What makes dogs a great tool for detecting pipeline leaks?
After millions of years, dogs still use their noses to survive by smelling danger or sniffing out the location of their food. We use dogs to find bed bugs, certain cancers, landmines, and to locate criminals, lost people, and even victims of natural disasters. Dogs give companies within the oil and gas industry an effective, efficient and safe detecting tool that works with speed and accuracy.
When you use dogs for leak detection, you only have to dig once. Dogs can be used during leak audits and can also be used in pipeline maintenance, especially on lines that are 30 or more years old. This part can be critical to any company because the dogs are fast and in a situation where you do not want to shut down a line, the dog can be used to locate a leak on an active line.
Dogs are wonderful detection tools, suited for use in even the most environmentally sensitive areas. The weight of the dog does not destroy sensitive flora or grasslands, as a huge mechanical shovel would. The dogs do not have to be brought in by huge trucks to a location – they are themselves self-propelling. And to date, no hi-tech machine can match the sensitivity of a dog’s nose – it’s that powerful! Dogs can serve as a powerful general maintenance tool to locate leaks on active lines before the leak can spread into small rivers and creeks or on to farmers’ fields.
Now that the oil sector is rebounding in West Texas, there’s a renewed rush to build out pipeline systems from the Midland region to Houston, where the oil can move to refiners, processing plants or other continents as the crude export market picks up, probably in 2018. More storage hubs and export terminals along the Houston Ship Channel are getting built by Magellan and others.
The only business with a larger terminal and storage hub in Houston is the local company, Enterprise Products Partners, which recently opted to build its own pipeline network to maximum capacity from Midland to its ECHO — Enterprise Crude Houston — terminal. Enterprise, Magellan and other companies are competing in every aspect of the transportation, storage and processing of the crude in order to reap as much profit and market share as possible, said Sandy Fielden, Morningstar’s director of oil and products research.
“It’s getting crowded and everyone is jockeying,” Fielden said. “The pipeline companies are trying to control as much of the volume as they can from the wellhead all the way to the refinery or even the export dock.”
The number of oil and gas rigs in U.S. fields rose again this week, up 12 or about 170 over the past three months.
This week’s count marks the fourth increase in a row, and a boom of more than 335 rigs since the count fell to its recent low, last spring.
U.S. oil drillers collectively sent eight more rigs into the patch this week, the Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday. Gas drillers added four.
The Permian Basin, in West Texas and New Mexico, again led the rise, adding six.