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published: 21.09.2011

Geohazard prevention with online continuous Fiber optic monitoring - Abstract

Rio Pipeline Conference & Exposition 2011

An increasing number of pipelines are constructed in remote regions affected by harsh environmental conditions where pipeline routes often cross mountain areas which are characterized by unstable grounds and where soil texture changes between winter and summer increase the probability of hazards. Due to the long distances to be monitored and the linear nature of pipelines, distributed fiber optic sensing techniques offer significant advantages and the capability to detect and localize pipeline disturbance with great precision. Furthermore pipeline owner/operators lay fiber optic cable parallel to transmission pipelines for telecommunication purposes and at minimum additional cost monitoring capabilities can be added to the communication system.

The Brillouin-based DITEST system has been used in several long distance pipeline projects. The technique is capable of measuring strain and temperature over 100’s kilometers with meter spatial resolution. Dedicated fiber optic cables have been developed for continuous strain and temperature monitoring and their deployment along the pipeline has enabled permanent and continuous pipeline ground movement, intrusion and leak detection. DITEST monitoring system combines strain and temperature distributed measurements with signal processing that generates alarm when abnormal behaviors are detected. Such comprehensive monitoring solution has been implemented to monitor geologically sensible area along the Péru LNG Pipeline Project, a transandean pipeline transporting natural gas from the production fields in the Peruvian jungle to a liquefaction plant the coast of Péru. The pipeline route crosses region with high geohazard risks. The nature of terrain and the pipeline length is such that patrolling is difficult making more acute the need for remote techniques. Since of the beginning of the operation, several events have been detected by the fiber optic monitoring system and correlated with field observations.

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unstable ground, geohazard prevention, pipeline disturbance, monitor, sensing, leak detection