Author: Tronserve admin
Monday 2nd August 2021 10:16 PM
The Importance of Maintenance for Oil & Gas
In recent years, Brazil has climbed the world rankings of energy. One of the factors responsible for the country’s outstanding position is the continuous growth of national oil and natural gas production.
A leader in the global production of hydrocarbons in deep and ultra deep waters, Brazil has increased its self-sufficiency in energy production and has become a reference in the development of new offshore oil extraction technologies.
The discovery of light oil in the pre-salt layers further enhanced commercial interest in the Brazilian oil sector. Considered a promising market, Brazil has received, increasingly, high investments of multinational companies of this branch. They highlight the potential for local development, the qualification of the workforce and the opportunities in the infrastructure sector, such as some of the Brazilian differentials.
According to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Brazil’s proven oil reserves already amount to almost 14 billion barrels of oil. In addition, the Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute for Graduate Studies and Engineering Research (Coppe), UFRJ, in Rio de Janeiro, expects an expansion of 55 million barrels of oil due to the pre-salt reserves. If this scenario is confirmed, Brazil will jump from 14th to 8th place in the global ranking of oil reserves until 2020.
As for the exploitation of natural gas, Brazil has worked to be able to produce all the gas it consumes. Currently, the country needs to import gas from Bolivia to meet its demand. In order to overcome this, an investment of around US $ 10 billion was foreseen between 2013 and 2017. It is being applied in the expansion of the national logistics of natural gas and its chemical transformation.
A direct consequence of this commercial interest in such a Brazilian sector is the increased demand for processes, services and products that involve all oil and natural gas exploration. In this sense, Brazilian companies depend on scientific and technological advances, qualification of labor and strengthening of the supply chain to adapt to the demands of the international market.
Equipment involved in Oil & Gas operations
The oil and natural gas sector has a number of specific applications and equipment. The proper functioning of these equipments is very important so that all the production happens as planned.
Check out some of the equipment and products used in Oil & Gas operations:
- Mud pumps: responsible for the circulation of the lubricating mud in the drilled wells, maintaining their density and opening.
- Electric alternators: responsible for the production of the electrical energy required in the drilling probes, both for lighting and for cooling and starting the motors.
- Valve plates, compressor pump seats and blowout preventers: valves whose function is to prevent the spillage of oil.
- Hydraulic fluids for high pressure and temperature wells: responsible for transmitting hydraulic power to turbines, drill and bottom motors; stabilize the walls of the well; cool the drill bit; lubricate the column and drill bit; among other functions.
- Lifting agents and cranes
- Bottom gaskets and offshore exploration
- Submarine fields, pipes and tubes
Importance of Predictive Maintenance for Oil & Gas
By involving the use of machinery and operations of high investment and risk, the oil and gas industry should be careful to supervise all equipment used. For this, one of the most effective methods in the market is predictive maintenance.
This maintenance category for Oil & Gas consists of regular monitoring of the components of the machinery. By means of inspections and data collection, predictive maintenance is able to anticipate possible complications and point out the wear of parts.
The benefits of this are several:
- By preventing future repairs, predictive maintenance increases equipment availability;
- Prolongs their useful life;
- And it also cuts costs that would be generated by shutdowns and disassemblies.
Among the predictive maintenance techniques available are:
– Oil analysis
Responsible for accurately ascertaining the degree of contamination of the lubricants used in the equipment, the oil analysis can indicate both the condition of wear of the equipment and the ideal time to perform the exchange of the lubricating oil, making the most of its useful life. It is an investment of low cost and high effectiveness for the control of the wear of the parts.
– Structural analysis
The main objective of structural analysis is to detect the existence of cracks and bubbles in the pieces of equipment and machines. Each case requires a specific periodicity of analysis, which should take into account the number of machines and measuring points, the duration of the installation’s use, the strategic nature of the machines and the material resources involved in the operation. The main techniques used in structural analysis are: holographic interferometry, ultrasonography, radiography, gammagraphy and ultrasound.
– Study of vibrations
This category of predictive maintenance aims to measure the vibrations produced by machines while they are in operation. When they exceed acceptable levels, these vibrations can lead to wear and tear of the parts, damaging the performance of the equipment and its life. In this method, the recording of the vibrations happens through sensors strategically positioned in the body of the equipment.
The data produced by the sensors are interpreted by specialists. They may indicate faults such as misaligned couplings, improper lubrication and defects in gears.
– Analysis of the condition of surfaces
Because of friction, the surfaces of the parts can be damaged and degraded. In order to prevent this from occurring, this method of predictive maintenance is highly recommended as it measures and controls the wear of parts. Analysis of the condition of surfaces can be performed with or without a magnifying lens. Other techniques include stroboscopy, holography, endoscopy, and molding and printing.
As you can see, the Brazilian scenario of oil and natural gas exploration is very promising. In order to take advantage of the increasing demands and respond to them, companies need to adopt a posture that matches their concern for the good performance of their machinery.
In this sense, maintenance for Oil & Gas has emerged as a great ally. It anticipates equipment complications, extends equipment life, and therefore lowers costs with future shutdowns and interventions.
With the intention that predictive maintenance presents the best possible results, it is important to perform a good maintenance planning. This planning is a set of actions that analyze and adapt the information gathered by the methods of predictive maintenance. Thus, it becomes feasible to identify the priorities and adjustments needed to achieve the objectives of the company.
Want to know more to optimize your production? Talk to one of our experts and put the predictive maintenance into practice in your company.