Breakthrough methane detection technology

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In January 2022 Kuva Systems was awarded $770,000 in funding from the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) under their Digital Oil and Gas Technology Competition.

The award was made possible by funding from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) and is intended to support breakthrough digital solutions which will help address environmental and economic challenges in the production of hydrocarbons from source to end use.

Kuva is a leading innovator in gas cloud imaging technology, which is used in the detection and quantification of methane emissions. Scanning infrared non-thermal cameras can provide continuous monitoring of high risk sites so that leaks can be identified and measured as they appear. Colourized images of otherwise invisible emissions are then automatically sent to the operator so they can identify, plan and implement repairs. Field operations are often able to remotely determine the root causes of leaks, and even fix them, without the need for an in-person investigation.

“The funds will be used to further improvements to our software, machine learning and algorithms,” said Monica Sippola, Kuva’s director of business development. “This will help us evolve the detection and quantification of methane emissions in order to minimize false positives and provide column density measurements.”

The technology is currently operational in several locations across Alberta and in most oil and gas basins in the United States.

In another exciting development, Kuva’s gas cloud imaging and continuous monitoring solution has been approved by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) as part of Whitecap Resources’ alternative fugitive emissions management program (AltFEMP) at facilities across Alberta. This approval acknowledges Kuva’s system as being at least equivalent, or better than, manual optical gas imaging (OGI) inspections.

“The AER approval at Whitecap will reduce the need for manual inspections and increase the frequency of monitoring, which results in faster detection and greater emissions reduction,” said Sippola.

Reducing methane emissions is a top priority for Canada’s pipeline industry. As ever more stringent regulations are proposed for oil and gas sites across North America, solutions like Kuva’s gas cloud imaging will be an increasingly important tool in curtailing methane leaks.

In ‘Fugitive emissions and the drones that are tracking them down‘ you can read about a SAIT research project that is also helping address the challenge of methane leaks.

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