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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has underestimated methane emissions caused by oil and gas production by as much as 76%, according to research published on 29 June in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. Researchers from The Pennsylvania State University collected data in the mid-Atlantic, mid-South, and central Midwest of the US from 2017 to 2019, tracking the movement of carbon dioxide, methane, and ethane within weather systems. They then studied ethane-to-methane ratios from oil and gas production basins and compared to them an EPA inventory of those emissions. The assessment found emissions at levels between 48 and 76% higher than the EPA's estimates. The researchers said they specifically analyzed ethane because it is only produced alongside certain methane emissions, whereas methane can be produced naturally and by landfills.
Fixed-roof tanks should have a quick opening gauge hatch in the roof, which allows the operator access to the tank to "gauge" the tank, determine if water is present, measure the height of the oil/water interface, and take samples of the crude oil. The gauge hatch can be weighted in such a way as to work as a backup pressure or pressure-vacuum relief device to the primary pressure-vacuum valve. Standards for manual gauging of petroleum and petroleum products are given in the API Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards, Chap. When a volatile product is stored in a freely ventilated fixed-roof tank, the concentration of volatile vapors in the vapor space can vary depending on the tank operating conditions. During holding periods, when no liquid is added or removed from the tank, the vapor space comes to equilibrium conditions based on product temperature and vapor pressure.
The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) annual report on safety performance indicators revealed the number of oilfield fatalities had decreased from 25 in 2019 to 14 in 2020. The drop not only reflects increased safety standards and awareness in the oil patch but also a 16% decrease in total work hours reported year-over-year. The safety performance of contributing IOGP member companies in 2020 is based on the analysis of 2,544 million work hours of data. Submissions were made by 48 of the 58 IOGP operating company members. The data reported cover operations in 94 countries.
As SPE's Distinguished Lecture series wraps up its SPE section presentations for 2020–2021, a new series of virtual presentations stretches through the summer, providing access for all SPE members. Three of the live virtual presenters will be speaking on topics in the health, safety, environment, and sustainability (HSES) discipline. Each year, SPE selects industry experts, nominated by their peers, to share their knowledge and expertise at SPE section meetings. Despite the many challenges faced this season, SPE's Distinguished Lecturers gave more than 450 virtual presentations to members in more than 191 SPE sections countries around the world. Starting on 22 June, 22 presentations will be made available live virtually, broadening the audience from SPE section meetings to all of SPE's membership.
The Biden administration called for new protections under the Endangered Species Act for an iconic bird of the Great Plains, a move with major consequences for the oil and gas industry. US Fish and Wildlife Service officials proposed listing as endangered a portion of the lesser prairie chicken's population living in Texas and New Mexico, whose range overlaps with the oil- and gas-rich Permian Basin. The agency stopped short of awarding the same protections to the birds' northern population, in Oklahoma and Kansas, on the grounds that their numbers had declined less drastically. The decision, one of nearly two dozen new conservation measures the administration has adopted in the past four months, underscores President Biden's push to unravel his predecessor's environmental policies. In a separate move, the Environmental Protection Agency abolished a rule restricting what sort of studies the agency can use in crafting public health rules.
With operations often classified as high risk from a financial and physical standpoint, and costs often in excess of a quarter of a million dollars per day, capable personnel and a defined management structure are essential. Running a drilling operation in the oil and gas business requires unique knowledge, and the ability to adjust to new problems and challenges every day. It is definitely not like manufacturing widgets day in and day out. Personal safety and health has increasingly become more of a factor and focus in offshore operations over the years. Whereas the LTI rate (incidents per 200,000 hours) was commonly more than 10, it is now common to be less than 1 and often less than 0.5.
Abstract Recently, flood kill applications have been evaluated to cure blowouts due to gas migration from behind the casing while keeping the well integrity intact for further production. Traditionally, deterministic evaluations are used in planning these operations, ignoring the uncertainties in the characteristics of the gas sources behind the casing. This work focuses on using reservoir simulation-based workflow to evaluate the uncertainty providing probabilistic operating conditions to control the gas rates coming from behind the casing. The results of the simulations are combined to provide general guidelines for performing an effective flood kill operation. The studied parameters are divided in different categories based on their influence/impact on the effective kill. For example, the relationship between the best relief well position and reservoir permeability and anisotropy are studied, and the guidelines for the definition of the best location is identified. Based on the results of the analysis, the optimum required proximity of the wells can be determined. The analysis identifies the main factors for a successful flood kill operation. The situations where flood kill could be beneficial are identified and the success rate could be evaluated. This paper presents a methodology and guidelines for the design of an effective flood kill application. This methodology will help in positioning of the relief well and provide required control mechanisms to increase the chances of a successful operation. The methodology also provides insight on the required operating parameters, such as pump rates and total volume to be injected, for the operation to be successful. In addition, the developed workflow can be updated as more information is gathered while drilling the relief well. This will help in improving the chances of a flood-kill operation while providing tighter controls on the operational conditions.
Oilfield disasters shine a light on industry shortcomings. Below are three of the infamous events in industry history and the changes to equipment, procedures, and culture that have since been made to prevent their recurrence. What happened: In 1909, Julius Fried, a grocer, purchased land in Kern County, California, and founded the Lakeview Oil Company. In March 1910, after months of unsuccessful drilling that forced the sale of a controlling stake to Union Oil, oil struck at 2,200 ft. While running a bailer, the workers heard and felt a rumbling from under the well. What followed was the world's largest oil spill on land.
On 20 April 2010, a kick and blowout in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a series of explosions that killed 11 people and started an environmental disaster. Now, 11 years later, government and industry continue the drive to improve safety. The disaster at Macondo Prospect resulted in the largest environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico; the US government estimates that 4.9 million bbl of oil spilled into the Gulf. Investigations after the disaster led to several safety initiatives from the industry and the identification of areas of improvement by government. To commemorate the date, the BBC has gathered some of those who were closest to the epicenter--those who worked on the rig or who worked so hard to staunch the flood of oil and clean up the disaster afterward--for an online program.
The US Army Corps of Engineers today will allow Energy Transfer's Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to remain on line during an environmental review process that could take up to a year. The fate of the oil pipeline was in limbo after an environmental permit was vacated last year when an appeal court ruled that the easement that allowed for the pipeline's construction did not undergo sufficient environmental review. The Corps could have moved to shut the line pending another review but deferred to Judge James Boasberg of the US District Court of the District of Columbia, who vacated the permit allowing the line to run under Lake Oahe in South Dakota, a key water source for people of the region. Boasberg gave operators of the pipeline until 19 April to make the case for keeping the line flowing before he issues a ruling. Keeping the 570,000 B/D line that delivers crude from North Dakota to the US Midwest and Gulf Coast is considered a blow to indigenous groups and environmental activists who have pushed for the taps to be shut.