Global Valve and Controls

Earthquakes in Oklahoma

There is something special about Oklahoma, as it is now one of the most “earthquake prone states according to the U.S. Geological Survey”.  It is where the state geographically sits; this where the problem lies. The cause of these earthquakes are all related to the hydraulic fracturing also known as fracking and its wastewater. Fracking is a method that is used to extract oil from the ground, and has been used around the world for many years.  “According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the number of fracking wells in the U.S. went from 23,000 in 2000 to 300,000 wells in 2015, the number of earthquakes have followed the increase too.”

It sounds like we need to invent new technology to help with the wastewater from fracking, and this in turn will help in the decrease of earthquakes. “While there are other technologies to dispose of the wastewater, such as recycling or evaporation, it comes at a higher cost.” While it may come with a higher price tag, it would be beneficial for us all.


Dakota Access Pipeline

There is a new pipeline in the works, led by Energy Transfer, The Dakota Access pipeline is a pipeline that is almost 1200 miles which will connect the Bakken shale and The Three Forks production area. This pipeline will carry crude oil safely from North Dakota to Illinois. Currently, this process is done by rail and sometimes truck, which will indefinitely replace. The Dakota Access pipeline will be built to carry 470,000 barrels per day. “Which represents approximately half pf the Bakken current daily crude oil production. Depending on approvals, the pipeline is projected to be in service by the fourth quarter this year.”

While many companies are excited for the pipeline to start construction as it will create thousands of jobs from heavy lifting, to pipefitters, and beyond, as well as millions in revenue, the locals and environmentalists are not too happy to hear about a pipeline being built. Their main concern is the possibility of contamination in the water. As with many pipeline projects, there is always a risk.  

The majority of the pipeline materials have been purchased, manufactured and assembled in the U.S. This will contribute an estimated $1 billion in direct spending to the U.S. economy. This includes manufacturing of the steel pipes, fittings, valves, pumps and control devices.” Read more about the Dakota Access pipeline here:


Valves in the Pipeline

Valves in the Pipeline


The valve manufacturing industry is very competitive. There are thousands of different brands out there. Knowing what type of valve, you need for your application will save you tons of time and money in the end. For example, pipelines are being built everywhere these days and if you are looking for pipeline ball valves, then you will need to know what type of valves you need for the pipeline, depending on what the pipeline will carry.

What kind of valves would someone use for pipelines? Both quarter-turn and multi-turn block valves as well as check valves are used in pipeline service. Those built for gas or crude oil pipeline service are designed and tested in accordance with the American Petroleum Institute (API) specification 6D “Pipeline Valves.” The specification is very important to know, if you need valves that are fire safe tested, look for the API607 next the valve description. Note, not all valve manufacturers are API certified. The certificates will look like this;  

Did you know that the gate valve was the most popular choice for a pipeline before the 1950s? Yes, because ball valves were not invented yet. Pipeline ball valves now a day, consist of mostly the trunnion mounted style. (See picture)

 Trunnion Ball Valves

Global Valve and Controls Trunnion Ball Valves


However, even though many companies prefer a trunnion ball valve, there are many still using the trusted old gate valve such as expanding gate valves, “because of the debris from the pigging operation”. (See picture)


Global Valve and Controls Expanding Gate Valves


Cost and delivery is a big issue when it comes to purchasing pipeline valves. For instance, the pipeline ball valve is much cheaper to make than the giant expanding gate valves. If you only have 8 weeks to get your valves, then you’re stuck with the trunnion ball valves but if your customer can handle 14 weeks then you have more choices.


How do UAV’s help the Oil and Gas industry?

The oil and gas industry is at a high right now. There are many O&G projects under way, even in the most unpopulated areas. Unmanned aerial vehicles are being used mostly in the upstream oil and gas sector. The use of these robots are very helpful in looking for future pipeline sites as well as taking a look at current sites and detecting any problems if there are any. Exxon Mobil is one of the many companies that uses these robots.  For instance, in March the company set out drones to help detect whales in their offshore sites. “Drones don’t replace workers. Instead, they conduct the first sweep in asset inspection so workers only have to work in high live or difficult-to-access positions if physical maintenance is required.” Oil and Gas companies have been using drones for over six years now. The safety of workers is the number one criteria for these offshore companies.

API 6D Valves

UAVs would help detect if there were any leaks in the field.