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2 06, 2021

Revisiting The Risk

Abstract Within the pipeline industry, there is a concerted push towards reducing the risks associated with the transportation of hazardous products. In the event of hydrocarbon liquid pipeline failure, major concerns are the negative effects on the environment and the socioeconomic impacts on the neighbouring population. The impacts are highly variable and depend on the type of fluid released and the locations affected by the spill; however, there is agreement that the consequences of failure increase with the amount of product released. Therefore, the ability to predict the potential volume of a spill due to a hazardous liquid release [...]

20 01, 2021

Laboratory Testing of Artificial Lift Systems Joint Industry Project

Challenges with Artificial Lift Systems Thermal recovery techniques, like Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), are now very common in Western Canada.  Over the last 20 years, thermal operators have gained access to specialized technology and best-practices that make it possible to produce under these very challenging conditions.  Despite these advances, there are still some major challenges associated with the Artificial Lift (AL) systems tasked with pumping fluids to surface. The presence of a depleted or low–pressure formation above the reservoir (or the operators desire to optimize the level of sub-cool) often makes it necessary produce SAGD wells at very [...]

15 01, 2021

Analysis of Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Spill Volumes

Abstract For onshore pipelines transporting hydrocarbon products that remain in a liquid state after release, environmental damage and socioeconomic impact are the dominant concerns. It is reasonable to assume that the magnitude of impact from such a release event is, at least in part, a function of the volume of product released. Analytical models exist for estimating the release volume from pipelines as a function of the physical and operational parameters of the line, and the effective size of the opening at the point of line break. While the estimates of release volumes obtained from such models are an [...]

15 01, 2021

Establishing a Detection Threshold for Acoustic-Based External Leak Detection Systems

Abstract A better understanding of the sensitivity threshold of external leak detection systems can assist pipeline operators in predicting detection performance for a range of possible leak scenarios, thereby helping them to make more informed decisions regarding procurement and deployment of such systems. The analysis approach described herein was developed to characterize the leak detection sensitivity of select fiber optic cable-based systems that employ Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). The detection sensitivity analysis consisted of two steps. The first step involved identifying a suitable release parameter capable of providing a defensible basis for defining detection sensitivity; the second step involved [...]

4 12, 2020

Risk Assessment of Underground Gas Storage Wells Subject to Well Entry

A new set of guidelines has been released for conducting risk assessments of underground gas storage (UGS) wells that are subjected to periodic well entry. These guidelines were developed by C-FER Technologies for The US Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and are publicly available: Risk Assessment and Treatment of Wells. Webinar Part 1: Overview of the New Guidelines In Part 1 of this two-part webinar series, C-FER project lead Mark Stephens will provide an overview of the quantitative risk assessment (QRA) process that forms the basis for the guidelines, with [...]

19 11, 2020

Submerged Oil Detection – Joint Industry Project

Challenges with Inland Waterways Leak Detection Effective technologies for detecting and recovering hydrocarbon releases in inland waterways can reduce response times and minimize impacts on the environment. These technologies also allow spill response resources to be strategically deployed, leading to higher recovery rates and reduced remediation costs. However, there are limited opportunities to test and optimize these technologies with real hydrocarbon products in representative, controlled conditions. Ultimately, these challenges reduce the identification, development and implementation of leak detection and spill counter-measures. Simulating Liquid Hydrocarbon Releases to Detect Submerged Oil To address these gaps, C-FER Technologies is managing a Joint [...]

8 10, 2020

Enhanced Geothermal Systems Promise and Challenges

Limitations of Conventional Geothermal Resources Geothermal energy is a proven “green” energy technology in areas where high temperature hydrothermal sources exist.  A hydrothermal source contains three key parameters: heat, a natural water source, and; sufficient permeability. These conditions exist primarily at tectonic plate boundaries and are an important resource for large industrial power and direct use applications. There are currently hydrothermal power plants operating in over 30 countries. These plants are mainly along the “Pacific Ring of Fire." The largest capacity existing in: United States, Indonesia, Philippines, and; New Zealand. Iceland and Turkey also have significant hydrothermal developments. However, [...]

22 09, 2020

Determining Corrosion Repairs Using a Simplified Reliability Approach

The reliability-based approach has been gaining popularity in the industry as a tool for planning transmission pipeline corrosion management programs. Compared to the typical experience-based deterministic safety factors prescribed in standards, the traditional reliability-based approach has the following advantages and disadvantages: Traditional Reliability-Based Approach Experience-Based Deterministic Safety Factors + produces a consistent risk level after repairs - produces unknown risk level after repairs + reduces unnecessary excavations by targeting high-risk pipeline sections - does not target high-risk locations - uses computationally challenging probabilistic calculations + uses simple deterministic calculations C-FER has developed a simplified [...]

14 06, 2020

How Can Pipeline Operators Evaluate Novel Non-welding Repair Technologies?

Flaws and defects in pipelines can result in significant problems. Fortunately, a new generation of tools are now available to detect circumferential crack-like features. Once detected, pipeline operators have a few options to repair these flaws: Replace the section of pipe; Weld a metal sleeve over an extended area; or Use any one of many possible non-welded repair technologies. One main challenge for operators is choosing the right repair solution for their specific operating conditions. Why Not Repair the Flaw with Traditional Welding? Welding a metal sleeve is the traditional approach, but it can also create problems. Welding [...]

4 06, 2020

ICD Erosion Simulation

Erosion Effects on Flow Control Device (FCD) Performance A major thermal operator contacted C-FER to investigate the effects of erosion on Inflow Control Devices (ICDs) and how their performance may change over +20 years in a SAGD well. The long-term performance of these ICDs heavily influences the economics of SAGD production and is a key design consideration for all thermal operators. Unfortunately, erosion mechanisms (and erosion testing) can be quite complex, and trying to evaluate erosion under the high temperature multiphase flow conditions in a SAGD well is even more challenging. In-Flow Control Device (ICD) In-situ Erosion Simulation C-FER [...]

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