The objective of this paper is to describe the process used by TRANSPETRO to select and implement a leak detection system. The process consists of three steps: selection of a leak detection system, evaluation on a trial basis, and project implementation, which includes the negotiation of the contract and project implementation strategies. PETROBRAS Transportation Company — TRANSPETRO — operates several networks of pipelines in Brazil, with a total length of 6,500 km transporting petroleum products and crude, and 3,500 km transporting natural gas. Over the last two years, two large leaks occurred in the pipelines operated by TRANSPETRO. After analyzing these incidents, TRANSPETRO came to the conclusion that the consequences of leaks could be minimized with a reliable leak detection system and a proper emergency response procedure. To ensure that the leak detection system was fit to purpose and represented the best fit of technology to requirements, TRANSPETRO used a plan that involved three steps. First, based on the leak detection system criteria, TRANSPETRO and PETROBRAS R&D Center engineers selected a software based leak detection system with a hydraulic model (CPM, according to the API 1155 [1]) from among various leak detection techniques and products commercially available in the international market. Second, the selected leak detection system was implemented on two pipeline segments on a trial basis to evaluate it against TRANPETRO’s selection criteria for oil pipelines under real world conditions. Finally, after the successful completion of the trial, the implementation project, including up to 150 pipeline segments, was contracted.

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