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FLIR Systems reports on how its GF-Series Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) cameras can be used by the oil and gas industry to quantitatively measure methane emissions and create a datum point for future methane reduction calculations.

Traditionally gas has been flared when it arrives as an unwanted part of an oil production stream. Where regulations permit, flaring gas has long been viewed the easiest way to handle this problem. However, gas flaring is damaging for environmental reasons resulting from emission of Carbon Dioxide and unburnt methane and also risk to health from hydrocarbon liquids and particulate matter entering the atmosphere. As a result, many oil companies are making efforts to get a better handle on both flares and emissions, to try to demonstrate that gas is a cleaner fuel than coal.

Over the last decade – OGI cameras have been widely used in the oil and gas industry to help find leaks. Traditionally their use was usually followed up with other methods, such as sniffers and ultrasonic devices, to assess the size of the leak.

FLIR Systems specialises in technologies that enhance perception and awareness.  The company brings innovative sensing solutions into daily life through its thermal imaging and visible light imaging technology and systems for measurement, diagnosis, location and advanced threat detection.  Its products improve the way people interact with the world around them, enhance productivity, increase energy efficiency and make the workplace safer.

FLIR Systems has six operating segments – surveillance, instruments, OEM and emerging markets, maritime, security and finally, detection. Of these six, ‘instruments’ is of greatest interest to trade and industry and the second largest segment in the company’s portfolio. This division provides devices that image, measure and assess thermal energy, gases and other environmental elements for industrial, commercial and scientific applications.

These products are manufactured across five production sites, three in the USA and two in Europe; Sweden and Estonia.

A model to suit every application and budget
The options that FLIR Systems provides for measuring temperature and studying thermal performance have never been greater.  Not only does the company offer a huge range of models to suit all thermal application needs but the technology is also affordable and very easy to use.  Thermal cameras now come in various shapes, sizes and degrees of sophistication and FLIR continues to invest heavily in the development of new and complementary technologies to differentiate itself from competitors.

An important milestone in the development of thermal imaging has been the introduction of the FLIR Lepton® core, a micro longwave detector, the size of a mobile SIM.  This has allowed thermal imaging to be repackaged to meet the needs of an even wider audience and, in combination with another new technology called Infrared Guided Measurement – IGM™ – has led to the development of a range of test and measurement meters with imaging capability.

Another important growth area for FLIR thermal imaging is in continuous monitoring to assure quality and safety.  Through its introduction of discrete fixed mounted thermal cameras which are fully compliant industry standard plug-and-play protocols, FLIR Systems has provided industry with infrared machine vision which is instantly ready for quick and easy network installation.

Protecting assets and people from fire is an area for which thermal imaging is least known but, thanks to FLIR Systems’ development, it is now one of the most cost-effective methods available.  Its application flexibility and rapid return on investment present an attractive proposition for any site or safety manager.

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