Hydrocarbon Detection Applications

Undetected leaks from buried pipes expose fuel companies to untold costs and unnecessary liability every year. If a leak occurs, companies are faced with expensive repair and clean-up costs. Locating where to expose the damaged pipe and the disruption this can cause, pushes the costs even higher. Environmental issues are also an important factor. Local regulatory penalties, especially where drinking water is threatened, could easily exceed the repair and clean-up costs. At the very least, the company’s reputation as a good neighbour will suffer, potentially threatening future community goodwill and support.

Safety is the number 1 concern of most companies involved in the handling and storage of petroleum fuels, protecting the environment is a close second. Every day millions of litres of fuel are stored and transferred to and from tanks. This poses a huge risk of leaks, spills or overflows. TRACELEC cable can be installed in a buried slotted PVC conduit to detect and locate fuels leaking into the soil beneath tank floors or from buried pipes or valves.


At oil terminals, refineries, storage facilities and ports around the world, tankers often unload their cargo of crude oil or refined fuels into small pipe systems that traverse or encroach on ecologically sensitive or populated areas. Where operation is intermittent and pipeline lengths relatively short, traditional SCADA-based leak detection systems which rely on predictable constant flow rates are rendered ineffective. In fact even large leaks during off-loading may go completely undetected, compromising operator’s environmental responsibility and devastating the local ecology. The risk of explosions or fire

Applications to hydrocarbons leak are many and varied. TRACELEC does leak detection at the retention basins low point, in oil/water separators, in pumping units, in the lower compartment of settling vessels, in valves rooms, in manholes and gutters, in fuelling systems chambers, in tunnels and technical galleries, etc.

On large petrochemical site such as storage facilities and refineries, rain water management is crucial for keeping bunds empty and ground water under control. If oil separators are unable to cope with large volumes of water or fail to filter out any hydrocarbon product, serious water pollution could follow. TRACELEC Fuel Sensor is able to detect hydrocarbons floating on the water surface in a bunded area or collecting in a sump. Response time is short enough to ensure quick closure of drain valves before fuel reaches a storm drain or surface channel.

Most modern airports depend on miles of direct buried fuel piping loops to distribute millions of gallons of fuel to airliners daily from the terminal aprons. An undetected fuel leak along the hydrant fuel system can be devastating to airport operations and the surrounding environment. TRACELEC Leak Detection and Locating Systems can monitor miles of single wall buried pipelines for fuel leaks, provide a precise location of a small developing leak, close valves before it becomes catastrophic, and interface with a pipeline monitoring control center for notification.

Our products

• Numerical detection center for hydrocarbon detection cables FGT

• Alarm center with location for sensor cables - four FAT zones

• Sensor Cable for Hydrocarbons and non-conductive liquids FOT