Global Valve and Controls
1Aug/17Off

Underwater pipeline

Do you know what the worlds longest gas pipeline  and how long it is? According to Google, "The Trans-Mediterranean (Transmed) is a 2,475km-long natural gas pipeline built to transport natural gas from Algeria to Italy via Tunisia and Sicily." While it is true, that is the worlds longest pipeline built on land, there is also a pipeline nicknamed Giant Serpent that lies underwater and is the worlds largest underwater gas pipeline. The name Giant Serpent actually comes from Norse mythology and is located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The pipeline is owned by ExxonMobil, Stat oil and Royal dutch shell. "The pipeline has a length of 1,166 km (745 miles) and delivers 26 billion cubic meters (900 billion cubic feet) of natural gas to the UK National Transmission System each year."

As you can imagine building the Giant Serpent was not an easy job and thank goodness for todays technology as it would have been impossible. A underwater machine was use to survey the bottom and engineers were able to print out a map to use. One of the challenges when it came to building the immense pipeline is that the sea bed was not flat but instead hilly and there were areas where it would drop down 3-4 miles which made water pressure a significant factor when it came to designing and building the pipeline. Another machine was used to move the seabed and make it more flat so that pipe can be laid down without causing destruction. "With an understanding of the features and hazards, design engineers went to work on plans to allow a 44 inch pipe, with 1" thick walls, to negotiate the terrain while minimizing impact on fisheries and ecosystems." The pipeline was built using 100,000 pipe sections, each coated in asphalt to reduce corrosion and a stability coating of concrete.

The Giant Serpent took 3 years to build starting in 2003 and ending in 2006. Since then, Norway and the UK have benefited tremendously from the natural gas pipeline.

World’s Longest Under Water Gas Pipeline, 1166km “Giant Serpent”

 

 

10Jul/17Off

Robots will be used in pipeline inspections

I've blogged about it before but now its official, robots are finally coming to aid in the pipeline inspections. There are currently 4 robots that were produced by a Russia based company, Diakont, which says that its pipeline crawlers—Remotely Operated Diagnostic Inspection System or RODIS crawlers—supply highly accurate data and they do it in real time, which helps with timely decision-making. Interestingly, 3 of the 4 robots have girl names and the 4th a boy name, as it is said the girl robots are more flexible and are able to "crawl" under the pipeline, whereas the boy can not. Besides cleaning and inspecting the pipelines to make sure everything is working correctly, these robots are able to go inside and inspect from within. Even going as far as inspecting the valves such as our Api 6D Trunnion Ball Valves are properly attached and there is no damage. The first pipeline to use the 4 robots will be the 40-year branch of the Trans-Alaska pipeline system at the Valdez terminal. The robots can examine up to 1,800 feet of pipes with diameters ranging between 8 and 55 inches.

The company, Diakont says, This is not the first-time robots will be used for internal pipeline inspection, replacing the so-called smart pigs, or pipeline inspection gauges, that rely on magnetic sensors to detect corrosion and cracks. The robots named, Gary, Fiona, Dee and Alice are supplied with a clean pipe,  flushed with hot water and detergent.

The future for these robots look very bright as they can be used in all kinds of pipelines including offshore and natural gas as well as underground and under water as these types of jobs are very dangerous.

API 6D Trunnion Ball Valves, Full Port F316 Body and Trim ANSI 900 shipping out to a customer. These Double Block and Bleed Valves can be found in a Pipeline.

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Oil-Pipelines-To-Be-Inspected-By-Robots.html

26Jun/17Off

The Petrochemical industry grows in the billions

We  try to go green as it's the new trend and every one is doing it right? But there are many tiny obstacles that stand in our way, sure using reusable bags is great but what about that shampoo you just bought in a plastic bottle or the water bottle that has the tiny cap? It's okay because the middle class is largely depending on plastics from those baby food pouches filled with fruits or vegetables to the bumper on your car. The petrochemical industry is booming and the results are huge! Just how huge? Think along the lines of $185 billion in upcoming projects alone for the petrochemical industry.

