This paper will describe the state of art in active acoustic detection ofoil and gas in the water volume as well as the seafloor. Examples of real datawill be described with the relevance to the leakage detection challenges wheresurveillance and early detection is crucial. Active acoustic data will bepresented from several trials from various parts of the world, examples hereofis California natural seeps, Brazil leakage detection, Norway plume mixingphenomenon's and more.

Applications: Leakage detection on subsea assets, Site surveys of leakages, Oil response capabilities, Oil recovery capabilities, Dispersant efficiencyespecially sub surface, Quantification of leak flux both gas and fluid.

Results, Observations, and Conclusions: Expedition results will be reviewedbased on several real life tests and deployments of active acoustic systems. Conclusion of expected performance of active acoustic systems will be drawn. Miniaturization and adaptation of power requirement as well as uplink demand, combined with sufficient processing to avoid false alarms will bediscussed.

Significance of Subject Matter: Early subsea leakage detection is absolutelykey to any arctic project, quantifiable flux rates is an important key input toall decision-making during operation of oil fields in all regions.


Today oil companies/authorities use aircrafts, long-range radar and surfacevessels to detect oil leakages, it is seen that in many instances the leakagesoriginates kilometers under the surface. Those methods are expensive anddifficult to operate efficiently and rely on unsophisticated visual reports, which are not consistently accurate, and more importantly a leak detected atthe surface is far from its origin. Most leaks are not detected until a slickcomes to the surface and is visible to the human eye. This paper describes newacoustic technologies aimed to provide a compact, robust volumetricsurveillance system that can be permanently installed for example on criticalsubsea infrastructure or known high probability fault lines/natural seeps toprovide early detection of leakages.

Active acoustics, multibeam technologies

Modern active acoustic multibeam sonars have in the last 1.5 years achieveda major breakthrough in terms of performance, physical size, power consumption, uplink flexibility, processing and not least price. This now allows the tool tobe used in a much wider context during subsea hydro carbonate (Oil/gas)detection, quantification and visualization. As the new generation sonar is soflexible it will easily integrate to any subsea platform.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.