The intelligent Pipeline Integrity Program (iPIPE) is an industry-led consortium whose focus is to contribute to the advancement of near-commercial, emerging technologies to prevent and detect gathering pipeline leaks. The program is a direct response to North Dakota Governor Burgum’s May 2017 challenge to industry to think outside the box and apply new technology to address the challenge of eliminating pipeline leaks.
Gathering pipelines carrying crude oil, produced water, and natural gas present a unique challenge because they are typically of smaller diameter and because they are highly branched and networked. Rather than transporting fluids from Point A to Point B, gathering pipeline networks often have multiple inputs and outlets and form a fabric across the countryside, rather than a straight line. We anticipate that many of the technologies advanced through this program will have applications in other pipeline sectors as well.
This unique program is currently funding approximately $4 million in development and demonstration activities over the course of almost 4 years. As additional pipeline operators join the program as members, additional funding will be applied to pursue more technology development efforts.