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Energies 2019, 12(8), 1454; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12081454

Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) as a Moderator for Interdisciplinary Cooperation, Reduced Emissions and Increased Safety

1
Department of Fire Safety and HSE Engineering, Fire Disaster Research Group, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, 5528 Haugesund, Norway
2
Equinor Kårstø Gas Processing Plant, 5565 Tysværvåg, Norway
3
Equinor Hammerfest LNG, 9601 Hammerfest, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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PDF [240 KB, uploaded 17 April 2019]

Abstract

Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) cameras represent an interesting tool for identifying leaking components in hydrocarbon processing and transport systems. They make it possible to see exactly where a leak originates, thereby enabling efficient leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs. The present paper reports on an OGI test campaign initiated by the Norwegian Environmental Agency (NEA), and how this campaign stimulated cross-disciplinary cooperation at an LNG plant for better control of both fugitive hydrocarbon emissions and safety-related leaks. A surprising potentially severe leak detected in the NEA campaign triggered the introduction of in-house OGI cameras at plants and refineries, and an inter-disciplinary cooperation between specialists in the environment, technical safety and operations. Some benefits of in-house OGI cameras, as well as some concerns regarding their use are presented and discussed. The general experience is that an Ex safe, i.e., rated for safe use in a combustible hydrocarbon gas atmosphere, OGI camera, represents a very valuable tool for detecting fugitive emissions as the start point for LDAR programs. An OGI camera did, however, also turn out to be a valuable tool for fire and explosion risk management, and has led to reduced downtime after leak incidents. The concerns relate to leaks seen through the OGI camera that may look overwhelming, even with concentrations well below the ignitable limits of the released gas. Based on the LNG plant experiences, it is generally recommended that specialists in the environment, technical safety, operations and teaching fields cooperate regarding the introduction and use of OGI cameras. Suggestions for training courses are also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: methane emissions; hydrocarbon leaks; Optical Gas Imaging (OGI); interdisciplinary cooperation; leak detection and repair (LDAR) methane emissions; hydrocarbon leaks; Optical Gas Imaging (OGI); interdisciplinary cooperation; leak detection and repair (LDAR)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Log, T.; Pedersen, W.B.; Moumets, H. Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) as a Moderator for Interdisciplinary Cooperation, Reduced Emissions and Increased Safety. Energies 2019, 12, 1454.

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