published in July of 2019
Gas distribution and transmission network operators face the difficult challenge of guaranteeing a continuous supply at a competitive price, while reducing hazards all along the chain down to the final consumers. More recently, their role in climate change has been pointed out, as methane gas emissions count for a quarter of the global warming experienced today.The solution exists. Network surveying is already part of the global maintenance policy of gas utilities. However, the issue is to reinforce gas emission prevention and remediation, using the right tools.The goal of a pipeline network inspection program is to identify gas leaks quickly and reliably, so as to eliminate those representing an immediate threat to safety and build the pipeline maintenance schedule. Using the right detection instruments is clearly a key factor in the process. Gas measurement technologies were initially based on flame ionization (FID), electrochemical sensors or semiconductors. Over the past 15 to 20 years, the introduction of optical technology has gradually changed the game, with the development of high performance laser-based instruments. The new technology is extremely effective in detecting and quantifying polluting gases such as carbon dioxide or methane, thanks to the principle of infrared absorption spectrometry.