The Pacific Gas and Electric Company is committing more resources to natural gas pipeline safety, the company said October 5.
It says it will deploy six new leak detection devices in northern and central California. Called Picarro Surveyors, the vehicle-mounted tools are about 1,000 times more sensitive than traditional gas leak detection equipment, says PG&E.  The devices are “capable of detecting leaks down to one part per billion in ambient air while reducing false positives from naturally occurring methane,” says a PG&E release. The company says it’s the first in the world to use the technology.
“We deployed the Picarro Surveyor prototypes nine months ago, and they’ve proven to be so powerful that we are committing to rolling out this innovative technology across our service area,” said Nick Stavropoulos, PG&E’s executive vice president of gas operations, in a public statement.
“And because the Picarro Surveyor will allow us to conduct more frequent and comprehensive surveys, we expect to support the deployment with the hiring of more leak detection and remediation professionals. We’re making every effort to ensure that PG&E is the safest utility in the United States, and Picarro’s technology is a cornerstone to making that happen.”
PG&E and Picarro Inc. will kick off a multi-city road show to promote and demonstrate the new technology.