Protection of pipeline assets that span several hundreds or even thousands of kilometers has been a huge challenge for companies involved in oil and gas transportation. The companies suffer huge losses from pilferage by unscrupulous elements who surreptitiously tap the pipeline. Moreover, such activities can lead to accidents which pose serious threat to safety of people and the environment. Deliberate attempts at tapping are not the only risks to pipelines. In areas with increased development activity, pipelines are also accidentally damaged by construction, trenching and other installations near the pipeline. Until now, the only way of monitoring third-party activity along the pipeline route was physical patrolling.
It is impractical to install CCTV cameras or discrete sensors due to the sheer distance to be monitored, needless to mention the lack of power supply and provision for installation at frequent intervals in remote areas.