Instrumentation, System Integration and Expert Capability: Critical Success Factors for Pipeline and Refining Operations

This guest blog post is written by Darlene K. Gregory

Measuring pressure, temperature, flow and level in the pipeline is critical for midstream and upstream producers. When the pipeline is miles long, as many in the Texas Eagle Ford Shale, Bakken Shale and the Texas Permian Basin are, the quality of your process tubing, compression fittings and instrumentation is as critical as the pipeline itself to the profitability of the producer.

solenoid shutdown system # 2Instrumentation and process systems regulate interface levels in tanks to separate oil and water, so oil can be trucked to refineries for processing or to the nearest port for shipment. Faulty instrumentation or process systems can cause lower pricing for your product, as the oil is “contaminated” by excess water.

“Producers spend many millions of dollars to install the pipeline, X-ray the wells, and hydrotest the pipe. Correct, meticulous installation of process systems, tubing and compression fittings in the pipeline prevents lines from blowing or leaking – ensuring safe operations for staff, the community and the environment.” said Rolando Perez, Project Manager of Rabalais I & E Constructors’ Instrumentation & Systems Integration Division. “When oilfields become prolific, such as the Eagle Ford Shale has, many mechanical and roustabout companies enter the market to provide instrumentation and process tubing services. Unfortunately, many of these companies are unaware of the critical nature of correct insertion of the tubing and fittings. We’ve been called to remedy faulty installations time and time again,” said Darrell Harned, Vice President of Instrumentation & Systems Integration.

Instrumentation and process systems regulate interface levels in tanks to separate oil and water, so oil can be trucked to refineries for processing or to the nearest port for shipment. “Faulty instrumentation or process systems can cause lower pricing for your product, as the oil is “contaminated” by excess water,” said Harned.

Rabalais Instrument & Electrical Constructors has served the oilfield, refining and petrochemical industries nationwide for 30 years. Located just 60 miles from the Eagle Ford Shale, in Corpus Christi, Texas, the company employs several hundred certified and trained electricians, instrumentation, RTU/SCADA and system integration specialists. With offices in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Midland/Odessa and Louisiana, the company has long term relationships with some of the biggest names in the petroleum industry…NuStar, Anadarko, Chesapeake, Citgo, Valero, Texas Star and Exxon to name but a few, both in the field and in the refineries.

Rabalais provides installation, calibration, and loop check of all types of pneumatic/electronic instrumentation utilized for control and monitoring of process systems. The company’s NCCER Certified Instrument Fitters and Instrument Technicians can assist you on any new construction, revamp, maintenance, or turnaround project nationwide. Rabalais addresses the client’s business needs through conceptual design while utilizing state of the art construction disciplines to examine the entire scopesolenoid shutdown system #1 of the project. Its project managers and team leaders incorporate all project issues to provide the greatest potential of success for clients, including cost improvement, life cycle expenditures, capital cost expenditures, project management, scheduling, procurement, installation, process training, service and maintenance.

Rabalais’ extensive experience in all types of industrial processing facilities has allowed the firm to create a safe and productive working environment that exceeds all national standards for the industry. It takes pride in its unique ability to integrate disparate systems to increase efficiency and production.

The company’s capabilities include:

  • Installation of Pneumatic / Electronic / Hydraulic Instrumentation per client standards & specifications
  • Select and procure material per client specification
  • Design and fabricate elaborate tubing tray support systems
  • Interpretation of client drawings and specifications
  • Installation / Design of Steam and Electric Trace Systems
  • Install Pneumatic, Process Impulse, Sample and Hydraulic Tubing Systems
  • Instrument & Electrical construction, maintenance and turnaround services
  • Project estimating, planning and scheduling
  • P&ID walkdowns
  • Constructability reviews
  • Steam tracing
  • System Maintenance

In refineries, as in the field, Instrument Calibration is critical to a successful installation of any instrument system. Accuracy of the information produced by any instrument is dependent on proper calibration. OEM-stated procedures are used by Rabalais technicians to correct any inaccuracies and document findings. Services are offered in your facility without removal of the equipment or disturbing normal process operations. Rabalais saves time and cost during construction of your project by performing Field and Bench Calibrations prior to installation. The company calibrates, certifies and documents every instrument. Pre-installed instruments are field calibrated. All Calibration Services include complete control loop testing.

