Optical hydrocarbon leak detection - safer and more reliable

FLIR Systems Australia Pty Ltd
Tuesday, 10 December, 2013

Inspectahire is an international supplier of specialist remote visual inspection technology, services and solutions to companies in many industries around the world.

Established in 1981, Inspectahire helps its customers manage their safety, their profitability and the environmental impact of their assets. It offers equipment rental, contracting and project engineering services supported by a team of skilled engineers who have a wealth of inspection knowledge and experience.

Inspectahire’s expertise extends to a wide range of equipment and assets, both onshore and offshore, and in all environments - including harsh and hazardous. All Inspectahire’s advanced inspection solutions are carried out in accordance with the requirements of ISO 9001 best practice.

Having worked for three decades in the oil and gas industry, both in the North Sea and worldwide, Inspectahire has built up a strong expertise in this sector. Safety and cost are two of the biggest concerns in the offshore oil and gas industry today. Inspectahire realises this, and therefore aims to tackle those challenges by using the best technologies available.

Using thermal imaging cameras, Inspectahire can easily detect gases in difficult to reach or hazardous locations.

Using thermal imaging cameras, Inspectahire can easily detect gases in difficult-to-reach or hazardous locations.

“The offshore oil and gas industry is proactive in its search for the best technologies for detecting emissions that may affect the safety, profitability and environmental impact of their assets,” comments Cailean Forrester, managing director of Inspectahire. “At Inspectahire, we strive to identify and offer the best available technological solutions for all remote inspection scenarios.”

When the company is tasked with the detection of fugitive hydrocarbon emissions, FLIR’s GF320 optical gas imaging camera is its preferred technology to use.

Dangerous gas leaks are a concern to every oil and gas production plant. Not only do some of the gases harm the environment, but the leaks also cost companies substantial amounts of money. “The company has been using thermal imaging cameras for a very long time to detect dangerous gas leaks,” says Forrester. “Thanks to thermal imaging cameras, we can easily detect gases in difficult-to-reach or hazardous locations - and we can help companies prevent costly downtime of their production plant.

“We have been using certain contact measurement tools like laser detectors or leaks sniffers,” says Forrester. “But the problem is that you have to go right up to the object, which is not always safe or even possible. In other words, this approach is limited and not very precise. With a thermal imaging camera like the FLIR GF320, however, you can keep a safe distance and still detect gas leaks with great precision.”

With optical gas leak detection, you can keep a safe distance and still detect gas leaks with great precision.

With optical gas leak detection, you can keep a safe distance and still detect gas leaks with great precision.

The Inspectahire team is using the GF320 optical gas imaging camera for maintenance inspections and for all its hydrocarbon detection jobs, in hydrocarbon production plants or for the inspection of any material that uses hydrocarbon as a fuel. Imaging cameras like the GF320 offer a range of tangible benefits compared to traditional hydrocarbon leak sniffers, because they can scan a broader area much more rapidly and monitor areas that are difficult to reach with contact measurement tools. Portable cameras also greatly improve operator safety, by detecting emissions at a safe distance.

“The camera is very ergonomic and very sensitive,” says Forrester, commenting on the GF320. “If a hydrocarbon leak is there, you will certainly see it with the GF320 camera, even if it is a small one. Small leaks can become big ones - that is why it is important to be able to detect them in an early stage. With the GF320, we are sure of an accurate and reliable detection.”

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