Improving Safety through Rapid Detection & In Situ Characterization

Tools & techniques to monitor and quickly detect potential hazards for extreme offshore hydrocarbon

Improving Flow Assurance, Expediting Well Control, and Reducing Environmental Impacts Resulting from Blow-Outs in High Temperature/Low Pressure Environments: Research at NETL is addressing major issues related to accurately and rapidly assessing how much hydrocarbon is leaking from a well, what is the composition of the mixture, and where does it go in the water column? NETL researchers are conducting experimental and theoretical studies to obtain fundamental, chemical, physical, and hydrodynamic information on the interactions between seawater and fluids that could be released and transported from deep, subsea hydrocarbon reservoirs and inadvertently released into a deepwater environment. This fundamental information will be used in numerical, thermodynamic, and plume models to comprehensively describe potential roles and impacts of gas hydrates. The goal of this program is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the formation and stability of simple and complex hydrates under deepwater conditions, stability of hydrates and their interaction with hydrocarbon, and the impact of dispersants, anti-agglomerants, and other chemicals used to mitigate environmental impacts on the fate and interaction of hydrates. Ultimately, the project seeks to develop a remotely-operated-vehicle (ROV) tool that can be used to rapidly and accurately determine the leak rate, composition, and fate to help guide efficient and effective mitigation efforts. This research is currently in the second year of a three-year effort and is on track for completion at the end of Fiscal Year 2014.
NETL Automated Video Analysis of Simulated Leak