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How To Pick The Right Transportation Company To Haul Your Oilfield Equipment

There are many professional transportation companies around the globe. Each company claims to be the best in the industry, which can make choosing one seem a lot more complicated than it should be. Not all transportation companies are created equally, though. Some of these companies only specialize in specific types of transport services. So, how do you know if you are choosing the right company to help with your company’s oilfield equipment shipping?

What Should You Look For In A Transport Company?
Different types of equipment require different types of transport. You wouldn’t call a residential moving company to transport a fleet of forklifts, or an auto transporter to pack up your house for you. The only time these scenarios would be feasible is if the transport company offered multiple transport and moving solutions. Otherwise, you are wasting your time and the company’s time obtaining a quote. The hardest part of your oilfield equipment transport experience should be researching to find the right company, not the actual transport itself.

Look For A Transport Company That Fulfills Your Needs
When scouting the right transport company to help haul your oilfield equipment, it is essential to look at the services offered. For oilfield equipment, you need a transport company that knows how to handle heavy equipment transport. They should also have the trailers and other equipment available to make transporting your equipment as stress-free as possible.
Oilfield equipment is heavy and often oddly shaped. When transport of this kind is necessary, permits are required. Choosing a transportation company that understands the rules of hauling heavy or oversized loads offers an advantage, thanks to their experiences.

Is The Transportation Company Trustworthy?
Trustworthiness says a lot about how a transportation company operates. Trust is something that takes time to build, but there are a lot of things that can clue you in when you are just beginning to talk to a transport company about the job you need to have done. You can look at the background, reviews, and company information to see the level of trustworthiness that is offered.
Look at these factors:
• How long has the company been in business?
o Professional transport companies that have a long relationship with their community or in the industry shows dedication. You want the company you choose to be dedicated to the job they do and not just the potential to earn money from a job.
• How was the quoting process?
o You can tell a lot by getting a quote from a transportation company. If the representative seems eager to answer your questions and help you out, that is a good sign. Complete transparency about possible fees is also a must. The last thing you need when transporting your oilfield equipment is hidden charges.
• What kind of licensing and certifications does the company have?
o Transportation companies are required to have licensing and certifications to be legal on the roadways. You can gain a lot of information when you ask the company for their United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) motor carrier numbers. Records are kept on inspections and incidents for all vehicles legally on the roadways.
o Other certifications can be obtained for transport companies and their drivers. Another place to check the company out is through the Better Business Bureau. You will find a grade for the company as well as disputes that have been filed against them and how it was handled.

How Was The Customer Service and Communication?
Like any relationship, the key to survival is the ability to communicate effectively. Without communication, your transport experience will not be pleasant. The best professional transport companies will keep you informed with the process of transporting your oilfield equipment.
Any interactions you have with the company, even if it is just a quote, should be natural and not forced. You will be able to tell if the company is not right for you based on how a simple conversation about a transport quote goes.

How Do You Know That The Price Is Right?
Like most shipping services, the size and weight play a significant role in the price you pay for your oilfield equipment’s transport. You should make sure you get several quotes from different heavy equipment transport companies.
Pricing should be close in range for all the companies you talk to. If you get an extremely low quote, you may want to steer clear or question the legitimacy. The same applies to any outrageously high prices.
Once you have an idea of the pricing, choosing a company is left to which you felt most comfortable with. The safety of the equipment during transport should be a priority for the company, just as much as it is for you. When you choose the right company, your oilfield equipment will arrive at the site

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Tips for Transporting Heavy Duty Oil Field Equipment – Know Before You Ship!

If you’re working in the oil & gas industry, you may occasionally need to move drilling equipment and other heavy machinery between oil fields and work areas – and whenever you’re moving such valuable equipment, you need to make sure you’re taking every step you can to keep your property safe during the transportation process. In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at a few tips and best practices you should follow whenever you’re shipping heavy-duty oil field equipment.

