Various oil & gas producing regions can also have toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) come along as a byproduct. For the safety and well being of the operating personnel the areas where they work must be monitored.
At the 2020 4C Health, Safety & Environmental conference, Emerson’s Josh Hernandez presented, A New Way to Measure Toxic Gases in Upstream O&G with Wireless and IIoT. The availability of wireless sensors significantly lowers the installation and maintenance barrier for these sensors versus wired systems.
Josh opened noting that it’s not only H2S, but also carbon monoxide and oxygen depletion that are other dangerous conditions which should be monitored. Some challenges are that installing traditional gas detectors is costly and time consuming. Maintaining, calibrating, and replacing gas detectors and sensors is difficult and labor intensive. And from a justification perspective, gas detection is often viewed solely as a cost.
With wireless gas monitors, protection can be extended to new application and the cost & effort is significantly reduced to install and commission conventional wired detectors. New monitoring points can be quickly and easily installed. The sensors also integrate easily connect with existing WirelessHART networks that may be already installed.
Areas where H2S might be a concern included wellhead monitoring, tank batteries, flare stacks, confined spaces, and areas on drilling rigs such as stand, shale shakers and mud return lines and tanks.
For crude oil storage / tank farms, H2S can be found around tank hatches, sampling points, vapor space ventilation systems, tank sidewall penetrations, piping, valves, pumps used for transporting crude or finished products, personnel pathways, stairwells and ladders, sumps and other low points within the bund/dyke.
Other industries with potential H2S hazardous areas include refining & petrochemicals, pulp & paper, and water & wastewater.
Josh showed a Rosemount 928 Wireless Gas Monitor which can monitor for H2S, carbon monoxide & oxygen levels. Developments are in progress for additional toxic and hazardous gases. The sensor is hot swappable, and the calibration is stored locally so it can be done in the maintenance shop instead where the device is mounted. These devices can also be remotely configured.
Josh summed up his presentation noting that these sensors provide early warning to avoid sending personnel in to areas of unknown toxicity or oxygen depleted.
Visit the Flame and Gas Detection section on Emerson.com for more on this and other monitoring sensors to help drive safer operations. You can also connect and interact with other measurement and analytical instrument experts in the Measurement Instrumentation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.