Offshore Pipeline Leak Detection with PSLs


Pressure safety low alarms (PSLs) have been required as a means of pipeline leak detection. PSLs are typically located on the export riser and on each boarding riser of intermediate platforms. The PSL is intended to shut in the production in the event of a pipeline leak. Historical production and leak event data suggest that PSL alarms may not function as expected in all operating situations. The US Minerals Management Service (MMS) commissioned a study to determine PSL operation as a function of produced fluids, line characteristics and other factors. This paper summarizes the findings of this study. The results of this study demonstrate situations in which PSLs can function as prescribed and situations in which PSLs may prove unreliable. The results of this study are significant because offshore pipelines are typically the greatest source of offshore pollution.

Meeting Name

22nd International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering: Safety and Reliability Pipeline Technology (2001: Jun. 3-13, Cancun, Mexico)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Second Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Mass flow systems; Pressure safety low alarms (PSL); Alarm systems; Compressibility of gases; Compressibility of liquids; Hydrostatic pressure; Leak detection; Marine pollution; Marine risers; Natural gas pipelines; Pressure regulators; Production platforms; Offshore pipelines

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2003 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

13 Jun 2003