Understanding the Physics of Blowouts and Their Prevention Approaches

Written by Nafiz Tamim, Ruochen Liu, M. Sam Mannan, and A. Rashid Hasan on . Posted in Oil and Gas

Understanding the Physics of Blowouts and Their Prevention ApproachesDespite multitier safeguards in any drilling/production operation, blowouts do occur. Over the past few decades many blowouts with serious consequences happened, such as Ekofisk Bravo blowout, Ixtoc I blowout, Enchova Central blowout, Kaixian blowout, and Deepwater Horizon blowout. SINTEF database (2016) reported a total of 263 blowouts incidents from 1980 to 2012 in the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and North Sea. Thus, blowout prevention plays a crucial role in planning and decision making during any well activity. To design an efficient blowout prevention program, blowout release mechanism needs to be understood. Daily and total release of hydrocarbons from a blowout are very important parameters in designing prevention and mitigation plans. This requires a model that dynamically couples the wellbore flow to that from the reservoir.

Emission Comparison of Underground Trenchless Construction Methods for Canada's Oil and Gas Industry

Written by Chao Kang, Sadegh Mohit, Mahsa Ahmadian Nezhad Monfared, and Alireza Bayat on . Posted in Oil and Gas

Emission Comparison of Underground Trenchless Construction Methods for Canada's Oil and Gas IndustryThe oil and gas industry in Canada is a prosperous industry that involves the rehabilitation and/or installation of new pipelines and facilities, which results in an increase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper compares the amount of GHG emissions of pilot-tube micro tunneling (PTMT) and hand tunneling through a case study that involved replacing an old pipeline and installing a new pipeline. The project site was located in the northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in which PTMT and hand tunneling were used. In the calculation, the GHG emissions were classified as two parts: construction and transportation emissions. The indices used to specify the GHG emissions are the estimated masses of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The construction emissions calculations are functions of construction hours, type of equipment, loading factor, and emission factor. The transportation emissions calculations are mainly affected by equipment type, distance, and the number of trips required to transport material and equipment. The results indicate that for both methods, CO2 is the main source of GHG emissions. In an installation of the same size and length of pipeline, adopting PTMT would reduce the GHG emissions compared with using hand tunneling.

Operationalizing Phytoremediation: Best Management Practices

Written by Cheryl Hendrickson on . Posted in Oil and Gas

Operationalizing Phytoremediation: Best Management PracticesFor at least three decades, plants and their associated microbes have been experimentally shown to extract, degrade and volatilize some contaminants of concern (CoC). But the greater promise of phytoremediation to be used widely and effectively has yet to be realized. One of the principal reasons is the gap between experimental and operational applications. Without effective operationalization, many projects fail and confidence is lost in the efficacy of the technology.

Several obstacles have materialized in the process of commercializing phytoremediation that have prevented this technology from being widely adopted: lack of field-based research on techniques; lack of qualified persons for design, installation and management; and few incentives to share BMPs among commercial providers. Each will be discussed below.

North Dakota Produces More Than One Million Barrels of Oil in 2014

Written by Oil, Gas, and Mining on . Posted in Oil and Gas

The red arrow points to the visible glow of nighttime drilling on North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation
The red arrow points to the visible glow of nighttime drilling on North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation. What is surprising is how this bright nighttime activity stands out from the normally dark prairie and rivals the lighting of more eastern cities.

April 2014 witnessed a key milestone in North Dakota’s oil production when it surpassed one million barrels a day. North Dakota has tripled its oil production in the last three years, with an average daily increase of 3,000 barrels. Texas and North Dakota together account for 48% of domestic oil production. However, Texas has long occupied the national consciousness as being the domestic king of oil production. Think of Dallas and JR Ewing with his big hat, office, and giant oilman swagger.

Chocolate Smoothies and Oil Spill Cleanup

Written by Oil, Gas, and Mining on . Posted in Oil and Gas

Oil accumulating on the coast of Louisiana during the Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil accumulating on the coast of Louisiana during the Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

No one disputes that an oil spill at sea is one of the nastier types of industrial accidents. Certainly, no oil company wants this to happen and works hard to prevent it as damage to the environment, negative public reaction, increased government scrutiny, and a big hit to company finances are all probable outcomes for such an event. The spreading oil sheen at the ocean’s surface is a visible marker of the harm being done to marine wildlife, fisheries, and the fouling of nearby beaches, coastal marshes, and other ecologically sensitive areas. Deeper in the water column more harm is done that is less well understood than what is more easily observed at the surface. During the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico scientists discovered underwater oil plumes, some nearly 10 miles long, which depleted oxygen and harmed ocean life. Moreover, oil accumulated on the sea floor and damaged coral and other ocean-floor dwelling organisms.

The Perfect Symmetry: Railways and Oil Production

Written by Oil, Gas, and Mining on . Posted in Oil and Gas

Weekly US Crude Oil Production

Quite simply: As crude oil production surges so does the need for rail transportation of that oil. The very same observation applies to natural gas production. In 2008, U.S. Class 1 railroads dealt with 9,500 carloads of crude oil; in 2013 that number increased to 407,761 carloads. That is a whopping forty-three fold increase in rail traffic! Each carload holds approximately 30,000 gallons of oil. And while pipelines offer an alternative to oil transport by rail, the pipeline infrastructure has not dramatically increased its capacity to accommodate the enormous increase in American and Canadian production. Railroads also offer a geographic flexibility to help oil reach refineries located across the U.S.

Titan - The Planet-Sized Hydrocarbon Factory

Written by Oil, Gas, and Mining on . Posted in Oil and Gas

A view of Titan’s north polar regions with liquid hydrocarbon seas.

Since 2004, the Cassini Satellite has been orbiting Saturn and its moons and the surprises are spectacular. Cassini can determine the chemical composition of materials by the way they absorb and reflect infrared light. One of Saturn’s moons, Titan, shares the unique honor with Earth as being the only bodies in the Solar System to have a stable liquid at its surface. But while Earth’s surface is mainly water, Titan’s is mainly methane and other hydrocarbons. Instead of a water cycle, Titan is a planet-sized hydrocarbon factory, with hydrocarbon rains that collect in vast seas and solid dunes near the equator. The accompanying photo shows several lakes (dark spots) near Titan’s northern polar region, several of which are larger than Lake Michigan, and one sea (Ligeria Mare) rivals the area of the Caspian Sea.

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Understanding the Physics of Blowouts and Their Prevention Approaches.

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