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UK firm unveils sonar-based oil spill technology

16th November 2012

Sonardyne International launches oil spill response technology based on sonar system

UK firm unveils sonar-based oil spill technology
Sonardyne has been field testing the technology with an operator in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico

A UK subsea technology provider this year launched a new oil spill response technology. The system is based on an active sonar capable of detecting deep water hydrocarbon leaks near offshore facilities and pipelines, according to the firm.

Sonardyne International has launched the Automatic Leak Detection Sonar (ALDS), a new leak response tool for the oil and gas industry. The system offers 360 degree continuous coverage, the subsea technology firm claims, and is able to detect gas leaks of 1 barrel per day (bpd) and oil leaks of 10 bpd at a range of 500m.

The deep water sonar projects an ultrasonic pulse of sound into the water and then registers the sound returned from the hydrocarbons present in the water. The sonar is linked to the surface platform via a fibre optic cable. Data is processed at the surface using a software capable of discriminating and localising leaks from other potential sonar targets. Sonardyne has been field testing the technology with an operator in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Graham Brown, Director at Sonardyne said: “ALDS is a genuinely new and very exciting development for Sonardyne and for the industry as a whole. Its ability to detect the smallest of oil and gas leaks over a very wide area automatically without the need to be in the flow of a leak offers a significant technical leap forward. We are looking forward to the up and coming deep water trials and to bringing this product to market in the coming months.”

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