What is wastewater doing to our land and how it will it affect us in the near future? If you are not familiar with the background of where wastewater comes from, here is a brief summary. Fracking occurs after a well has been drilled. Fracking is a process that is carried out by sending a mixture of water, sand and certain additives into a deep-rock formation at high pressure. Soon after the fracturing occurs, water returns to the surface as “flowback” or wastewater. For a long time, wastewater has been an eye sore for many land owners as it is full of salt, chemicals and possibly radioactive. Unfortunately, we know very little of what exactly is in this water. Wastewater now is a problem for the oil and gas industry and if there is no real solution, then we may soon have more problems.
One idea is to use the wastewater for irrigation crops, but until more tests on the water can be done, this is not a very good idea as we know that wastewater is full of chemicals and do not know what effect it will have for crops as well as the land. In fact, many land owners would rather have an oil spill on their lands than a wastewater spill, as it can do far more damage than oil. Managing the massive amount of oil and gas wastewater has been a challenge for energy companies for generations. Did you know that in the USA alone, companies produced over 900 billion gallons of wastewater a year! Back in the 1900’s wastewater used to be disposed of in the West Texas fields and that is what created the Texon Scar. This “scar” is so large that you can see it from Google earth.
There are many companies that used to and still may pump the wastewater into a well that has been specialized for wastewater but recent research has shown that because of this earthquakes were becoming a problem. For example, in Oklahoma regulators limited wastewater disposal volumes after a rash of earthquakes shook the region (the number of quakes dropped afterwards). Hopefully in the near future there will be more research on what we can do with waste water, maybe it could be somehow recycled? Until then, we just need to be more careful of how we dispose of it.
France has stepped up to be one of the first countries to step away from producing oil and gas, and focus more on renewable energy. This means that the 815,000 tonnes of oil per year will halt by 2040. This also means their nuclear industry will be no more and working with fossil fuels will completely disappear. No new permits will be granted to extract fossil fuels and no existing licences will be renewed beyond 2040, when all production in mainland France and its overseas territories will stop. Once production has stopped, cars that are powered by oil and diesel will also be banned. The bill includes a few exceptions to the ban, including the capturing of gas from mines, which is considered desirable for security reasons. Interestingly, the extraction of fossil fuels may not completely disappear as it is used for research purposes. The reason behind the bill is to encourage clean energy and fulfill France’s commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement to curb global warming. So far only hydraulic fracturing has been banned.
In the world of valves there is always so many to choose from. Flanged ball valves, threaded ball valves and the list goes on! Other things you must know when calling in for a quote is the size, trim, material, reduced or full port of the valve and most importantly what the valve will be used for. When you have finally decided that you need a flanged ball valve for your application, you will need to decide if you will want a 1, 2 or 3 piece valve. You will make a decision based on cost, maintenance and if it will need to be automated.
First, lets take a look at a one piece flanged ball valve. Contrary to what others say, a 1 piece design ball valve or unibodies are not always the cheapest and you can automate any flanged ball valve with a mounting pad. These valves are not repairable so if one breaks you will need to replace the whole valve which is time and money. If you are looking into a 1 piece flanged ball valve, be sure to check out our Series FS or http://gvcintl.com/files/GVC%20Series%20FS.2011.pdf
A 2 piece and a 3 piece ball valve was definitely designed with maintenance in mind as it can be easily cleaned. The biggest difference between the two is that the 3 piece can be taken out of line without affecting the two end caps while the 2 piece can not. As far as cost, a 3 piece is more expensive up front but in the long run it could be a wiser choice as the seats and seals are replaceable and with a 2 piece you will need to replace the valve entirely if there are any issues. If you are looking for a 2 piece flanged ball valve, take a look at our Series CFS, FS600, or
It has now been a week since hurricane Harvey made its debut in Texas. As much as 12 feet of storm surge and 120 mph winds. He knocked out electricity among millions and literally flooded homes and displaced nearly 17,000 people as well as flooded many parts of Houston. There were 60 deaths reported because of the hurricane. Harvey is known as one of the most catastrophic storms that has hit the US since 2005. Not only has this major hurricane affected the population but it has affected gas prices as well.
Harvey flooded much of Southeast Texas which is one of the nations most busiest oilfields. The Eagle Ford Shale is found in this part of Texas and because of the rain and winds, more than half of the rigs are down and need to be serviced, but because of the flooding, it is very difficult to get to the rigs. Given that much of oil and gas activity occurs in areas only accessible via dirt roads, the heavy rainfall usually makes the movement of trucks and supplies much more difficult. EOG Resources and Marathon Oil stopped production as they had to pull their crews out of harms way. The Eagle Ford was the only shale basin of the big four to drop activity last week, as some in the industry start to look at shale as a more expensive option compared to other places.
Some people refer to petroleum as rock oil because of where it originated from. Petroleum can actually be traced back hundreds of years ago and was formed when oil and natural gas merged together. It is categorized as a fossil fuel because it is composed of decayed plant and animal matter. “The substance is made up of hundreds of hydrocarbons molecules which can be harvested in two forms – liquid (referred to as crude oil) and vapour (referred to as natural gas). The harvesting process itself is divided into three major divisions – upstream, midstream and downstream.”
The upstream sector is also known as the exploration and production area. Within this field, workers are exploring and searching for sources of crude oil and natural gas underground. They do this by using advanced machines that can tell you if there is any oil underground and will pull the oil and gas out of the ground by using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology.
