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Innovative pipeline leak detection tested at Norlite

CC BY-SA 3.0,
CC BY-SA 3.0,

An innovative new pipeline monitoring and leak detection technology is set to be deployed and tested on Enbridge’s Norlite pipeline.

Alberta, Canada based Hifi engineering will use its High Fidelity Dynamic Sensing technology on the pipeline. The company claims that the fibre-optic based system has the ability to detect various events and leaks with greater sensitivity than existing leak detection systems can provide. As well as being tested on the Norlite pipeline, Hifi’s technology will be deployed and assessed at locations on the Keystone Pipeline at Hardisty, Alberta, and in Houston, Texas.

TransCanada Corporation and Enbridge will partner with Alberta Innovates to support the tests. Alberta Innovates’ Alberta Small Business Innovation and Research Initiative aims to provide Alberta based SMEs with direct market access through partnerships within industry.

Hifi plans to build and manufacture its technology in Alberta to support the monitoring of pipelines around the world. It will use Baker Hughes’ Predix industrial internet software to integrate and display real-time data from the Hifi HDS technology to Endbridge and TransCanada.

Enbridge’s 446km Norlite Pipeline Project will ship diluent (a product that is used to make heavy oil lighter and easier to transport) from the Enbridge Stonefell site to the Endbridge Fort McMurray South Facility and the Suncor East Tank farm near Fort McMurray.

"We are looking forward to seeing Hifi's technology perform on our Norlite Pipeline,” said Linda Comand, Enbridge’s vice president for Technology and Information Services.

“We understand this will be one of the longest installations of Hifi technology to-date, and we are looking forward to a successful collaboration with Hifi as they optimise and refine their system for real-world monitoring of pipelines. We are hopeful this technology can provide Enbridge with enhanced leak detection capability and complement performance of our current systems and multi-layered approach to pipeline safety."

TransCanada’s vice president of Liquids Pipeline Operations, Erik Tatarchuk, explained the benefits the new technology could have in further reinforcing pipeline safety.

“This is another important step in our collaborative relationship with Enbridge and the Government of Alberta to rigorously test new technology and implement it on our pipelines when it can add another layer to our comprehensive pipeline safety and leak detection program,” Tatarchuk said in a statement.

“We look forward to seeing how Hifi's unique sensing technology performs in real time as we continue to evaluate how it can be deployed most effectively on our pipeline systems in the future."

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