“Experience has taught us that project success requires early planning, continual monitoring, and full, open and regular communication with our clients. Rabalais programmers are experts in System Integration Design, providing interfaces and implementing complex control strategies,” said Harned.

Since all departments necessary for successful integration are in-house at Rabalais, the firm is a single source for a complete turnkey control system project of exceptional quality. Formal project management methodology is used on every project. Rabalais’ mission is to ensure clients receive cost-effective solutions, reduced down time, and are provided total asset protection.

From initial design and consultation, through system development, commissioning and support, Rabalais’ innovative control and automation solutions keep your systems online.

Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Systems are integral to safe plant operations. Rabalais provides the following services for PLCs:

  1. Control logic for various PLC & hardware vendor
    • relay ladder logic
    • function block diagram
    • sequential function chart
    • structure text
    • instruction list
  2. Operator interface hardware programming (character displays to graphical touch screens)
  3. UL control system panels
  4. Fully documented control logic programs
  5. PID loop control programming and fine tuning
  6. Dial-up program support
  7. Industrial communication layout design and implementation (Ethernet, ControlNet, DeviceNet, Modibus, Profibus & others)

Rabalais is a recognized leader in the petrochemical, refining and oilfield services industry. The company’s EMR safety record is unmatched, and its many safety awards attest to its commitment to training its staff for excellence.

“We always find it interesting how many companies we compete with during “boom” periods,” said Harned with a chuckle. “Rabalais has spent three decades investing in state of the art technology to provide top quality electrical, instrumentation, system integration and RTU/SCADA programming for our valued friends in the industry. When all the others leave, Rabalais is still growing our clients’ revenues and maintaining their projects and plants safely.”

For more information on how Rabalais Instrument & Electrical Constructors can enhance your bottom line, call 361-242-3121 or visit www.rabalais.com.

Heartland Energy Group Opens Another Location

Company Offers Green Products Throughout the United States

Heartland Energy Group, Ltd (HEG) is excited to announce our Grand Opening in San Antonio, TX. In addition to our Texas plant, we have other facilities strategically placed throughout the United States to enable us to service all your Oil and Gas needs!

HEG offers proven technologies for the safe replacement of dangerous acids, caustics, solvents, surfactants and other companion products. Our green chemistries meet or exceed the EPA’s strict approval guidelines and are formulated with the ingredients listed on CleanGredients and the EPA’s Design for the Environment inventory list. These formulas represent a series of green chemistries that are functional yet safe alternatives, not only for the oil and gas companies who use them, but the citizens who live and work around major oil and gas activity. DfE approvals serve as a benchmark to answer the ongoing environmental questions about the safety of the products that are being used in our world daily.

2015-04-13_0832HEG’s products represent a significant advancement in allowing companies to “Go Green” and to offer a truly effective and safer alternative to problems that have plagued the industry for decades. These problems include hazardous transportation issues, containment, exposure and safety of personnel to toxic chemicals, groundwater contamination issues caused from hydraulic fracturing and the destruction of industry related equipment due to corrosive chemistries. The solution? Green chemistry products like the HCl substitute created by the experts at Heartland Energy Group, Ltd.

Steve Rowley, President of HEG, was recently asked about the growing company’s continued success. He offered the following comment, “We are extremely blessed, honored and excited about having bricks and mortar in South Texas. We are a very conservative company and could no longer ignore the enormous demand that our customers have been placing on us about being in Texas. We have responded and our Texas customers will recognize an immediate savings on freight expenses alone and the ability to receive inventory right away. We look forward to serving the Texas area and are currently looking at other opportunities in the Bakken.”

