Ugandan farmer James Mubona, 73, looked pensive as he sat in a blue plastic chair under a mango tree next to three of his four wives, one breastfeeding a 5-month-old baby, contemplating the imminent loss of his 22-acre farm to an oil pipeline. The construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline sparked a broad, clamorous online debate on social media platforms. But was there a communications gap between the opponents and proponents of the pipeline on Twitter? A US appeals court overturned a district court’s preliminary injunction that prevented construction on part of Energy Transfer Partners' Bayou Bridge crude oil pipeline in the Atchafalaya Basin of Louisiana. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is cracking down on smaller violations in the crude oil, petroleum, and hazardous liquid industries to combat a slow rise in the number of pipeline accidents.
A study analyzing a method to detect the leak quantity and its location through computational modeling is presented. Specifically, there is a focus on the transportation of wet natural gas, or methane with a mixture of condensates. Pipeline inclination was an important component of the study as the model considered a pipeline constructed within hilly terrain. Analysis was performed for wet gas pipelines through transient simulations in the OLGA software suite.
Several scenarios were modeled for this study: baseline cases at different operating pressures with no leak, cases with leaks modeled in downhill pipe segments, and cases with leaks modeled in uphill pipe segments. The leaks were modeled with identical characteristics for the two latter cases and were relatively small. It was determined that leak detection is possible in OLGA when trends in certain parameters are monitored. For this study, the minor and moderate leaks were seemingly undetectable using pressure but were detectable using trends in volumetric flow rates at locations upstream and downstream of the leak, and at the pipeline outlet. In addition, the magnitudes of fluctuations in flow parameters were increased significantly at higher pipeline pressures. The severe leak cases were detectable using all parameters.
Pipelines are the safest and most economical method for transporting oil and gas across long distances. In order to maintain a high level of safety, leak detection is an important part of daily operations. There are two primary methods of identifying a leak in a petroleum pipeline: through direct assessment or physical inspection (non-continuous method) and model simulation (continuous method).
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that physical inspections are performed by the operator on a set frequency based on risk assessments and other factors. Despite the regulation requirements, physical inspections can have a negative impact on pipeline economics by creating a need to take segments offline and allocate resources to the work. However, a computer simulation allows the operator to analyze potential leak scenarios and compare them to current pipeline performance while remaining online. The key disadvantages to simulations include the need for prior regulatory approval, and a lack of adequate information for assessing the integrity of the pipeline without concurrent use of other tools. It is worth noting that this study is focused on the continuous leak detection method but does not disregard the regulatory requirement for performing direct assessment. There are various types of leak detection systems (LDS) that are often used concurrently. A brief overview of these non-continuous and continuous LDS will be discussed.
Chief Petty Officer Frost, a boatswain's mate aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Juniper, supervises the recovery of containment boom in the Gulf of Mexico. The Juniper worked on the response to clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was affected by heat. Using climate data and post-deployment survey responses from 3,648 responders, heat-exposure categories were assigned on the basis of of both wet-bulb-globe-temperature (WBGT) and heat-index (HI) measurements (median, mean, maximum). Prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated with adjusted Poisson regression models with robust error variance to estimate associations with reported heat-related symptoms.
The benefits of using satellite imagery in arctic maritime operations are well known. Synthetic Aperture Radar and optical imagery from polar orbiting satellites can provide valuable information about sea ice and presence of icebergs both on a local and regional scale. The sea ice information extracted from satellite imagery is used together with weather data for vessel navigation in or near the ice or for increased safety and reduced risk during critical operations.
Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) has ordering, downlink and processing capabilities for all the commercial and free SAR satellites in orbit today. SAR satellite imagery from these sources can, in addition to be used for detection and monitoring of sea ice, also be used for large scale environmental monitoring (oil spill detection) and increased maritime domain awareness (vessel detection). StormGeo is a leading weather risk provider for operations in Arctic, and has a strong focus on delivering weather decision support to marine operations.
For the end-user performing ice analysis, satellite imagery can be used in addition to information such as local weather forecasts and ice information extracted from external sources. For efficient ordering of satellite imagery in ice management operations, it is important that the end-user have access to satellite tasking information such as potential temporal and spatial coverage, tasking deadlines and order status. In addition, the end-user must be able to access the relevant data as fast as possible after satellite acquisition.
KSAT and StormGeo have in cooperation with Viking Supply Ships developed an end-to-end service integrating relevant ice-information and interfaces for satellite ordering, imagery access and weather information. The service is accessed through the StormGeo GUI, "Vortex," which serves as a robust and powerful tool for information access and ice management analysis.