“Dow has completed $8 billion in new and expanded U.S. petrochemical facilities mostly along the Gulf of Mexico over the next year, part of the industry’s largest transformation in a generation.” The demand for transportation fuel is on the rise, even though people are now car pooling more and electric vehicles are an option; There is no shortage as the world’s appetite for plastics is expected to rise for decades to come.

“The new investment will establish the U.S. as a major exporter of plastic and reduce its trade deficit.” About 500,000 jobs will be added in the industry maybe less where automation is involved.  Many of the companies who are investing in Americas products made in the petrochemical industry are foreign. Exxon alone said, “It selected a site near Corpus Christi, Texas, for a $9.3 billion petrochemical complex it is building jointly with Saudi Basic Industries Corp.”

 

Automated Flanged Ball Valves for the Petrochemical industry

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-shale-revolutions-staggering-impact-in-just-one-word-plastics-1498411792

29May/17Off

Working in the oil and gas industry

While its true the oil industry has its ups and downs it is also true that working in the oil and gas industry has its perks no matter what role you partake in. The world of oil and gas is all about tapping into the world’s resources, and there will always be a need for people to do this, whether it’s for sustainable energy or using the current methods. Technology is constantly expanding, so you’ll always be learning new things.

Working in the O&G industry is not all about lifting heavy machines, knowing how to use different types of machinery or even digging holes in the ground, well yes there are those types of jobs but if you are 8-5 Monday through Friday type of person, then there are tons of office jobs that will suit your needs. And those who are more interested in mixing chemicals and seeing their reactions, there are also lab jobs.

The O&G industry must always be on top of their game when it comes to technology so if you have those awesome computer skills jobs are always opening up in your field. With todays hacks it is very crucial for a company to stay on top of technology. For example, a pipeline company that has a pipeline that transports oil from one Point A to Point B  gets compromised, then its bad news for everyone not just the pipeline company.

Although tons of jobs require you to have a 3 year or more degree there are also tons of jobs that are looking for a person they can teach and grow within the company. For example, many on site jobs do not require a degree but someone with a willingness to learn.

Demand for oil is all over the globe, so there is always the job that requires a applicant to travel which could be a very interesting perk. Many employers provide excellent training for their staff because they want to keep their talent. A lot of employers will also offer other perks such as bonus schemes, good pension plans, private healthcare and dental care, childcare support and more. A good point to remember is that when you first start off you don’t have to go straight to the biggest company.  You can work your way up through smaller companies so you can gain the best experience possible. As the oil and gas sector starts to develop even more, these smaller companies will grow with the sector and be extremely valuable places to work.

Working with machinery dealing with various valves does take special skill and knowledge

https://engineering-jobs.theiet.org/article/8-reasons-why-you-should-work-in-the-oil-and-gas-sector/

24Apr/17Off

Natural gas pipeline leaks

We know that when a pipeline leaks oil the surrounding areas are in trouble whether it is in the ocean contaminating the animals and their habitat or on land damaging the water source for the cities nearby. Would a natural gas leak from a pipeline be any different or worse? Research shows that when there is a natural gas leak it could lead to irreversible changes. When natural gas is leaked which is mostly methane gas ( a powerful greenhouse gas as you may know that is more powerful than carbon dioxide), contributes to changing the environment.

Gas leaks are no different from stage to stage and therefore should be looked at and fixed immediately in stage one rather than waiting for the leak to get worse. The gas utilities’ pipe systems are just one link in the national gas supply chain that brings gas from the well to your home. Leaks are an issue at every stage, starting at the wellhead. Unfortunately, not all leaks are fixed and here is why; there are certain rules that govern what utility companies can and can not do. For one, they must inspect the pipeline if there are any leaks but there are other rules governing how—and how much—they can charge customers make it hard to invest in the major pipeline upgrades needed to prevent leaks. 

