Enbridge Funding Extends Series C Round to $31M for On-Ramp Wireless

7/17/13Follow @bvbigelow

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fire from environmentalists and others over a 2010 pipeline rupture near Marshall, MI, that spilled an estimated 843,000 gallons of diluted bitumen, a tar-like heavy crude diluted with benzene and other chemicals. The tarry sludge spilled into the Kalamazoo River, where cleanup efforts are still underway.

The global oil and gas industry represents On-Ramp’s fastest growing market, according to the company’s statement today.

Despite industry claims about state-of-the-art pipeline sensors and monitoring technology, remote sensors detected just 5 percent of the nation’s pipeline spills between 2002 and 2012, according to a Pulitzer-prize winning report published last year by InsideClimate News, a nonprofit news organization covering energy and the environment. Most pipeline spills (62 percent) were reported by pipeline employees at the site of an accident, according to a review of data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

“We are seeing significant growth opportunities from enterprises that want to monitor, control, and manage their hardest-to-reach assets, irrespective of location,” says On-Ramp’s Hell in the statement. “Our technology can easily connect assets that have previously been unreachable, from oil and gas pipelines spanning hundreds of miles of harsh terrain to electrical transmission and distribution assets, both above and below ground.”

On-Ramp’s statement also quotes Chuck Szmurlo, a vice president of alternative and emerging technology at Enbridge: “On-Ramp’s technology addresses a current and future need for our operations, enabling us to better connect with and monitor assets, such as transmission pipelines, in a more economical and reliable manner than conventional wireless technologies currently allow. By automating the monitoring of these assets we are able to improve operational efficiencies and know, within seconds, valuable information that can help us reduce risk and save costs versus manual inspection processes.”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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