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Plains employs real time monitoring on its pipelines

By btr (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By btr (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Pipelines operated by Plains are now being monitored in real time using the Vigilant control room software from Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) and Hifi Engineering’s HDS technology.

In 2016, Plains worked with Hifi to deploy and trial their fibre optic based, high fidelity distributed sensing (HDS) monitoring system on a range of its pipelines. The system works by monitoring high definition acoustic energy, strain, vibrations and temperature. Now, Plains is working with Hifi and BHGE to deploy an enhanced presentation software system for the HDS monitoring in the Plains Control Centre.

The new Vigilant system allows for real time events and alarms to be sent to the control room. This includes a range of multimedia data, such as acoustic recordings, from the site of an event that has been detected by the system. The events that could be recorded by the system include leaks, security intrusions or abnormal strains and vibrations.

To give an insight into the accuracy of this technology, on 7 July the HDS and Vigilant system was able to detect an earthquake event with a magnitude of 5.2, as well as the subsequent aftershock, where the epicentre was over 300km away from the Plains pipeline being monitored.

"We are very pleased to be working with BHGE, and rolling out Vigilant with Hifi's HDS technology for Plains", said Steven Koles, Hifi's President and Chief Executive Officer.  "Adding such a high end industrial Internet application platform integrates well with the performance of the HDS technology, and can support the industry in achieving 100% pipeline safety."

"Plains Midstream Canada has been very pleased with the performance of the Hifi HDS systems we've deployed", said Caitlin Heinen, Pipeline Integrity with Plains.  "The new Vigilant interface is a further enhancement to the current monitoring applications used in our Control Centre, which is a key piece in the safe operations of our pipelines".

According to a statement, the Vigilant product offering utilises GE's Predix system to provide an "Edge to Cloud platform" that securely brings event data to the pipeline operator's control room in real time. The versatility and power of Vigilant will allow this product to expand its capabilities to include other applications such as pig detection and tracking, as well as other forms of process and event monitoring.


The latest issue of Fluid Handling International features an in depth interview with Hifi Engineering founder John Hull. Sign-up here to read your free copy.



By btr (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons