ExxonMobil Research Qatar Tests New Gas Detection System
ExxonMobil Research Qatar (EMRQ) said it has begun field testing its ‘Remote Gas Detection’ system, which is designed to improve process safety and environmental performance at liquefied natural gas production and transportation facilities and other gas processing facilities.
The system employs a specially-developed computer algorithm to autonomously analyse infrared camera images and detect escaping hydrocarbon gases. The system provides an early warning alert of hydrocarbon leaks with minimal false alarms.
“This system is a step forward in mitigating risks in a plant environment, which is a top priority for ExxonMobil,” said EMRQ research director Andy Wigton. “By continuously and autonomously scanning for fugitive hydrocarbon emissions, we can potentially improve process safety and enhance environmental performance.”
EMRQ and RasGas deployed the system in a pilot project near Ras Laffan 3 LNG Train 7 located in Ras Laffan Industrial City. Field tests began in August and are expected to run through 2014.
“The system has the potential to enhance the safety of our people, the integrity of our facilities, and the protection of the environment elements that are fundamental to successful RasGas operations,” said RasGas chief safety, health, environment and quality officer Brett Doherty. “We appreciate the opportunity to help ExxonMobil Research Qatar progress this important technology through field testing at our facilities, and we look forward to supporting this advancement in process safety.”
The pilot project is designed to test the accuracy and durability of the remote gas detection system under field environmental conditions such as heat, humidity, sand and fog. EMRQ also plans to incorporate feedback from RasGas operations and maintenance personnel to further improve the system’s reliability and ease of use.
EMRQ plans to deploy an enhanced version of the system next year, using a patent-pending system that incorporates a custom-built camera with two infrared sensors and image recognition technology. This dual-sensor system should increase detection accuracy by eliminating background interference and enhancing the infrared image.
LNG World News Staff, September 30, 2013; Image: EMRQ