Preventing big spills of crude oil pipelines
Using acoustic detection technlogy invented by Extrusion in Motion. Our know-how based solution has +/- 10 meters detection error, while all existing solutions offer in average +/-2000 meters detection error. Our company obtained Horizon 2020 SME Phase 1 grant to finance core business plan related preparation activities.
Problems to be solved
Although pipelines are considered to be the safest way to transport oil (e.g., rail is over 4.5 times more likely to experience an occurrence [1] ), third party influence, pipeline material failures, corrosion and some other factors regularly cause numerous oil leakages resulting in huge damage to nearby environment and human health, as well as product loss. E.g., in the US alone, just under 9,000 significant pipeline-related incidents have taken place over the last thirty years (not counting thousands of less "significant" pipeline-related malfunctions), resulting in 548 deaths, 2,576 injuries, and over $8.5 billion in financial damages.

Therefore, our Acoustic Leak Detection Technology has been designed to address the following spillage-related challenges:
Environmental damage
Typically, crude oil contains over 1,000 chemicals, and most of them are hazardous to humans (e.g. benzene) and harms wildlife through toxic contamination or physical contact, therefore, its spills often result in both immediate and long-term environmental damage.
Economic impact
Oil spill can have a major impact on the economy in coastal areas heavily affecting fishing and tourism, as well as other industries which are not close to the coast but depend on clean water for cooling purposes like nuclear plants (oil into their water tanks causes the contamination of the piping system, resulting in the plant having to shut down to clean out its piping system). Moreover, a 1 % leak in a 20-inch line can translate into a loss of 450,000 barrels of oil p.a.– i.e. huge loss of this scarce resource.

Reputational and financial losses for the industry
Leakages of oil and other hazardous liquids also cause substantial damage to property (besides the environment), product loss and operational disturbances, resulting in substantial financial and reputational consequences for pipeline operators and other stakeholders.
Moreover, our technology solves key problems associated with the limits of prevailing technological solutions in the field. Namely, all the available LDS are far from optimal in terms of performance and costs, because none of the implemented technologies alone can ensure fast and accurate identification and localization of a leakage, being capable to operate in various conditions, while the widely used combinations of several detection methods are costly and complex.

Michael Kirieiev, Ph.D.
Head of R&D
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