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SPECIAL REPORT

Advances in Emission Reduction and Energy Loss Management Solutions for Offshore Oil and Gas Operations The Sniffers’ Offshore Strategies Capping Methane Emissions Why Emissions Management is Becoming so Important How the Industry Can Improve Leak Detection The Next Generation of Emission Detection Systems

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

SPECIAL REPORT

Advances in Emission Reduction and Energy Loss Management Solutions for Offshore Oil and Gas Operations The Sniffers’ Offshore Strategies Capping Methane Emissions

Contents

Why Emissions Management is Becoming so Important How the Industry Can Improve Leak Detection The Next Generation of Emission Detection Systems

Foreword 2 Tom Cropper, Editor

The Sniffers’ Offshore Strategies

3

The Sniffers

Fugitive Emission Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds: Sponsored by

LDAR and SMART LDAR Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media

Ultrasonic Monitoring Device for Flare Loss Detection and Reduction Management of Your Steam Trap Losses Logging of Emissions on Storage Ships

Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

Digitalization of Offshore Installations in the Context of an LDAR Project

Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

Capping Methane Emissions

Publisher Kevin Bell Editor Tom Cropper Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes

Information Request

6

Tom Cropper, Editor

The Challenge of Methane There are Solutions

Why Emissions Management is Becoming so Important

8

Jo Roth, Staff Writer

Difficult Economic Times Flare Loss Management Cost Benefits

Production Manager Paul Davies

How the Industry Can Improve Leak Detection

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

James Butler, Staff Writer

10

Assessing the Problem of Leaks The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Ways and Means

The Next Generation of Emission Detection Systems 12 Tom Cropper, Editor

The Industry is Addressing the Challenge New Technologies for New Frontiers Remote Continuous Monitoring

References 14

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SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Foreword U

NPLANNED EMISSIONS of gas and oil

than CO2, methane presents a massive threat to

from offshore facilities impacts their carbon

the environment. Developing more sophisticated

footprint and has the potential to cost the industry

approaches which can reduce its impact is vital for

millions. With official and public scrutiny on the

the industry.

environmental credentials of the industry growing,

Jo Roth will then look at the financial implications. With

it needs to improve to regain trust and cope with

money already tight, the oil and gas industry needs

the expected heightening of regulatory oversight.

to make every penny count. Loss of raw materials

Fluctuating oil prices and an uncertain market

represents a loss of revenue and energy wastage.

also mean every penny counts. The introduction

Those companies which can make significant strides

of advanced emissions management systems

to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste will

represents good ethics and good business.

gain a critical edge in the marketplace.

In the first article in this Report, Jos Couwels of

Finally, we’ll look at the innovations coming into the

The Sniffers, which provides emissions management

market now and over the next few years. The industry

systems, gives an overview of the market as it stands

is in a strange state. Many of the technologies required

and some of the technologies they use to deliver

to reduce emissions are already available, with

enhanced detection capabilities. He illustrates the

more being scaled for practical industry use. The

need to utilize not just one technology, but multiple

potential is there, but adoption is fragmented

devices incorporated into an overall system, which

across the spectrum. The lesson from all this is that

can detect different types and scales of leaks.

emissions represent a business threat on many

Elsewhere in the Report we’ll look at the work being done to reduce methane emissions from gas sites.

levels. Early adopters of solutions will grasp an important advantage over their competitors.

Natural gas represents a potentially cleaner fuel than oil, but this is only the case if methane emissions can be controlled. With a much higher warming impact

Tom Cropper Editor

Tom Cropper has produced articles and reports on various aspects of global business over the past 15 years. He has also worked as a copywriter for some of the largest corporations in the world, including ING, KPMG and the World Wildlife Fund.

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SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

The Sniffers’ Offshore Strategies The Sniffers A wide variety of services is available to reduce emissions and to manage energy

Your Partner in Emission Monitoring and Pipeline Inspections

loss for offshore installations. The Sniffers offers customized solutions for offshore

Safety Energy savings Legal compliance Process uptime

projects in combination with in-house developed software.

A depth and breadth of services unmatched within the industry. The Sniffers is an OPITO-, ISO-, and VCAcertified service providing company specialized in emission reduction management, energy loss management and pipeline inspection services with international experience in fugitive emission monitoring, LDAR, SMART LDAR, storage tank emission monitoring, flare emission monitoring, steam trap monitoring and energy audits to reduce emissions and identify cost savings. All our services are supported by in-house developed software management systems delivering actionable reports and relevant management data. The customer portfolio of The Sniffers consists of chemical industries, petrochemical industries, refineries, pharmaceutical industries, oil and gas companies, on and offshore industries, up and downstream industries, pipeline industries and permitting authorities.

TVA TO DETECT VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS

The Sniffers’ monitoring programs are compliant with international standards such as EPA method 21 as well as with local authority regulations and environmental permit requirements. Our company developed several software tools with focus on data management and reporting capabilities to calculate emissions, cost savings, set up maintenance programs and enable internal benchmarking. Most of the services are used in onshore operations but the same services are perfectly applicable for offshore installations. Not only emissions are reduced but also the risks for people and the overall installation on an offshore platform are drastically reduced. Typically in offshore, SMART LDAR is carried out to make sure bigger leaks and risks are identified and localized and a fast repair can be initiated.

Fugitive Emission Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds: LDAR and SMART LDAR Fugitive emissions are emissions to the atmosphere resulting from leaking piping sources and leaking equipment such as control valves, flanges, pump seals, connections, compressor seals, open ended lines and pressure relief valves. Volatile organic compounds can be detected and measured with a measuring device called TVA, which combines photo ionization detection and flame ionization detection. Relatively low PPM concentrations can be measured using this technique. Another technique to detect leaks is by using an infrared camera. This camera visualizes the gas leaks and is able to scan large areas and above sea level piping. The Sniffers will re-measure the leaks found with IR detection with an FID / PID device. Doing so, the leak can be quantified and checked whether it is a

Industriezone Driehoek Poeierstraat 14 2490 Balen Belgium Tel. +32(0)14318888 Fax +32(0)14321111 sales@the-sniffers.com www.the-sniffers.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Leaks can be tagged with aluminum, plastic or even barcoded tags to facilitate the repair of the leaking sources

SMART LDAR WITH INFRARED CAMERA

hydrocarbon leak or not. Leaks can be tagged with aluminum, plastic or even barcoded tags to facilitate the repair of the leaking sources. Early detection and repair of leaks helps to reduce risks on a platform.

the single most significant cause of raw material loss resulting from plant activities. AVPAC device is used to identify the losses.

Management of Your Steam Trap Losses Steam loss is caused by failing steam traps or leaks in the steam net. These uncontrolled steam leaks generate an enormous energy loss and result in massive costs. Each ton saved will give an immediate reduction of the energy costs and will have a positive impact on your Kyoto program by a reduction of CO2. Leaking traps cause problems with the tracing of the equipment, problems with the back pressure

Early detection and repair of leaks helps to reduce risks on a platform

LEAK DETECTION AND REPAIR PROGRAM

Ultrasonic Monitoring Device for Flare Loss Detection and Reduction Flare emissions to the atmosphere are losses of volatile organic compounds caused by internal leaking equipment (passing valves) such as pressure relief valves, ball valves, gate valves and control valves. In the absence of a flare loss monitoring and reduction program, this loss is 4 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

STEAM LOSS MONITORING DEVICE


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

into the condensate lines and makes the steam production cost too high. The equipment used for monitoring of steam traps is EX-certified.

Logging of Emissions on Storage Ships These measurements are set up to log the emissions of the storage facilities for several hours before, during and after the filling.

Digitalization of Offshore Installations in the Context of an LDAR Project

Uncontrolled steam leaks generate an enormous energy loss and result in massive costs

During a separate update project or, more often, in combination with a planned leak detection and repair project, The Sniffers can update P&IDs in order to be compliant with the current situation in the production unit. In case of missing or incorrect P&IDs, we can create them from scratch. This can be done on paper or in electronic format using AutoCad or Microstation software.

Your Partner in Emission Monitoring and Pipeline Inspections Safety Energy savings Legal compliance Process uptime

Information Request As worldwide leader with more than twenty years of experience in emission reduction services, we can help you realize your objectives. Our industry know-how and broad in-depth experience can be fine-tuned to your specific offshore situation and challenges.

TRANSPARENT REPORTS ON EMISSION SOURCES, FREQUENCIES AND HISTORY ENABLES EFFECTIVE MAINTENANCE

Contact Jos Couwels – Sales Director The Sniffers Industriezone Driehoek Poeierstraat 14 2490 Balen Belgium Tel.: +32(0)14318888 Fax: +32(0)14321111 E-mail: sales@the-sniffers.com Website: www.the-sniffers.com

Industriezone Driehoek Poeierstraat 14 2490 Balen Belgium Tel. +32(0)14318888 Fax +32(0)14321111 sales@the-sniffers.com www.the-sniffers.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Capping Methane Emissions Tom Cropper, Editor Identifying the best ways to address the release of methane could hold the key to how the oil industry addresses its environmental performance.

Ambitious new guidelines on emissions reduction are coming which will place more pressure on drilling companies to act

D

RILLING FOR oil is a demanding business and the level of emissions escaping into the atmosphere has long been a source of controversy. However, in recent years focus has increased on one particular gas in particular – methane. Emissions of methane are a major contributory factor to global warming and what’s more, according to a number of studies, they could be much higher than anyone previously expected. However, the good news is that governments and the industry itself are beginning to take action. Ambitious new guidelines on emissions reduction are coming which will place more pressure on drilling companies to act. To help them, a raft of new and existing technologies is coming into play to identify and resolve problems to bring down those emission levels.

The Challenge of Methane Fugitive emissions of methane from oil and gas have a direct and indirect impact on the greenhouse effect. Although the world places an enormous emphasis on the role of carbon dioxide, they are only just coming to terms with the dangers of methane. It has a global warming effect 34 times1 higher than that of CO 2 and leakage rates could be much higher than previously believed.2 The oil and gas industry is the second highest emitter of methane after the agriculture industry. A number of studies, coordinated by the Environmental Defence Fund, which seeks to reduce fugitive emissions, found that methane emissions could be 50% higher than estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency. Another report said unconventional natural gas exploration may have created 3.7 million metric tons of methane3. The trouble is that properly measuring the true extent of leakages is a difficult task. The margin for error is extremely high, so even quantifying the problem is a major challenge. 6 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

Until recently, many exploration companies have been slow to take real action against leaks and emissions. They’ve been able to do this thanks to a lack of regulatory obligations – but this is beginning to change. The US has released a proposal calling for a 40% to 50% reduction on methane levels between 2012 and 2025. Changes to regulation are being introduced in the EU and elsewhere. The difficult issue of measuring is also being addressed with discussions to improve the monitoring and measurement of methane levels. The industry is also beginning to take action. In 2014, The Climate and Clean Air Coalition Oil and Gas Methane Partnership was launched at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York. The initiative has involvement from several major oil and gas companies including Pemex, Statoil, BG and Southwestern Energy. The aim is to provide a global industry-wide strategy to reduce the impact of methane on the environment. Those organizations which are involved with the group will undertake a number of measures including conducting surveys of methane emissions in their areas, and adopting a number of combative measures to reduce emission levels, sharing progress, collaborating on reduction efforts and maintaining a transparency of information over progress. Speaking at the launch, Chris Cox, Executive Vice President for BG Advance, said: “we recognize that for natural gas which is composed mostly of methane, to release its potential as a solution to a low-carbon future, methane emissions need to be managed. Collaborating across our industry – including companies, government agencies and non-government organizations – will allow us to more effectively and collectively reduce our methane emissions4.”

There are Solutions However, as serious as the problem is, there are remedies available. The Environmental Defence


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Your Partner in Emission Monitoring and Pipeline Inspections Safety Energy savings Legal compliance Process uptime

Fund report found that much of the problem could be addressed using current available technologies. The report found that it should be possible to achieve a 40% reduction of methane emissions over the course of the next five years. Key to this is developing systems which can accurately detect leaks. Most pipelines are already equipped with sensors which can detect a drop in pressure, but a study in the US found that these are capable of detecting only 40% of leaks.5 However, new technologies are coming into the market aimed at increasing detection rates. In 2014, ARPA-E announced a $60 million investment for new programs aimed at detecting and measuring methane emissions. Their new MONITOR program will help the oil and gas sector reduce emissions by making $30 million available to assist US teams develop low cost systems that detect and measure methane associated with the production of oil and gas. Speaking at the launch, Cheryl Martin, acting APRA-E Director said: “Developing a broad range of technology options to reduce energy emissions and consumption is critical for a secure, affordable, and sustainable American energy future. The disruptive technologies that ARPA-E will fund through these two new programs will fill critical gaps in energy

research and development and push the boundaries of emissions reduction and energy efficient technologies.” Other technologies have seen an increase in remote detection technologies, which are able to improve accuracy and detect smaller leaks. The smaller the leakage, these technologies can detect, the earlier problems can be identified and solved. Methane leakage is a growing problem for the oil and gas industry. Leaks mean a loss of revenue, an impact on the environment and increasing regulatory oversight – all of which further impact operations. Oil and gas operators are becoming increasingly aware of the potential threat to their profitability and are seeking out new measures to improve systems. The days of being able to ignore the problem are long gone, but the challenge now is assessing the viability of the available technologies. Each operator will need to be convinced that technology is worth the upfront investment. They are beginning to see the imperative but what they do not necessarily have at the moment is conclusive proof about which technologies offer the sophistication and functionality they require. For that to happen, there must be a healthy two way discussion between all manufacturers and developers and their clients – the oil and gas companies.

Industriezone Driehoek Poeierstraat 14 2490 Balen Belgium Tel. +32(0)14318888 Fax +32(0)14321111 sales@the-sniffers.com www.the-sniffers.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Why Emissions Management is Becoming so Important Jo Roth, Staff Writer Emissions management is more than just an environmental issue – it has major implications for the profitability of offshore oil and gas projects.

Profit reduction as a result of maintenance, stoppages and gas leaks can seriously undermine an oil company’s commercial viability

T

HE INDUSTRY has been slow to take action in reducing emissions in many parts of the operation. A lack of regulatory oversight compelling action means oil companies are tempted to ignore important issues. However, while the environmental imperative may not always be enough to spark change, commercial considerations just might. Profit reduction as a result of maintenance, stoppages and gas leaks can seriously undermine an oil company’s commercial viability – not to mention their environmental impact which is why emissions reduction is becoming a growing priority.

Difficult Economic Times A falling oil price, which has seen a remarkable decline from highs of around $100 per barrel to lows of just above $40, has created unease within the oil and gas industry about the future. This, combined with escalating costs as oil exploration taps deeper waters and employs more advanced extraction techniques, means the profit margins for oil companies are tighter now than they have ever been. Although the oil price has rebounded a little in recent months to hover between the $50 mark and $60 mark, the industry is still in an extremely uncertain phase. Government tax breaks designed to support the industry have had an effect. In the UK, changes to taxation regulations contributed to a sizeable increase in oil production. Even so, every penny counts and the industry is becoming much better at operating in these reduced circumstances. As the market looks set for a prolonged period of time with prices close to half their levels during the boom years, experts have warned operators to find ways of working sustainably at $60 per barrel. To do that, they will need to cut costs and minimize waste. 8 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

One of the biggest areas of waste is raw material loss through pipe leakage. Every year, gas leaks cost the industry millions. For example, in 2014 a major gas leak on board the Elgin North Sea Gas platform cost the operator millions of pounds in lost revenue and is estimated to have wiped 0.2% off the UK’s GDP that year6. While this represents the impact of a major and catastrophic leak, platforms are routinely losing gas and energy through minor leaks which often go undetected. A report by the Environmental Defence Fund found that 65 billion cubic feet of natural gas was released over federal and tribal lands in 2013. These figures not only serve to negate the claim that gas is a cleaner burning alternative to oil or coal, but represent a huge cost to the industry. Approximately $360 million7 was lost in gas output. If nothing else, it represents a serious threat to the financial security of the industry. Developing technologies which can accurately identify and monitor such leaks could make incremental savings which would not only reduce an oil rig’s carbon footprint, but also go a long way to improving their bottom line performance.

Flare Loss Management Financial loss occurs whenever gas or raw materials leak. One of the more serious sources is flare loss which, according to emissions management specialists, The Sniffers, represents the most significant cause of raw material loss in the production process.8 Gas is lost through internal leaks in pressure release valves, ball and gate valves and control valves. This is routed to the flare and burned off along with other excess gasses. This has a major impact on the environment. The industry is coming under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint through flare gas – for every leak identified and plugged, significant progress can be made in reducing the amount of raw


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Your Partner in Emission Monitoring and Pipeline Inspections Safety Energy savings Legal compliance Process uptime

materials burned off. On top of this, it also has a major impact on revenue. Lost gasses consume energy and reduce productivity. Other areas of energy loss include steam leaks from faults in steam traps, which can result in significant costs and energy loss. Addressing these can help facilities meet their environmental targets as well as significantly reducing energy costs. The Sniffers has been one of the more proactive companies in developing advanced detection methods. Solutions such as their VPACK device work by detecting high frequency sound by the medium when pressed through a small opening. This medium reacts in such a way that it produces turbulence when forced through an opening and it is this which creates the noise. Operators place the tip of the detector against the surface of the equipment. Contact is maximized by applying a small amount of conductive gel onto the head of the projector which increases the accuracy of the reading. This produces a highly accurate reading in detecting even the smallest openings in the surface. These can then be addressed and remedied before the leak becomes a serious issue. The data this produces can then be processed through their highly advanced SNIFFLARE technology which can create customized reports on flare loss, the financial impact and the flare reduction results.

Cost Benefits New technologies such as this perform a dual role. They are increasing the accuracy of detection for smaller holes in infrastructure. In addition, they are managing to achieve this while minimizing the necessary interventions. This, in turn, reduces downtime and productivity loss. As such, they have a double dip cost benefit. Flare emissions reduction technology represents simply one part of a much wider leak detection and reduction process. Incremental improvements at all stages are serving to deliver significant overall cost benefits. However, to encourage take up of new technologies, these benefits need to be quantifiable. This is why high quality analysis software is important not only in locating the position of leaks, but also delivering a good overview of the situation and the results of remedial action. There are signs that the industry is making strides in delivering a more cost-effective exploration and production process. While estimates a year ago would have suggested the industry could not live with prices below $100 per barrel, the industry has evolved to cope, with consultants now putting the sustainability figure at around the $60 or $70 mark. That is still high – and above the current rate of crude oil prices, but the gap is closing all the time. Leak detection management services have a crucial role to play.

Industriezone Driehoek Poeierstraat 14 2490 Balen Belgium Tel. +32(0)14318888 Fax +32(0)14321111 sales@the-sniffers.com www.the-sniffers.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

How the Industry Can Improve Leak Detection James Butler, Staff Writer Several technologies are available to improve emissions detection. However, in order to gain maximum use from them, operators need to know what they are looking for.

With many facilities having been in use for decades, and extending well beyond their original service life parameters, pipelines are aging and worn

A

LTHOUGH ACHIEVING accurate data concerning worldwide emissions data from oil and gas operations is proving difficult, the consensus is that it’s higher than the industry would like. Technology does exist which can significantly reduce the amount of gasses escaping into the atmosphere, but integrating this into existing solutions will not necessarily be a straightforward task. Operators need to know that any products they procure will be able to deliver the enhanced leak detection capacities they require.

Assessing the Problem of Leaks Leaks of gasses from oil and gas infrastructure cause many problems. They can be seen as economic, environmental and health and safety risks. According to the US pipeline and Hazardous Safety Administration, natural gas failures cause an average of 17 fatalities, 68 injuries and $133 million in property damage every year. Any leak of gasses contributes to a hit on profits with leaks in the USA estimated to impact profits to the tune of £3billion9. Infrastructure in the oil and gas industry is also becoming increasingly prone to leaks. With many facilities having been in use for decades, and extending well beyond their original service life parameters, pipelines are aging and worn. Replacing and repairing equipment contributes to substantial losses in revenue and downtime. Maintaining the integrity of equipment with minimal interference or interruption to drilling operations plays an important role in maintaining the profitability of the offshore industry. Unfortunately, much of the existing technology is not up to the task. Existing common methods rely on manual inspection techniques using handheld devices. Pipe leaks are also identified by measuring differences in flow rates and pressures. The trouble is that both these methods are inaccurate, require highly trained individuals

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to collect and analyze data, and, in the case of manual inspection, require a halt in production as well as presenting inevitably safety hazards. Oil and gas companies are also, at times, guilty of failing to adequately address the problem. A lack of regulatory oversight means it’s possible to ignore the issue and press on regardless. However, a series of factors is prompting a rethink. First of all, regulators around the world are tightening the rules and introducing new guidelines aimed at reducing the rates of gas emissions. A tighter commercial environment means profit margins are slim requiring a more cost-effective approach. Improved efficiencies and reductions in energy losses play a crucial role in helping operations continue to work in a commercially sustainable manner. There are a number of things operators need to do in order to improve their leak detection practices.

Ways and Means Increasing Sensitivity: Currently, most operators have leak detection equipment capable of identifying large and serious leaks. However, the industry’s problem is the amount of gasses and emissions which go undetected through small leaks. The industry needs monitoring equipment which can precisely identify small leaks, pinpoint their location and differentiate between gasses such as methane which are leaking from pipelines and those which are occurring more as a natural occurrence of operations. Many of the more traditional leak detection systems are capable of monitoring with accuracies of only up to five parts per billion. This makes it difficult to detect smaller leaks and differentiate leaks from naturally occurring gasses. To deliver the accuracy required, operators need equipment which can push this number up. Data collection: Collection and delivery of data in a fast and intuitive way is a crucial pillar of any emissions detection strategy. That’s why


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Your Partner in Emission Monitoring and Pipeline Inspections Safety Energy savings Legal compliance Process uptime

the leading producers of detection devices are also producing upgraded software applications delivering fast, real time data which facilitates near continuous monitoring of the wellhead. These software applications must be able to collate and integrate disparate data sets to provide operators with a more effective overview. Combination of technologies: No single solution will be able to do the job. Some will be able to identify certain types of emissions; others will provide low accuracy measurements of large leaks over a wide area, while others will be able to offer extremely high accuracy over a much smaller area. The challenge is to incorporate different types of sensors and devices into a larger system capable of measuring the entire operation. Doing this requires an understanding of the available technologies and how they can be most effectively combined to ensure everything is covered. Remote sensing: The ability to monitor areas which are difficult or dangerous to access improves safety and the accuracy of measurements. Technologies such as thermal imaging cameras placed at key spots are capable of identifying leaks and issuing alarms when they appear. These can then be remedied with minimal interference. Scalability: New products and technologies are coming to the market which increase accuracy and enable detection of smaller sized leaks.

However, until now much of this has not been scalable for the oil and gas industry. Equipment needs to be rated to perform in a range of harsh environments and deliver reliable and consistent results. It will need to be portable, offer long service life and require low maintenance to reduce running costs as much as possible. Taking sophisticated technologies and packaging them into offerings fit for the market is one of the industry’s defining challenges. Improving the monitoring of emissions in oil and gas operations pays multiple dividends. As well as reducing carbon emissions and helping public relations exercises, it also offers the opportunity to recoup lost natural gas and reduce energy wastage. By doing so, millions in additional revenue and operational cost savings can be expected. What works for the environment and for ethics also makes good business sense. With adoption of such technology being far from uniform there is also an exciting opportunity to gain first mover status. Getting ahead of the field means knowing something and using a technology that others do not have. However, with such technology now becoming increasingly available, and awareness growing, regulators and competitors will soon have access to it as well. Getting there first allows operators to demonstrate responsible business practices, and achieve an edge in the market.