I believe the problem is not that there are not enough workers to fix these leaks, in fact, A new report shows that business is booming for those who work to stop leaks in natural gas pipelines across the country. But that the cost of the job is too expensive for many companies to consider which is a problem as we all know the leak will only get bigger no matter what it is. According to the report, unmitigated leaks cost an estimated $1.3 billion in lost natural gas each year. 

https://www.edf.org/climate/methanemaps/leaks-problem

 

15Apr/17Off

Will the Trans Alaskan pipeline survive?

The Trans Alaskan pipeline is one of the largest pipeline systems in the world. It is 800 miles long and starts on the North slope of Prudhoe Bay and ends in Valdez. Abbreviated "TAPS", The Trans Alaskan Pipeline System opened up in 1977 and since has had oil flow through. Although, the pipeline was built to out last the most extreme cold conditions that Alaska brings, no one for saw that once oil slows down there would be problems. The line now moves a quarter of the volume it carried at its peak. And as the flows slow, the risks are rising.

Just how much less has the Trans Alaskan Pipeline System been producing? Alaska’s output was 565,000 barrels a day last month, down from a peak of more than 2 million in 1988, according to state data. This doesn't mean that Alaska hasn't had any new oil discoveries since the pipeline was put in, simply it is more expensive to drill in the region because of weather conditions in comparison to the lower 48 states where it is much cheaper such as West Texas.

Why is "slow oil", necessarily a bad thing? Lower volumes mean crude travels more slowly through the pipeline, losing heat along the way. And at low temperatures, crude behaves badly. Ice crystals form that can damage pumping equipment. 

What is being done to keep it flowing? Alyeska heats oil at Pump Station One to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with a goal of keeping it above 37 degrees by the time it reaches the export terminal at Valdez, Alaska. 

The joint partnership between the three, BP, Exxon and ConocoPhilips have spent around $200 million upgrading the equipment around the pumps at station one. Every four days, a device known as a pig, a sort of industrial Q-Tip, is sent hurtling through the 48-inch-wide pipeline to scrub out debris. This process is not as cheap as it might sound, as yes it does help the oil from freezing but it also comes at a higher transportation cost. The big three oil giants have also been experimenting by using other techniques to keep the oil moving at a maximum speed. For example, injecting water into the ground ( similar to fracking) to speed up the oil process but how much longer can that go on?

Cryogenic valves for NEGATIVE 380 F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-10/pipeline-built-to-survive-extremes-can-t-bear-slow-flow-of-oil

 

 

 

13Mar/17Off

A world without drilling

Are we ready to stop drilling?

What would happen if all the drilling for oil and gas stopped all over the world? Is that even possible? It is very hard to imagine as we have well over 700,000 oil wells! I found this fascinating as there is already a plan put in place in the UK, called NEST or National Employment Savings Trust, recently announced it was moving 10 percent of its investments toward firms that work to reduce climate change and create more environmentally-friendly methods of energy use. NEST will be focusing more on renewable energy such as solar and wind and less on extracting energy which is a sign of climate change. It sounds a bit dramatic to stop all the drilling all of a sudden but further research shows there might be something that both sides can agree on.

The method is to find a plan which is not as expensive and reduces pollution. Washington State University researchers recently published findings indicating they have found a better method of conducting a significant catalytic reaction frequently used in the oil and gas industries. If it’s widely adopted, the energy savings and reduced pollutants could be impressive. Their method is to place a small amount of carbon within the catalyst that breaks apart the carbon and hydrogen in methane. The increased amount causes the creation of nickel carbide. One of the researchers at WSU also noted that the current process is very wasteful and that converting methane without the burn that produces gas would benefit energy providers and the environment. A win-win for both sides!

It is very hard to tell if the new process will affect the global market and how it will affect as businesses have not yet started using this new method of extracting oil.

