Petroleum fluids in production systems are frequently transported by surface steel pipelines of low diameter working at low pressures and under a two-phase flow regime. These pipelines operate without permanent, continuous supervision for leaks. The leaked volume is usually high before the leak is noticed and stopped. High leak volumes pollute the environment and increase production costs. This paper describes the expected performance of the acoustic emission leak detection system for low pressure flowlines in oil and gas gathering installations. The developed system detects acoustic emission signals generated by leaks. Specific features of the system are discussed. The system was tested in a closed field scale two-phase flowloop. Example results of tests are reported. The paper is completed with conclusions and discussion of potential applications of the system.

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