1. Start By Shopping Around With Different Logistics Providers

First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure you use a qualified logistics and shipping provider that has previous experience in the field of shipping heavy equipment, including oil field equipment like pumps, drills, and other machinery used in the oil & gas industries.

When you are consulting with a logistics provider for a heavy-duty oil field equipment shipping project, there are a few basic questions you should ask to make sure they’re qualified for the job. Consider asking the following:

● Have you worked with clients in the oil & gas industry before?

● Do you have adequate trucks, ramps, tie-downs & securing equipment, and other tools required to move heavy-duty machinery?

● Do you offer oversize load services? If so, do you provide escort cars and acquire permits?

● Can your driver operate the equipment, if necessary, during unloading, or will there need to be a qualified operator on-site?

One of the best ways to make sure you’re working with a qualified shipping company is to ask for a referral to a past client in the oil & gas industry. Any reputable heavy machinery logistics company would be happy to put you in touch with a past client, and this is a great opportunity for you to learn more about what to expect from their services.

Shopping around with different logistics providers also lets you get a better understanding of how much you can expect to pay to ship your heavy-duty oil field equipment, as you can get multiple quotes for the project.

2. Consider Insurance Options For Your Equipment

While your shipping company may be covered by their own policy in case of an accident or issue while shipping your machinery, it may not cover all of the value of your heavy-duty oil field equipment – which can easily be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

In the rare case that there is an accident involving your equipment before it reaches its destination, you want to make sure that you’re fully covered – otherwise, you could find yourself in a difficult financial situation.

There are a lot of different insurance companies that offer policies for moving heavy machinery, so we recommend reaching out to a few reputable firms that specialize in oil & gas equipment insurance and shipping insurance.

It may seem like overkill to take out a policy just for the time you’re shipping your gear, but in the case that something goes wrong, insurance can really be a life-saver and ensure you’re properly compensated for the value of your equipment.

3. Prepare Your Equipment Before Shipment For A Smoother Process

We highly recommend cleaning your heavy-duty oil equipment thoroughly before it’s shipped, particularly if it’s been exposed to volatile, flammable organic compounds from oil and gas drilling. There’s no reason to risk a fire, and dirty, oily, or greasy equipment can be harder to handle, tie-down, and ship.

We also recommend draining fuel and checking tire pressure, if applicable and checking on fluid levels for your equipment, if applicable. Remove all projections and accessories that can easily be taken off of the equipment. Before your heavy-duty oil field equipment is shipped, it should be in tip-top shape.

4. Disassemble Large Equipment To Avoid Oversize Load Designations

This may be a good option for some types of oil field equipment. An oversize load designation means you’ll pay much more for permits and for the shipment of your equipment, and you’ll also have to pay one or more escort cars and drivers. The cost of shipping an oversize load is much higher overall.

So, for some types of equipment, it may make sense to disassemble it and pack it into multiple tractor-trailers to be reassembled at your job site. For simpler equipment that is relatively easy to take apart, this is a great way to save some money on shipping costs.

However, it’s not worth it for all heavy-duty oil field equipment. It may not be possible to disassemble some equipment and machinery – and for others, the monetary and time cost of disassembling and reassembling it may exceed the cost of simply having it shipped as an oversize load.

So make sure to consult with your project management team, mechanics, and other experts to create a risk assessment plan, and determine the proper plan of action for your job.

5. Find A Suitable Area For Loading And Unloading At Both Sites

Before you begin planning the logistics of loading and transporting your heavy-duty oil field equipment, it’s important to choose a suitable area for loading and unloading your equipment.

While equipment like bulldozers and other types of self-moving machinery is easy to load, stationary drilling equipment, pipes, pumping equipment, and other such gear will require more specialized loading and unloading.

You may need to use a crane or other such equipment to load your gear onto the flatbed or into the trailer of the shipping vehicle – so make sure you have this equipment in place, and that you have equipment operators on-hand to make sure that the loading process goes smoothly.

