Synodon Demonstrates realSens Crude Oil Detection Capability To Oilsands Company

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Synodon Inc. announces that it has successfully demonstrated to an oilsands exploration company the ability of its realSens technology to detect hydrocarbon vapour plumes released from a synthetic crude oil product. Together with the previously announced results regarding the detection of other liquids such as pentane, condensates and gasoline, this confirms the ability of realSens to detect leaks of most types of liquid hydrocarbons.

Full reports for these tests are available upon request and will also be presented at upcoming industry technical conferences.

For this demonstration, a Western Canadian light sweet synthetic crude sample was used which contains one of the lowest percentages of volatile hydrocarbons when compared to other world crudes (about five per cent). The typical analysis, available on, lists butanes (C4) at 1.33 per cent, pentanes (C5) at 2.11 per cent and hexanes (C6) at 2.33 per cent.

Vapour plumes were released from a custom evaporator containing 20 litres of crude at two different flow rates while realSens passed over the leak area. The vapour flow rates were chosen to be below and above the previously derived detection threshold (0.035 litres per minute). The subsequent data analysis showed that the plumes were detected with 92 per cent reliability for vapour rates between 0.03 to 0.05 litres per minute.

In a practical open pool evaporation setting, this vapour rate would correspond to a crude oil leak of less than five barrels per day, or <0.005 per cent of the flow in a small sized 100,000 barrels per day pipeline. This is a significantly smaller (over 200 times) release rate than the typical one per cent that can be achieved by current pipeline flow monitoring technologies. The detectable leak size will be even smaller for products with a higher concentration of light hydrocarbons.

"We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to demonstrate to a third-party oilsands operator our ability to detect very small release rates from a low volatility crude oil product,” stated Adrian Banica, CEO of Synodon Inc. “As far as we are aware, Synodon has the only commercially available airborne liquid hydrocarbon leak detection system in the world that has been proven to be capable of detecting both gaseous hydrocarbons as well as a wide variety of liquid products from pentane to gasoline, condensates and crude oil."

Synodon Inc. is a technology company which has developed an advanced airborne remote gas sensing system called realSens, based on technologies developed under the Canadian Space Program and by Synodon scientists. The company currently provides advanced airborne pipeline integrity management services to the oil and gas sector through a suite of services including natural gas and liquid hydrocarbon leak detection, pipeline threat assessments, and waterway crossings analysis among others.

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