This paper presents the experiences of the Petrobras Business Unit (UN-RNCE), located in Rio Grande del Norte state of Brazil, during the installation and startup of a pipeline leak detection system. The application involves nine multiphase oil pipelines that link several productions facilities together over a total distance of 450-Km. Prior to the selection and installation of this leak detection system a significant pipeline accident resulted in the pollution of Guanabara bay. The leak was not detected by the existing monitoring equipment because of the two phase and multiphase pipeline characteristics. The UN-RNCE decided to install EFA Technologies, Inc., Pressure Point Analysis (PPA)™ technology in order to detect leaks. It is a sophisticated statistical method for leak detection, uses very simple field instrumentation, which facilitates ease of installation and maintenance. However, in order to get the best performance out of the system, it is necessary to understand how the pipeline control processes operate and to have a fast, reliable SCADA system for long distance communication. This paper includes the test results, conclusions and the recommendations to expand the system.

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