To read more information about this new method, please visit this website: http://www.theenergycollective.com/mnichols/2400104/new-research-help-save-oil-gas-money-environment

Valves such as our GVC BV6000 is a an example of a valve that can be used in oil wells for drilling. http://gvcintl.com/products_threaded_and_socket_weld_valves.html

 

 

11Mar/17Off

Pipeline needed in Alaska for billions of oil

The last time I saw an article online about a large oil discovery was not very recent. In fact, the last time that a major oil find was made was actually in 2009 in Venezuela. Recently, there has been a huge onshore oil discovery in Alaska! "Spanish oil company Repsol said Thursday that it discovered 1.2 billion barrels of oil in Alaska." It has been thirty years since there has been a large find such as this. The oil discovery was made near the village of Nuiqsut in North Slope. The oil find in Venezuela was large but this is by far the largest. According to the company who found the oil, production is scheduled to start as late as 2021 and they will be extracting as much as 120,000 barrels of oil per day. The company Repsol partnered with Armstrong Oil is definitely lucky to have found such a large amount of oil, back in 2001, they discovered two other areas in Alaska filled with oil but since sold the areas. The company quoted "Alaska has significant infrastructure which allows new resources to be developed more efficiently."

This news can definitely bring some relief from when the oil prices went down even though they are slowly recovering. For example, last year there was a freeze in the hiring process and all out of state travel was ceased. I am hoping this news will turn things around especially in Alaska. Interesting enough, the company also said they are very surprised a find this large discovery as the oil basin was often called, "an aging basin", also known to be on its last legs.  Alaska Governor Bill Walker said in a statement. "We must all pull together to fill an oil pipeline that's three-quarters empty."

http://www.businessinsider.com/repsol-onshore-oil-discovery-alaska-2017-3

 

16Feb/17Off

Information about the Dakota Access Pipeline

Dakota Access Pipeline facts

Who owns the pipeline? It is a joint venture between Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco Logistics Partner and Philips 66, Enbridge and Marathon Petroleum.

What are some of the valves that the pipeline might use? Trunnion Ball Valves are the most popular, but Gate Valves, Globe Valves, Check Valves can also be found.

How much will the pipeline project cost? Roughly 4 billion dollars.

How much oil will the pipeline carry? 470,000 to 570,000.

What is the main purpose of this pipeline? It is very controversial but the main principle that has been recorded is that the pipeline will free up the rails which can carry more grains and consumer friendly goods.

Where is the pipeline located and where will it pass through? The pipeline route runs from the northwestern North Dakota Bakken and Three Forks sites. It starts in Stanley, North Dakota, and travels in a southeastward direction to end at the oil tank farm near Patoka, Illinois.

Is pipeline safer than rail? Although trains can get derailed, it is very rare. This perhaps will never get answered as pipelines too can have problems but as long as they are properly maintained the risk should be low.

Will the Dakota pipeline be the only one in the area? No, there are actually 7 other pipelines that are located near Lake Oahe.

Is the Dakota Access Pipeline near completion? Since President Trump has signed the papers regarding the pipeline, it should be completed sometime this year.

Global Valve Controls ANSI600 Expanding Gate Valves

Source: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/28/512096744/as-trump-reboots-pipeline-expansion-an-unexpected-delay-emerges

 

10Feb/16Off

Shale Gas Fact or Fiction

There have been so many articles relating to the shale oil that I believe it is important to know what is true and what is not.

First, what is shale? Shale gas refers to natural gas that is trapped in shale formations. Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks that can be rich sources of petroleum and natural gas.

How does one person go about getting these rock formations out of the ground? There are 2 methods. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic drilling.

There is a limited amount of shale to go around: False. According to the EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2011, the United States possesses 2,552 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of potential natural gas resources.

What are some of the most common shale plays that we have heard or read about? Barnett shale, Marcellus shale, and Utica shale.

Coal is cleaner than natural gas. False. Natural gas is cleaner-burning than coal or oil.

Should we be worried when shale is being extracted? Yes. Issues in decreased and polluted water supply in the surrounding areas have been reported. There have also been reports of chemicals being mixed in with water sources due to the drilling.

http://geology.com/energy/shale-gas/