Dutch company Orbital Eye has developed a service that uses satellites to monitor gas and oil pipelines. A major African pipeline operator has already signed up for the service.
Worldwide, gas and oil pipelines extend two million km. In most cases, this network is not very deep: just 1.5 m below our feet.
Gas pipes in the EU alone stretch 140,000 km, another 40,000 km carry oil and related products. In addition, there are the final distribution lines to our homes and places of work.
For pipeline operators, safety is paramount. Accidents tend to be serious enough to endanger people and the environment, as well as to damage the pipeline itself.