the expected results and was compatible with the excellence level already achieved in the company. The field test was performed in July 7th 2009, through a vent valve far from the ends of the pipeline and it was made in three different conditions: 1) A big leak in the steady state of operation; 2) A small leak also in the steady state of operation; and 3) A big leak in the transient state of operation (immediately after the pump station start up). In order to proceed this test, a multidisciplinary team was assigned and several resources were used such as: Two tank trucks, a specially designed leakage line with control valves, measuring system, flexible hoses, communication systems and emergency equipments. The complete operation was monitored from the Control Center in Transpetro’s Headquarter, Rio de Janeiro. This paper describes the way the tests were performed and presents the results in order to contribute with useful information to be used in any field test for any other leak detection system. It shows how planning were done in order to insure that all operations would be performed according to strict procedures and in a safe way. It also describes the milestones and the work of each team involved in the activity, as well as their constraints and difficulties that had to be overcome during the planning and execution phases, that lasted approximately one year.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Leakage

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