Going greener offshore

April 4, 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: Cold storage solution for global warming?

Related Stories

Cold storage solution for global warming?

February 7, 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 Western Europe ...

Natural gas supplies could be augmented with methane hydrate

January 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 ...

Japan to test-drill for seabed 'burning ice'

July 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.

Japan extracts 'fire ice' gas from seabed

March 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.

Recommended for you

Global index proposed to avoid delays on climate policies

August 4, 2015

Professor David Frame, Director of Victoria's Climate Change Research Institute (CCRI), has co-authored a paper published today in the high profile international scientific journal Nature Climate Change. The paper argues ...

Researchers investigate increased ocean acidification

August 3, 2015

The primary cause of global ocean acidification is the oceanic absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere. Although this absorption helps to mitigate some of the effects of anthropogenic climate change, it has resulted in a reduction ...

0 comments

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.