Going greener offshore

Apr 04, 2013

Pei Cheng Chua at the University of Stavanger (UiS) has developed new and better environment-friendly chemicals for use in oil and gas production. The 32-year-old from Malaysia defended her PhD thesis on studies of new classes of low-dosage hydrate inhibitors (LDHIs) at the university on 24 January.

These are used in the to prevent gas hydrate – a kind of ice – from forming in and blocking pipelines.

Pressure

Natural gas and produced water can react together under high pressure and low ambient seabed temperatures to create this problem, which can completely halt flow in the worst case.

Various methods are used to overcome the icing, depending on conditions in the various oil or gas fields. In many cases, the simple answer is to add a type of anti-freeze to the hydrocarbons.

The difficulty is that large amounts of water are needed. This does not harm the environment, but costs money, calls for a lot of logistics and poses for offshore workers.

Developed

However, scientists have developed LDHIs over the past 10-15 years as an alternative to anti-freeze. They either delay hydrate formation or disperse the ice particles to prevent blocking.

Chua has designed, produced and pressure-tested new LDHIs, which have proved to perform better and/or had less environmental impact than the substances currently on the market.

Some of these products have been patented and are now being subject to further testing by the before they can be adopted offshore.

Read more about green production chemistry.

Explore further: Pact with devil? California farmers use oil firms' water

Related Stories

Japan extracts 'fire ice' gas from seabed

Mar 12, 2013

Japan said Tuesday it had successfully extracted methane hydrate, known as "fire ice", from its seabed, possibly unlocking many years' worth of gas for the resource-starved country.

Japan to test-drill for seabed 'burning ice'

Jul 25, 2011

Japan will seek to extract natural gas from seabed deposits of methane hydrate, also known as "burning ice", in the world's first such offshore experiment, a news report said Monday.

Natural gas supplies could be augmented with methane hydrate

Jan 29, 2010

Naturally occurring methane hydrate may represent an enormous source of methane, the main component of natural gas, and could ultimately augment conventional natural gas supplies, says a new congressionally mandated report ...

Cold storage solution for global warming?

Feb 07, 2007

Researchers from the University of Leicester and the British Geological Society (BGS) have proposed storing CO2 in huge underground reservoirs as a way of reducing emissions- and have even identified sites in W ...

Recommended for you

Gimmicks and technology: California learns to save water

Jul 03, 2015

Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits, guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess—a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst records for water conservation ...

Cities, regions call for 'robust' world climate pact

Jul 03, 2015

Thousands of cities, provinces and states from around the world urged national governments on Thursday to deliver a "robust, binding, equitable and universal" planet-saving climate pact in December.

Will climate change put mussels off the menu?

Jul 03, 2015

Climate change models predict that sea temperatures will rise significantly, including in the tropics. In these areas, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration of the surface ...

As nations dither, cities pick up climate slack

Jul 02, 2015

Their national governments hamstrung by domestic politics, stretched budgets and diplomatic inertia, many cities and provinces have taken a leading role—driven by necessity—in efforts to arrest galloping ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.