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Leak detection in oil pipelines is important for safe operation of pipelines. Negative Pressure Wave (NPW) in pressure curve can be an indication of leakage of a pipeline. In this paper, we propose to use the support vector machine (SVM) learning to detect NPW in pressure curves. In the approach, NPWs detection is formulated as a supervised-learning problem and the method of SVM is employed to develop the detection algorithm. The proposed method is evaluated using a database of 1500 pressure curves containing 500 NPWs. Experimental results demonstrate that, when compared to the Wavelet based methods, the proposed SVM framework offers the better performance.