Industriezone Driehoek Poeierstraat 14 2490 Balen Belgium Tel. +32(0)14318888 Fax +32(0)14321111 sales@the-sniffers.com www.the-sniffers.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

The Next Generation of Emission Detection Systems Tom Cropper, Editor The next generation of emission detection and energy management has the potential to improve safety and save the industry millions.

Although leak detection technology is being used increasingly by oil and gas projects, some companies are making better use of them than others.

E

MISSIONS OF dangerous gasses and oil represent a major problem for the oil and gas industry. As the public become more sensitive to the environmental impact of offshore operations and exploration extends into more hazardous areas, controlling leaks is becoming an increasingly important priority. New technology exists to deliver the required improvements, but adoption remains patchy with significant differences between the early adopters and those who are still yet to make the move.

The Industry is Addressing the Challenge The next few years hold a number of challenges for the offshore oil and gas community. The safety of the business is coming under greater scrutiny thanks to a series of oil and gas releases, and studies on the levels of gas release. Regulators, the public and governments are increasing their focus on the impact of offshore oil and gas leaks on the environment. A leaner operating environment means companies need to minimize waste and maximize recoverable hydrocarbons in order to maintain profitability. Certain areas such as the Norwegian oil fields have requirements for drillers to have leak detection devices on board. However, there is still a fragmentation of approach around the world, with different authorities placing different requirements. Furthermore, although leak detection technology is being used increasingly by oil and gas projects, some companies are making better use of them than others. Finding a single solution which offers accurate results across the entire spectrum of the operation is difficult. Some will require operators to physically check the potential leak site in person; others will do it remotely. Some are able to provide highly

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accurate monitoring of a small area, while others can offer low accuracy over a much larger area. The drive to produce an all-encompassing solution which can offer a complete overview is on but, in the meantime, effective integration of different technologies is crucial to achieving an effective emissions detection strategy. Awareness of such technologies is far from uniform across the industry. Early adopters are gaining a competitive edge by reducing their carbon footprint, while improving safety, revenue generation and cost efficiency. Equally, technology is still in a developing phase, with work needed on the design, engineering and commissioning of these systems in order to make them commercially viable. The industry is now making efforts to improve collaboration, knowledge-sharing and regulatory oversight to improve its response to the issue of hydrocarbon release. A joint industry project, established by DNV GL aims to develop a guideline of offshore leak detection incorporating oil and gas release in subsea, and above surface areas. To date, 20 companies and regulators have come together to pool resources and knowledge. Their aim is to limit hydrocarbon spills through detecting acute discharges as early as possible by producing a DWL GL Recommended Practice which will address leak detection systems throughout the lifecycle of offshore projects. The project aims to define all relevant requirements and general specifications for a leak detection system and offer a workable methodology for designing an integrated system for both surface and subsea technologies10.

New Technologies for New Frontiers The offshore market is continually pushing the


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Your Partner in Emission Monitoring and Pipeline Inspections Safety Energy savings Legal compliance Process uptime frontiers. As the search for new sources of oil to replace aging fields intensifies, exploration is pushing into areas previously considered unreachable. This is bringing equipment into contact with increasingly harsh environments featuring extreme temperatures ranging from hot to cold, rough seas and impact damage, corrosive elements and high pressures. Additionally, platforms are operating further from the shore and in remote environments. The probability of infrastructure failure and hydrocarbon release grows at the same time as the consequences of a leak occurring. One of the more controversial areas is in the Arctic where potentially huge resources are drawing the world’s major oil producers. However, not only will conditions be extremely hazardous to both equipment and personnel, but cleaning up a leak will be more difficult. According to Greenpeace, an oil spill in the Arctic may be virtually impossible to clean up11. Therefore the onus is on leak detection to be more robust and more sensitive. For example, BP’s newest offshore project in Alaska, Northstar, uses three separate leak detection systems with the ability to detect an oil leak as small as a single barrel per day12. Elsewhere, complex subsea systems consisting of multiple point sensors placed at strategic points are being developed. These can provide a more timely alert if problems arise. Because one single technology will is not suitable for all situations, workable systems require different types of sensors with the capabilities of one complementing the weaknesses of another.

Remote Continuous Monitoring Thermal imaging has been used for a number of years. Infrared cameras can visualize gas

leaks, detecting their location and displaying them on a clear LCD screen. The latest products can distinguish between many different types of substances and tell whether or not the leak comes from a pipe or is naturally occurring. The benefits of these systems are that they can inspect hard to reach areas where manual inspection would prove hazardous or impossible. Cameras can continuously monitor potential leak locations delivering timely alerts if issues are detected. As the technology is refined, sensitivity is improving allowing the detection of smaller leaks. The main obstacle to delivering this technology has historically been outfitting this technology for operation in deep water and hazardous environments. There are still relatively few products rated for operation in harsh environments. Advances in acoustic measurement are also raising the bar in terms of accuracy and reliability. These can be used for routine surveys of pipe systems or to verify alarms generated by other detection systems. Systems are being developed to minimize running noises and friction. These minimize wear on the pipe wall as the sensors run up and down the pipeline, but they also reduce noise allowing improved audio detection performance. They are useful for the detection and remedy of pin-hole sized leaks, enabling prompt repair before issues become serious. As oil and gas companies turn their attention to hydrocarbon emission detection technology, developers of cutting edge products have an exciting market opportunity. Even so there remains a lag between what the available technology can do, and how operators are using it. Closing that gap will determine how many offshore oil and gas projects manage to control emissions and maintain profitability.

Industriezone Driehoek Poeierstraat 14 2490 Balen Belgium Tel. +32(0)14318888 Fax +32(0)14321111 sales@the-sniffers.com www.the-sniffers.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCES IN EMISSION REDUCTION AND ENERGY LOSS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

References: 1

IPC wants methane traps more heat than we thought: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/10/02/2708911/fracking-ipcc-methane/

2

Methane emissions from oil and gas could be 50% higher than EPA says:

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Methane-Emissions-From-Oil-And-Gas-Could-Be-Higher-Than-EPA-Says.html 3

Reducing methane pollution: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/report/2014/10/06/98326/reducing-methane-pollution-from-fossil-fuel-production-on-americas-public-lands/

4

BG Group in new partnership to control emissions: http://www.bg-group.com/~/tiles/?tiletype=news&id=714

5

Methane leak detection technology becoming popular:

http://oilprice.com/Finance/investing-and-trading-reports/Methane-Leak-Detection-Technology-Becoming-Popular-with-Oil-and-Gas-Industry.html 6

Elgin North Sea Gas platform reopens: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/mar/11/elgin-north-sea-gas-platform-reopens

7

New report estimates enough natural gas is leaking to negate environmental benefits:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/24/natural-gas-leaks-methane-environment 8

The Sniffers: http://www.the-sniffers.com/services/flare-loss-management

9

The future of natural gas leak detection: http://www.oilgasmonitor.com/the-future-of-natural-gas-leak-detection/5400/

10

Join Industry Project – offshore leak detection:

https://www.dnvgl.com/oilgas/innovation-development/joint-industry-projects/offshore-leak-detection-jip.html 11

Why cleaning up an Arctic oil spill would be impossible: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/cleaning-arctic-oil-spill-impossible/

12

BP in the Arctic and Beyond: http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp-country/en_ru/documents/publications_PDF_eng/BP_in_Arctic_eng.pdf

14 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM


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Offshore Technology Reports – Advances in Emission Reduction & Energy Loss Management Solutions...  

Special Report on Advances in Emission Reduction & Energy Loss Management Solutions for Offshore Oil & Gas Operations

Offshore Technology Reports – Advances in Emission Reduction & Energy Loss Management Solutions...  

Special Report on Advances in Emission Reduction & Energy Loss Management Solutions for Offshore Oil & Gas Operations