Gathering Systems and Processing Facilities Risk Analysis

Gathering Systems and Processing Facilities Risk Analysis

Svijetlana Dubovski (INA Plc, Croatia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4777-0.ch011
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Gathering system is defined as one or more segments of pipeline, usually interconnected to form a network that transports oil and natural gas from the production wells to one or more production facilities, gas processing plant, storage facility, or a shipping point. There are two types of pipeline networks: radial and trunk system. Produced well fluids are often complex mixtures of the liquid hydrocarbons, gas, and some impurities that can have detrimental effects on the integrity of the gathering pipelines. It is necessary to eliminate most of the impurities before oil and natural gas can be stored and sold. Complexity of the processing facility depends on the treated fluid composition. Environmental impacts during the oil and gas transportation and processing phase will cause long-term habitat changes. To minimize that, it is very important to implement appropriate activities across the designing, construction, operational, and decommissioning phases.
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Created in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) addresses environmental issues at the global and regional level. UNEP provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising the quality of lives for the future generations.

The E&P Forum is the international association of oil companies and petroleum industry organizations formed in 1974. It was established to represent its members’ interests at the specialist agencies of the United Nations, governmental and other international bodies concerned with regulating the exploration and production of oil and gas. While maintaining this activity, the Forum now concerns itself with all aspects of E&P operations, with particular emphasis on safety of personnel and protection of the environment, and seeks to establish industry positions with regard to such matters. At present the Forum has almost 60 members worldwide, the majority being oil and gas companies operating in 60 different countries, but with a number of national oil industry associations/institutes.

Environmental Management in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, developed by Oil Industry International Exploration and Production Forum and UNEP, provide an overview of environmental issues in the oil and gas exploration and production industry, and of the best approaches to achieving high environmental performance in all parts of the world. Their Technical Report Environmental management in oil and gas exploration and production provides an overview of the environmental issues and the technical and management approaches to achieving high environmental performance in the activities necessary for oil and gas exploration and production in the world.

This Chapter provides guidance on the oil and gas gathering system and surface facilities and their potential environmental impacts. Because of the possible long-term habitat changes, as it will be described in this section, it is very important to implement appropriate activities from designing phase, construction, operational and decommissioning phase. Also, this Chapter proposes practical elements and operational techniques which should be applied on site to minimize the enviromental impact of the gathering and processing system.

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