ABB picks OptaSense for TANAP gas pipeline leak detection

Image: TANAP
Image: TANAP

ABB, the EPC contractor for the delivery of control equipment for the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), has contracted OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, and its partner Optilan to provide leak detection and security packages for the pipeline.

Control infrastructure includes telecommunication, pipeline monitoring, security systems, control systems and integrating SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition).

The TANAP natural gas pipeline runs from Azerbaijan through Georgia and Turkey to Europe. It will connect the BP-operated Shah Deniz offshore gas field with Western Europe.

Construction of the pipeline began in 2015 and is scheduled to be completed in 2018, with expected costs in the region of $10-11 billion.

The latest contract, in excess of $30 million split evenly with Optilan, was awarded at the start of the year and now enters the equipment delivery phase. This will be the world’s largest fibre distributed sensing project, protecting and monitoring more than 1850km of pipeline, including perimeter security for all facilities.

Magnus McEwen-King, executive director at OptaSense commented: “This project marks a significant turning point in the adoption of fibre sensing globally with delivery of security and leak detection from a single fibre system.”

Bal Kler, executive director at Optilan said: “We are pleased to be partnering once again with the world’s leading fibre sensing company to deliver the world’s largest pipeline monitoring project. Implementation of this project for TANAP will deliver total security and monitoring over the entire pipeline length and follows on from other successful security projects in Turkey.”

OptaSense’s Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) solution works across multiple functions via a single fibre-optic cable that effectively “listens” to the pipeline in order to provide data about its current status.

As the company explains, any changes to the condition of the pipe are fed back through an interrogator unit in real time, allowing users to identify and address issues early and maintain the highest level of pipeline integrity and product throughput.

Alongside the two other related pipeline projects – the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline from Komotini in Greece to Puglia in Italy, via Albania and the Southern Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), which runs through Azerbaijan and Georgia – TANAP will open up the Southern Gas Corridor.

Initially, approximately 10 billion cubic meters of gas will flow along the Southern Gas Corridor route when it opens in 2019-2020. Given the potential supplies from the Caspian region, and in the future potentially also from the Middle East, and the East Mediterranean, the EU however, aims to increase this volume in the long-term.