The midstream sector is the largest of the two as in this area oil is transported and stored using several different methods such as, pipeline, oil tanker, barge, truck or rail. It is transported to the refinery known as the downstream sector.
The downstream sector is also the “final stage of the process and refers to the refining, processing and purifying of crude oil and natural gas.” This is where many of the products are made such as, gas, diesel oil, jet fuel, lubricants, heating oil, asphalt, waxes and more.
When the oil market went down in 2014 many people who worked in the O&G were affected not only in the US but worldwide including Canada. “Both Canada and the U.S. are in the top five oil and gas producing countries on the planet.” Because of the large loss, Canadians lost over 40,000 jobs related to the oil and gas industry. Canada has a huge affect on the US economy. How, you may ask? For example; “Canada’s oil and gas sector will contribute $45.6 billion in American gross state product, resulting in 406,000 jobs from goods and services supplied by United States firms to Canada.” The fall of oil prices did not only hurt workers in the O&G industries but also touched the mining, fishing and forestry industries.
Although a large area comes from the O&G sector, it is not the only industry that has Canada has put all their funds into. Renewable energy is just as big as oil. In fact, “renewable energy capacity has been doubling every two years.” According to this article, this is actually very good news as the workers who lost their jobs in the oil industry are now working in the renewable energy area. The good news for these guys is that there is not a huge amount of difference coming from the oil and going into renewables. Maybe a class or two but the job is still the same. Furthermore, if oil were to go up again the companies needing workers in the O&G industry may be in trouble as many have already found jobs elsewhere.
Everyone who works in the O&G industry all want to hear the same thing; that the industry is booming and this is where you want to be. Whether you are out in the field or in the office, working on land or offshore everyone is making money right? According to this article, millennials are a bit scared to work or have anything to do with the industry because their job might be dangerous, dirty or hard. “millennials think that the oil industry is only about making as much money as possible by pumping and selling as much oil as possible”, even going as far as saying that the industry is “harming the environment irreparably in the process.” The thing that I agree about this article is that it states, those people who think like that, do not look at the whole picture. They do not think about the, “thousands of everyday products are either entirely or partially derived from petroleum and natural gas.” As far as going green, not everything can be made in a healthier, better way. For example, heart valves and synthetic fibers believe it or not are here today because of the oil and gas industry. I am pretty sure that one day someone will re invent those items without using oil or natural gas but that day has not come yet.
The number one thing that millennials are looking at when it comes to this industry is how to make it better. Technology is the key. For example, “technological innovation aimed at enhancing production efficiency and lowering production costs will help make the environment a better place.” The goal is to have more technology, simpler processes, and higher productivity because “the oil and gas industry’s road to internal sustainability runs parallel to environmental sustainability.” With technology improving there is no doubt in my mind that millennials will think twice about the O&G industry and will want to work in the industry.
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.
Natural gas has grown far more popular than regular gas because it is said to be more cleaner and greener. But is it really better? Did you know that methane is the main chemical in natural gas and its potency is far greater than that of CO2 which is found in regular gas. Methane also makes up 25% of todays global warming. Although regular gas stations are found throughout the country, stations that contain natural gas are only just popping up. Most of the vehicles today the we drive only use regular gas as natural gas is still a very new commodity. There are vehicles such as city trucks (trash and recycling buses) that are currently using natural gas instead of oil. It is also interesting to read that even though natural gas is the best option between the two gases because it is better for the environment, it is also the less expensive one.
A positive outlook on crude oil “is a relatively efficient international market, in which the product moves around the globe in tankers that can be diverted from one destination to another almost instantaneously in response to shifts in demand.” On the other hand, natural gas is not global. Meaning, There is a limited trade in liquefied natural gas (LNG), which can be transported in tankers, but mostly natural gas must move in pipelines over land.
More efforts are being made to use natural gas than oil, for example, In the state of Alaska there is a plan to build a pipeline that would take natural gas from the North Slope to an Alaskan port, where it could be liquefied and shipped to Asia. It is a slow start but more and more pipelines will be built to transfer natural gas.
The job title Petroleum Engineer is said to rise to 10% in 2020. First off, what exactly do these engineers do? According to Wikipedia, “Petroleum engineering is a field of engineering concerned with the activities related to the production of hydrocarbons, which can be either crude oil or natural gas. Exploration and Production are deemed to fall within the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry.” In simple words, once oil is discovered, a petroleum engineer will determine the best way in removing it using different drill methods and knowing which valves are needed for each machine. There are numerous of different website you can research to find out what exactly you would be doing but it also depends on your employer. Other questions might come up such as what the salary and hours would be. Again, it all depends on who your employer is but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the average annual wage for petroleum engineers was $130,280 in May 2012. Most were employed in oil and gas extraction, where they earned an average of $144,810.”
The first step in becoming a petroleum engineer is to go to school and earn a bachelors degree- nothing less. Mr. Soliman, professor and chairman of the petroleum engineering department at the University of Houston told Rigzone that its not just the bachelors degree that a student must have, but a internship in the same field looks very attractive on your resume. Be sure to attend a accredited school as what you are learning is not something learned from a book. You will actually do real life projects, out in the field and have a true understanding of what you must do to become a engineer in the O&G industry, specifically a petroleum engineer. This is because, “considering the current industry climate, employers don’t have a whole lot of time to offer basic training.”
For more tips on how to successfully become a petroleum engineer be sure to read the full article: