By now, you have probably already heard about the federal government partially shutting down. This blog is about how exactly is this affecting those of us in the oil and gas industry. We will still continue to go to work and get paid, some people will get laid off. Upstream companies will continue to drill and frac to produce oil from their wells. As stated in the Forbes magazine, “The oil and natural gas from those hundreds of thousands of wells will continue to mostly flow into pipelines, although a small percentage of the oil will keep getting transported via thousands of trucks or rail cars.” The railroads will keep running, and the nation’s interstate highway system remains open. What happens to the midstream companies? Well, the Pipeline companies will continue receiving and moving all the oil and gas that fuels the dominance of our nation’s economy, just as before. Nothing will change with LNG, “LNG export facilities will continue liquefying some of that natural gas and putting it on ships, which will continue to export that LNG to international markets.” Natural gas will also be continuing its journey to power plants to generate electricity.
As you can see, even though the industry is heavily regulated by the federal government, nothing will happen if part of that government gets shut down.
Did you know that the use of ball valves has been around for more than 2000 years? According to the U.S. patent database which dates back to more than 100 years, valve technology has been around for centuries and keeps improving. As industry standards lag behind the requirements of the market, end users and operators continue to push the boundaries of existing technology. Particularly the offshore oil and gas production industry, which must balance valve performance, space, weight, operability and maintenance, is pushing existing technology to its limit. This is especially true because scientists keep finding out more and more about higher pressures and higher content of sand and water that the offshore oil and gas industry often face.
As a matter of fact, did you know how the Trunnion Ball valve came to be? Floating ball valves were used in almost every project and as the job expanded so did the need of larger industrial valves. Sizes for Trunnion Ball Valves range from 2″ all the way through 36″ and pressure classes grew bigger as well. They start off at ANSI 150 and run all the way to 2500″.
The O&G, Water Treatment, Chemical, Automotive and Pharmaceutical industries all have something in common. They all use solenoid valves. Solenoid valves and Ball valves are very different from each other. Ball valves are controlled either manually or they are automated whereas solenoid valves are operated electromechanically. In other words, electric current controls the valve through a solenoid, thus its name.
Ball Valves are for fluids and gases that flow through the valve and can be open and closed. Solenoid valves can shut off, release, distribute and mix fluids. They are primarily used as controlling devices in systems and motors where liquid and gas flow rate needs to be regulated. Solenoid Valve are used in fluid power pneumatic and hydraulic systems, to control cylinders, fluid power motors or larger industrial valves for example, Trunnion Ball Valves or Through Conduit Gate Valves.
Just like their ball valve counterparts, solenoid valves can be automated too. In every industry, automation is on the rise which means that controlling 100 plus valves can be easier than ever with one push of a button. Although not yet very popular, solenoid valves tend to have more problems including poor performance, and noncompliance with current regulations. Therefore, Ball Valves such as are Flanged Ball Valves tend to be more popular in the markets.
Texas has always been what many call a “The O&G state” or “The O&G capital”. But has it always been this way? Did you know that because of high oil prices, a disproportionate share of America’s economic growth over the past decade has come from Texas? The gross domestic product of the state is $1.6 trillion; if it were an independent country, its economy would settle in around tenth place, eclipsing those of Canada and Australia. Another interesting fact about Texas is that compared to its other counter part state; California, the job growth has expanded four times more than Los Angeles!
Then you remember a few years ago, oil prices really fell and Texas suffered drastically. In 2016, for the first time in twelve years, the state’s job growth lagged behind that of the nation as a whole. Thousands of people came to Texas to make it their home and/or start a new business in the oil and gas industry and when the oil prices fell so did they. Many people lost their jobs, companies went bankrupt, even home sales came to a halt. Keep in mind this doesn’t count the financial impact on the pipeline, storage, servicing, and shipping companies that depend on the energy business.
Fast forward to today, companies in Texas found a way to work with the low oil prices by introducing new technology and new ways that would be beneficial to them and their employees without having to loose more profit. Texas has finally begun to diversify, and now tops that of California in exporting technology, from semiconductors to communications equipment.
Due to climate change, starting in 2019 The World Bank will no longer support the Upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. This means that the bank will no longer be able to support the sector financially except in the poorest countries where the support is truly needed. The World Bank originally decided to stop supporting the coal firing business back in 2010 but this has not helped the burning fossil fuels situation and has been under attack by lobbyists ever since. The Bank said it saw the need to change the way it was operating in a “rapidly changing world”, adding that it was on course to have 28% of its lending going to climate action by 2020.
The World Bank announcement came as the Bank of England’s governor revealed that there was growing global support for a new initiative designed to help pave the way for a low-carbon economy by persuading companies to come clean about their exposure to climate change risks. The announcement came Friday in Paris by the French President. This may or may not have something to do with the new policy in France that by 2020, digging for oil and gas will no longer be allowed in France.
Upstream companies will now have to come out about how much of a carbon footprint they are actually leaving. Bank too, will have to come out and be able to tell the public how much they have lent to companies with climate-related risks.
