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Enbridge,TransCanada,Kinder Morgan To Evaluate Aerial-Based Pipeline Safety Tech

Enbridge Pipelines Inc., TransCanada Corp. (TRP), and Kinder Morgan Canada - have signed a Joint Industry Partnership agreement to conduct research into aerial-based leak detection technologies, in the interest of enhancing across-the-board pipeline safety.

The companies said that the partnership demonstrates the partners' commitment to investing in the leading-edge tools and technologies that can bolster safety and reliability, while at the same time addressing public demands for responsible pipeline development.

According to the companies, the goal of the project is to identify technologies capable of viably detecting small leaks from liquid petroleum pipeline systems to improve pipeline safety. The project is expected to involve laboratory research and field trials to evaluate the feasibility of commercially available aerial-based leak detection technologies, for use with crude oil and hydrocarbon liquids pipelines. The partnership includes a funding commitment from all three companies. Data analysis will be conducted by Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures, and testing will be carried out by project research partner C-FER Technologies (1999) Inc. of Edmonton.

Kinder Morgan, Enbridge, and TransCanada have each committed $200,000 to this partnership agreement. All three companies involved in this partnership agreement will share equally in the new knowledge and advancements that can be applied directly to improve safety and efficiency in their respective operations.

Potential technologies to be tested may include infrared camera-based systems, laser-based spectroscopy systems, and flame ionization detection systems, with sensors suitable for mounting on light aircraft or helicopters. Representatives of Enbridge and C-FER Technologies are currently surveying commercial vendors of these airborne leak detection technologies to validate their feasibility for liquid hydrocarbon pipelines. Project research and trials are expected to begin during the third quarter of 2015.

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