What is Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR?)
What is LDAR?
Leak detection and repair (LDAR) is the process of surveying, identifying, and repairing natural gas leaks. This process is put into practice at a variety of facilities such as chemical, refineries, and oil and gas operations.
Regulations vary from state to state within the US. Therefore, each LDAR program must adapt its process accordingly. The US Environmental Protection Agency has established five basic elements of an LDAR program: identifying components, leak definition, monitoring components, repairing components, recordkeeping.
Why is LDAR important?
LDAR is important for numerous reasons. An efficient LDAR program:
- Reduces product losses for natural gas enterprises
- Increases safety for employees at natural gas sites
- Decreases methane exposure for individuals in the surrounding area
- Reduces emissions fees that some areas charge based on total emissions from a facility
- Aids facilities to avoid being targeted by regulation enforcement actions
An LDAR program is good for all; the natural gas enterprises, the employees at these facilities, and the community.
Now, what is Smart LDAR?
A well known study by the American Petroleum Institute found that over 90% of leaks (which are most often random) come from around 0.13% of the components. Smart LDAR is an alternative work practice, which uses optical technology to seek out those 0.13% of components. The goal of Smart LDAR is to focus on identifying and repairing larger leaks more efficiently with optical technology such as infrared and laser.
For more information on LDAR and Smart LDAR:
Journal of Air & Waste Management: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3155/1047-32188.8.131.520