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iPIPE Program selects new technologies

December 14, 2018

Grand Forks, N.D. - The Intelligent Pipeline Integrity Program (iPIPE) selected four new technologies for research and development in 2019. iPIPE focuses on developing new approaches and technologies to improve pipeline leak detection and prevention.

"The coalition of businesses and partners that make up iPIPE was impressed with our latest round of submissions for new technologies, and is proud to be pushing forward with these new ideas," said Brent Lohnes, general manager of Hess in North Dakota. "It's great to see the level of excitement for this industry-led initiative and we hope to see even more practical applications that can help us reach our goals."

The companies and their technologies selected for co-development activities in 2019 include:

- Insitu, Inc. - uses drones flying beyond visual line of sight, multiple sensors, and advanced analytics to identify pipeline leaks over large areas of operation

- Southwest Research Institute - uses commercial-off-the-shelf cameras and machine learning algorithms to instantly identify hydrocarbon leaks

- Direct-C - uses film-embedded nanocomposites to instantly directly measure hydrocarbon and saline leaks

- Satelytics, Inc. - uses machine learning algorithms (artificial intelligence) to identify pipeline leaks using large sets of data from satellites, drones, and commercial aircraft. This will continue a second phase of work previously funding during 2018.

During the next three years, iPIPE will invest cash, labor, hardware, and other resources in collaborative projects with each of the selected companies, and conduct research to progress the technologies toward commercialization.

More than 40 emerging technologies for pipeline leak detection or pipeline leak prevention were evaluated for inclusion. Twenty-one of these emerging technologies were invited to submit proposals to iPIPE, with 9 proposals being invited to present their emerging technologies to iPIPE's industry panel of experts. "iPIPE continues to push the envelope, constantly seeking new technology that shows promise in detecting pipeline leaks and preventing them ," said Jay Almlie, Principal Engineer at the Energy & Environmental Research Center and iPIPE program manager.

The iPIPE consortium partners include Hess Corporation, Equinor (formerly Statoil), Goodnight Midstream, Oasis Midstream Partners, ONEOK, Andeavor, Whiting Petroleum, DCP Midstream, and the North Dakota Industrial Commission. The partnership is managed through the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota.

The goal of iPIPE is to develop and demonstrate cutting-edge technology that can prevent and/or detect gathering pipeline leaks in the state. iPIPE partners will do this through a process of testing and selecting emerging technologies, documenting demonstrations and results, and ultimately facilitating the adoption of the best, new technologies into North Dakota pipeline operations.

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Nikki Massmann, Director of Communications
(701) 777-5428