The service development has been done in the
The Arctic Response Technology Joint Industry Programme (ART JIP) was completed in 2017. The research program focused on priority areas where new research and technology development had the best chance of significantly advancing in the near future, the capability to respond to spills in the presence of ice as well as in open water. Research topics were chosen to encompass all the key elements of an integrated offshore response system: In Situ Burning, Dispersants, Remote Sensing, Environmental Effects, Trajectory Modelling, and Mechanical Recovery. The ART JIP was initiated by nine oil and gas companies and the work executed by leading scientific, engineering, and consulting firms across the globe.
The research consolidated a vast amount of existing knowledge in these six key areas to provide a robust and more accessible baseline for future regulators, users and industry representatives concerned with assessing, approving, planning, executing and providing oversight to ensure safe Arctic drilling and production programmes in the future.
The scientific research added a significant new knowledge base to the existing peer-reviewed literature on oil spill impacts, herders and burning, dispersants, remote sensing and trajectory modelling. With this new information, these tools can more confidently take their place as response strategies alongside traditional methods such as mechanical recovery.
As a result of past efforts and now the ART JIP, a range of operationally proven tools is available to suit specific regional environments, seasons, drilling and production programmes. A fundamental objective of the ART JIP was to make all results from the research effort publicly available. The results, findings, and strategic implications have been extensively documented and the results can be found on the ART JIP's legacy website, conference proceedings, and journals.
Despite Trinidad and Tobago having the highest biodiversity in the Caribbean and being an oil and gas producer for over 100 years, there is no approved systematic process to adequately address the protection, treatment and remediation of wildlife in the event of oil spills, apart from what is given in Section 5 of the 2013 National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP).
BP Group requirements in 2012 stipulated the need for a documented process to manage oiled wildlife. Using international guidelines, a detailed review was conducted in 2013 to determine what was needed to establish an oiled wildlife preparedness and response programme in BP Trinidad and Tobago LLC (BPTT). This involved engagement of various external stakeholders (regulators, researchers, veterinary services, environmental non-governmental organizations [ENGOs], and international wildlife response organizations) to determine what had been put in place and what could have been established to manage national disasters involving wildlife.
Local animal rehabilitation centres were found to have limited capability to respond to large incidents. BPTT sponsored an Oiled Wildlife Preparedness Response Train the Trainer programme in 2013 to increase the number of volunteers available for oiled wildlife management by enabling the ENGOs to share the techniques with others. Formal volunteer training via ENGOs began in 2017. BPTT also established its own Level 1 Oiled Wildlife Response Kit comprising tools and equipment required to handle, treat and remediate wildlife impacted by oil. While developing its Oiled Wildlife Management Plan, BPTT was asked by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) to lead the initiative to further develop Section 5 of the NOSCP in collaboration with the stakeholders mentioned above and the other oil and gas operators. In 2016, the draft national Oiled Wildlife Management Plan was segment-tested during a BPTT major drill that involved a simulated uncontrolled offshore release of hydrocarbon which impacted emerging Green Turtle hatchlings on Manzanilla Beach. The learnings from this drill are being incorporated in the Trinidad and Tobago draft Oiled Wildlife Management Plan which will be added to the next update of the NOSCP.
BPTT remains committed to working with the stakeholders to obtain approval to formally implement this system. In the meanwhile, engagement with the different groups, ENGO training of additional volunteers, drills, data collection from actual incidents continues as capability in oiled wildlife management in Trinidad and Tobago is strengthened.
Major oil spills have the potential to become major environmental incidents. This paper aims to summarize the results of the study aimed at providing oil companies with more effective tools to help them better manage their environmental risks associated with the occurrence of major oil spills during offshore drilling operations. The latter is meant to be achieved by following a rigorous and systematic approach to the integrity management of environmental barriers and the performance of safety critical tasks in the same way the industry has long dealt with the management of integrity thereof.
The paper suggests complementing the approach contained in the IPIECA IOGP guidelines on oil spill contingency planning with DNV guidelines on environmental barrier management. This way the known cycle of ‘assurance and verification' will cover those barriers which are in place to mitigate the effects of major oil spills thus ensuring their availability and effectiveness when are called upon. This includes: a) the identification of environmental critical elements and tasks, b) development of performance standards c) identification of assurance and verification activities and d) the reporting of deviations to senior management levels and taking of corrective actions.
The paper introduces the Bowtie risk management methodology as a tool which supports the barrier management approach by linking technical risk analyses with safety management systems (SMS). This is thanks to its inherent strengths not present in other risk assessment methodologies such as event trees and fault trees. Last, but not least, the introduction of Bowtie methodology will facilitate understanding by all levels of the Oil Company of the role of the barriers in mitigating the effects of accident scenarios and their relationship with other barriers during the control of the accident scenario. The latter is realized through the motto that characterizes Bowtie methodology - ‘A picture paints a thousand words'.
