Novel program allows companies to demonstrate innovations in real-world situations with industry partners.

Pipeline safety is a priority for the entire oil and gas industry. Recent advancements in technology have significantly improved certain aspects of both leak detection and prevention.

Alberta Innovates is partnering with TransCanada Corporation and Enbridge Inc. to deploy and test an innovative real-time pipeline monitoring and leak detection technology developed by Alberta-based Hifi Engineering (Hifi) on their oil pipelines in Canada and the United States.

The Alberta Small Business Innovation and Research Initiative (ASBIRI), offered by Alberta Innovates, supports this industry partnership. ASBIRI provides Alberta-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with direct market access through partnerships with the industry-resulting in economic impact through company growth. Hifi is the first company to access this program.

Hifi's patented High Fidelity Dynamic Sensing (HDS) technology has the capability to detect various events and leaks with greater sensitivity than existing leak detection systems can provide. Hifi plans to build and manufacture this technology in Alberta to support the monitoring of thousands of kilometers of pipeline worldwide.

Hifi will use Baker Hughes', a GE company, patented Predix industrial Internet software platform to integrate and display the real-time data from the Hifi HDS technology to Enbridge and TransCanada. The fiber-optic technology will be tested at locations on the Keystone Pipeline, at Hardisty, Alberta, and Houston, Texas, in addition to Enbridge's new Norlite Pipeline that went into service this year.

The Alberta Small Business Innovation and Research Initiative

ASBIRI provides Alberta's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to real industry problems. Through partnerships with industry, SMEs gain direct access to market needs and resources that will support the commercialization of novel technological solutions while simultaneously generating material risk-weighted returns to Alberta based on economic, social and environmental metrics.

"We're proud to help homegrown HiFi Engineering bring their new leak-detection technology to some of the biggest players in the oil-and-gas industry. Together we are growing our economy, creating new jobs and ensuring Alberta continues to be the energy and environmental leader the world needs for the 21st century," said Deron Bilous, Minister of Alberta Economic Development and Trade

"Alberta Innovates is excited about the value Hifi Engineering can offer the pipeline industry. The ASBIRI program offers Alberta innovators direct access to markets through industry partnerships that support testing and validation of new ideas and inventions. Protecting the environment while simultaneously sustaining and supporting further growth in a key industry sector is critically important to Albertans," said Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates.

"We are very pleased to be part of the ASBIRI program and collaborating with Enbridge and TransCanada. Hifi is ready to showcase our HDS technology performance on these projects to prove our technology is indeed world class, outperforms other alternatives, and is ready to assist the industry in path to improved safety," said Steven Koles, Hifi President and Chief Executive Officer.

"We are looking forward to seeing Hifi's technology perform on our Norlite Pipeline. We understand this will be one of the longest installations of Hifi technology to-date, and we are looking forward to a successful collaboration with Hifi as they optimize and refine their system for real-world monitoring of pipelines. We are hopeful this technology can provide Enbridge with enhanced leak detection capability and complement performance of our current systems and multi-layered approach to pipeline safety," said Linda Comand, Enbridge Vice President Technology and Information Services Liquids Pipelines.

This is another important step in our collaborative relationship with Enbridge and the Government of Alberta to rigorously test new technology and implement it on our pipelines when it can add another layer to our comprehensive pipeline safety and leak detection program. We look forward to seeing how Hifi's unique sensing technology performs in real time as we continue to evaluate how it can be deployed most effectively on our pipeline systems in the future," said Erik Tatarchuk, TransCanada Vice President of Liquids Pipeline Operations.