Day: March 3, 2016
A crowning achievement for the innovative research on hydrates.
On February 25, 2016 at Buckingham Palace, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall awarded the “Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2015” to the Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, in particular for its innovative research on hydrates carried out in partnership with Total.
HydraCHEK® crowned with success
Improving hydrate management is a crucial issue for offshore oil & gas operations, to preserve the integrity of subsea pipelines and ensure the smooth flow of fluids from the reservoir to the surface. If hydrates form, they are likely to clog the pipelines, particularly during critical production shutdown phases. HydraCHEK® is a novel process developed by the company Hydrafact (spin-out of the Heriot-Watt University) in cooperation with Total, and is used to measure the hydrate and salt concentrations in water samples. The tool makes it easier to monitor hydrate formation in a production system and therefore avoid the substantial cost of methanol injection, used by the industry to prevent the compounds from forming.
There are many advantages to decreasing the methanol injection rate:
- Reduction in the use of expensive and toxic chemicals (28,000 m3 less methanol used each year).
- Reduction and elimination of methanol contamination in the produced condensate.
- Improvement in the management of this highly toxic and flammable compound and the associated environmental impact.
For instance, HydraCHEK® has made it possible to extend the life of the Nuggets gas reservoir in the North Sea while reducing the quantity of methanol injected. By applying this process, an extra 2.8 million barrels of oil equivalent of gas have been produced, increasing the recovery factor by 2%.
Benefits for the medical world
The mathematical models developed in the frame of the Heriot-Watt hydrates research group to map the flow of oil and gas through rock also awakened the interest of the medical world due to similarities between the circulation of effluents and that of blood in the human body (and biological systems in general).
Drawing on this strong analogy, researchers were able to make considerable headway and gain greater understanding of how tumors form and of the principle of angiogenesis (the formation of blood vessels from existing vessels).
The highest national academic distinction in the United Kingdom
The Royal Anniversary Trust is an independent charity founded in 1990 to mark the 40th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession, and its vocation is to advance education for public benefit. It endeavors to promote the excellence of British universities worldwide, in particular through The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education, awarded every two years. It is currently recognized as the highest national distinction open to all academic institutions in the United Kingdom.
What is a hydrate?
Gas hydrates are crystalline ice-like substances composed of gas molecules (methane, ethane, propane…) held in a caged structure of frozen water. They occur both naturally and are formed during hydrocarbon production and processing operations, where they cause serious operational and safety concerns.
Gas production field in the deep offshore comprising four isolated wells situated in the northern part of the North Sea, 400 km to the north-east of Aberdeen and 20 km south of the Dunbar platform. The reservoirs on the Nuggets field contain “dry” gases (99% methane) with a low proportion of water and liquid hydrocarbons. Nuggets produces roughly 165 million m3 of gas per day.
Total and Heriot-Watt, many subjects for as many partnerships
- Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR).
- Visualizing flow at microscopic scale (Digital Rock Physics, DRP).
- Flow Assurance and Hydrates.
- Multiscale reservoir simulation.
- Sponsoring of the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in O&G, a new research program funded by the British government and the industry (http://www.nerc-cdt-oil-and-gas.ac.uk/).
In motorsports, a pit stop is where a racing vehicle stops in the pits during a race for refuelling, new tyres, repairs, mechanical adjustments, a driver change, as a penalty, or any combination of the above. Not all of these are allowed in all forms of racing.
The pits usually comprise a pit lane which runs parallel to the start/finish straight and is connected at each end to the main track, and a row of garages (usually one per team) outside which the work is done. Pit stop work is carried out by anywhere from five to twenty mechanics (also called a “pit crew”), depending on the series regulations, while the driver often waits in the vehicle (except where a driver change is involved or in Motorbike racing).
Where it is permitted, refuelling is often an important purpose of a pit stop. Carrying fuel slows down a vehicle and there is often a limit on the size of the fuel tank, so many races require multiple stops for fuel to complete the race distance in the minimum time. Changing tyres is also common to permit the use of softer tyres that wear faster but provide more grip, to use tyres suitable for wet conditions, or to use a range of tyres designated by the rules. Teams will aim for each of their vehicles to pit following a planned schedule, with the number of stops determined by many factors such as fuel capacity, tyre lifespan, and the trade-off between time lost in the pits versus time gained on the track due to the benefits of pit stops. Choosing the optimum pit strategy of how many stops to make and when to make them is crucial in having a successful race. It is also important for teams to take competitors’ strategies into account when planning pit stops, to avoid being held up behind a competitor where overtaking is difficult or risky. An unscheduled or extended stop, such as for a repair, can be very costly for a driver’s chance of success, because while they are stopped for service, competitors remaining on the track are gaining time on them. For this reason, the pit crew often undergo intensive training to perform operations such as tyre changes as quickly as possible leading to pit stops, for example in Formula 1, where the car is only stationary for a few seconds for a regular pit stop.
In most series the order of the order of the teams’ pit boxes is assigned by points standings, race results, or previous qualifying results before the start of the race. In NASCAR and in INDYCAR’s Indianapolis 500, typically pit assignments are made after qualifying, with the fastest qualifiers choosing their pit stall first.
A minute with ClicksandWrites is a series designed to highlight various events that I attend or location that I visit through short videos. The video also has a key safety message that is to remind each and every one that safety is a priority for all, especially road safety.
#StartEarlyDriveCarefullyReachSafely is the prime message that is the need for the hour. Beware of other drivers mistakes and drive carefully and cautiously see through to have a blessed day.
#StartEarlyDriveCarefullyReachSafely #SafetyFirst #PassionatePhotographers