Category Archives: Projects, Facilities and Construction

Web Events

Web Event: Crude and Refined Product Metering

Join a live web event on 11 February presented by the PFC Study Group on “Crude and Refined Product Metering – Meter Selection for Loading/Unloading Applications and Meter Proving.” This webinar will discuss the basic operating principles of four metering technologies, as well as the application range of each one of these technologies in terms of viscosity and flow rate.

This is the second in the four part PF&C Spring Series.

Flow Assurance Technical Section

Register Today for January Flow Assurance Technical Section Luncheon

SPE Flow Assurance Technical Section Presents:

Correlating Flow Regimes and Fluid Properties with Corrosion in Pipelines
Presenter:  Dr. Probjot Singh, ConocoPhillips

When: Thursday, 22 January from 1100 to 1300 hours CDT
Where: Norris Conference Center, CityCentre, 816 Town & Country Blvd., Suite 210, Houston, TX
Registration Fee: SPE Member, USD 40; Nonmember, USD 50

Presentation Topic:
The presentation will discuss corrosion mechanisms that have emerged in production systems due to changes in flow regimes and thermal behavior as conditions changed during field operations. We will see how corrosion monitoring data with fluid analyses, flow modeling, and additional laboratory testing have been effectively used to understand the corrosion mechanism and develop solutions for control.

Program Agenda

1100–1130: Registration and Networking
1130–1300: Lunch
1200–1300: Presentation and Q&A

Register today »

Web Events

Web Event: Safety Culture

Attend a web event on “Safety Culture Before and After Bhopal” presented by Howard Duhon on 11 March. This webinar will tackle some challenging questions such as – ‘How is safety culture different today?’, ‘What impact did Bhopal have?’, and ‘Did it have more impact on design or on operations?’

note

Director’s Note: Lessons Learned from Bhopal

DIRECTOR’S NOTE:  In the early morning hours of 3 December 1984, a large amount of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas was released from a Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant, which swept over a large, densely populated area south of the plant.  Thousands of people were killed including some at the railway station 2 km away. 

I was an employee of Union Carbide Corp. (UCC), the US parent company of UCIL at the time of the accident.  There is a great deal that we will never know about the accident.  It is difficult to investigate a catastrophe of this magnitude.  Most investigations focused on the technical story.  We know that, although significant safeguards were designed into the plant to prevent an MIC release, or at least to minimize its impact, all of the safeguards were bypassed, out-of-service, or otherwise rendered ineffective. 

But there is a social story that is just as important.  Four social drivers form the backdrop to the tragedy:  (1) the appeal of socialism in India, (2) an extreme anti-expatriate legal system, (3) general national poverty with abject localized poverty near the plant, and (4) the lack of a safety culture.  All of these made it difficult to operate a plant of this sort in India at that time.

Financial factors were important as well; the plant was not making money.  UCIL had decided to permanently shut it down, thereby significantly affecting operator morale and exacerbating maintenance deficiencies.  The plant was in its last production run at the time of the accident, working off the last batch of MIC.

Much has changed in the process industries as a result of Bhopal including many things that we take for granted, such as hazard and operability analysis, management of change, permit to work, and dispersion modeling.  There is an important lesson that we have not learned – effective use of SOPs.  The oil and gas industry needs to catch up with the airline and space exploration industries to instill an effective safety culture and to make following SOPs an absolute priority. 

I am frequently struck by how little people know about this accident.   I think it is important to not only remember those killed and injured in the accident but also to resolve that nothing like it will ever happen again. 

Chris Shaw

What our members are saying…

Facilities engineers are old-school engineers that have a good handle on all the engineering disciplines.  They are often called on to troubleshoot, debottleneck, and optimize process plants. To do this, they need to understand the interactions between the instrumentation and service systems that affect control systems, the control element itself, safety systems, chemicals, rates, pressures, and temperatures.

Facilities engineers have to have broad experience and broad shoulders. The position is responsible for systems integration, processes, and the economic aspects of decision-making. The tasks can require mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and controls, or configuration and field development knowledge. The facilities engineer can’t detail design it all and needs to turn to others for support. SPE offers that support with training, knowledge transfer, and online technical communities, which are monitored by experienced engineers ready to offer advice and solutions.

Chris Shaw
PTI Deepwater (Subsea Processing)

Davies

What our members are saying…

I joined SPE in June 1987, on the recommendation of a senior staff scientist at Conoco.  I had just finished overseeing the design and construction of a water technology test centre in Scotland’s Orkney Isles, and I was lucky enough to be invited to attend an SPE Forum on water treatment in Crested Butte, Colorado.  The discount that SPE membership provided was more than offset by the discount given when attending this event, which taught me early on that SPE membership gives good value!  The 5 days I spent in stunning Colorado surroundings was one of the richest learning experiences I have encountered, and I started to build a strong network of colleagues who remain friends and business associates in the international oil and gas industry to this day.

I have since attended various SPE fora, applied technology workshops and similar events, which have all proved valuable learning experiences.  The events are established by engineers, for engineers, with the very professional support and coaching of SPE staff.  SPE has also been an important part of providing quality and value for an increasing number of industry conferences and exhibitions, including of course OTC and Offshore Europe.

My career has now spanned 31 years, all of it associated with technology and intellectual property management.  I spent the first decade of my career working in Scotland, after which I moved to Norway, which has been my home for 21 years.  I have seen “both sides of the fence”, having worked for a research and development organisation and then an equipment supplier, before moving to positions with several international operators, including my current employer Statoil, where I have been since 2009.  I have travelled extensively with my work, and have met members of the “SPE clan” all over the world.

As my career has developed, it has been a pleasure starting to pay back what was so generously given to me in my early work years.  I have presented at and participated in SPE conferences and workshops all over the world.  Something that gives me particular pride is the opportunity to chair or co-chair the first four SPE advanced technology workshops on subsea processing, held from 2006–2012 in Italy and Norway.  This baton has now been passed on to new and (slightly) younger talent!  The next event will be held in Brazil in 2015, which emphasises the international nature of our industry, and the global span of SPE.  I remain a member of the SPE Projects, Facilities, and Construction Advisory Committee.

I fully intend to remain an active and supportive member of SPE in my future career, and have just noticed that the year in which I am scheduled to retire is the year I will reach the 50-year SPE Legion of Honour (or Honor, for my US friends)!  I look forward to the next two decades of SPE membership, and hope that this testimonial inspires others to join SPE and become active members, with all the benefits that this can provide.”

Simon Davies
Statoil ASA

Web Events

Web Event: Human Factors

Attend a web event on “Human Factors in Drilling: Are there practical tools for use at the wellsite?” presented by John Thorogood on 12 November. The purpose of the webinar is to present the concept of Threat and Error Management to the audience, to engage with them and to seek their feedback as to whether this approach is viable in today’s operational climate.