Assisting flaring: steam vs air

During the production of oil and natural gas, excess gas is often flared for safety reasons. An efficiently burning flare does not produce visible smoke. However when incomplete combustion occurs black smoke can be produced – caused by wind, water, impurities in the fuel or poor mixing with air. The effects of black smoke During…

Flaring types: elevated vs ground

The flame at the top of an oil rig is an iconic image for the oil and gas industry. During the production of oil and natural gas, excess gas is burned for safety reasons in these elevated flare stacks. However, ground flares offer a less intrusive alternative. Staying grounded There are two types of ground…

The Petrochemicals industry: breaking down BTX

While primarily used as energy sources, fossil fuels are often distilled and refined into different substances. These chemicals are then used in the production of everything from plastics to detergents. Benzene, Toluene and Xylene (BTX) make up a mixture commonly used in the petrochemicals industry. BTX is essential for extracting and creating in demand products…

Chemical processing: the role of ethylene glycol

Oil rigs and underwater pipelines must be able to operate in extremely low temperatures, but equipment working in a large body of water must also contend with salt causing corrosion. Damage potential In an inherently hazardous environment, risk mitigation is the difference between a successful oil rig and a large-scale industrial disaster. Offshore oil and…

Chemical processing: what is ethylene?

Excess natural gas produced at oil wells is often flared, but it can also be transformed into pipeline quality dry natural gas. This involves a complex industrial process where raw natural gas is cleaned to separate impurities, various non-methane hydrocarbons and fluids. By-products of this process include: ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes and several other compounds.…

Feeling the pressure: process upsets in flaring

45 per cent of oil and gas megaprojects suffer extended project shutdowns into their second year of production. Referring to large-scale, complex ventures that typically cost billions of dollars, megaprojects demand strict budget constraints and complete operational efficiency. Equipment failure could cause an entire shutdown of a project and result in operators missing production uptime…

Knockout drums: removing liquid

The World Bank recently revealed 141 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas was flared in 2017. The figures reflect the global change in attitude towards routine flaring and its reduction, with Russia actioning the biggest decline last year and Nigeria now actively pursuing new regulations to restrict flaring. Operators are also making moves to…

Flaring: efficiency in action

Despite global oil production increasing by a half per cent, recent data from the World Bank revealed global gas flaring is in decline. Operators are becoming more conscious of the gas they are flaring and are willing to better utilise excess natural gas. While flaring is decreasing, the data does not indicate whether the flaring…