The same thing is applicable when it comes to unloading your heavy-duty oil field equipment. You will need to make sure you have a clear area that’s prepared in advance for the shipment, where the truck will have easy access, and all required equipment and operators are on-site to streamline the process of loading and unloading.

If you do not plan the loading and unloading process in advance, you could end up paying a lot of fees to your shipping company if you miss the deadline for loading or unloading, and the driver has to come back later.

Take Your Time & Plan Carefully When Shipping Heavy Duty Oil Field Equipment

We hope the above tips have helped you as you begin planning the shipment and logistics of delivering heavy-duty oil field equipment to another job site. Above all else, it’s important to remember that when it comes to shipping heavy machinery, you should “measure twice, and cut once.”

That is, taking the time to plan carefully is the best way to save time and money, and make sure that your equipment arrives at the job site safely, and on time. If you just “wing it” and hope for the best, the chance of something going wrong is much higher. So take your time and follow these tips – if you do, your shipping project is sure to go off without a hitch.

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The Uses of Turbine Flow Meters in the Oil and Gas Industry

The Uses of Turbine Flow Meters in the Oil and Gas Industry

 

There are a lot of types of flow meters, and trying to find the one class that you need for your operation can be an overwhelming task to do. However, there is a versatile flow meter, which can be used to measure liquid and gas flow across multiple industries especially the Oil and Gas industry.

 

Turbine flow meters’ various applications are beneficial. For this reason, a lot of industries use this type of flow meter in their primary operations. But what is a turbine flow meter, and how does it work?

What is a Turbine Flow Meter?

A turbine flow meter is a type of meter that measures a gas or liquid flow by the use of a rotor. It is created with a rotor and blades that utilize the mechanical energy that the flow creates. The blades of the meter use the flow stream to transfer power to rotational energy.

 

As the current increases its pressure, the spins proportionally get faster. The shaft rotation’s data is then picked up mechanically or by getting the reading from the movement of the rotors.

 

You can also detect the movements of the rotor by the use of magnetism. The movement of the rotor generates a magnetic pulse, and as the fluid goes faster, more pulses are generated. These pulses are picked by an external sensor, which is optimal to avoid foreign substances and the pipe’s material of construction. The rotation per minute is directly proportional to the flow velocity of the content within the tube.

How Turbine Flow Meters Work

This type of flow meter is optimal if you want to measure clean and moderate flows of fluids that are low in viscosity that are most common in a pump-intensive Oilfield. They also maintain their structural integrity and measurement accuracy, even in dealing with highly abrasive and corrosive substances. Because of this, turbine flow meters are widely used in different fields, especially the gas and oil industry.

 

The fluid being measured in the turbine flow meter passes in a flow straightener, which reduces the flow’s pressure and pattern. When it passes within the main body, it goes through a rotor and causes it to rotate which is directly proportional to the flow’s velocity. That means that the rotors rotate according to the flow’s pressure.

 

As the substance rotates the rotor, a magnetic field is generated, which is then picked up in an alternating pattern. The magnetic pulses themselves provide a frequency output that depends directly on the volumetric flow.

 

Turbine flow meters could also be combined with a flow monitor that provides local reading and options for system integration. The monitor will show rates of flow, and the total measurements live via LCD or have it transmitted to another user interface by the use of Modbus RTU.

 

Applications of Turbine Flow Meters

 

Below are the common applications of flow meters.

 

Chemical Injection

Petroleum operations require an accurate and reliable mass dosing for pipelines, downhole, and oil and water treatment to minimize the use of chemicals and increase its cap efficiency. With that said, turbine flow meters are used to measure gas and liquid additives.

 

Natural Gas Pipelines

A turbine flow meter can be used in a plethora of pipeline installations. This includes but is not limited to metering stations, chemical injections, and offloading to small-sized pipelines that are intended for delivery like truck loading stations.