2015-04-13_0831HEG will continue to manufacture, innovate and pioneer new “GO GREEN” technologies that truly improve our environment and offer functional replacements for harsh acids, caustics and solvents, notably our flagship HCl substitute. This technology will further enhance and eliminate the need for dangerous chemicals associated with stimulation and production chemicals. Most importantly, we listen to the needs of our customers and implement environmentally safe solutions. Our green technologies, personal touch and commitment to quality set us apart from other companies in our growing industry.

OUR PROVEN GREEN TECHNOLOGIES WILL LEAD THE WAY TO A SAFER INDUSTRY AS WELL AS SAFER COMMUNITIES!

Bradleys, Inc. Earns Prestigious TECO-Westinghouse Blue Diamond Award

Outstanding Excellence for Quality, Cost, Delivery and Service
Blue Diamond Award

Bradleys Wins Blue Diamond Award 2013

Bradleys, Inc., a nationally-recognized leader in the electric motor repair industry, is pleased to have been recognized as a TECO-Westinghouse Blue Diamond Tier I Supplier for 2013.  Bradleys has provided large electric motor repair, rewinding, horizontal and vertical motor load testing, CNC machining, field services, new motor sales, and climate-controlled motor storage to petrochemical, refining, manufacturing and mining industries for over 85 years. The company’s 110,000 square foot facility rests in the heart of South Texas, just sixty miles from the prolific Eagle Ford Shale oil fields, and employs over 100 motor repair and testing professionals.

The prestigious Blue Diamond Tier I Award is awarded to less than 1% of all TECO-Westinghouse suppliers worldwide. The award scoring process requires outstanding excellence in the following areas: Quality, Cost, Delivery and Service.

“A supplier has to rank at 95% or above in all four categories to be recognized as a Tier I supplier, said a TECO-Westinghouse’s Supply Chain spokesperson, “and it takes a solid 98% to reach a level of excellence worthy of a Blue Diamond Award.” “Time and time again, Bradleys has continued to prove itself a reliable and dependable organization, meeting our delivery schedules, and providing high quality service, while maintaining competitive pricing. These are only a few reasons Bradleys, Inc. was selected to receive the Blue Diamond Award. The Blue Diamond Award is only given to those suppliers that are the best of the best,” he said.

In addition to the Blue Diamond Award, TECO-Westinghouse also awarded Bradleys the “Outstanding Delivery” Award and the “Outstanding Quality” Award for 2013. Bradleys’ performance in these areas ranked at 100%.

“Bradleys is honored to have received the Blue Diamond award,” said Jim Williams, Jr., CEO of Bradleys. “The recognition of our team’s customer-driven focus and performance is much appreciated.”

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For more information, visit www.bradleysmotors.com, or call Darlene Gregory at 361-904-0044 or email dgregory@eastmeetswestproductions.com.

Shale EnviroSafe Summit in San Antonio, TX – Dec. 2, 2014 – Press Release

One-Day Event Focused on Environmental, Health, Safety, and Regulatory Considerations

The Shale EnviroSafe Summit will take place December 2nd at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Summit is a one-day event focused on environmental, health, safety and regulatory considerations for shale plays across the U.S. The event was designed to bring together like-minded EH&S professionals to network and discuss important industry issues in one concentrated, fast-moving day.

The Shale EnviroSafe Summit will host six educational sessions, along with an introductory breakfast and a closing networking reception. Sessions include community interaction and engagement; transportation issues; safety in rural and residential areas; specialized emergency response; case studies; and managing short service employees. Each of the six sessions will feature experts from companies such as Shell, ConocoPhillips, Union Pacific Railroad, Marathon Oil, Hilcorp Energy, and more.

To register or view the latest updates on Shale EnviroSafe, visit www.shaleenvirosafe.com. For information on attendance or sponsoring opportunities, please contact Marketing Manager Carey Buchholtz at 713.343.1878.

