Alaska is a wondrous state with awe-inspiring beauty. Snow-capped mountains, polar bears fishing in frozen lakes and rivers and a diverse terrain are all hallmarks of Alaska. It ranks number one as the largest state by area, comparable to double the size of Texas. As in Texas, Alaska benefits from the discovery of oil in 1968. But Alaska faces special challenges as an oil-producing state. In contrast to its vast size, Alaska lacks population. Less population means fewer workers to monitor the pipelines delivering natural gas and petroleum. This is why FairLifts pipeline surveys in Alaska can be instrumental in helping companies cover more ground to protect against damaging oil and natural gas leaks. Plus, companies save tremendous amounts of money with aerial pipeline inspections before bad things happen.
Pipelines must be checked regularly for leaks, which are costly to companies in terms of money and also in terms of environmental danger to the land, humans, and wildlife. Ground surveys have considerable limitations in Alaska due to the diversity of the terrain and the thousands of miles that pipelines cover.
No one wants another oil spill disaster like the one that occurred at the BP Exploration, Alaska pipeline at Prudhoe Bay. In early March, 2006, over 267,000 US gallons of oil leaked from the pipeline over five days. As a result, BP received massive fines and 1.9 acres of land were contaminated. Oil-soaked birds and fish were among the victims of this spill. Given the approximately 4600 miles of new pipelines crisscrossing public and private lands as well as interstates; helicopter charters greatly aid pipeline surveys in Alaska. This is where FairLifts can help.
Helicopter surveys are the best way to check for leaks because helicopters can traverse wide areas quickly. FairLifts’ helicopter surveys carry high technology equipment like lasers and other optical range sensors for inspecting pipelines that are close to the ground. These technological innovations can detect leaks quickly by rendering more accurate digital survey imagery.
Highly skilled pilots using infrared cameras and assisted by observers, look for any minute changes in terrain as well as exposed pipes, leaks and spills or even the smell of gas indicating an oil leak. If a leak is found, the pilot uses a GPS system to quickly alert technicians that there’s a problem. These pilots have an extraordinary ability to safely skim over power lines or trees from as low as 300 to 500 feet in the air.
Aerial imagery is a useful way to document the different phases of pipeline development and monitoring. With the vast volume of natural gas and petroleum moving through pipelines in tunnels and underground; helicopter charter patrols use their sophisticated equipment to ensure adherence to Right of Way documentation stipulating the territorial rights and safety of landowners across whose lands the pipelines run.
Bottom line, monitoring oil pipelines in Alaska can be a costly endeavor for businesses. Ground surveys are simply not suitably equipped to do the thorough job required in the challenging Alaskan terrain. With the help of FairLifts’ wide network of partners; businesses can safely and quickly protect property and wildlife against hazardous chemical releases from leaking pipelines. Pipeline surveys in Alaska yield more accurate information to companies and landowners using sensitive high tech resources. With an aerial inspection system, Alaskans benefit from the peace of mind in knowing that the land has superior protection.