The extensive oil and gas infrastructure system and port systems in the Gulf of Mexico are crucial not only to the Texas economy but also the United States’ economy, with both environmental and national security impacts. The coastal gulf states are particularly exposed to pollution from either accidental or illegal discharge.
Both recent natural events and accidents have highlighted the urgency of ensuring the best available technology is available to mitigate the risk from hydrocarbon pollution.
Within this context airborne remote sensing is becoming a foundation of the overall strategy to improve the ability to plan and position response resources in the optimal areas to respond to spills. Having the right information at the right time optimizes dramatically the use of all the response resources. And assess the effectiveness of the response and make an accurate natural resources damage assessment is critical and requires as well quantitative and timely information.
In the past the main effort has been directed towards developing airborne sensors with enhanced spill monitoring capability. Recently, more and more attention has been paid to the operational approach and to the automated processing of oil spill data acquired by integrated airborne sensor platforms.
The most relevant features for an effective airborne remote sensing platforms are: multi-sensors system for complementarity and redundancy of information; capability to classify oil targets as Recoverable or Non-recoverable; capability to georeference the targets and track moving oil; real time relay of immediately usable information - for tactical and strategic use; data suitable to support the Common Operating Picture; ability to expand the operating window to low-light conditions.
This paper focuses on advanced data processing and presents ways of improving the usability of airborne multi-sensor oil spill monitoring systems. In this context, is given an overview of currently existing oil spill remote sensing technology like infrared/ultraviolet line scanners, microwave radiometers, laser fluorosensors and radar system. The paper presents Poseidon, a new airborne system for network-based real-time data acquisition, analysis and fusion of multi-sensor data. Also, a method for the distribution of oil spill data and related data products using web-based geographical information systems is described; automated generation of thematic maps of the oil spill scene along with their real-time web-based distribution is becoming more important in marine incident management.
Crude oil biodegradation by bacterial strains isolated from oil contaminated soil samples, Oman, were performed and its potential applications in crude oil waste management were analyzed. Accidental and occasional crude oil spills, treatment of produced water containing hydrocarbons and oil, and waste management are a major concern for petroleum industries. Various techniques such as, chemical, physical, biological and thermal treatments, are reported for treating spills and wastes on-site. We analyzed crude oil biodegradation by selected bacterial isolates from Oman, under reservoir conditions. Four potential bacterial isolates were selected, characterized by MALDI-Biotyper, and studied for crude oil biodegradation at 40 °C. The isolates were studied morphologically and by scanning electron microscope (SEM), and any changes in surface tension (biosurfactant production), during growth on crude oil as the only carbon source. Crude oil characteristics before and after biodegradation were analyzed by Gas chromatography-Mass specrtrometry (GC-MS). The bacterial strains were identified as
There is significant value in understanding the detail around potential events, which could occur as a result of a pipeline release. Modelling of spills can provide opportunity to optimize response, improve response time and effectiveness and reduce environmental impact. Such work provides real cost benefits.
Oil spill modelling tools have been developed to help companies storing hazardous materials to better evaluate where the liquids might go and to assess their interactions within the environment. Predictive simulations on these processes can provide operators with the means to more effectively respond to an incident. Different tools exist to make predictions for overland migration, movement of liquids in surface waters or its fate and transport through the vadose and saturated zones of underlying soils.
The question is will these plans actually assist in a response or will the responders always need to think on their feet and make calls in the field based on limited observations and under challenging conditions?
This paper will outline the principles of the modelling approaches and sets out why the availability of high quality input data is now able to support detailed models of the fate of these liquids. To highlight why model outputs used in response plans can be trusted the paper will then present two real world examples from the same operator. In one instance, an attempted theft led to the contamination of an area of ground, which required remediation. Modelling was used to identify the plausible extent of contamination so that an appropriate investigation could be undertaken and the correct area of contaminated soils removed. In the second example, a third party impact on the same buried pipeline led to a release of kerosene into a nearby stream. In this example, responders were equipped with maps presenting model simulations, which illustrated the potential extent of the oil in the stream. The responders were able to station recovery systems rapidly and in the right locations. Without the simulation plans the extent and environmental impact of the spill would have been much more significant.
The operator's response plans have stood up to two very different incidents and in both cases were supported by output from a range of modelling simulations. The response has undoubtedly saved significant costs by enabling the operator to respond quickly and appropriately to both events. To help in the use of the data generated through the modelling the client also has access to the model outputs via a web-GIS system. This technology allows the office, responders, emergency services and regulators to access all of the relevant information at a location to effectively manage the response. This is now being enhanced further with addition of thermal radiation modelling to account for risks should the released product be ignited.