Laser technique detects small leaks offshore

Scottish company M Squared has developed a laser-based hydrocarbon detection and imaging system it says can identify the smallest of leaks on production platforms, pipelines, and processing plants from hundreds of meters away.

Offshore staff

SAN JOSE, California – Scottish company M Squared has developed a laser-based hydrocarbon detection and imaging system it says can identify the smallest of leaks on production platforms, pipelines, and processing plants from hundreds of meters away.

The Firefly system constantly scans a selected area with laser beams, an approach said to be a thousand times more sensitive than current thermal and infrared imaging systems. It can also detect gas, liquid, and solid particles in concentrations less than 10 ppm.

Last week the company secured an investment of $6.2 million from the Business Growth Fund, run by the UK’s five leading banking groups.

It is currently in discussions with various oil and gas companies to test the product, which has been proven in the defense industry.

Dr. Graeme Malcolm, co-founder and CEO of M Squared Lasers, said: “The ability to quickly spot and isolate leaks on a platform, pipeline, or processing plant is of fundamental importance, both in terms of worker safety and also the financial and reputational damage which can result from a leak.”

5/9/2012

More in Equipment Engineering