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Sniffing out success: Leak Detection with The Sniffers’ dogs at Raffinerie Heide

The Sniffers is an independent service provider which identifies current and expectable leaks in pipelines and installations in the oil and gas industry. They provide advice on how to reduce emissions, energy losses and maintain pipeline network integrity in the chemical and petrochemical industries.

“The live demonstration of The Sniffers using detection dogs for oil and gas leaks during the ‘Pipeline Technology Conference’ (ptc) 2017 in Berlin led to cooperation with Raffinerie Heide. A pipeline monitoring with The Sniffers dogs took place on a 30km pipeline route. During the inspection of a separate jacket pipe of 200 metres in length, a leak was discovered” stated Marlies Dockx, Marketing and Internal Sales division, at The Sniffers.

The jacket pipe is usually filled with nitrogen which serves as an additional corrosion protection and safety for the inner pipelines. The nitrogen loss was noticed, but the exact position of the leak could not be localized. In order to keep the flow capacity in the jacket pipe, an unnecessarily high amount of nitrogen and energy is required, which of course is not desired.

To detect the leak, The Sniffers injected a very low concentration of mercaptan into the jacket pipe, the typical odorant normally added to natural gas. The odorant spread throughout the pipe. Thus, the dog could quickly discover the exact position of the leak.

The Sniffers paper presented at ptc 2017

This text has been corrected

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