Intelligent undersea oil pipes are self-monitoring

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In the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster it is no surprise that oil companies are expecting environmental authorities to demand an improvement in pipeline monitoring capabilities. Luckily, Norwegian research group SINTEF's SmartPipe project has been underway since 2006. Now, their intelligent pipelines, which can be used to monitor undersea oil pipes in between inspections, have been successfully tested at sea and in transport. The SmartPipe comes equipped with sensors and electronics which will enable them to continually transmit real-time data about their condition to shore. The sensors, which monitor pipewall thickness, tension, temperature and vibration, are contained…

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