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Contact:

Carey Buchholtz
Marketing Manager
713.343.1878
careyb@tradefairgroup.com

Braun Intertec Expands Operations to Texas – Press Release

Engineering, Consulting and Testing Firm With 30 Years of Oil & Gas Industry Experience

Braun Intertec, one of the Upper Midwest’s premier engineering, consulting and testing firms, expands its operations to San Antonio, Texas, to support the oil and gas industry in the Eagle Ford Shale area and the surrounding infrastructure. The office will offer nondestructive examination, geotechnical engineering, environmental consulting, construction materials testing, and building sciences services.

Braun Intertec anticipates the new office location in San Antonio will allow its experienced engineers, scientists and field personnel to deliver the level of service and technical expertise needed in the booming oil and gas industry in Texas. The Eagle Ford Shale area is one of the most active shale plays in the world and continues to profoundly impact the community and economic development of South Texas.

With the company’s more than 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry combined with the Texas-based, local leadership at the San Antonio office, Braun Intertec is prepared to serve the thriving industry in Texas.

Gary Kelley, business unit manager at the Braun Intertec San Antonio office, says, “As a native Texan, I’m excited to join the Braun Intertec team. I am more than confident the unique and varied skill set offered by Braun Intertec paired with the local expertise of our San Antonio business unit leaders will be able to keep pace with the immediate and growing needs of the Eagle Ford Shale community as well as the corresponding expansions in the industrial, municipal and private sectors.”

For more information about Braun Intertec, visit www.braunintertec.com or chat with us on Twitter @Braunintertec.

About Braun Intertec

Based in Minneapolis, employee-owned Braun Intertec (www.braunintertec.com) is a premier engineering, environmental consulting and testing firm with more than 600 employees located in multiple Twin Cities offices, as well as in Duluth, Hibbing, Mankato, Rochester, and St. Cloud, Minnesota. Braun Intertec also has offices in Bismarck, Dickinson, West Fargo, and Minot, North Dakota; La Crosse and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and San Antonio, Texas. Braun Intertec subsidiaries include Agile Frameworks, LLC, Braun Intertec Geothermal, LLC, both based in Minneapolis.

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Contact:

Tiffany DeMuth

tdemuth@braunintertec.com

952-995-2079

Flare Gas Measurement Package Brings Oil & Gas Companies into Compliance with Federal Mandate – Press Release

Thermal Instrument Company Offers a Complete Reliable Flare Gas Flow Measurement

Reliable, Low Cost Flare Gas Metering for Emissions Reporting

Pennsylvania-based Thermal Instrument Company, a 55 year old designer and manufacturer of industrial precision made thermal mass flow meters, has recently launched its flare gas flow measurement system for use in the upstream oil & gas exploration areas. This flare gas flow metering package brings companies into mandated monitoring compliance on flared emissions as stated by state and federal regulatory agencies. This Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Rule, 40 CFR Part 98, Subpart W is pertinent to reporting requirements and data collection for the upstream oil & gas exploration industry.

In March, 2014, the U.S. EPA published some proposed revisions to this 40 CFR Part 98, Subpart W to include general applicability, revised calculation methods and reporting requirements for specified emission sources within the source category, and some other changes to monitoring standards. Additionally, a Subpart OOOO (Quad O) has become another EPA standard for upstream & midstream gas exploration emissions compliance that must be met.

There are a small handful of oil & gas exploration companies taking the proactive approach early on to engineer the flow monitoring instrumentation onto the well pad site for monitoring the mass flow exiting the flare. At this point, the EPA has defined January 1, 2015 as a technically feasible date when the proposed revisions will be effective for this mandated monitoring and recording of flow exiting the flares at oil & gas exploration well sites.

In cooperation with a major gas exploration company in the Texas area of the Eagle Ford Shale formation, Thermal Instrument Company enhanced and completed their total flow monitoring system. Even with changes in gas composition, the flow monitoring system from Thermal Instrument Company was very repeatable and accurate and the customer was amazed at the less than five minute start-up time. The system can vary from just the flow measurement design to the whole package including solar panels, totalization module, and battery management hardware.

For more information on this flare gas flow system, contact Thermal Instrument Company at (215) 355-8400.

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