New Robot Technology Will Help Prevent Oil Spills from Pipelines

oil spills from pipelines
Image Source: Audriusa, GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

The Russian company, Diakont, has developed a new robot that can get into difficult-to-inspect portions of gas pipelines, lessening the probability of oil spills.

Running millions of miles, oil pipelines in the US are not all that safe. According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, oil and gas companies have been reporting a substantial number of oil spills every year from pipelines.

As it has been pointed out, old pipelines are not just falling apart, but are also very challenging to inspect because they are not designed for inspections. While energy companies are able to use smart pigs to conduct inspections, they are limited to certain areas of the pipes, leaving thousands of miles uninspected.

Now, Diakont believes that their new RODIS crawler is the ultimate solution to this problem. Inspectors can steer it more efficiently through a pipe as it can change shape and size, allowing them to maneuver around bends and curves. It also uses cameras, lasers, and ultrasound to gather and deliver data that is essential for fixing or improving pipelines. With it, an oil company will be able to prevent oil spills from occurring in the future.

The manufacturer said that they have already used this new robot technology to inspect hundreds of miles of gas pipelines for major companies around the world. According to Diakont managing director, Edward Petit de Mange, pipe inspections are a huge part in the growth of their business. He said:

“We have been inspecting pipelines for in the U.S. for four years now.”

According to Petit de Mange, while this equipment is quite expensive, it is generally cheaper than dealing with major oil spills.