Horizontal drilling, also known as directional drilling. The concept was developed in 1920 and has long since been redesigned to achieve better drilling also creating a smaller footprint. It is called horizontal drilling because it allows oil workers to drill in many different directions including horizontally.
Directional drilling allows multiple wells to be dug from the original vertical source which saves time, resources and is much more environmentally friendly. Also, drilling at an angle other than vertical can obtain information, such as the location of the wells, therefore multiple holes do not need to be dug up.
Horizontal drilling has been known to increase productivity by 20 times more than vertical drilling. Horizontal drilling is expensive. When combined with hydraulic fracturing, a well can cost up to three times as much per foot as drilling a vertical well. The extra cost is usually recovered by increased production from the well.
Our world is being polluted as more and more oil and gas discoveries are being made which lead to more wells being fracked and more pipelines being built. This is why it is absolutely important and necessary to make sure the the right valves are being used for the media that is needed. Not only do we make sure that you are getting top notch customer service but that you are truly buying something you need and fits the project spectrum.
Twenty, thirty years ago who knew that pollution was going to be such a major headache? I don’t even know if anyone knew what was happening when we started to burn natural gas just to get rid of it. Did you know “that if we burn all of the remaining fossil fuels on Earth, almost all of the ice in Antarctica will melt, potentially causing sea levels to rise by as much as 200 feet–enough to drown most major cities in the world.”
Why do we burn natural gas if it is so bad? Thats a good question, and unfortunately it was only until recently we discovered that there is a new use for natural gas but years ago it was considered non reusable. Fossil fuels that were burned consisted of coal, oil and of course natural gas and when burned the gases released a potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere causing pollution and temperatures around the world to rise. This very well could be the reason why it is much hotter than previous years where you live. Personally, during the summer months in SoCal I sit in front of the fan as the heat is just plain torture.
We need to focus on more renewable uses for the gas. For example, if we, “directed it away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy options like wind and solar.” Which is what we started doing in more recent years. Do you have any ideas on how to control the natural gas pollution?
Note: Global Valve and Controls high performance flanged ball valve design is the product of an extensive R&D program that offers standard live loaded stem design for zero design fugitive emissions.
No one really knows when there are cracks inside storage tanks until it is too late and oil starts to spew out. As you know when hurricane Harvey came and ransacked majority of South Houston earlier this year, it exposed many weaknesses with petroleum storage tanks. But Harvey was not the main culprit, yes, the hurricane blew off roofs, flooded banks and damaged everything in its path, but even on a good hot day storage tanks would still release gas emissions and have small leaks. The hurricane just proved that these tanks are not built to last forever. The result of the hurricane has made some of the oil and gas companies come together and figure out a way on how to know when there are issues with the tanks before it’s too late. For example, Phillips 66 wants to put drones inside the storage tanks. The Houston refiner is partnering with the Boston startup Square Robot for robotics that can inspect tank floors and survey and map out any obstacles while they are filled with oil, gasoline or other petroleum products.
These robots will be submerged inside the tanks in the oil and will be able to tell when a tank needs to be fixed. So far, these types of drones are only used for military purposes and personal use but with the help of Philips 66 they will be widely used for the oil and gas industry. The first robots with Phillips 66 are expected to enter service sometime in 2018. It looks like these robots will be in high demand as storage tanks are being built at a high rate in the Houston area and across the country. Additionally, there are at least 15 projects to expand or construct pipelines have been proposed to carry oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids from Permian Basin to Houston, Corpus Christi and Beaumont. And all of those liquids will need temporary storage.
The oil and gas industry has been a hot mess ever since oil prices crashed in 2014 and many companies had to survive by slashing the number of employees. Today, many of those employees who were let go because of the oil crash have moved on to another career perhaps where their job is less determined by the price of oil. If you are one of the persons still looking for a job then you are in luck as the O&G industry is now hiring and are needing more people than they started out with as they have adjusted to the oil prices. According to NES, 2018 will be the first year since 2014 in which there will be more new hires in oil and gas than layoffs.
This means that the O&G companies have learned to cope with the new prices and have new technology in place that ensures their survival. With a tighter capital spending program and a much stricter cost discipline, many E&Ps are not just surviving but expanding production. In some places, such as the Permian basin, this has brought about a new challenge: finding new people because the previous workers have moved on. Also, new graduates that were looking to work for a O&G company after graduation when back to school to pursue higher education or have changed careers altogether. For example, one oil company Byrd Oilfield Service, is losing an estimated $7,000 a day because it can’t hire truck drivers fast enough to deliver equipment to its frac crews in the oilfields.
What happens if the O&G companies do not find enough workers? That would be a long-term problem that, according to industry executives, could cripple oil and gas for decades to come.
At Global Valve and Controls we ensure that every valve is tested before it leaves our facility and delivered to your facility. Most manufactuers will only test a small percentage of their valves as it is a time consuming process as you see below. We make sure that every valve whether its a Ball, Gate, Globe, or check valve gets tested. Below is a presentation of how we test our valves. The valves go through the shell test first and then a seat test. We shell test valves to verify the integrity of the body to make sure there are no leaks. Testing the seat verifies positive closure of the valve according to the API specification required for each specific valve.