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Title: A monitoring system to detect leaks in oil pipelines
Category: Technical papers from the Journal of Pipeline Integrity
Downloadable: Yes 
Project No.:
Research Agency:
Catalog No.: 2080
Date of Publication: Q4, 2005
Price: $25.00 US
Authors: Zhuang Li, Shijiu Jin, Likun Wang, and Yan Zhou
Abstract: OIL LEAKAGE from pipelines has been a serious problem for many years in China. Mostly caused by human intervention, the leaks last only a short time, but can result in large losses. They not only incur an economic loss for the oil company, but also create serious environmental pollution, a public issue. Thus, a monitoring system to identify and locate the leakage in real time is urgently needed. One of the challenges is the sensitivity of the system, which must respond quickly to allow maintenance teams rapidly to find and mend the hole; another challenge is the accuracy with which the location is reported. Because of the characteristics of Chinese crude oil, namely a high viscosity, a high wax content, and a high freezing point, the velocity of sound waves in the oil is not constant along a pipeline, and thus calculation of the leak point using the traditional negative-pressure wave method are inaccurate. In this paper, a modified negative-pressure wave method is proposed based on the variation of the wave velocity. The wavelet-based algorithm applied to calculate the leak point is found to provide satisfactory results. The data acquisition, signal processing, and the structure of the pipeline leakage monitoring system (PLMS) are described for the pipeline network in the Shengli oilfield and for the long pipelines operated by the East China Petroleum Bureau, where the PLMS has now been successfully applied for four years.
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