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Sniffer4D For Gas Well Detection

Pic 1: The integration of Sniffer4D multi-gas detection system on DJI M100.

The petrochemical industry is the pillar of China's economy, but its special characteristics determine its risks in the process of production and transportation. Once oil & gas leakages, fires, explosions or other safety accidents occur, they will cause great damage and massive negative impact on our society. Therefore, it is crucial for petrochemical enterprises to conduct gas detections to maintain safety and social welfare. Then how can they choose the most effective monitoring method? Is there a method that can be both flexible (Meeting the needs of petrochemical companies in different scenarios: plant self-inspection, oil & gas pipeline and storage pipeline monitoring, HAZMAT response, etc.) and safe (No need to enter dangerous zones for manual monitoring)? Can the detection method carry out the real-time monitoring efficiently and quickly generate the mission reports so that the local crew can make the best decision for the solution?

In April 2018, the Southwest Branch of Sinopec Group had successfully drilled a new gas well. During the drilling test and blowout process, the company had to detect the concentrations of the poisonous gases near the well, so as to evaluate its environmental impact and decide whether to evacuate the nearby residents or not. Let's review how our drone-mounted Sniffer4D multi-gas detection system played an important role in providing evidence for both inspection and decision-making.

Multiple Sensing Modules for Different Needs

In April 2018, Soarability successfully delivered a drone-mounted Sniffer4D multi-gas detection system to the Southwest Branch of Sinopec Group. The system was applied to monitor the toxic and harmful gases released from the gas well and to help analyze their impact on the surrounding environment. The main gases released from the gas well are sulfide gas and other organic gases, therefore, the Sniffer4D unit was equipped with wide-range SO2, VOCs, H2S sensing modules.

Flexibility and High-efficiency for No Safety Risk

The reason why the Southwest Branch of Sinopec Group applied the drone-mounted Sniffer4D to detect the pollution during & after the gas well blowout, was because of Sniffer4D's flexibility, efficiency and safety.

It only took a few simple steps to install Sniffer4D on the drone by the integration kit. The drone carried Sniffer4D and lifted up to the area around the gas well after the blowout, then it moved quickly to a high altitude to detect the air pollution changes within 500m and verify the boundaries of the polluted area.

For the crew, the detection conducted by the drone-mounted Sniffer4D means that they no longer have to drive a car to personally enter the area that may have been polluted. Instead, the crew can operate the drone in the command center hundreds of miles away from the gas well, checking the pollution distributions and the mission reports on our analytical software Sniffer4D Mapper.

Pic 2: The crew operated the drone to go near the gas well.

Pic 3: The crew checked the real-time gas concentrations.

Generating Pollution Distribution Maps at a Glance

The picture below showed the real-time SO2 concentrations around the gas well after the blowout. The SO2 concentration distributions were generated by Sniffer4D Mapper at a glance. The highest SO2 concentration in the grid reached to 241.56ug/m3, the blue ellipse in the picture was the location of the gas well, and the northwest part of the gas well was the nearby village.

Pic 4: The screenshot of the S02 concentration report generated by the Sniffer4D Mapper.

One-click Report Generation for Quick Decision-making

The picture below is the mission report generated by Sniffer4D Mapper at one click. The report provided comprehensive and accurate information including detected gases, detection time, analytical method, sample dots, the average size of the grid, the total detected area, the maximum and minimum concentrations, etc. The Southwest Branch of Sinopec Group could assess the environmental impact of the gas well blowout based on the detected data, so as to decide whether to evacuate the nearby residents or not. (According to China's Atmospheric Environment Quality Standard, the daily average SO2 concentration in residential areas and cultural areas shall not exceed 150ug/m3, and the value of any sample shall not exceed 500ug/m3.)

Pic 5: The report of the S02 data analysis generated by the Sniffer4D Mapper.

In the case of monitoring the diffusion of toxic and harmful gases during the gas well blowout, the drone-mounted Sniffer4D had shown its flexibility, safety and high efficiency compared to the traditional manual hand-held and the ground vehicle-mounted inspections, providing timely and intuitive evidence for the decision-making. The superior from the Southwest Branch of Sinopec Group affirmed that Sniffer4D Mapper's functions of generating visualized concentration distribution maps in 2D and 3D, loading the orthophoto and geo-tagged photos, and generating the mission report at one click, had greatly improved the efficiency of internal analysis and decision-making of enterprises. Anyway, Sniffer4D has distinguishing advantages in the application of oil & gas detection compared to other solutions in the field.


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