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DNV GL publishes new offshore leak detection guidelines

Gas is seen leaking from the Elgin platform
Gas is seen leaking from the Elgin platform

New guidelines for leak detection systems for offshore fields has been launched by DNV GL.

The Recommended Practice is based on the findings of a DNV GL led joint industry project (JIP) completed in 2015 with 19 companies, including Eni, Lundin, Petrobras and FMC Technologies, and industry regulators as observers.

It covers all the lifecycle phases of a field development for successful planning, design, integration and operation of leak detection technology in offshore hydrocarbon productions.

A thorough process has been defined where the key stages are functional requirements, design requirements, technology selection, detailed design, function testing and operation.

DNV GL saw the challenge for oil and gas operators is to have a leak detection system that is reliable and capable of detecting leaks within an acceptable level of certainty and which meets regulatory requirements.

Hydrocarbon leak detection systems are required on both the Norwegian and UK Continental Shelves, and authorities around the world are increasingly demanding systems be installed for new field developments.

“Until now, there has been no guidance for operators covering selection and operation of offshore leak detection systems for an entire field, including both subsea and surface. Having an optimised leak detection system provides key decision support in limiting the impact of an oil spill, reducing response time and reducing costs from recovery operations,” said Jock Brown, DNV GL’s head of section environmental technology advisory.

“This RP is based on industry experience and provides a robust approach that will support the industry in reducing its footprint and minimizing environmental risks from their operations,” adds Brown.

The RP defines reasonable specifications, requirements, and guidance on how different technologies can be integrated into a system that is practical for the end user and replaces an 2010 practice document.

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