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Posts Tagged ‘Natural gas processing’

Vortex Tools shares the general breakdown of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) fluid.

I hear this question a lot: What is fracking fluid made of?

EnergyFromShale.org answers here (PDF warning):

http://www.energyfromshale.org/sites/default/files/Typical-Shale-Fracturing-Mixture-Makeup.pdf

Although 99.5% of fracking fluid is water and sand, many fracking fluid companies did not want to divulge their trade secret formulas when the outcry over fracking got louder. While that remaining 0.5% is not broken down in percentages, there’s clearly an intent to tie these additives to everyday household items like guar gum in ice cream and isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) in deodorant. Just make sure you don’t get those the wrong way round — nobody likes arm pit ice cream.

Something tells me this info won’t sway the environmental crowd, because  regardless of the chemical makeup, the process itself has still come under a lot of fire. Environmentalists contend that fracking chemicals are responsible for groundwater contamination, and that given the way water naturally flows to the path of least resistance, the veins created by the force of fracking not only provide routes for contamination, but fundamentally damage the rock structure, causing even more problems (some argue earthquakes). Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry believes that the science behind fracking is sound, and when enacted properly, no groundwater contamination occurs, as the fracking veins don’t spread anywhere near water. They also contend that many of the pollutants blamed on fracking chemicals are actually naturally occurring.

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Related articles:

Fracking in 2012

Wherefore Art Thou, Neutral Fracking Definition?

Delving Into the Pro Fracking Stance

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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Vortex Tools comments on EPA administrator Al Armendariz’s analogy on the need to “crucify” the oil & gas industry, and the war of words from both sides in April 2012.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ADisused_Industrial_Building%2C_Off_Pasture_lane_-_geograph.org.uk_-_101328.jpg

If you haven’t figured it out by now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the oil & gas industry don’t get along. It’s one of those power-struggle relationships that shifts depending on whichever political party is in power — the EPA usually grows under a Democrat-controlled government, the oil & gas industry under a Republican-controlled government — but generally speaking, the two try to not say anything too overt against the other side.

Lately, however, that hasn’t been the case.

Ring the bell.

On April 5th, Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) declared,  “We must cut the EPA’s legs off.”

While I think the EPA, like many regulatory government agencies, has unfortunate biases and agendas, there’s still a need for them; so in my grace, I will state that they should indeed still have legs (how nice of me).

Rep. Fincher, however, clarified his comment farther: “I hate to say that because it sounds rotten, but they are choking this country to death with legislating through the bureaucracy in Washington. I mean, we have fought dust legislation; we have fought water. You name it — it is something every day from the Environmental Protection Agency, and every group I talk to has the same message: ‘Please stop them.’ “

Then, on April 18th, the EPA issued air pollution rules for fracking wells. The rules state that oil & gas companies can flare (or burn off) the gas for now, but by 2015, that option will be gone. Instead, the oil & gas industry will be required to collect the gas. As a result, this will require pipelines and other equipment that, for many companies, is considered a hassle now.

Considering the environmental impact and energy value of the gas (plus the financial/energy value of the liquids in rich gas), this regulation against flaring is long overdue, but then again, Vortex Tools has been opposed to flaring gas rich with natural gas liquids (NGLs) for a long time, especially since these NGLs are valuable and Vortex makes them easy to recover.

Despite what many perceive to be a healthy step for energy efficiency, many in the oil & gas industry believe that the EPA will not stop regulating until fracking is banned. (This is, of course, exactly what environmentalists want.) This latest regulation isn’t the first step to that marker, and it’s unlikely to be the last.

And here we are today — April 26th, 2012 — where news broke on a video clip from 2010. In the video, top EPA official, Region Six Administrator Al Armendariz used the example of crucifixion to explain the EPA’s enforcement methods on the oil & gas industry:

The highlights:

“It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere; they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so you make examples out of people who are, in this case, not compliant with the law — find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there. And companies that are smart see that, they don’t want to play that game, and they decide at that point that it’s time to clean up. And that won’t happen unless you have somebody out there making examples of people. So you go out, you look at an industry, you find people violating the law, (and) you go aggressively after them.”

I’ll give Armendariz credit: He at least knew then that his analogy was “crude” and “not appropriate” (which laid the groundwork for his apology yesterday… two years after the fact). Past that, however, he should probably know that examples on ruthlessly torturing and murdering people to establish your power might not go over well.  Plus, apparently that Jesus fella changed how Christians, a large part of the population, will respond to casual crucifixion examples (even if they are historically accurate).

Since the fracking debate is especially heated this year, it’s no surprise that both sides are digging up questionable content from the past. Also in the obvious box, the Armenadiz video prompted the following obvious responses:

  1. The EPA defended its enforcement strategy;
  2. The White House issued a statement that Armendariz’ remarks do not reflect President Obama’s view; and
  3. Some Republicans are angry and again believe that the EPA needs to be shut down.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) announced he is launching an investigation into the EPA’s tactics. He believes the EPA intends to incite fear in the public with unfounded intimidation methods. He also believes the EPA forcefully and unfairly shuts down companies. “My point is, you can’t get the oil and gas without hydraulic fracturing, but the public doesn’t know that,” he said. “So if they can kill hydraulic fracturing they have successfully killed oil and gasoline production in America.”

