This paper describes procedures developed by PETROBRAS Research & Development Center to assess a software-based leak detection system (LDS) for short pipelines. These so-called “Low Complexity Pipelines” are short pipeline segments with single-phase liquid flow. Detection solutions offered by service companies are frequently designed for large pipeline networks, with batches and multiple injections and deliveries. Such solutions are sometimes impractical for short pipelines, due to high cost, long tuning procedures, complex instrumentation and substantial computing requirements. The approach outlined here is a corporate approach that optimizes a LDS for shorter lines. The two most popular implemented techniques are the Compensated Volume Balance (CVB), and the Real Time Transient Model (RTTM). The first approach is less accurate, reliable and robust when compared to the second. However, it can be cheaper, simpler, faster to install and very effective, being marginally behind the second one, and very cost-efective. This paper describes a procedure to determine whether one can use a CVB in a short pipeline.

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