Why Soap Solution LDAR Can Be More Effective Than FLIR

Using soap solution for LDAR (Leak Detection and Repair) can be an effective and efficient method for detecting and repairing leaks in oil and gas wells. In comparison to using a FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) camera, soap solution LDAR offers several key advantages.

One of the main advantages of using soap solution for LDAR is its simplicity and affordability. Soap solution is a relatively inexpensive and readily available material, and it can be easily applied to a well to detect leaks. In contrast, a FLIR camera is a specialized and expensive piece of equipment, and it requires trained operators to use it effectively. This can make soap solution LDAR more accessible and cost-effective for many well operators.

Another advantage of using soap solution for LDAR is its ability to detect a wide range of leaks. Soap solution can be used to detect leaks of various sizes, from small seeps to larger breaches. Likewise soap solution is able to detect all types of leaks from all gases and not just methane emissions. This can make soap solution more effective at identifying all leaks at a site, and helps to prevent the release of more harmful substances into the environment. In comparison, a FLIR camera may not be able to detect all leaks such as H2S, and it may require multiple passes or additional techniques to detect smaller leaks.

Moreover, FLIR cameras struggle to differentiate between heat waves and gas emissions as both appear similar at first glance. A great deail of experience is necessary to efficiently utilize FLIR technology without creating too many ‘false emissions’. Also, given the fact that the quantification of the fugitive emissions with a FLIR camera is at best a ballpark guess, the benefits of FLIR are not overly obvious in most LDAR programs.

Additionally, using soap solution for LDAR can also be safer than using a FLIR camera. Soap solution is non-toxic and biodegradable, and it does not elevate the risks of accidental combustion. In contrast, many FLIR cameras rely on thermal imaging technology, which can produce heat and potentially ignite flammable materials. This can make soap solution LDAR a safer option for LDAR.

Overall, while a FLIR camera can be a useful tool for LDAR, using soap solution can offer several advantages. Soap solution is simple, affordable, and effective at detecting a wide range of leaks, and it is also safer and more environmentally friendly than using a FLIR camera. As such, well operators should consider using soap solution for LDAR as part of their leak detection and repair strategies.

Greatly reduce D060 compliance effort, reported emissions & cost

Take control of your well screening with Screening Made Simple (SMS). SMS is intuitive to use and leverages existing staff to comply with Directive 060 requirements at up to 85% less cost.

SMS addresses the need for simpler, timelier and much more cost efficient Directive 060 compliance monitoring and reporting for oil wells.