E&P Notes (October 2014)
- Stephen Rassenfoss (JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor) | Trent Jacobs (JPT Technology Writer)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 40 - 45
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Heavy Oil Venture Testing New Way To Control Flames and Emissions by Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor
A major heavy oil producer in California has agreed to test a device that is designed to reduce emissions of smog-producing gases and increase the efficiency of gas burners.
Aera Energy, a joint venture of Shell and ExxonMobil, said it has agreed to retrofit a steam-generating unit used to heat heavy oil by using a new approach from ClearSign Combustion, a small publicly traded Seattle-based company whose mission is finding new ways to manage flames using a range of industrial processes.
Its first offering will be tested in boilers used by Aera to create steam to reduce the viscosity of extremely thick crude so it can be pumped from the Belridge oil field in Kern County, California.
The company said it wants to see if the technology, which is designed to achieve ultralow emissions (5 ppm) of nitrogen oxide, or NOX, can help it meet a mandate from the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District to reduce NOX, a component in smog, to 9 ppm or less.
The ClearSign technology is the size of the flame. Its Duplex tile technology is designed to replace methods that create flames stretching out more than 10 ft with thousands of smaller ones no more than 6 in. tall, according to videos on its website.
The new approach performs differently because “we have mixed fuel and air prior to ignition. The oxygen will diffuse more rapidly for shorter flames,” said Rick Rutkowski, chief executive officer of ClearSign.
The key component is the thick tile on top of a gas mixing chamber, which channels a natural gas/oxygen mix through thousands of small passageways.
Pad Sites Offer Openings for New Measurement Tools by Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor
At the recent Unconventional Resources Technical Conference in Denver, a direct measurement of what is downhole was a theme of new products offered to operators who see the need for more data on what is working, what is not working, and what could be made to work better.
The offerings had to strike a balance between gathering better data downhole and doing so at a price in line with the cost limits of companies grinding out profits by drilling hundreds of wells.
And both are arriving at a time when multiwell pad sites are increasingly the focus of development. These clusters of wells reduce the space, time, and cost associated with completing multiple wells.
One wants to consolidate more formation testing on site, and the other wants to sell data revealing how tightly spaced wells interact.
While rolling out a tool for collecting cores and preserving their fluids, Don Westacott, chief adviser of global unconventional reservoirs at Halliburton, said the company is working on a new well-side testing service to guide development on pad sites that it expects to roll out early next year.
A new tool from Baker Hughes will provide pressure and temperature data which, among other things, will allow decision makers to see if fractures from nearby wells or stages connect, creating communication that may or may not be a positive development. The data gathered is not new, but this is designed to do so at a lower cost.
“They wanted fracture and early production monitoring, but at a lower cost,” said Thomas Scott, production line manager of well monitoring systems at Baker Hughes.
Reusable Filtration Technology Under Development by Trent Jacobs, JPT Technology Writer
A new type of organically modified silica glass that can remove a wide variety of oils and contaminants from produced and flowback water is showing promising results as it undergoes field trials. The material, commercially referred to as Osorb media, is sold by process technology provider ProSep, the only company licensed to supply it to oil and gas companies. The developer said that the media is unique to the world of filtration technologies because it can absorb and adsorb up to four times its dry mass and then be regenerated for reuse once the material has reached its sorption limit. The company has delivered four rental units and is building a larger system that is capable of regenerating the media in place. The first systems require that the media be changed out once it has filled up with hydrocarbons.
The primary application that ProSep is developing the technology for is final stage polishing for water discharge from offshore production platforms and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) reinjection. Production companies have also expressed interest in using the technology as a pretreatment system on the front-end of reverse osmosis membranes to protect them from fouling.
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