Disposal Wells

Water produced from wells typically go into a pit or transferred to trucks located onsite from the location it is trucked or piped to a disposal site. They are put in a tank which is then injected below ground for the reason of permanently storing it by the use of pumps. A turbine flow meter is used to measure the water.

 

Fracturing

Fields of oil require a metering system that is reliable and accurate for their processes during treatment. Turbine flow meters are primarily used to measure the reclaimed used water. They can also view the chemicals that the facility used for water treatment.

 

 

Test and Production Separators

Three-phase separators that are primarily used for production measurement and well testing that includes bitumen for operation in oil sands require metering systems that are coupled with a monitoring feature and can measure a wide variety of water-based liquids. That said, the use of turbine flow meters is an optimal choice.

 

Takeaway

These field applications and a lot of other situations that require a flow meter showed this type of flow meters is efficient in dealing with highly corrosive chemicals, low to steady flow pressure, and debris-contaminated liquids in the gas and oil industry. What is also a big bonus is the flow meter’s ability to be coupled with a digital reading system and its feature to be used with a heat trace. If you are looking for a low cost and low maintenance metering system, turbine flow meters from smartmeasurement are the answers.

 

Author’s Bio:

Working as a writer and a blogger, Sylvia Hopkins specializes in email marketing campaigns and ghost blogging. Due to her knowledge in liquid flows, she writes about flow measurement instrumentation, flow measurement application, and technology. Sylvia also enjoys the company of her family and friends when not working.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Confined Spaces: Seeing Beyond the Entry

When it Comes to Confined Spaces, There’s No Room to Skip on Safety Precautions.

In January 2017, a utility worker in Key Largo, Florida, opened a manhole cover and went under a recently paved section of road to investigate why it had settled unevenly. When he stopped responding to coworkers above ground, a second worker went in to see if he needed help. When both stopped responding, The Washington Post reported, a third man entered. What none of these workers knew is that years of vegetation had been rotting underneath the surface, creating a poisonous gas. All three workers were overcome by hydrogen sulfide and methane, causing them to asphyxiate.

These three men lost their lives and two firefighters sustained injury that required medical attention because the danger was not identified before entering.

While many people wouldn’t consider working in a confined space as a work hazard, this situation in Key Largo — as well as numerous multi-million dollar settlements — beg to differ. Confined space work is often dangerous because the hazards that exist aren’t obvious. But without due diligence, these unseen issues can escalate into a deadly situation in seconds, which makes proper training crucial.

Tunnels, storage tanks, culverts, grease pits, trenches, shafts, crawlspaces and manholes are just some of the places that fit into the category of a confined space.

What is Considered a Confined Space in the Workplace?

A confined space is an area that is a small space with limited entry or exit points. It is large enough for an employee or employees to enter and work, but is tight and not designed for long-term occupancy.

OSHA has two classifications for these work environments. They are non-permit confined spaces and permit required confined spaces.

OSHA explains it like this. A non-permit required space has all of the descriptions above. While a permit required confined space has all of the above descriptions as well as at least one of the following hazards.

  • Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere.
  • Has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downwards and taper into a smaller area that could trap or asphyxiate an entrant.
  • Contains any material/substance that poses an engulfment/entrapment hazard.
  • Contains or has the potential to contain any other serious safety or health hazard.

Spot the Dangers Before They Spot You.

Dangers that exist in a permit required confined space include, but aren’t limited to, asphyxiation due to limited oxygen or hazardous gases, explosion, electrocution, engulfment, moving machinery, collapse, rescuers being injured, and falls. Failure to classify an area as permit required and taking the proper precautions can be costly to the worker and has the potential to financially ruin a company.

Whether physical or atmospheric, the dangers of confined space work cannot be ignored. Neglecting to inspect, monitor and address potential hazards before and during work cannot be tolerated.

Every year, lives are lost while working in these small spaces. On average, two workers a week in the United States will die after entering a confined space to work.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Training Doesn’t Just Educate Employees, It Can Save Lives.

