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Overview of Upstream

Upstream is one of the three major sectors of the oil and gas business, which also includes Midstream (transportation and storage) and Downstream (refining and marketing). The upstream sector of the petroleum industry is also referred to as exploration and production (E&P). Upstream oil and gas involves looking for oil and natural gas deposits and taking measures to extract these resources from the earth for commercial sale. Once producing areas are located, E&P companies employ various technologies and strategies to drill into the earth, extract crude oil and/or natural gas from the ground, and prepare it for transportation via pipeline, truck, or train to a refinery or processing plant.  

 

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Articles about Upstream
  • March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Cesar Espinoza at PinnacleART, and Sudhakar Mahajanam at PinnacleART

    As RBI continues to proliferate across industry, there are still those that are reluctant to transition from a time-based to risk-based inspection approach - especially in the upstream oil & gas business. These 4 benefits might help to lessen the resistance to RBI.

  • January/February 2018 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Neil Burns at Stress Engineering Services

    The actions you take immediately after a failure are critical in understanding the cause and appropriate steps to remedy the problem. However, the wrong moves might prevent you from getting the answers you need.

  • Blog
    December 29, 2017 By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC., and Josh Means at Inspectioneering, LLC

    The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its annual list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations. In 2017 Fall Protection, Hazard Communication, and Scaffolding once again tops the list.

  • January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Abdelmounam Sherik at Saudi Aramco Research and Development Center, Mark Rosa, PE at Harvard Business School, and Abderrazak Traidia at Saudi Aramco Research and Development Center

    This article summarizes a comprehensive survey conducted by the Research & Development Center (R&DC) of Saudi Aramco to understand top corrosion damage mechanisms experienced by its operating onshore surface facilities.

  • January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Edwin A. Merrick, PE at The Augustus Group

    This article presents a perspective on the human factor and emphasizes the value of using risk tools at all levels in the organization to help provide management focus during times of severe economic pressure.

  • Partner Content

    Industrial Rope Access is a proven method of achieving a safe work position at elevated heights or areas that are difficult to access. When combined with advanced NDE technologies, rope access technicians can substantially reduce the cost of inspections and maintenance activities by virtually eliminating the need for fixed scaffolding.

  • Blog
    January 3, 2017 By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

    At the end of every year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year, comprised from approximately 32,000 workplace inspections by federal OSHA staff.

  • July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

    Joint integrity management remains at the top of many operators’ priority list.  The discipline considers risk and drives safety to ensure we learn necessary lessons from past catastrophic failures, such as the Piper Alpha explosion in 1988, where leaking gas condensate ignited and killed 167 of the 229 people on board the offshore rig.

  • March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Bruce A. Pellegrino at Sensor Networks, Inc., Dr. James N. Barshinger at Sensor Networks, Inc., and Michael Nugent at Equity Engineering Group

    While there are many methods for measuring equipment wall thickness, a predominant method used in the O&G and power generation industries is portable ultrasonic equipment. Ultrasonic testing is non-intrusive because it is applied to the outside of a pipe or vessel. It is an accurate and relatively low cost non-destructive examination (NDE) method to deploy in most situations.

  • January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    The enormous decline in oil prices over the past 14 months has definitely slowed projects and changed the energy and production landscape. Despite this, refineries, petrochemical plants, and chemical facilities must continue to run safely, responsibly, and reliably.

  • November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By David A. Hunter at Neptune Research, Inc.

    This study provides valuable information for offshore pipeline operators curious about how composite repair systems could be utilized with their assets.

  • Partner Content

    It is difficult to cover all inspection applications with basic inspection procedures like radiography, ultrasonics, magnetic particle testing, and dye penetrant inspection. Owner-operators are finding that advanced NDE services such as guided-wave ultrasonics, AUT corrosion mapping, and eddy current testing are essential tools to keep their facilities operating safely and efficiently.

  • September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

    Inspectioneering recently had the opportunity to sit down with Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton and discuss the evolution of reliability in the oil and gas industry.

  • Blog
    August 31, 2015 By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

    Inspectioneering recently had the opportunity to speak with Tom Redlinger about QA/QC practices in the O&G business and what companies can do to create programs that are both effective and sustainable. We hope you find the exchange as interesting as we did.

  • March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Andy Kates at Versa Integrity Group

    Rope access allows for a wide variety of work to be performed at high elevations or other hard to reach areas without the use of scaffolding or heavy equipment. It has evolved from techniques used in rock climbing and caving to become an extremely safe and cost effective industrial tool.

  • March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Connie LaMorte at EWI, and Jon Jennings at EWI

    Weld inspection using lasers is not new, but doing it 75 meters inside a pipe or streaming inspection data wirelessly is new. As laser technology has improved, more industries such as oil & gas are beginning to require laser inspection as part of their specifications. This non-contact method can help catch an unacceptable condition before it becomes too late to remedy the weld.

