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Technical Articles

Simulated PVT Analysis vs. PVT Analysis
Pressure Volume Temperature (PVT) analysis provides precise data on the behaviors and properties of oil and gas from an existing well or reservoir.  This data is used by engineers to calculate the flow properties of reservoir fluids, estimate production volumes of the various petroleum products, and determine the best extraction method to optimize recovery of the products.  And while this data is a very necessary component in determining production strategies, a physical PVT analysis is expensive and time consuming —costing as much as ... (more)

Effects of Square Root Error on Gas Lift Measurement
As a well is produced, reservoir pressure decreases and, at some point in the life of the well, secondary recovery is required to extend the production.  One of the more popular means of secondary recovery is gas lift, which is performed by compressing natural gas and injecting it down hole to assist in lifting the oil to the surface.  Sometimes there is an apparent loss in formation gas volumes (produced gas volume - lift gas volume) in this process.  This is often a result of pulsation created by the compressor used in the process to increase gas pressure for lift.  The opening and closing of the valves in a natural gas reciprocating compressor creates waves of high pressure pulsing down the line.  When this pulse reaches the measurement device, it causes ... (more)

New Well Installations
In new well site construction, proper installation of measurement and communications equipment is critical to safe and efficient operations of oil and gas production pads.  Before moving forward with the installation process, a careful review of company policies, contracts/tariffs, and API standards should be considered.  In order to ensure accurate measurement of production volumes, it is imperative that all measurement equipment be ... (more)

Midstream Startups and Operational Challenges 
Over the last few years, the growth of the domestic oil and gas shale industry has emphasized greater urgency for development of midstream assets creating more takeaway capacity.  Managing a midstream startup and the growth associated with a project of this type can pose significant challenges.  Startup groups may lack the measurement expertise required for proper allocation and accounting.  In this case, it is very important to ... (more)

New Liquid Spot Sampling System for Precise Sampling with Certified Temperature and Pressure Readings 
When analyzing samples in the lab, it is important that the pressure and temperature readings taken at the point of sample collection be as accurate as possible.  It is also imperative that the sample be obtained in accordance with API standards to avoid flashing of the sample.  Improper sampling techniques and inaccurate pressure and temperature readings can produce non-representative samples and bad analytical results.  While reviewing our oil and gas field audits, we found that  ... (more)

H2S:  The Silent Killer
A very common hazard in the oil and gas industry that is not easily recognized —but can kill very quickly —is Hydrogen Sulfide (H₂S).  In certain concentrations, this colorless gas can cause shock, inability to breathe, and potentially death.  Exposure to H₂S is a probable hazard for all oil and gas personnel and the main exposure pathway is inhalation.  Lower exposure over time will cause fatigue, eye irritation, headaches, coughing, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea.  Higher exposures will intensify the previous symptoms and may result in death. Determining a Radius of Exposure:  The Texas Railroad Commission states that  ... (more)

The Importance of Auditing Systems In The Oil and Gas Industry
During the process of an acquisition, the measurement and accounting infrastructure are often not the focal point.  Measurement functions as the cash register for upstream and midstream firms and it is important that equipment and personnel perform efficiently and effectively to produce reliable data for accurate accounting.  System audits are designed to ascertain the existing status and the degree of uncertainty of quality and quantity determinations, the reliability of data flows from these processes, and recommendations for improvement.  Industry standards provide guidance and recommendations to operate measurement systems within a known degree of accuracy.  Failure to follow them implicitly will ... (more)

DOT-E 8757 and E 11054:  Annual Cylinder Certification Requirements
As mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations DOT-E 8757 and E 11054, annual inspections of constant pressure cylinders are required for both preventative and reactive maintenance and are imperative in preserving the integrity of sample cylinders.  Faulty and damaged constant pressure cylinders can lead to premature failure and  ... (more)

The Bias of Dirty Cylinders -Bureau of Land Management Revised Onshore Order 5 (43 CFR 3175)
In April of 1999, Southwest Research Institute released a Draft Topical Report conducted in the development of API MPMS Chapter 14.1 “Collecting and Handling of Natural Gas Samples for Custody Transfer.”  In this report, Section 3.5 discusses “Equipment Cleaning Procedures.”  Prior to the study, the assumption was that “dirty” cylinders would bias calculations of heating value in a positive direction.  As a result of this study, it is now known that dirty cylinders bias in both directions, depending on the contaminant.  Gasoline range materials bias ... (more)

Methanol Contamination In Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Natural Gas Liquids (NGL)
One of the many challenges facing the oil and gas industry today is preventing the formation of hydrates in the production process.  Because hydrates can form after extreme pressure drops, it is imperative to initiate preventative measures that prohibit hydrate formation when conditions are conducive.  One of the most common methods used to suppress hydrate formation is the injection of a hydrate inhibitor —such as methanol— into the production process at the wellhead and other locations where ... (more)

Sampling & Testing Under DOT/PHMSA Rule 49 CFR 173.41:  Are You In Compliance?
Effective July 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (DOT/PHMSA) established rule 49 CFR 173.41 which is geared to address the crude by rail transportation methods.  According to 49 CFR 173.41, PHMSA and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) adopted requirements designed to reduce consequences and, in some cases, reduce the frequency of accidents involving trains transporting quantites of flammable liquids. However, it also adopts a more accurate approach to classification of unrefined, petroleum-based products.  Is your product considered unrefined, petroleum-based? (more)

The Phenomenon of Pipeline Measurement Imbalance
So your pipeline measurement won’t balance—even after you have checked all the measurement equipment and calculations.  The problem may be a phenomenon often  referred to as pulsation and it’s usually present where a compressor  is used to allow lower pressure production to flow into higher pressure pipelines.  This typically happens when ... (more)