Through proper training and certification, workers can greatly reduce and even eliminate the risk of fatalities.

A trained crew evaluates and understands the hazards they may face and communicate these dangers with each other. If the hazard cannot be removed from the work space, proper precautions and equipment must be utilized to keep the worker safe until the job is completed.

It is vital that the workers inside the confined space are in constant communication and monitored from outside where the team understands the dangers and remain alert for any symptoms of distress so an immediate extraction can be implemented at the first sign of trouble.

Trained workers also know when to call for emergency assistance in the event that a worker is adversely affected by seen or unseen hazards. Getting timely treatment for a person is often crucial in ensuring a faster recovery.

Experts caution to take the time to put safety protocols in place.

After all, nobody wants a confined space to turn into a final resting place.

For all of your training needs, call us today at 888-403-6026 or visit our Services Page!

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A Closer Look At Natural Gas Generators

Natural gas generators are a viable alternative to diesel-powered generators, especially in primary power applications, or those requiring extreme emissions regulation. Though they vary slightly from diesel engines, the two have more in common than not. They share more than three-quarters of their components, including the engine block, piston rods, main bearing, crankshaft and EGR systems. It’s the elements that they don’t share that makes them so different. We will go over those aspects shortly, but first, let’s get a better idea of what natural gas is.

What is Natural Gas?

Natural gas is a hydrocarbon gas mixture. It consists mostly of methane but can contain small amounts of hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and sometimes even helium. Over millions of years, plant and animal remains have decomposed in pockets under the surface of the Earth, exposing the gases to intense heat and pressure. Energy originally obtained from the sun is stored in the gas. It is drilled, piped, refined and then stored in tanks for use.

Intake

Most of us are familiar with how our diesel engine’s air intake systems work, if not have a look at these articles. Like diesel engines, natural gas generators utilize EGR(exhaust gas recirculation) and air from the environment mixed with fuel. However, due to being in a gaseous state, as opposed to atomized liquid, natural gas engines can take advantage of stoichiometric combustion, where 100% of the fuel gets consumed. Not only is this ideal for higher power density and increased fuel economy, it lowers exhaust emissions drastically.

Ignition

Another primary difference between diesel engines and natural gas engines is the ignition process. Because of the low combustibility of diesel fuel, diesel engines use extreme compression and heat to ignite the fuel mixture. Natural gas engines use a spark plug system similar to a gasoline engine. The high combustibility of natural gas means it requires less compression to ignite, though it does require a specific piston-head bowl designed for natural gas engines. Natural gas generator engines utilize an Integrated Fuel Module, as opposed to the familiar fuel injectors found on diesel engines.

Exhaust

Because 100% of the carbon, hydrogen, and sulfur are burned with the oxygen in the combustion process, natural gas engines have the lowest exhaust emissions of any of the commonly available fuels. This enables them to utilize a 3-way catalytic converter, similar to those found on gasoline vehicles. This is a much simpler process than diesel, which uses an active after treatment system that includes diesel particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction components.

Overall, natural gas generators are quieter, cleaner and more fuel-efficient than their diesel counterparts, making them ideal in situations where they will be used as a primary power source. Unless the generator is connected directly to a natural gas line, the fuel tanks can be expensive and are more volatile to store and transport than diesel fuel. For standby service and remote locations where access to natural gas lines is limited or impossible, diesel generators are usually the best solution.

If you are unsure which fuel type is best for your application, give us a call.

610-658-3242
sales@woodstockpower.com

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The Importance of Facility Safety Inspections

Mock OSHA Facility Inspections Save Worker Lives & Millions in Lost Profit

When an explosion occurred in a plant in Corrigan, Texas, severely burning a man, it took four years for the courts to make their decision. When they did, the verdict was staggering.  The court awarded the plaintiff $39.7 million for pain and suffering.

It was April 26, 2014 when Ralph Figgs’ life changed forever. He was working at a Georgia-Pacific plant when a dust collection system failed, causing the explosion that permanently injured Figgs, killed two of his fellow workers, and injured several others.

In all, three companies were held at fault. Along with Georgia-Pacific, a company called Aircon Inc., which designed and installed the dust collection unit, as well as GreCon Inc., the company that manufactures the spark suppression system, were held liable for the accident.

Just some of the issues that arose during the trial were failure to perform proper safety inspections as well as employees not being properly trained in emergency procedures concerning the dust collection system.

 

Why Companies Need to Prioritize Proactive “Mock” OSHA Inspections

Facility safety inspections are a vital component in preventing workplace injury, illness and even death.

Thorough inspections by qualified safety personnel help identify potential hazards before an accident occurs and corrective action can become the difference between life and death. By heading off problems before they arise, not only does it create a safer work environment for employees, but it also can save the company from financial ruin.

Our qualified inspectors know what to look for and where something is most likely to develop into unsafe or unhealthy conditions because of stress, wear, impact, vibration, heat, corrosion, chemical reaction, ventilation or misuse.

In addition to work areas, locker rooms, rest areas, storage rooms, and parking lots are included during the inspection as these are places where workers have a tendency to let their guard down, sometimes resulting in debilitating slip-and-fall scenarios, among other accidents.

It is also important to not only inspect the equipment, but also to observe how the worker interacts with the equipment during the workday.

A good safety inspection doesn’t necessarily mean a stop in production as many times the inspector will observe a normal work day. Often the inspector will share concerns and questions with workers who use the equipment every day, creating a collaboration to arrive at the best course of action.

 

Set up a Mock OSHA Inspection with Certified Safety Professionals

For companies that are subjected to periodic OSHA inspections that can result in hefty fines when something isn’t up to code, having a pre-inspection done by us can also be an invaluable tool.

Failure to conduct forklift inspections, fire extinguisher inspections, having tripping hazards (slips/trips/falls), poor housekeeping, missing protective guards, blocked emergency exits and more can add up to large violations.

But by listening to the concerns of supervisors and employees, learning more about job tasks and goals, identifying potential problems and putting a plan in place to address the continued safety of employees, the long-term health and success of a company can be ensured.

If you are unsure where to start and would like more information, contact us here and ask for a facility inspection example.

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The Importance of Drug Testing In The Oilfield

Testing current or potential employees for the presence of illegal substances or alcohol is common among the oil and gas industry, for a number of different reasons regarding a variety of situations or circumstances.

Why though, when many other industries don’t do so, is drug testing in the oilfield so common?

Why Drug Testing Is Important

Drug tests aren’t just important – they are necessary.

The oilfield comes with its fair share of dangerous work environments. Oilfield workers are often dealing with heavy-duty machinery, high-pressure pipelines, toxic liquids and gasses, etc.

These can make for dangerous situations even with a fully capable and alert individual running things – imagine the added dangers these tasks and situations may present if the individual in question was under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

In fact, the safety concerns associated with many of these oilfield related jobs (especially in booming areas like Texas) are the only reason drug testing is legally acceptable for oilfield workers to begin with.

When (and How) Drug Tests Are Conducted

When 

There are two main instances in which drug tests may be administered to oilfield workers.

  • The drug test may be administered upon the proposal of a job contract, with clean test results being a condition of said contract.
  • Anytime an incident involving damaged equipment, or an injury-causing or fatal accident occurs in the workplace, with company equipment, or whilst on the company’s clock.

Some employers may be approved to do random testing in addition to these particular situations, meaning they could test any employee at anytime – but this is less common as it is not easy for companies to prove such testing necessary, as they most often do not have reasonable grounds to assume someone impaired.

How 

There are a variety of different methods that can be used to test whether or not an individual is under the influence. Typically, the type of test used depends on the particular substance being tested for.

