Case study

Ensuring the integrity of REN’s gas pipeline

4 min read
Techvedic helps Portugal’s gas transport operator to advance their digital transformation to enable a safe, secure and sustainable future.

REN Gasodutos operates the National Natural Gas Transport Network (RNTGN), which receives the natural gas at the Spanish border, as it leaves storage facilities (REN Armazenagem) or at the regasification terminal (REN Atlântico) and delivers it to distributors or high-pressure end users. REN Gasodutos holds the concession for the high-pressure transport of natural gas, which includes overall technical management of the National Natural Gas System, through which it coordinates the operation of natural gas distribution and transport infrastructures, which guarantee the continuity and security of supply.

Advancing REN’s digital transformation journey

REN’s 1,400-kilometer gas pipeline network was built in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Regulatory compliance requirements and potential risk issues awareness lead to effective plans for managing and mitigating such risks. This required digitizing REN’s asset inventory data (e.g., pipeline materials, diameters, locations, etc.) as well as situational data about potential interferences near the pipeline (e.g., construction, buildings, trees, stream crossings, etc.). REN also needed to factor in the population data and wind information required for proper risk models, and have the ability to integrate this information with other systems.

Since 2018, Techvedic has provided REN with aerial inspection services via helicopter to detect gas leaks and third-party interferences and to inspect points of periodic observation.

"REN relies on Techvedic as a trusted provider of our critical pipeline integrity services, including state of the art aerial inspections. Their operational excellence and ongoing innovation help us fulfill our strategic objectives of digital transformation and realizing an integrated platform to automate processes as much as possible."

Pipeline integrity management

Techvedic implemented and has maintained REN’s Pipeline Integrity Management System (PIMS) since 2016. PIMS supports REN’s very complex, strategic business objective to monitor pipeline conditions and to maintain pipeline safety for methane and in the near future also for hydrogen transport. Key business needs, goals and functions supported by Techvedic, include:

  • To optimize and efficiently manage infrastructure security, in compliance with national regulation and in line with best practice.
  • To manage pipeline risk and ensure safe operations with as little environment impact as possible.
  • To restrict third-party interference on the right of way.
  • To keep a proper risk model up to date, supported by effective data collection from periodic observation
  • and analysis of leak detection and demographic evolution.
  • To operate the PIMS to support the risk model.
  • To operate an integrated information systems architecture, supporting asset management.
Risk modeling

REN uses two risk models (quantitative and qualitative) and runs the data in PIMS to recalculate these risk models. The advanced PIMS software allows categorizing risk by pipeline segments, each with an assigned risk weight.

GIS application management

Techvedic manages the ESRI ArTechvedicS location intelligence software as the base for storing this information. We also developed the mobile GIS application, including both geographic and schematic (process flow diagram) modes.

Aerial inspections

Since 2018, Techvedic has provided REN with aerial inspection services via helicopter to detect gas leaks and third-party interferences and to inspect points of periodic observation.

The aerial service uses advanced laser methane absorption sensor technology from our partner Pergam- Italy. It detects leaks by emitting a laser at a particular wavelength and analyzing the light reflection to determine how much was absorbed by the methane leak plume.

This methodology is used by REN to reduce methane emissions in alignment with the OGMP 2.0 (Oil & Gas Methane Partnership), that REN is a member of, thus contributing to the sustainability objectives of the RE Group.

Data management and integration

We created a digital repository of REN’s asset inventory, built the data model and prepared the data. We now provide inspection and data management services on top of this platform in addition to integration services.

Operational excellence and ongoing innovation

Setting up a program like this takes superior planning, organization and expertise to deliver consistent outcomes. Fundamental to our partnership with REN is our continuous commitment to add value by proposing innovative and world-class solutions. It is one reason REN chose us to support their mission to guarantee the safety of gas pipelines, at a national level.

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