Southern Star is the largest natural gas network operator in the central United States and the first North American company to install ThreatScan as part of its pipeline integrity management activities.
GE's remote monitoring system greatly improves pipeline safety by alerting operators to potential damage caused by accidental, "third-party" strikes, including from construction machinery.
Third-party damage is the leading cause of pipeline failures in the United States. Fully managed by GE, ThreatScan is a real-time, advanced acoustical impact monitoring system that detects and localizes threats to oil and gas pipelines, allowing operators to respond rapidly to potential threats to their pipelines.
The northern Wichita area has experienced a great deal of urban expansion, with construction encroaching upon a nearby 16-inch, natural gas pipeline, spurring Southern Star to install ThreatScan on a section of the line to monitor for any potential accidental contact by work crews. Vibrations are detected by ThreatScan sensors and instantly routed to GE call centers in Houston, Texas or Florence, Italy, where the data is quickly analyzed and the operator notified of a potential threat at a particular location.
"ThreatScan is proving to be everything we thought it was and much more. Although the product is an impact-detection system, we are working with GE to demonstrate its capability to also potentially help warn us of potential third-party encroachments in time to protect the line," said Warren Etheridge, Manager of Pipeline Compliance for Southern Star. "Installing ThreatScan will help us improve safety and reliability for our customers and the Wichita community."
Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline is a division of Owensboro, Kentucky-based Southern Star, a natural gas transmission network spanning more than 6,000 miles in the Midwest and mid-continent regions of the United States. Southern Star's 460 employees and its pipeline system and facilities are located throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Nebraska and Kentucky. The system serves major markets such as St. Louis, Wichita, and Kansas City.
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