Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline has deployed GE Oil & Gas’ Pipeline Solutions’ ThreatScan pipeline monitoring system. Southern Star is the first North American company to install ThreatScan as part of its pipeline integrity management activities. ThreatScan uses acoustic monitoring to improve pipeline safety and alert operators to potential damage such as may be caused by construction machinery (OITJ July 2007).
Northern Wichita has experienced much urban expansion, with construction encroaching upon a 16-inch gas pipeline. This caused Southern Star to install ThreatScan on a section of line to monitor work crew activity. ThreatScan sensors detect abnormal vibrations and alert GE call centers where data is analyzed and the operator notified of the location of a potential threat.
Warren Etheridge, Manager of Pipeline Compliance for Southern Star said, ‘ThreatScan is proving to be everything we thought it was and much more. Although the product is an impact-detection system, we are working with GE to demonstrate its capability to anticipate third-party encroachments in time to protect the line. ThreatScan will help us improve safety and reliability for our customers and the Wichita community.’ Third-party damage is the leading cause of pipeline failures in the United States. Southern Star is a division of Owensboro, Kentucky-based Southern Star, a natural gas transmission network spanning more than 6,000 miles in the Midwest and mid-continent regions of the United States.
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