The Different Ways Hydro Technology Can Be Used in the Oilfield
Updated: Jun 22, 2022
Over the years, the oil and gas industry has made great advances when it comes to providing innovative, renewable, and sustainable energy solutions.
One such step forward is the use of hydro technology in the oilfield.
Emerging technological trends in the oilfield have been aimed at increasing the flexibility of hydro technology in order to create processes that are flexible, efficient, cost-effective, and less impactful on the environment.
Here are some of the different ways hydro technology can be used in the oilfield:
How is Water Used in the Oil and Gas Industry?
Water plays a significantly important role in the oil and gas industry. From sourcing water to transporting water to using water and treating water, the industry relies heavily on this element.
For instance, in oil sands mining, water is used to separate sand and clay from bitumen and steam is used to heat the bitumen underground, allowing it to flow to the surface.
In some older oilfields, water is pumped down into the wells to force oil from the cracks and pores in the rock. And, once a well is producing, water is often used to control dust and wash equipment.
Apart from the practical applications of water, oilfield technology has evolved to include water in new and environmentally-friendly processes.
Hydro cutting is a process of cutting pipes during the decommissioning of an oil and gas facility that creates minimal environmental disturbances and saves companies time and money.
Also known as waterjet cutting, hydro cutting uses special tools that can cut into metal and other materials using a high-velocity jet of water oftentimes mixed with an abrasive substance.
Decommissioning projects involve a significant safety risk when it comes to cutting through existing pipes - especially when flammable materials are present.
Hydro cutting requires no ignition source and features self-cooling attributes, ensuring that the metal is unharmed and unchanged. This eliminates the risk of explosions and burns.
This innovative technology, first brought to market by NuWave Industries, eliminates the use of harmful chemicals and prevents soil contamination and minimal soil disturbance.
Hydro cutting ensures that a decommissioned site can return to its natural state in a shorter period of time!
The Benefits of Hydro Cutting
No Material Limitations
No Material Distortion
No Heat-Affected Zones
No Additional Finishing Processes
No Hazardous Waste
Site Decommissioning and Abandonment
Cutting a Variety of Materials
Hydrofracking, also known as hydraulic fracking, is a technique used in the oil and gas industry that uses a high-pressure injection of “fracking fluid” (a thick mixture of water and sand) into a wellbore to create cracks that allow natural gas and petroleum to flow more freely.
Extensive equipment is required for hydraulic fracturing such as high-volume and high-pressure fracking pumps, fracking fluid blenders, and storage tanks for water, sand, chemicals, and wastewater.
Even though fracking fluid is primarily water, it also contains abrasive particles and chemical additives.
Overall, hydrofracking has its benefits and drawbacks. While fracking has been shown to negatively impact nearby air quality, the reliance on natural gas instead of burning coal has been proven to create widespread public health benefits.
The Benefits of Hydrofracking
More Job Opportunities
Fracturing Petroleum-Bearing Rock Formations
When it comes to the depletion of the world’s energy resources, natural gas extraction is a greener solution with water-based hydraulic fracturing being used to produce gas from deep underground.
However, this process does raise environmental issues so better alternatives are constantly being tested in the field.
One of these alternatives involves the use of foam-based fluid fracturing by mixing a gas phase with a liquid phase to create a surfactant that is injected during the fracturing process.
The benefits of foam-based fracturing include lower water consumption, reduced chemical usage, and less environmental damage.
There has been limited testing of this fracturing process but is it looking to be a promising alternative to water-based fluids because of its decreased water consumption which minimizes wellbore damage and reduces permeability impairment.
The Benefits of Hydro Foam
Lower Water Consumption
Lower Chemical Usage
Efficient Fluid Flowback
Less Environmental Damage
Shale Gas Fracturing
Hydro excavation is a soil removing process that utilizes pressurized water instead of mechanical tools. The pressurized water creates a slurry that can then be vacuumed in order to uncover existing pipelines with minimal tears or breaks.
High-pressure water wands are used to cut through soil and soften the ground. The mud slurry is then suctioned into a tank located on an excavation truck. This way, deeper layers of soil and underground facilities can be uncovered without digging.
Once the work is complete, the slurry is then pumped back onto the ground to cover the hole.
There are two types of vacuums used in this process: A fan system or a positive displacement blower. Positive displacement blowers are slower but better suited for accessing greater depths. Fan blowers are lightweight and easier to operate.
Hydrovac excavations are often used for daylighting which involves uncovering small underground areas to locate utilities or to access pipelines in need of repair.
The Benefits of Hydro Excavation
Hydro Technologies and Environmental Considerations
Advancements in technology have proven to be sustainable, efficient, and environmentally conscious when it comes to the oil and gas industry.
At NuWave Industries, we are dedicated to providing environmentally-friendly solutions with a strong focus on safety, quality, and efficiency.
With the use of our innovative hydro cutting, we are mitigating risk by offering hydro technologies that protect our clients and their crews.
You can learn more about our water jet cutting technology here or contact us for more information!