Pipeline leak detection is used to determine if and in some cases where a leak has occurred in systems which contain liquids and gases. Methods of detection include hydrostatic testing, infrared, and laser technology after pipeline erection and leak detection during service.
Pipeline networks are the most economic and safest mode of transportation for oil, gases and other fluid products. As a means of long-distance transport, pipelines have to fulfill high demands of safety, reliability and efficiency. If properly maintained, pipelines can last indefinitely without leaks. Most significant leaks that do occur are caused by damage from nearby excavation. If a pipeline is not properly maintained, it can corrode, particularly at construction joints, low points where moisture collects, or locations with imperfections in the pipe. However, these defects can be identified by inspection tools and corrected before they progress to a leak. Other reasons for leaks include accidents, earth movement, or sabotage.