October 2017, Vol. 244, No. 10

Features

Teaching Technology: Solution Finds Small Pipeline Leaks

The domestic boom in oil and gas production has helped the U.S. increase energy independence in the past decade, but the benefits have come with environmental challenges. Among those are increased risks of hazardous chemical spills and methane gas leaks, which contribute to climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere. Between 2007 and 2012, leaks in the U.S. liquid pipelines network exceeded 100,000 barrels a year. That’s a pool of petroleum the size of the Lincoln Monument’s reflecting pool every two years. This volume is a 3.5% increase from the previous five-year period. Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio is attacking the issue, developing technology that can auton

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