Written by Pinal Patel, Staff writer


In Canada, corrosion, construction defects and cracking are the main causing for pipeline incidents according to the new report on industry performance. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), which represents the vast majority of all pipelines in the country, released the report. Other cause of leaks including flooding, land movement, and damage caused by digging often not related to pipeline activity.

According to the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), about 16 barrels of crude oil spilled from pipelines in 2015 , the equivalent of just over nine average-sized bathtubs filled to the brim. Meanwhile, 121.3 million cubic feet  of natural gas leaked, which is the equivalent of 859,000 propane barbecue tanks, according to CEPA.

In Alberta five major spill incidence are reported in 2014. About 60,000 litres of crude oil leaked in northern Alberta November 2014 when a pipeline experienced a mechanical failure. Moreover, in 2014 an aboveground pipe failure owned by Canadian Natural Resources caused 70,000 litres of oil and processed water to spill near Slave Lake, Alta. 

As it causes major damage to the environment, there needs to be a better pipeline system and early warning system.

Hifi company

Hifi company was founded in 2007, in Alberta, Canada. The company provides advanced fiber optic sensing technology with electrical, software, and engineering experience.

Originally, Hifi fiber was invented for transmitting huge amounts of telecon data over long distances.  However, fiber optics can be used as a continuous liner sensor of a pipeline, providing a solution to the challenge of achieving 100% coverage. When installed along the length of a new or existing pipeline, the fiber optic sensor can monitor every centimeter – adding layers of safety and performance.

Hifi’s fiber can sense three distinct forms of dynamic energy anomalies: acoustics, strain, and temperature. The ability to sense all three simultaneously not only improves performance for the detection of various events and alarms, but also opens the door to monitoring for other performance and safety-based applications.

Hifi’s technology has been or is currently being deployed across nearly 3,000,000 meters of pipeline assets and over 1000 downhole wells globally.

Monitoring technology to be piloted on Keystone Pipeline

In next few years there will also be a set of very sharp ears added to their comprehensive pipeline monitoring and leak detection program, thanks to innovative new technology that will be added to the Keystone Pipeline System.

After extensive testing by TransCanada in the lab, TransCanada is teaming up with Enbridge and the Government of Alberta for a pilot project that will see both companies install a new fiber optic-based monitoring system on short sections of their oil transmission networks to see how the product, developed by a small hi-tech company in Alberta, performs in the field.

“Pipelines are already safest way of moving oil and gas, but company goal is to have zero safety incidents, and this is another step towards achieving that goal,” said Douglas Robertson, team lead of leak detection technology initiatives. “We have spent several years assessing a number of cable-based monitoring systems, and this one has reached the point where we would like to see how it performs in real operating conditions.”