Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Military technology to detect gas leaks at Saudi Arabia refinery

Steve Rogerson
February 16, 2016
French company Bertin Technologies is to supply, install and commission a gas leak tracking system, Second Sight, at the Saudi Aramco owned Jazan refinery. This system is said to open up a new era in gas detection methods for the oil and gas industry.
Bertin Technologies has achieved a breakthrough by customising its own gas imaging camera. Initially developed for defence and civil security applications, Second Sight has been adapted to IECEx hazardous area and Saudi Aramco standards. To enhance the level of safety on site, Bertin Technologies will provide a turnkey system that detects and monitors explosive gas clouds.
Second Sight was selected by Saudi Aramco because it offered benefits that complemented conventional gas detection methods. It provides, in real time, a complete scene visualisation. In the case of an alarm activation, it localises the leakage source and direction of the explosive gas cloud in the vicinity.       
Explosive gas leaks are an ever-present risk that has to be managed at refineries. Any leak has the potential to accumulate into dangerous clouds that can ignite when they reach a certain concentration. Traditional point detectors do not always give a full and accurate picture of the chemical environment. A single explosive incident can cost billions of dollars and, to mitigate against such an event, additional layers of gas detection are implemented.
"Bertin Technologies has been supplying chemical and biological detection systems for more than 15 years in France and worldwide, for defence and homeland security," said Philippe Demigne, Bertin Technologies' president. "Our Second Sight technology already has a proven track record in the monitoring and visualisation of hazardous gas clouds for safety purposes. This has been used during large events including the Football World Cup 2014, or in monitoring public buildings, from USA to South Korea. While setting an advanced level in chemical and oil and gas safety standards, Bertin Technologies has demonstrated once again its agility in combining multiple fields of expertise in order to develop dedicated systems for demanding safety requirements."
The contract was awarded by Petrofac, a service provider to the international oil and gas industry.