  • Breath Tests – these types of tests are the quickest and easiest way to test a person’s blood-alcohol level (Ie: how much alcohol they have in their system at that exact moment).
  • Urine Samples – these tests show the presence (or absence) of drug metabolites in the individual’s urine. Metabolites are certain drug residues that remain in a person’s body even after the effects of the drug have worn off – the length of time these remain in the body depends on the type of drug.
  • Blood Samples – this type of test will measure the actual amount of alcohol or drug in a person’s system at that given time. Blood tests are better indicators of consumption levels than urine tests are, but have a short detection period, as the drugs or alcohol are cleared rather quickly from the bloodstream and into the urine.

What Do You Think?

Most oilfield companies claim to have the best interests of their employees, consumers, and the environment in mind. These companies have to stay true to their mission and values, and drug testing can help them do so by ensuring that safety is one of their main priorities.

Do you support drug testing in the oilfield? We’d love to hear your opinions on why – or why not!

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Oilfield Products That Focus On Cleaning

No, we aren’t talking about what type of detergent works best on dirty covies or which style of pressure washers are used on muddy rigs – we are talking about cleaning products designed with only one purpose in mind: to keep oilfield equipment and operations running efficiently and safely.

When it comes to these specific products, there are two categories that play larger roles than the others: the products that are used to clean the pipelines and those that are used to clean the oil itself.

Below, we’ll give you a little insight on the types of oilfield products that focus on cleaning both the pipelines and the oil itself, and why these products are so important.

Cleaning the Pipelines

Without the pipelines themselves, we would have no way to transport the oil we work so hard to extract. If this were the case, we would have no oil to heat our homes, fuel our vehicles, or manufacture the petroleum made products we use everyday. Pipelines are crucial to our day-to-day lives, even if we can’t see them.

In Canada alone, there are over 800,000 kilometers of pipelines being used for the transmission, gathering, and distribution of oil – imagine how many pipelines there are across the world – and all of them need to be maintained.

Pipelines that are not properly cleaned and maintained are not only costly (because they reduce flow and therefore production rates), but they are also dangerous for both the environment and the workers dealing with them.

Cue the pigs.

Pipeline Pigs, That Is

In the simplest terms possible, pipeline pigs clean pipelines. These “pigs” are actually bullet shaped devices, typically made from rubber, that are pushed through pipelines for cleaning and other maintenance purposes.

They work to clear debris, built up substances, and unwanted liquids or gasses from the pipelines.

It’s no surprise they are one of the most widely used products throughout the oil and gas industry.

Cleaning the Oil

So we have a safe and clean method of transporting our oil, thanks to pipeline pigs – but did you know that the oil itself needs to be “cleaned” as well?

The oil that we extract from the ground is not immediately ready for use – obviously. Among other processes that need to be carried out in order to make this natural product usable for the purposes we need, it needs to be cleaned.

In this case, the term “cleaned” refers to the oil being separated from other liquid and gaseous substances that may be mixed in with it. For this, a separator is used.

Oil and Gas Separators

These separators typically work to separate oil, gas, and water from one another in a set of stages to ensure the best and cleanest separation possible.

They can also be referred to as degassers (which are separators designed to remove contaminated gas bubbles from a liquid stream) or deliquilizers (which are separators used to remove dispersed droplets from a bulk gas stream).

Without these separators, we would have no way to bring the oil to a pure and usable state.

Keeping It Clean

As you can see, without these oilfield specific cleaning products keeping the pipeline equipment maintained and the oil pure, the industry would not be able to satisfy the consistently growing demand for oil related products and services – especially not in a safe and efficient manner.

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Vertical Oil Wells Are Still Worth The Investment

 A drilling rig operates in Oklahoma's Panhandle in 2005. Industry observers say it remains attractive for some oil and gas companies in the state to drill and produce vertical wells. [The Oklahoman Archives]

Oklahoma’s oil and gas operators haven’t completely abandoned drilling vertical, or “straight hole” wells, Corporation Commission records show.