Well, April’s not over yet. Maybe we’ll have a few more heated comments between the EPA and the oil & gas industry before the month is out.

EDIT: 4/30: Armendariz out: https://spirofloblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/epa-official-who-called-to-crucify-the-oil-and-gas-industry-resigns/

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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Yeah, I said it in the title, but I’ll say it again: The updated Vortex Tools site is live!

Vortex Tools has redone its site to give oil and gas engineers easier access to Technical Reports (White Papers, case studies, and installation instructions) and Media (promotional materials and published articles).

In addition to featuring key surface and downhole applications, the Vortex site now features an updated list of the available Vortex tools, including:

The surface flowback (SX-FB) tool:  A large, East Texas independent (in conjunction with a leading flowback and well testing company) placed a Vortex SX-FB tool between the high-pressure separator and heater-treater and was able to reduce the production lost to the pit by one day, generating an additional $500,000 in previously “lost” production and significantly reduced their emissions impact.

The wireline retrievable (DX-WR) tool for increased gas storage recovery: With the DX-WR tool, underground gas storage companies are able to recover more of the gas stored in caverns, thereby profiting more in winter from the gas (usually) stored during the summer. Prior to the Vortex DX-WR tools, in the test region, 6% of the gas stored could never be recovered (the maximum recovery rate in this set of caverns was only 92%). After the DX-WRs were installed, in some cases, over 100% of the prior year injected gas was recovered.

For all this and more, please visit the new VortexTools.com

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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Vortex Tools discusses how it’s possible to be a green technology in the oft-vilified oil and gas industry. From eliminating harmful vapors to recovering up to 10 times more natural gas liquids than conventional methods, Vortex Tools keep oil and gas wells running efficiently and safely.

It’s not hard to figure out that people are more inclined to go green when it has a financial benefit, since even the staunchest opponent of green issues likes more green in his wallet. Not surprisingly, this also applies to the oil and gas industry. Yeah, I know, every time I bring up the green side of oil and gas, I have to assure people I’m not writing fiction (or lying to cover for an ill-favored industry), but one of the ways Vortex Tools makes the oil and gas industry more energy efficient is to squeeze more profitability out of what’s already there.

Yes, seriously, on fire

A couple of alternative energy resources that regularly get burned along the way — yes, literally set on fire — are natural gas liquids (NGL) or condensates. This is because several states allow oil and gas companies to flare the natural gas (containing the NGLs) for a set period of time. For all the controversy about fracking, I’m surprised this practice is still allowed, considering the negative environmental impact of flaring and that the energy from this natural gas could be used to heat a half-million homes for a day. While I’ve yet to meet a monocle-wearing oil and gas executive who twiddles his mustache and laughs maniacally, sometimes it’s easy to see why the oil and gas industry are more easily pegged as villains. However, one of the reasons oil and gas companies often flare the gas is not because it isn’t profitable, it’s that with gas values (which have stayed relatively low despite the up-and-down values of oil) and the associated pipeline costs to take it to market, natural gas isn’t profitable enough.

With this in mind, Vortex Tools decided to market the benefits of its natural gas liquids recovery (SX-NGL) tool to oil and gas companies’ bottom line. (Sure, it’s easy to wag our “We are the 99%” fingers at corporations looking to make more money off environmental issues, but look at how an individual green responsibilities like recycling have tanked when homeowners have to help pay for the process instead of subsidies.) In enabling these oil and gas companies to make a greater profit, alternative energy resources are maximized, and harmful environmental practices are eliminated.

By spinning gases back into liquids, the Vortex tools knock out more natural gas liquids like butane, pentane and propane—valuable liquids that are sold for three times the value of the gas (at current rates). Additionally, oil and gas producers have to pay a large treatment cost to remove these “nuisance liquids” from the gas to purify it to a sellable quality, but since the valuable liquids are removed before the processing plant, the producer gets greater value, the plant gets a purer gas ready for sale and the consumer gets more alternative fuels. (Processing plants can also use these Vortex SX-NGL tools to purify their product.) One East Texas producer studied these Vortex NGL recovery tools for 15 months and found that, in one year, they had generated over $2 million worth of NGLs (as well as reducing their gas treatment costs) from a $200,000 investment (which includes the cost of the Vortex tools and associated tanks/installation). Again, this profit number is before calculating all the processing costs saved.

A brochure about this increased NGL recovery can be found here.

For more applications—including how Vortex downhole tools extend the decline curve of an oil and gas well, allowing it to free flow under its own production without major intervention—as well as technical papers and case studies, please visit vortextools.com.

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with a 3.5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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