Global Valve and Controls
20Mar/17Off

The oil and gas sector is threatened by cyber attacks

Technology is growing fast and more threats toward oil and gas companies are being discovered. While the industry of cyber security grows, there are many people who are wondering if whether new technology is what is really needed. It is hard to say exactly how many threats companies face as many companies are not required to report it. In fact, the Power, Chemical and Nuclear industries must obey the cybersecurity laws but when it comes to the Oil and Gas sector, federal law does not impose such standards. Companies such as Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66 and even Kinder Morgan are a few of the largest oil and gas companies who get cyber threats every day.

“Charles McConnell, at Rice University's Energy and Environment Initiative, said oil companies tend to rush to deploy new computer technologies that make operations more productive, but only afterward considering ways to defuse online threats.”

The problem is that the equipment that is being used currently was signed 10 years ago and the equipment was designed decades ago without security features. Efforts over the years to link computer networks to devices that monitor pressure or control valves have exposed operations to online threats. There are as many as thousands of sensors and controls in oil and gas facilities that reman open and vulnerable to cyber attacks.

There are steps that are put in place to help ward off hackers such as the Coast guard who has a joint partnership with the Houston police. The coast guards patrol the waters for unprotected wireless signals that hackers may use to access the facilities. The Gulf of Mexico has one of the largest concentrations of pipelines, refineries and chemical plants in the country that are being attacked on a daily basis.

 

http://www.voanews.com/a/hackers-drawn-to-energy-sectors-lack-of-sensors-controls/3751090.html

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

 

15Feb/17Off

Understanding Stainless Steel Ball Valves

Stainless steel ball valves are definitely one of the popular materials that many people buy. They are perfect for the food and beverage industry, agriculture as well as the pulp and paper industries. The reason behind this is because stainless steel does not corrode and when dealing with food which we consume you do not want your machines corroding. White it is true that stainless steel (SS) does not easily corrode or rust, it really depends on the oxygen level in atmosphere. For example, if it is a poor air circulation environment, depending on the grade of the SS valves the valves may or may not corrode. Therefore, it is always important when dealing in such circumstances to get a high grade type of SS valve.

The material stainless steel is not to be confused with carbon steel as carbon steel will rust at one point in its life. The difference between the two metals is the amount of chromium present. Stainless steel’s resistance to corrosion and staining, low maintenance, and familiar lustre make it an ideal material for many applications. The alloy is milled into coils, sheets, plates, bars, wire, and tubing to be used in cookwarecutleryhousehold hardwaresurgical instrumentsmajor appliancesThese are examples of a few items one may be familiar with.

It is very important to know which grade of SS you need for your application as stated above if the grade is low, it will not last or you will have problems later down the road. Therefore, always consult with the manufacturer before buying. Global Valve and Controls can provide you with 316SS, 317SS and 304SS just to name a few. There are many different grades and one may not know that 304 is not to be used in the presence of sulfuric acid.

GVC 4" #300 API 6D Valve, Stainless Steel Flanged Ball Valves

Source: Global Valve and Controls

13Feb/17Off

Aberdeens first oil and gas technology center opens up

Great news for Scotland, as a new technology center will open up in Aberdeen. The area has been long over due for a new facility as there is untapped oil in the North sea. "The research and development hub will help create new technology for the North Sea and back innovative projects." the centers first task will be to cut the cost of drilling wells to at least half as well as the maintenance that comes along with it. It will also find a way to drill where oil is available and has been untouched. It is estimated that about 20 billion barrels of oil and gas can be taken from the North sea. This will also boost the economy as it once the center opens up, they will be hiring hundreds of employees.  The technology center will focus on making the UK continental shelf more economical and support the decommissioning center as in the past companies would just abandon the active wells.

 

https://stv.tv/news/north/1380369-new-180m-oil-and-gas-technology-centre-opens-in-aberdeen/

23Jan/17Off

IT makes a difference in our industry

It doesn’t matter if you are working with pipelines, rigs, valves or the person sitting behind the desk doing all the paperwork. The backbone of the company, the industry, that makes the company run is the IT people sitting behind the desk (some in the field), making everything work. IT in the industry has always been a big part of the company, but now than ever their work is more recognizable. Industries now consider, “digitalization as a way for companies, large and small, to work smarter and do more with less.” Few examples are;

More oil and gas industries are now all using the slogan, “Work smarter with less,” especially ever since the downturn of oil, companies had to look for new ways to grow their business without hurting. Many upstream companies are using smart sensor technology which collects larger amounts of data.

