Last week’s California oil spill stresses the importance of leak detection mechanisms in potentially problematic areas, says Frost & Sullivan principle consultant Chirag Rathi.
On May 19, an onshore Santa Barbara pipeline operated by Plains All American Pipeline ruptured and leaked more than 100,000 gallons of crude on coastal lands and into the ocean.
The US has the largest and oldest pipeline network in the world, Rathi says, adding that the average age of these pipelines is about 60 years old.
“There are several interesting inspection technologies in the market especially for liquid pipelines, but the industry is reluctant to adopt them due the fear of regulatory implications,” Rathi says. “The industry itself has done a lot to enhance its practices but faces multitude challenges in integration and management of dispersed assets with ongoing consolidation in the industry.”
Photo Credit: oil spill via Shutterstock