Gas monitoring safety solutions for shale production

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Safety monitoring is necessary during shale gas hydraulic fracturing production, gas processing, storage, and pipeline distribution.  In order to detect potential health hazards, such as gas leaks and fires, special safety technologies must be utilized to prevent disastrous consequences from occurring.  Advanced flame sensing and gas leak technologies provide a comprehensive approach to protecting people, facilities, and equipment.  Process and operation engineers are utilizing these high-reliability monitoring technologies in safety processes to detect potential health risks and reduce false alarms.  Continuous monitoring and detection is readily available by implementing these safety protection solutions for shale applications.

Drilling operations can potentially expose on-site workers to various toxic gas hazards, such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and combustible gases.  Hydrogen sulfide is created by decomposing organic material found within the earth and can be released into the air during the hydraulic fracturing processes.  Fixed gas monitoring devices protect shale drilling workers by using thin film metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) detectors, catalytic bead detectors, and infrared point detectors.  The thin film MOS detectors protect shale drilling workers from the unexpected release of hydrogen sulfide, while catalytic bead and point infrared detectors protect against the release of explosive combustible gases during drilling operations.  These advanced-fixed gas monitoring devices are vital safety components to the entire production operation of shale gas drilling.

Once the production phase of shale gas hydraulic fracturing has been completed, continuous fixed gas monitoring is required to detect toxic and combustible gases during normal maintenance and upkeep operations.  Another advanced fixed gas monitoring device, ultrasonic gas leak detectors, can be integrated into the protection scheme as well.  While infrared point and MOS detectors continue to protect the well head area from hazardous hydrogen sulfide and combustible methane leaks, ultrasonic gas leak detectors monitor and detect pressurized gas leaks within production lines.

Every few years, workover operations may occur at a drill site where re-fracturing, re-drilling, or other maintenance activities are necessary.  These workover operations are designed to keep shale natural gas wells fully operational and safe, however they exhibit all of the same potential safety risks as the drilling and production phases.  Welding, or any other spark-producing labor, creates a great threat to the overall safety and functionality of a drill site.   Therefore, it is necessary to have the same fixed gas monitoring safety equipment present and functional during such workover operations.

During storage and distribution of shale gas, pipeline compressor stations require protection from fires and gas leaks created by failed compressor seals or protrusions, as well as unsecured valves and pipes.  In order to counter these complications, fixed catalytic bead, infrared point detectors, and ultrasonic gas leak detectors can be placed in compressor rooms to monitor leaking combustible gas.  Furthermore, flame detectors are also essential to caution and initiate shutdowns when flames appear.

Combining various fixed gas and flame technologies into the protection scheme prevents accidents from occurring that could pose as potential safety threats to people, facilities, and equipment.  Working with industry supply chain partners to understand the different safety monitoring technologies and applications help ensure that a comprehensive gas and flame monitoring system is designed, built, and commissioned.  Through proven performance, high reliability, and utilizing the latest technologies, safety monitoring has never been easier to meet your shale gas safety requirements.

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