Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Waste steel in the Gulf of Mexico

Date:
June 10, 2010
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
The huge tonnages of waste steel from decommissioned offshore oil and gas structures represents a serious problem for operators looking to recoup losses and avoid environmental harm. A way to calculate the weight of the problem has been developed by US researchers.

The huge tonnages of waste steel from decommissioned offshore oil and gas structures represents a serious problem for operators looking to recoup losses and avoid environmental harm. A way to calculate the weight of the problem has been developed by US researchers and described in the International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology.

Oil and gas operations over water were first carried out at Summerland, California in 1896 with wells drilled from piers extending from the shore. By 1937, at Ferry Lake, Louisiana, wooden decks were erected on platforms. Exploration then moved into the swamp lands of South Louisiana using timber structures, and by the mid-1940s, the open seas of the Gulf of Mexico were being drilled. In open water, drilling structures are susceptible to the lateral forces of tidal currents, wind and waves, which means wooden frames are no longer adequate, and strong and robust steel structures became necessary. After World War II, the growth of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere intensified and the amount of steel dispatched to sea grew enormously.

Two grades of steel are commonly used for offshore construction work. Low-carbon steel is used for structural elements such as jackets, decks, railings, walkways, and deck plating; high-strength, low-alloy steel is used for critical components and extreme climate conditions, such as tubular joint and spanning nodes.

At the end of its useful life, when an operator determines that a facility will be decommissioned, disposal and reuse options are made as part of the overall assessment. Decisions as to whether to refurbish, reuse, recycle, or remove for landfill are determined by economic, technological, and regulatory conditions.

According to Mark Kaiser of the Center for Energy Studies, Louisiana State University, "The weight of an offshore structure is an important factor in design and is closely linked to its fabrication, installation, and removal cost." Kaiser points out that weight comparisons between structures are difficult because there are so many variables involved. He has now developed a first-order algorithm that can approximate the weight of steel in an offshore structure in the Gulf of Mexico.

The algorithm will allow operators charged with decommissioning shallow or deep water structures to determine logistical needs based on structure and site characteristics. "In 2003, 73 caissons, 25 well protectors, and 70 fixed platforms were decommissioned in Gulf of Mexico," explains Kaiser, "Twenty structures were reefed in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico during the year, and the remaining structures were brought ashore for storage and to be processed in the scrap and storage market."

Kaiser has now successfully applied the algorithm to the quantity of steel decommissioned in the Gulf of Mexico in 2003 destined for scrap, reefing and storage along the US Gulf Coast to illustrate proof of principle. The analytical technique could be used to lubricate the process of decommissioning current and future oil and gas structures.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kaiser et al. Steel waste streams associated with decommissioning offshore structures in the Gulf of Mexico. International Journal of Oil Gas and Coal Technology, 2010; 3 (2): 113 DOI: 10.1504/IJOGCT.2010.033560

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Waste steel in the Gulf of Mexico." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100610125627.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2010, June 10). Waste steel in the Gulf of Mexico. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100610125627.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Waste steel in the Gulf of Mexico." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100610125627.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red on Friday during a small eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in the Bardabunga volcano system. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins