How PLW “Monitors” Pipeline Threats
According to U.S. DOT, the global oil and gas industry spends $37 billion a year monitoring more than 6 million miles of pipelines in the United States. The vast majority of monitoring is via observational approaches such as leak and corrosion monitoring, pigs for flow assurance, and aircraft and satellite reconnaissance.
Pipeline LandWatch offers a novel, online, more cost-effective approach, which when used in conjunction with the above techniques, offers another layer of risk management and pipeline protectiveness to the pipeline owner/operator.
In the “digital age,” information on land activities (for example, development, excavation, day care center permitting, etc.) along a pipeline corridor can be continuously digitally “crawled” and geospatially cross-referenced and mapped to the location of the pipeline. If the land activity is one which should be considered an operational threat or risk to the pipeline, PLW alerts the owner/operator.
PLW’s capabilities and functions are schematically described below. The first diagram below shows how PLW is a relatively low cost, online subscription-based system which not only complements, but expands on the risk monitoring an operator will currently be performing.
Comprehensive real estate sales listing targeted to commercial and residential transactions.
Public records of new occupancy licenses or other type of government approvals, available from commercial and/or government sources to track new childcare centers, schools and hospitals.
Mobile web application allowing for the collecting of notes, photos, videos, and signatures for use in the field when inspecting pipeline conditions.
Periodic targeted aerial imagery and then change detection monitoring.
Public records of city or county building permit issuances, available from commercial and/or government sources.
Excavation events via direct feed from state One Call centers. The service can rely on an existing one-call data service via forwarding of incoming tickets.
The second figure below shows how PLW can be immediately put to work for the pipeline operator when PLW receives the pipeline’s location/coordinates. Of course, PLW’s online service can be set to monitor over any pipeline length, large or small, in any zip code.
For example, we have seen an operator preference to use PLW in urban locations, where there is typically a far higher number of external land-threats to the integrity of the pipelines and their operations, such as illustrated below.