Prior to the year 2000, the RRP crude oil pipeline network in Holland and Germany was monitored using a dynamic leak detection system based on a dynamic model. The system produced some false alarms during normal operation; prompting RRP to investigate what advances had been made in the leak detection field before committing to upgrade the existing system for Y2K compliance. RRP studied the available leak detection systems and decided to install a statistics-based system. This paper examines the field application of the statistics based leak detection system on the three crude oil pipelines operated by RRP. They are the 177 km Dutch line, the 103 km South line, and the 86 km North line. The results of actual field leak trials are reported. Leak detection systems should maintain high sensitivity with the minimum of false alarms over the long term; thus this paper also outlines the performance of the statistical leak detection system over the last year from the User’s perspective. The leak detection experiences documented on this crude oil pipeline network demonstrate that it is possible to have a reliable real-time leak detection system with minimal maintenance costs and without the costs and inconvenience of false alarms.

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