“The unpredictability of the market has meant that industry has reduced spending on large-scale maintenance and the modification of assets the longer a company delays asset maintenance, the more potentially hazardous it becomes from a safety, environmental and operational standpoint.” The IT crew jumps in to implement quickly which means there is quicker time to value especially the big projects.

New technology to extract resources. When all the layoffs began, it was hard for a company to continue working on the big projects, as they could not afford to lose people, but also could not afford to pay anyone. IT has created new technology that allows companies to have less people although continuing to work. This is where the slogan, “work smarter with less,” comes in.

2017 is presenting oil and gas companies with new challenges as the industry moves further into uncharted waters. Organizations must balance budget cuts and reduced headcounts with increasing pressure to realize value faster than ever before, and exploit new opportunities.” This is where the IT people are making a difference in the world.

GVCINTL 16" ANSI 2500 Automated the IT has a strong influence in automation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.energyvoice.com/opinion/128176/opinion-four-trends-fuelling-oil-gas-industry-2017/

16Jan/17Off

Is offshore drilling good or bad?

Oil drilling has been criticized from the very beginning. Talk of how it is bad for the environment and the health of nearby towns is ongoing. We keep reading all the negative sides, but the positive information is never published. There is talk of offshore drilling, but it is very controversial and no one can decide if it’s bad or good. What is the difference between offshore and onshore drilling? Offshore drilling happens thousands of feet underwater, with that said you can pretty much figure out what onshore drilling consists of.

What is the negative side of offshore drilling? “Whenever oil is recovered from the ocean floor, other chemicals and toxic substances come up too -- things like mercury, lead and arsenic that are often released back into the ocean. In addition, seismic waves used to locate oil can harm sea mammals and disorient whales.” However, did you know that technology has made this process safer than what it used to be? From 1975 to today, offshore drilling has had a 99.999% safety record.

“Believe it or not, more oil actually spills into U.S. waters from natural sources and municipal and industrial waste than it does than from offshore oil and gas drilling.”

On a positive note, since we have started drilling offshore, we are less dependable on other countries such as the Middle east to provide oil and petroleum for the rest of the country. This stabilizes our economy more than ever. Another good thing about offshore drilling is that it created hundreds of jobs for those who do not have any. Especially when oil prices hit a low and thousands were laid off, this is a big deal. Offshore drilling plays a big part in the turnaround in our economy.

GVCINTL API 6D Valves ready to go!

 

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/offshore-drilling-controversy2.htm

15Jan/17Off

The expansion of pipelines

The year 2016 was a very busy year for those who work in the pipeline business. There were at least 14 new pipeline projects in 24 different states. “Encouraged by the Obama administration’s shelving of the Keystone XL Pipeline and its revoked authorization for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on federal lands, activists are now eyeing new battles”. If passed, the projects together will total almost 2.5 million miles of pipelines in the U.S alone. People who are for the pipeline projects argue that not only will the pipelines will provide thousands of jobs, but as a whole are safer for oil transport than rail or truck. Those who oppose the pipeline projects say that, “while pipelines are, statistically, far safer than trucks or trains, those that fail the consequences can be catastrophic.”

One project located in Pennsylvania, the Marcellus Shale will expand the pipeline currently existing creating roughly 2500 new jobs. “The Marcellus provides more than 36% of the shale gas produced in the U.S.”

While the Obama administration has put a stop to the Dakota Access Pipeline, it has permitted two pipelines linking the Permian Basin in Texas with customers in Mexico.”  With so many ongoing pipeline projects, could there be a overflow of pipelines?

GVCINTL API 6D Valves in ground

http://www.ecowatch.com/fracking-pipeline-projects-2011302077.html

10Jan/17Off

Time for a change?

The O&G industry has been making people rich for years by providing millions of jobs, and giving opportunity to invest their money in the stock market up until the oil market went down. Thousands of people are still employed but the number is not in the millions anymore. Because of the changes that many companies in the industry had to take the last two years a big question arises, is it time to turn in the keys and retire? Retirement is the number one question that many people are asking themselves after working in the O&G industry. How does one even think about this as the next step? Those who are fortunate are given a special “envelope” in which is enclosed a special bonus just for leaving, unfortunately there are many people out there that don’t get anything.

The “Great Crew Change” is upon us now. This means, “the looming retirement of thousands of older workers--has companies trying to plug the gap by training younger employees.” Younger, less experienced employees mean more money for the companies, and less for the employees. To retire and move on has to be a tough decision to make as there are many people who are not given the choice, but how do you know when it is your turn?

 

http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/147987/Three_Things_to_Consider_Before_Retiring_from_Oil_Gas