Gas & Flame Detection Solutions for the Natural Gas Shale Industry

Introducing the Gassonic Observer-i Ultrasonic Gas Leak Detector with Artificial Neural Network IntelligenceOverview
According to the EIA, 32 percent of the total global estimated natural gas resources are in shale formations. The discoveries of shale deposits around the world, combined with technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, have led to a huge expansion of natural gas production. Thousands of jobs have been created to support the four distinct operational phases of new gas well development.

Construction
Drilling
Production
Workover

Process
Hydraulic fracturing differs considerably from other natural gas extraction processes. Millions of gallons of water are mixed with chemicals, sand, and other materials to form fracking fluid. This mixture is pumped to deep underground shale formations. Applied high pressure causes the water mixture to fracture shale, allowing natural gas to flow from the well within. After fracturing completes, used fracking fluid is collected and treated to eliminate chemical and mineral contents before disposal, or reused at other well sites.

Construction Operations Phase
Construction support for a natural gas well involves road construction to access the well site, well pad assembly to support the drilling rig, and pit excavation for wastewater containment.

Drilling Operations Phase

Shale drilling workers are potentially exposed to several gas hazards including pockets of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) created by decomposing organic material and carbon monoxide (CO) from the rig's diesel engines. Fixed gas monitoring devices such as those manufactured by General Monitors offer continuous monitoring and detection of combustible and toxic gases and provide essential early-warning alerts.

Gas leaks can occur in the drilling process, possibly forming explosive levels of combustible gas. The General Monitors S4000CH / S4100C / IR400 Combustible Gas Detectors can be used to monitor near drilling sites for combustible levels of methane escaping during the drilling process.

The General Monitors S4000TH / S4100T MOS H2S Sensors can be used to monitor near the drilling site for worker exposure to toxic levels of H2S gas escaping from underground gas pockets. The MC600 Controller is a control device which can interface with any of the gas sensors mentioned and provide a visual indication of gas readings. Relays can also be used to activate other safety/signaling devices.

Production Operations Phase
Once the gas well is drilled and production of the raw natural gas begins, fixed gas detectors can be used to perform the combustible gas monitoring that is necessary during normal operation or maintenance. Ultrasonic gas leak detectors can be used to monitor pressurized gas leaks.

During normal production operations or maintenance, combustible gas monitoring is necessary for safe operation. Should a leak occur, the Gassonic Observer-H Ultrasonic Gas Leak Detector provides detection of the ultrasonic sound released by a pressurized gas leak. It provides early detection and signaling of leaks to shut down the production process and initiate safety measures.

Workover Phase
Every few years, a rig may undergo partial re-drilling, re-fracturing, and maintenance activities to keep it fully operational and safe. Such workover operations present many of the same potential safety hazards as drilling and production operations and thus require the same safety equipment. Monitoring of combustible gas levels is especially vital during repair operations involving welding or other spark-producing work.

Delivery
During the delivery process, Combustible Gas Detectors are ideal for monitoring combustible gas build-up from leaks in compressor stations. In addition, the Gassonic Observer-H detects leaks from failed seals or flanges in compressors or piping in compressor rooms. It can be located inside or outside of the room to provide sensitive detection for pressurized leaks. Should a fire occur, the General Monitors FL4000H MSIR Flame Detector provides quick detection of flames in the compressor room to prevent property damage and loss of life.

Conclusion
A huge expansion of natural gas production has occurred globally thanks to the discovery of new shale deposits around the world combined with technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. General Monitors has gas and flame detectors to protect people and property throughout all stages of the natural gas production process.

Links of interest
Oil and Gas Industry Application Notes



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