Leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs are a critical way for oil and gas companies to discover leaking equipment and reduce dangerous emissions.
Today, many companies are leveraging software to manage the inspection and repair process — and for good reason.
Leak detection inspection software helps companies perform inspections, collect and analyze data, assign repairs, track actions through to closure, and maintain a written record of the entire process.
Below, we’ll look at 7 reasons why leak detection inspection software is essential for the oil and gas industry.
Increase worker safety
Leaking equipment poses a significant danger to workers and operators. A leaking valve or connector can spew volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous pollutants such as methane and benzene. These are not only an immediate safety threat but also a long-term health risk to potentially exposed workers.
Regular inspections — whether completed monthly, quarterly, or annually — are an important tool to discover problems and keep employees safe. The right software simplifies the inspection process, allowing you to find and fix leaks before they cause harm to your employees. In many cases, your maintenance personnel, armed with the inspection information, will be able to locate and repair the leak within a few minutes. And, if more substantial repairs are needed, those can easily be scheduled and follow up tasks can be assigned to ensure resolution.
Protect surrounding communities
A leaking wellhead simply doesn’t get the same attention as an oil spill. However, it poses an invisible threat to the surrounding communities. Leaking equipment can contaminate groundwater, threaten public health, and even lead to fires and explosions.
An accident investigation may reveal that the issue was known but never addressed. With leak detection inspection software, this is no longer a possibility. Software allows you to assign repairs and corrective actions on the spot and track them through to closure, with helpful notifications along the way. This will streamline the process of making sure repairs are completed and actions are resolved in a timely manner.
Avoid costly product losses
The cost of not using leak detection inspection software is staggering. The EPA estimates that a single facility loses $730,000 worth of product each year due to equipment leaks. That’s based on an average value of product loss of $1,370 per ton. An effective system for identifying and fixing leaking equipment can easily pay for itself many times over by reducing the loss of valuable product, and leak detection inspection software can help you do just that.
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Wellheads, pipelines, and processing centers are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Methane leaks from abandoned wells, for example, cause climate damage equivalent to consuming 16 million barrels of oil — about as much as the U.S. uses in a typical day. Along with environmental damage, these leaks cost companies money in carbon taxes and other emission fees.
Leak detection inspection and repair is a widely recognized method for reducing fugitive emissions. Depending on the frequency of inspections, LDAR programs can reduce emissions by as much as 75-80%, according to the Clean Air Task Force. Using leak detection inspection software can increase the effectiveness of your LDAR program. It’s an incredibly cost-efficient way to avoid emissions fees and improve your environmental performance.
Ensure regulatory compliance
While it’s true that regulatory enforcement has dwindled under the current administration, oil and gas companies can’t afford to let their guard down. Regulations can change overnight, and it’s important to be prepared for legislative changes in order to remain compliant and avoid costly fines.
With leak detection inspection software, you can collect and store vast amounts of historical data required for various federal, state, and voluntary reporting requirements. As such, it won’t matter what the new regulations are because you’ll already have all the information you need at your fingertips. Add to that the ability to generate ad hoc reports with a few clicks, and ensuring compliance will be a walk in the park.
Increase employee efficiency
Many companies are currently using pencil and paper forms to complete inspections. An inspector has to complete the checklist, take it back to the office, and turn it in. Then someone has to manually key the results into Excel and generate a report.
With software all of these steps can be eliminated by capturing data directly at the source. Armed with a smartphone or tablet, an inspector can complete the checklist digitally and sync the results to a centralized system. Advanced offline capability means that users can work from any location, no matter how remote. All their data, images, and audio records will be saved securely within the device until the next time connectivity is available. Back at the office, personalized dashboards help you quickly locate information such as the date, location, leak rate, and method of repair to ensure a swift and thorough response.
Prepare for the future
Due to falling prices and the coronavirus pandemic, oil and gas companies are scaling back production. Firms are beginning to shut down wells, lay off crews, and tighten their belts.
However, clear-sighted business leaders know the downturn won’t last forever. Eventually, things will pick back up — and when they do, it’s important to be prepared.
Now is an ideal time to implement leak detection inspection software. When things are busy, it’s hard to think about changing processes and implementing a new software system. It’s much easier to implement these systems right now while things are slow and ramp up when the time comes. Doing so will minimize the disruption to your business and set you up for success in the long-run.
Transform your inspection and repair process with Perillon
Leak detection inspection software is key to protecting people and the environment, controlling costs, and ensuring the safety and efficiency of your operations.
Perillon’s inspection software is ideal for the oil and gas industry, allowing you to manage inspections and repairs across multiple sites without the hassle of paper checklists and spreadsheets. Our GoPak mobile app works offline for extended periods so you can capture data at the source and eliminate re-keying. To learn more, request a demo today!
Next, learn about the benefits of mobile apps for the oil & gas industry.