Field PVT | Sampling Standards
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Sampling Standards

Sampling Standards

A lot has been written about the standard method of sampling and analyses downstream.  When the analyses on the sample are done and conclusions are drawn on the analytical reports, a repeatable frightening comment pops up: ‘the analyses is only a good as your sample’.

Some of our observations (and participation) over the years:

• After a massive energy infrastructure the gas field only yielded 10%.
• A €15 billion dry gas project was not designed for liquid production.
• Producing heavy oil and methane the associated ‘heavy gasses or light oil’ was not part of the design and was destined for pollution on the sea, if not as part of a dangerous flaring conditions.
• Since oil drilling started whole oil provinces or countries has been missed.
• Production has been missing during custody transfers.

When sampling downstream, following for example the API MPMS*8.1 standards, and you are done, you always smell something.  What happens if the sampling point has higher pressures? What are higher pressures? The higher the pressures and sampling to ambient conditions or flash liberation, the more smell!

Upstream or down-hole we are dealing with more than 10.000 psi and smells of easily 60% H2S, dangerous if not, suicidal when following standards of sampling.  Assume you have done the high pressure sampling is successful, what about analyses where flash-liberation’s are required to bring the sample from high pressure to ambient conditions to follow standards of analytical methods? What happen to the phases of reservoir or down-hole fluids when flash-liberation’s occur?

 Somebody told me that you are only an engineer if you can explain to your grandmother what you are up too! Here is my extra biscuit by the tee; we are bringing a champagne bottle on a wire deep into a well, thousands of feet, fill the bottle up and cork it, bring it to surface. At surface we open the bottle very slowly, count the first bubble, not the other bubbles because that drives us crazy and serve to a laboratory.   Except the bottles are made of highly precision engineered steel with fancy timing and corking mechanisms.

Grannies anticipation of nice smelling champagne goes with the warning to be careful when popping-the-cork. The latter has been poorly written downstream and smelling in the oil&gas industry can be deadly with H2S, cancerous, your missing production, your reduction of field production yield, not anticipated dangerous side effects and missing oil, gas & water reservoir early information and geo-science objectives.