It reported that 197 wells of the 1,003 completed in 2016 were straight hole wells.

Granted, that’s down from a recent high of 858 vertical wells permitted in 2011 and completed by June the following year, when that represented about 42 percent of the 2,082 that year.

But while an industry analyst and a driller are quick to agree that much of the media and general public focuses their attention now on horizontal drilling and production, they add that the tried and true process of drilling and producing vertical wells won’t become extinct anytime soon.

Russell Evans, an economics professor who directs the Steven C. Agee Economic Research & Policy Institute, regularly analyzes trends in the state’s oil and gas industry for trade groups and banking officials.

He said continued drilling and production of vertical wells is supported by three factors, based on information he’s encountered as part of his research.

The first, Evans said, is that he believes risks associated with vertical wells are diminishing in part through data collected as deeper, horizontal wells are drilled.

He said that often, mineral rights owners only sell rights to a resource being targeted by a horizontal well to the company seeking to exploit it. As part of that, they require the company to provide them detailed information on up-hole zones to improve their understanding on potential production from those.

Second, Evans said costs to drill vertical wells have been falling as drilling times have improved.

Third, he said data shows costs to lease mineral rights typically accessed by vertical wells are much less expensive than those for resources targeted by drillers in horizontal plays.

Those factors, he said, continue to make vertical wells attractive for some producers.

Other influences

Tom Gray, a principal of Raydon Exploration, said another reason vertical wells remain attractive is the potential return a producer can get from such projects.

Gray, whose firm is based in Oklahoma City but has most of its ongoing operations in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles and southwest Kansas, noted the typical rate of return on a deep horizontal well usually is about $2 for every $1 it cost to drill and complete the project.

“In the conventional realm, we are going after traps of oil and gas, and we have a risk that’s higher,” Gray said. “But when we find those reservoirs, their quality is vastly better (than what horizontal shale wells produce).

“Because your return is better, it allows you to take some additional risk. To me, that’s the biggest difference.”

He also agreed that drilling and production costs are down outside of Oklahoma’s SCOOP and STACK plays, although he added that it sometimes can be more of a challenge to find talented drilling and completion firms in areas where activity hasn’t rebounded since 2014.

Gray agreed with Evans that oil and gas companies drilling vertical wells that target conventional reservoirs remain in Oklahoma’s future.

“The likelihood of finding a 10 (million) or 20 million barrel field in the conventional world is pretty small in Oklahoma because there has been so much drilling, historically,” Gray said.

“But there are lots of 500,000, 1 million, 2 million and 3 million barrel fields left to be found through vertical drilling,” he said.

“I think there will always be an appetite for that. And there is some pent-up capital willing and waiting to be deployed in the vertical realm.”

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Is Natural Gas Vapor Recovery Profitable ?

 

Average Daily Recovery Rate of 70 MCF

Assume 2,000 BTU vapor at $8/MCF

Daily= 70 MCF ×2 (accounting for BTUs) ×$8/MCF = $1,120 daily

Monthly= $1,120/day ×30 days = $33,600 monthly

Annually= $33,600/month ×12 months = $403,200 annually

Is Recovery Profitable?

Financial Analysis for a Conventional VRU Project
Peak Capacity(Mcf/day) Installation & Capital Costs1 ($) O&M Costs ($/year) Value of Gas2 ($/year) Annual Savings ($) SimplePayback (months) Internal Rate of Return
25 $35,738 $7,367 $42,203 $34,836 13 94%
50 $46,073 $8,419 $84,406 $75,987 8 164%
100 $55,524 $10,103 $168,812 $158,709 5 286%
200 $74,425 $11,787 $337,625 $325,838 3 438%
500 $103,959 $16,839 $844,062 $827,223 2 796%
1 – Unit cost plus estimated installation of 75% of unit cost 2 – $9.25 x ½ peak capacity x 365, Assumed price includes Btu enriched gas (1.289 MMBtu/Mcf)

 

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