Picarro, the world’s leading producer of stable isotope and gas concentration measurement systems for science and industry, today announced the company’s inclusion in four new reports as the benchmark for natural gas leak detection.

The reports from Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), highlights Picarro SurveyorTM as the benchmark for natural gas leak detection. With PG&E as the lead author, the reports include two controlled and two field studies, which vetted and tested the technology in four regions in California and Nevada: Diablo, Livermore, Sacramento and southern Nevada. The results of this extensive study were issued on February 4 2013.

Research details how Picarro Surveyor, which is 1,000 times more sensitive than legacy leak detection methods, performed while surveying over one hundred miles of natural gas distribution pipeline and over 7,700 services in some of the most challenging topographies and atmospheric conditions.

The studies conducted side-by-side comparisons of Picarro Surveyor and legacy industry methods based upon their ability to successfully identify natural gas leaks. Comparison criteria included proficiency to detect leaks, survey rate and productivity, pipeline coverage and reporting capabilities. In all instances, Picarro outperformed traditional methods, identifying significantly more leaks in considerably less time. According to the Diablo and Sacramento field reports, Picarro Surveyor located several leaks that legacy methods failed to find, including seven Grade 1 leaks (those requiring an immediate response) and 10 Grade 2+ leaks (those requiring a scheduled priority repair within 90 days or less).  Additionally, the Picarro Surveyor indicated leaks up to 10 times faster than legacy survey methods.

“With the continued support of progressive organisations like PRCI and PG&E, we will unlock the real potential of this technology,” said Timothy Clark, formerly a PG&E leak survey consultant and now the VP of business development, energy, at Picarro. “Picarro Surveyor simply finds leaks that no other technology in the world can find thus making utility networks safer. Furthermore, we envision applying these science-driven measurements to create risk-based statistical models to help utility operators better assess the integrity of vast pipeline networks, and to use those models to prioritise pipe replacement.”