Early detection of gas leaks is vital

Paul Boughton

Safety and reducing costs are two of the leading concerns within the offshore oil and gas industry today. Adam Walker reports.

Dangerous gas leaks are a concern to every oil and gas production plant. Not only do some of the gases harm the environment, but the leaks also cost substantial amounts of money.

"The offshore oil and gas industry are proactive in their search for the best technologies for detecting emissions that may affect the safety, profitability and environmental impact of their assets," says Cailean Forrester, Managing Director of Inspectahire. "The company has been using thermal imaging cameras for a very long time to detect dangerous gas leaks. Thanks to thermal imaging cameras, we can easily detect gases in difficult to reach or hazardous locations. And we can help companies prevent costly downtime of their production plant."

Inspectahire is one of the UK's leading suppliers of specialist remote visual inspection technology and solutions to companies around the world. It offers equipment rental, contracting and project engineering services. The company's experience is not limited to one industry, they have delivered advanced inspection solutions to the oil and gas, subsea, energy, petroleum retail, pharmaceuticals, physical assets, and process industries.

"We have been using certain contact measurement tools like laser detectors or leaks sniffers," says Cailean Forrester. "But the problem is that you have to go right up to the object, which is not always safe or even possible. In other words, this approach is limited and not very precise. With a thermal imaging camera like the GF320 however, you can keep a safe distance and still detect gas leaks with great precision."

The Inspectahire team is using the GF320 optical gas imaging camera for maintenance inspections and for all its hydrocarbon detection jobs, in hydrocarbon production plants or for the inspection of any material that uses hydrocarbon as a fuel. The GF320 camera offers a range of tangible benefits compared to traditional hydrocarbon leak sniffers, because it can scan a broader area much more rapidly and monitor areas that are difficult to reach with contact measurement tools.

The FLIR GF320 is an optical gas imaging camera designed to help the oil and gas industries better control hydrocarbon emissions, thereby preserving the environment, improving operational safety and minimising revenue loss.

The thermal imaging camera is designed for use in harsh industrial environments. It takes advantage of a state-of-the-art focal plane array detector and optical systems tuned to very narrow spectral infrared ranges.

This enables the camera to image infrared energy absorbed by hydrocarbon gas leaks.

In the offshore oil and gas industry, the camera offers operators a preventive maintenance tool to help spot hydrocarbon leaks in tanks, pipelines and facilities. The FLIR GF320 can be used both for finding gas leaks and maintenance inspections.

For more information visit www.engineerlive.com/iog

Adam Walker is with Inspectahire Instrument Company Ltd, Aberdeen, UK. www.inspectahire.com

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