  • March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Nick Harwood at Aetos Group, and Aaron Cook at Aetos Group

    The ability to gain this unique perspective has recently become easier and safer with today’s technological advancements. This new technology comes in the form of a miniature flying machine, better known as a drone or small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS). These systems can be a modified hobby aircraft or highly reliable, military grade aerial robots.

  • Partner Content

    Offshore platforms are exposed to some of the roughest conditions on earth and require regular attention to ensure they are structurally sound and safe for continued operation. With so many components and major joints at elevated locations, it is clear why a well-trained rope access technician can be an invaluable resource for offshore operators.

  • March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Paolo Torrado at Engineering and Inspection Services, LLC.

    An issue that arises frequently in the oil and gas industry is poor or missing documentation of pressure vessels. It is common in the industry to repurpose old equipment, bring equipment back into operation after a long period of time out of service, or rerate equipment due to debottlenecking of process units.

  • January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Fred Schenkelberg at FMS Reliability

    Reliability engineering tools and concepts can be used to avoid or delay failures, thus increasing product service life. Design or maintenance teams use reliability engineering techniques to identify failures and their causes.

  • January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    Challenges abounded in 2014 for the process industries, and it does not look like they will let up soon. But then again, that’s life, as they say. After 40 years in the industry the old adages still ring true, “there is nothing new under the sun” and “the only constant is change.”

  • Online Article

    Inspectioneering recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Ray Konet, the Fixed Equipment Reliability Director at Valero Energy, and who also happens to be the Chairman of the Planning Committee for the 2015 API Inspection Summit.

  • Online Article

    The bolted connection is a critical and complex component in any pressurized system, on typical Oil and Gas projects there will be many thousands of joints all of which need managing through Design, Fabrication Completion, Commissioning and Operation. The consequences of failure of any individual joint can cause severe Health, Safety, Environmental or Commercial issues. Implementing an up to date Flange Management strategy based on industry best practices at the FEED stage and in detailed design has a number of benefits.

  • Partner Content

    AIM systems should ensure that the your facility’s MI software is accurately performing the calculations needed to calculate minimum thickness, long/short term corrosion rates and remaining life used to predict future inspection intervals. They should evaluate your MI software’s basic design and corrosion monitoring variables.

  • Online Article

    Though new regulations have changed the way offshore companies operate, the need to make safety part of an enterprise sustainability management strategy has never been more important. As accountability moves higher up the chain of command, operators are coming under increasing pressure to place an emphasis on HSE - especially with regard to human factors and workforce training. At the same time, juggling compliance efforts with daily safety concerns has forced a re- thinking of how to evaluate SEMS and training systems for overall safe operation and to drive strategic decisions. David Munzenmaier, HSE&S Director GOM at Baker Hughes, recently spoke with marcus evans about key topics to be discussed at the upcoming 3rd Annual Offshore Safety & Workforce Capability Assurance Conference, October 2-4, 2013, in Houston. All responses represent the view of Mr. Munzenmaier and not necessarily those of Baker Hughes and its subsidiaries.

  • Online Article

    Though new regulations have changed the way offshore companies operate, the need to make safety part of an enterprise sustainability management strategy has never been more important. As accountability moves higher up the chain of command, operators are coming under increasing pressure to place an emphasis on HSE - especially with regard to human factors and workforce training. At the same time, juggling compliance efforts with daily safety concerns has forced a re-thinking of how to evaluate SEMS and training systems for overall safe operation and to drive strategic decisions. Del Forbes, Worldwide Corporate HSE Auditor & Culture Assessor at Noble Drilling, recently spoke with marcus evans about key topics to be discussed at the upcoming 3rd Annual Offshore Safety & Workforce Capability Assurance Conference, October 2-4, 2013, in Houston. All responses represent the view of Mr. Forbes and not necessarily those of Noble Drilling and its subsidiaries.

  • January/February 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Ana Benz at IRISNDT

    In this article you will find the failure investigations of six 0.094 inch thick carbon steel vessels. These vessels were in service in natural gas well facilities; some functioned as dryers and were subjected to cyclic loads. Metallographic tests, hardness tests, and fracture surface scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination results are presented for each of the vessels.

  • May/June 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    Development of shale requires the utilization of numerous types of fixed equipment. Due to the high cost and risk associated with hydrocarbon production and processing, E&Ps must continue to manage cost-effective and safe fixed equipment programs. Are the fixed equipment integrity management challenges related to shale development different from the current challenges faced in the upstream oil and gas business?

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    • Published on August 18, 2015

      30-minute interview on the evolution of reliability and its role within the energy and process industries with Ryan Sitton, Texas Railroad Commissioner.

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