ExxonMobil Research Qatar and project partner RasGas are field testing an advanced second-generation dual sensor version of ExxonMobil’s ‘IntelliRed’ remote gas detection system.
The IntelliRed system, patent pending, provides a highly sensitive and accurate early warning of hydrocarbon leaks and is designed to improve process safety and environmental performance at oil refineries, chemical plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and other gas processing facilities worldwide.
The IntelliRed remote gas detection system, which won the 2013 Qatar Petroleum HSE Excellence Innovation Award, has been deployed near LNG Train 7, in which ExxonMobil has a 30% participating interest. Field testing is expected to run through 2016.
“The dual imager IntelliRed remote gas detection system is a step forward in mitigating operational risks while improving reliability and ease of use,” said Hazem Abdel-Moati, Safety Research lead at ExxonMobil Research Qatar. “The pilot project is designed to test the system’s durability and harsh climate performance by challenging it with various environmental conditions such as heat, humidity, dust, sand and fog.”
The system employs two infrared cameras with a common optical path. One imager operates at a wavelength slightly offset from the other, allowing one imager to detect both hydrocarbon and background signatures while the second imager detects only the background signature.
Image subtraction techniques eliminate background interference, which increases hydrocarbon plume detection accuracy, simplifies the autonomous computer vision algorithm and improves continuous scanning of a given landscape for aerial surveillance applications.
Scientists from ExxonMobil Research Qatar and Providence Photonics developed the IntelliRed system over a four-year period, culminating in field tests of the system at production facilities in Qatar and the United States.
In 2015, the ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company awarded Providence Photonics a global commercial licence for the system.
“RasGas embraces its responsibility for the safety of people and the protection of the environment as a core commitment. Therefore, the partnership between RasGas and ExxonMobil Research Qatar is a clear demonstration of our consistent efforts to implement innovative technologies that would significantly improve process safety, integrity of assets and enhance environmental performance of our facilities,” said Khalid al-Hemaidi, RasGas chief Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Officer. “RasGas continues to seek opportunities that support Qatar’s drive for sustainable development,” he added.
“This pilot project emphasises the continued commitment of ExxonMobil Research Qatar and RasGas to pursue research excellence in the field of process safety and environmental protection. It is another example of the joint effort of ExxonMobil’s scientists and local partners to develop and commercialise cutting-edge technologies that enhance safety for personnel; integrity for facilities; and protection for the environment – all elements that are fundamental for successful operations,” said Dr Mohamad al-Sulaiti, ExxonMobil Research Qatar’s Research Director.
“ExxonMobil is proud to build a world-class centre of educational and scientific excellence, while simultaneously conducting research in areas that further Qatar’s National Vision 2030. We want to ensure that our efforts continue to contribute to a brighter and more sustainable future for Qatar and its people,” he added.
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