Gulf of Mexico Poised to Remain Strong in Coming Years
“The Gulf of Mexico (GOM), one of the major petroleum-producing areas of the world, is in the early stages of an extended growth cycle and is poised to remain one of the strongest offshore markets in the world in terms of deepwater activity. Overall, rig count and exploration and production (E&P) activities are at pre-Macondo levels and look tocontinue on an incline for the next couple of years.”
The Gulf of Mexico remains one of the most geologically attractive areas, It is also located in a stable region of the USA
Natural gas today
“Surging gas production has led the drilling industry to seek out new markets for its product, and energy companies, increasingly, are setting their sights on the transportation sector.”
“Touting natural gas as a cheaper, cleaner-burning alternative to gasoline and diesel, drillers, public utilities and government officials are trying to boost demand for natural gas buses, taxis, shuttles, delivery trucks and heavy-duty work vehicles of all sorts, while simultaneously encouraging development of the fueling infrastructure that will be needed to keep them running.”
Natural gas costs about $1.50 to $2 per gallon equivalent less than gasoline and diesel. That can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in savings for vehicles that guzzle the most fuel.
Forged Steel Valves
Forged steel valves are used in Oil Refining and other industrial applications where forged steel material is required. Higher pressures and temperatures are usually involved and the line size is generally under the size of "2". In other conditions, forged steel valves might be a good choice for better performance, such as system requirements for socket-weld piping and compatibility of media. Forged check valves, forged gate valves, forged globe valves are a few of the different types and depending what the media is, depends on which one is used.
GATE VALVES are used for on-off operation on hydrocarbon , general process, and utility service for all temperature ranges.
GLOBE VALVES are used for flow regulation or as a block valve where high resistance to flow is not a disadvantage and a positive closing action is required.
CHECK VALVES are required to permit forward flow and prevent reverse flow. this is achieved through linear or rotary ( angular) motion of a closure member which is kept open by flowing fluid.
When the flow is reduced towards zero, or reversed, the closure member is moved against its seat by forces due to gravity, supplementary springs and back pressure.
“Sub-arctic climates experience temperatures from 100° F (38° C) in the summer to –60° F (–51° C) in the winter. While there is nothing spectacular about the high end of the range, the low end impacts the functionality of pneumatic actuators”
You may ask, how exactly does the temperature impact the pneumatic actuators that are in the fields right now? There are a few things you have to consider.
First, the actuator housing is steel, thus the housing becomes brittle. This does not necessarily mean it becomes weaker but a sudden impact or an imperfection can result in a sudden fracture at these temperatures because the temperature is below the brittle transition temperature of steel.
Secondly, the “precipitation-hardened shaft material has also become brittle and may fracture given an impact load. If, for example, the driven valve resists opening and then breaks free, the resulting sudden impact may cause the actuator shaft to fail.”
There are many solutions to these issues, but the best would be to call your actuator mfg to discuss how to avoid any fractures caused by these temperatures. Just like the manufacture should know what to do, the users of the actuators should know what to do as well. If you are not able to get in contact with your manufacturer, here are a few steps you can take:
“First, and most obvious, users should shelter the actuator from weather extremes where possible. Second, users must assure a dry air supply, at least 15° F (–9° C) below the lowest temperature that may be experienced since ice plays havoc with air flow and mechanical motion. Finally, users should assess the recommended actuator and whether all possible precautions have been incorporated by the supplier.”
Clearly, pneumatic actuators can perform their intended functions despite having to operate in extreme temperatures. However, they need to be designed and manufactured properly, and users need to take responsibility to keep them functioning correctly.
As the nation increasingly seeks sources for renewable energy, dams and the thousands of valves they contain will only become more important.
When we see a majestic dam, with its huge face of concrete holding back acres of water, probably the last thing we think of are the valves it takes to make them operate effectively
“The purpose of the valves in these structures is to adjust the output of the reservoir that forms behind those dams while maintaining the proper reservoir depth, both in times of flood and in drought. Looking at the top of a moderate-size dam, we would see a number of rolling gates or sluices that provide the modulation of flow necessary to balance water supply and demand. In fact, the most common style of gate or valve used is a rolling type, which functions very similar to a sluice gate valve that is open at the top. Although this is technically a valve, these gates are not at all like the valve designs used in other industries.”
“The importance of the pipeline in industry, agriculture and nearly every vital facet of civilization cannot be under-emphasized. Without pipeline construction, we would lack plumbing and electricity, not to mention access to gas & petroleum reserves.”
“A massive undertaking of over 5 km in length, the Veltins Arena beer pipeline was constructed to ensure that it would never “run dry”.
What a great idea! If we could use the abandoned pipeline to make them into beer pipelines- nothing would go to waste! We wouldn't have any decommissioned pipelines lying around either.
“Most people have seen several needle valves in their lifetime although they may not know it. Needle valves are commonly used in the plumbing applications of outdoor spigots to control the flow of water. They are similar to globe valves but are designed with a long tapered shaft in the center of the valve to control the flow instead of a disk.”
Not, all the pipeline projects are dead yet! I am hoping with the new election coming up, there will be new projects and new pipelines to build.
“Enbridge has secured commercial support to proceed with several projects designed to increase capacity on the Enbridge crude oil mainline system in Canada and the U.S. and to increase capacity on pipelines that serve eastern U.S. and Canadian refineries.”
“Elsewhere the installation of a new 35-mile, 20-inch pipeline twinning the existing Enbridge Line 17 (Toledo pipeline) will add 80,000 bpd of capacity to the Enbridge mainline system. The line is expected to be available for service in early 2013 at a cost of approximately $0.2 billion.”
“Chevron Corp. has announced that the deepwater drillship Pacific Santa Ana has arrived in the Gulf of Mexico to work for Chevron under a five-year contract with a subsidiary of Pacific Drilling S.A. Pacific Santa Ana is the first drillship designed with the capacity to perform dual gradient drilling (DGD). Santa Ana has the potential to change the way deepwater wells are drilled.”
Dual drilling and conventional drilling are quite different. Chevron Corp is the first and only to come out with the new dual deep water drilling system. This system is very green and saves time and money.
Deepwater drilling uses a single drilling fluid weight in the borehole, dual gradient drilling employs two weights of drilling fluid – one above the seabed, another below. This allows drillers to more closely match the pressures presented by nature and effectively eliminates water depth as a consideration in well design. DGD also allows drillers to more quickly detect and appropriately react to down hole pressure changes, which can enhance the safety and efficiency of deepwater drilling operations.