Leak Detection


Free Workshop In Conjunction with the International Pipeline Exposition

September 29, 2016

7:30 – 9:30 AM

Telus Convention Centre, Calgary

Room 111

You are invited to attend a free workshop that will present the current research activities that are underway in Alberta in support of advancing spill response equipment and procedures for inland spills of liquid hydrocarbons.

  • 7:30 am - 7:40 am      Continental Breakfast
  • 7:40 am - 7:50 am      Introduction and Canadian Pipeline Technology...

The Pipeline Leak Simulator (also known as the ELDER) is a large-scale soil box that can be filled with various types of soil to simulate leaks of hydrocarbon liquids from buried pipelines.

A pressurized and heated fluid storage and delivery system provides precise control of liquid leak rates and ensures that the volatile components of hydrocarbon test fluids remain in solution prior to the leak event.

The soil box is housed inside a secondary containment shelter and outfitted with an exhaust...

In order to detect small leaks, external leak-detection systems generally require the installation of supplementary hardware placed alongside the pipeline.

For the purpose of detecting large leaks from liquid pipelines, internal leak-detection systems use sophisticated algorithms that rely on measurements such as pressure, temperature and flow to detect and locate leaks.

The pipeline industry is investigating the implementation of airborne leak detection surveys that utilise various sensor technologies in an effort to identify pipeline leaks that may be lower than the detection limits of traditional CPM (computational pipeline monitoring) methods.

Featured in the December 2015 issue of Pipelines International.


This paper presents an efficient calculation to determine the transient heat transfer in ground surrounding a liquid pipeline. This improved calculation method was applied to support a feasibility assessment regarding implementation of Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) fibre optic systems for detection of leaks on an oil pipeline spanning long distances and varied geological conditions. With DTS, a leak or rupture could be detected if a portion of the sensor that is soaked is...


When it comes to evaluating traditional computational leak detection technologies pipeline operators have a suite of simulated testing methods available. In the last several years however External Leak Detection Technologies have become more mature and potentially could provide operators with another layer of leak detection with more sensitivity than seen in traditional methods. The challenge with these technologies is in the evaluation of their sensitivity, reliability, and...

The Industry Challenge

Detecting oil spilled on inland waterways poses a significant challenge to pipeline operators due to:

  • Changing water levels and flow rates;
  • Presence of debris and suspended sediment;
  • Floating and submerged oil;
  • Ice cover for large portions of the year; and
  • Remote locations with no supporting infrastructure.

The project will identify potential technologies and set up realistic, full-scale trials to help operators select the best technology to rapidly and reliably detect...

The Industry Challenge:

Oil spills in inland environments can be more complex to contain and recover than marine spills as the oil can be transported great distances along waterways, can interact with more shoreline and has the ability to interact with suspended sediment, debris and vegetation. In addition, in Canada and other northern climates, low air and water temperatures, even temperatures well above freezing could have significant impacts on the performance and deployment of oil...

The Industry Challenge:

Pipeline operators are interested in using a variety of leak detection systems to ensure the safe operation of their pipelines. Among the systems being considered are various detectors that can be mounted on aircraft that can augment the regular right-of-way inspections that are already being conducted. Some technologies are already used to detect leaks from natural gas pipelines; however, leaks from liquid pipelines can be more difficult to detect due to the behavior of...