Olsson Associates

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Air Consulting team expands, invests in new emissions technology to help oil and gas clients

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Paul Kuhns, Air Consulting

The black and white portions of the screenshot represent heat signatures, which are areas of concern as possible emission leaks.With an eye toward the future to best assist its oil and gas clients, Olsson has expanded its roster of professionals who are skilled in operating the latest in emission-detecting technology. This new tool, the Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) camera, makes “sniffing” for leaking emissions obsolete for oil and gas facilities. These investments mean Olsson’s professionals are prepared to handle increasing regulatory responsibilities, which are expected to be seen nationwide.

Ready now, prepared for later

In February 2014, Colorado became the first state to directly regulate all hydrocarbon emissions, including methane, from oil and gas production facilities and compressor stations. One of the new regulatory provisions established requirements for leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs for oil and gas facilities upstream of natural gas processing plants, including compressor stations and well production facilities.

With the possibility that similar emission regulations will eventually expand nationwide, Olsson’s Colorado-based Air Consulting team is set to help oil and gas companies around the country address their LDAR needs. The team now has two OGI cameras, six staff trained in infrared technology, and specialized data software to track leak detection results that clients can view easily from their mobile devices and tablets.

Tony Barlage, Olsson’s Air Consulting team leader, is also a participant on the Colorado coalition that helped create the state regulations.

“Working in Colorado with these emissions regulations over the last 12 months has allowed us to develop a team that is efficient and experienced in implementing an LDAR program that meets regulatory standards,” Tony said. “We are excited to be growing the capabilities of the team so that we can help our clients nationwide to meet the new regulatory challenges.”

About OGI

Over the last year, Olsson has been using the OGI camera successfully in Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas with 13 different oil and gas clients. Olsson uses OGI cameras to detect emission leaks quickly and to provide video documentation for operators to use when making repairs.

When it comes to leak detection, OGI technology is more effective than traditional “sniffer” devices. During an inspection, a facility may have hundreds or even thousands of components that need to be examined for leaks. Sniffer devices must be physically placed near each of these components to accurately detect leaks. By contrast, an OGI camera detects leaks in any area viewed by the camera, eliminating the need to be physically close to the component. As a result, inspection time is greatly reduced compared to the time needed with other monitoring devices.

With more than 50,000 oil and gas wells in the state of Colorado, the use of an OGI camera is an efficient alternative to identifying and repairing leaks. It also is able to confirm that leaks have been repaired.

Utilizing cutting-edge technology, the LDAR team worked with software developer Mobile Epiphany to create a custom data-tracking system for Olsson and its clients. The data-tracking system works directly with the OGI cameras and collects data that can be viewed through Olsson’s ShareFile website. Clients are able to remotely and securely view pictures, spreadsheets, and infrared videos via their own computers, mobile devices, and tablets.

Olsson staff members use the software as they identify leaks, confirm repairs, and complete regulatory reports. In Colorado, regulation deadlines regarding leak detection and repair are extremely time-sensitive, and the new software is being successfully used to maintain regulatory compliance.

OGI’s benefits to clients

Having multiple OGI cameras used by trained staff members is an enormous benefit to clients. Olsson has experienced staff trained and certified to use the FLIR GF320/300 OGI camera. The extra equipment and staff allow Olsson to be in multiple areas simultaneously to serve our clients across many states.

With the potential growth in leak detection regulations both regionally and nationally, Olsson’s LDAR team stands poised to be an industry leader at the vanguard of fugitive emission mitigation.

Locating and repairing these leaking components not only prevents harmful volatile organic compounds from reaching the atmosphere, but it also helps owners and operators capture product that would otherwise not reach its destination. Call one of our Air Consulting team members at 303.237.2072 to learn more about how we can help you achieve and maintain regulatory compliance, as well as prevent product loss.

 

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