QinetiQ OptaSense® is selected to protect the BP-led Baku Tbilisi Ceyhan pipeline

29 Sep 2010
QinetiQ’s OptaSense® technology has been chosen as the security system for the 1,770 km BTC pipeline on the Turkey section. The phased roll out of the system which commenced this week will see a further 600km of pipeline monitored by the OptaSense® fibre optic security system, also known as the Optical Fibre - Pipeline Intruder Detection System (OF-PIDS), following successful installation along 100km last year. The BTC is one of the longest crude oil pipelines in the world and the Turkish section of the BTC export system includes four pump stations, two pigging stations, 52 block valve sites and the Ceyhan marine export terminal. Operating since 2006, over 1 billion barrels of crude oil have been exported to world markets through the Ceyhan Marine Terminal. The BTC pipeline is operated overall by BP, and the designated operator for the Turkey section is Botas International Limited (BIL).

The OptaSense® system is designed to detect, classify and locate potential threats to buried pipelines. Mr Hasan Alsancak BP-BTC Country Security Manager Turkey said “We pride ourselves on pipeline integrity and believe the addition of OptaSense® technology will help us prevent incidents of theft or accidental damage. We have been impressed with the technical performance over the last year with this technology successfully preventing theft from our pipeline over the initial 100km. We believe the OptaSense system to be a cost effective way of monitoring the security and efficiency of our pipeline.”
In 2009, just after the system was installed on the first 100km of pipeline and put into operation, OptaSense® OF-PIDS detected the approach of a vehicle, footsteps and periods of manual digging next to the pipeline. The system raised an alarm and BIL operators at control centre alerted the Jandarma to take an immediate response and mobilise to the exact location of the incident. A significant impact to environment and business operation was prevented. This success story has been widely acknowledged among BP, BTC and BIL.

QinetiQ's OptaSense® system is typically retrofitted into existing block valve stations and converts pre-existing communications fibre buried adjacent to the pipeline which converts the fibre to an acoustic array to monitor sound and seismic activity. OptaSense® can monitor over 100km from a single block valve station with no other infield equipment, making it one of the most cost effective means of monitoring long linear assets.

Magnus McEwen-King, Managing Director QinetiQ OptaSense® said: “The BTC contract win builds on our track record of delivering pipeline security solutions for oil and gas pipeline operators globally. We are pleased to be working again with our partner Optilan on this BP-BTC-BIL project, with whom we will also be installing our OptaSense® System on several new and follow-on projects in another four countries over the course of the next year.”

Building on the success of OptaSense® to protect critical oil and gas pipelines and facilities, QinetiQ is partnering with Future Fibre Technologies to cross market two highly complementary fibre sensing technologies to the oil and gas sector as well as other markets requiring high performing security and sensing solutions. Under the agreement OptaSense® will be promoted as the product of choice for buried applications and FFT’s Secure Fence solution will be promoted for fence mounted applications eg perimeters. Commenting on the deal Rob Broomfield, CEO FFT said “This collaboration brings to fruition over a year of working together and combines two of the worlds foremost fibre sensing technologies to deliver the best overall solution for any given project.”
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QinetiQ OptaSense® is selected to protect the BP-led Baku Tbilisi Ceyhan pipeline