Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) became the quickest and safest way to inspect leaks in the late 2000’s. These cameras helped solve methane detection problems. They can actually “see” the gas as it escapes to atmosphere. Detection is no longer an issue.
The main obstacle at the field level is quantification. We need to know how much is leaking and if it is possible to fix the leak before a shutdown. Depending on severity and other factors, some leaks are not economically or practically feasible to fix. Quantification can help maintenance managers make those decisions. Is this leak a threat? Is it developing over time and becoming worse?
Regular inspections can help pinpoint troubled components that are repeat offenders. Data management and quantification can help develop a complete picture of the fugitive emissions and safety of a particular site. Technology is catching up and there are multiple methodologies that can be utilized for quantification, with varying degrees of accuracy.