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CHEMICALS

CEMENTING & DRILLING

Cement slurry designs call for fit-for-purpose recipes addressing the specific challenges and objectives of each cement job.  In designing cement slurries, additive selections are made based on downhole temperatures, pressures, circulating times and representative water and cement samples, to list a few.  Additives commonly used in cementing operations include accelerators, retarders, extenders, weighting agents, dispersants and fluid loss agents.  More specialized additives used can be gas migration control additives that arrest gas migration into the annulus as the cement transitions from a fluid to a solid state. Quick setting and loss circulation cement recipes address drilling losses.


Specialized additives are also used in formulating drilling fluids improving the efficiencies of advanced drilling fluid systems by mitigating performance-hindering downhole problems that drive up costs and threaten drilling programs.  Custom formulations help operators maintain wellbore stability and optimize the drilling bit rate of penetration.  Tailored fluids and additives provide optimal drilling fluid efficiency, help reduce the costs of the drilling operation and mitigating HSE impact. Some of the additives that form the backbone of drilling fluid preparation include viscosifiers, fluid loss control agents, lost circulation material, lubricants, and others. Defoamers are used to reduce foaming in drilling and completion fluids, lubricants reduce fluids coefficient of friction and minimize torque and drag.  Viscosifiers help improve the hole-cleaning and solids-suspension capability of the drilling fluid. If a pipe may become stuck, pills of pipe-freeing agents are used to free differentially stuck pipe.  Surfactants are used to reduce interfacial tension between water/oil, water/solid, water/air, and other such contacting surfaces.  In recent years with the rise in unconventional activity, shale inhibitors are used to inhibit reactive shales, enhancing drillability while maintaining low toxicity for environmental acceptability.

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PRODUCTION

Upstream production is centered around well stimulation and enhanced oil recovery. Some of the additives used in stimulation formulations include corrosion inhibitors, iron control agents, surfactants, foamers and defoamers, gelling agents and friction reducers, solvents, clay stablizers and emulsion and sludge preventers.


As we move midstream, keeping production on track is done using flow assurance chemicals.  Chemicals can be geared to help with emulsion formations to anomalies resulting from temperature changes. Even in traditionally hot weather countries, winters can see dramatic falls in temperature significantly affecting hydrocarbon mobility.  Maintaining asset integrity and minimizing risk is another area of concern that can be supported by carefully selected chemical programs.   Asset integrity needs to be addressed throughout the life of the facility as any oversight can eventually result in equipment failure and increase in operating costs.  Affected assets can also be a cause for safety risks and environmental concerns.


Some of the other chemicals that are used in production operations include hydrogen sulfide scavengers that help mitigate fallout from sour gas production. Completion fluids and brines is another area of chemical play in the production of oil and gas.

UTILITY & PROCESS

In the current environment, it would be not too far off to state that the chemicals sector is entering a new era where the value chains are being reconfigured. Sustainability, economic shifts, new technologies and changing demands are challenging companies’ bottom line and future profitability.  Volatile markets cause significant shifts in supply and demand.  For those looking to remain on top, these shifts can provide opportunities for growth and differentiation where companies redefine their value chains and business models, adapt to the changing economic landscape, capture the opportunities from digital technology, and up their skill sets.


The demand for close to source in country specialty chemicals will gain more traction.  Utility chemicals include cooling water treatment and boiler water treatment that form a large proportion of the needs at plants such as those running ethylene, styrene, and butadiene processes.  Other chemicals used are wastewater treatment, coagulants and flocculants and foam control.  With more sites opting for source water treatment, membrane protection chemicals such as antiscalants remain in demand.  As more attention is paid to environmental astuteness, technologies such as green retarder are being adopted.  On the process side of specialty chemicals, desalting through distillation, delayed cokers, visbreakers and hydro-treaters are used in industry.  With burning of heavy oils and refining opportunity crudes, fuel oil treatment offers efficiency in power plant operations.

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CERAMIC MEDIA

High-quality, value-based ceramic media are engineered to enhance the performance in industrial casting, mineral grinding and processing, manufacturing, filtration and specialty applications.  

 

In grinding applications in industries such as mining, cement, paint and other minerals, ceramic media improves grinding efficiency while lowering operational costs.  It is engineered to provide superior strength, hardness and uniform shape that results in a high resistance to particle attrition and compressive breakdown. This leads to less equipment wear during milling, reduces final product contamination and lowers process costs.

High-performance ceramic media products are also used to significantly improve foundry casting operations.  They help  achieve high-precision industrial metal casting and improved economic performance while eliminating OSHA permissible exposure limits (PEL) concerns.  With significantly greater particle strength, durability, smoothness, consistency and thermal stability than sand, ceramic media provides superior casting quality, increased dimensional accuracy and enhanced casting capabilities.  Uniform particle size and shape maximizes mold porosity and enhances permeability.  Overall, the rsults are reduced casting costs, especially by minimizing casting defects and reducing media consumption. The increased thermal stability and dimensional precision of ceramic media produce castings of superior quality, thus minimizing the costs of finishing, cleaning and scrap.

Premium high-performance ceramic media is also used for filtration as it resists particle breakdown and creates a uniform filter pack to prevent clogging and maximize performance.  Effective filtration media is key to delivering a steady flow of pure, chemical-free, odorless water.  These characteristics provide economic and performance advantages in a wide variety of applications compared to sand and other competing synthetic media types.  Offerings include versions that are NSF/ANSI 61 certified.

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