Silvertech have implemented a large, complex leak detection system for an offshore basin with some 80 pipeline sectors in a number of multiple input-multiple output configurations with varying pipeline operational scenarios. This paper addresses two key issues. First a systematic approach to the determination of the risk and consequencees of a pipeline leak and hence the performance criteria and economic justification for a leak detection system is outlined. The challenges associated with the Campos Basin leak detection system implementation are then described, including operational issues and the continuing verification of the performance of the leak detection system. Leak detection systems are often specified as a requirement without a sound basis of leak risk and consequence analysis and quantification of the risk reduction that will be afforded by any leak detection system and the system performance required to ensure the risk reduction is achieved and maintained. Silvertech have adopted a methodology that provides a systematic, sound approach to the quantification of pipeline leak risk, the commercial and environmental consequences and the risk reduction required to provide acceptable risk and consequence. The implicit trade-off between impact on production and leak consequence reduction is also considered. Finally the lessons learnt from the analysis and system implementation experience are used to derive the key issues that apply to the implementation of leak detection in large, complex pipeline configurations. The particular challenges of applying leak detection to existing installations are also highlighted.

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