This week, the Energy Workforce & Technology Council Well Stimulation Services Committee released the first edition of its “Industry Guidelines – Hydraulic Fracturing with New Technologies and Innovation” document. These first-of-its-kind industry guidelines address the safe use of natural gas as an off-road fuel source while performing hydraulic fracturing services.
“This critical document will provide all energy services companies safety and operational guidelines as new technologies and processes are implemented in hydraulic fracturing. Our members have long led technological advances in our sector, innovating and developing processes to work more efficiently, effectively and safely, while reducing emissions. This is another in the many ways our industry is leading the energy expansion to meet growing global demand.”Leslie Beyer, CEO, Energy Workforce & Technology Council
Energy Workforce Advisory Board Member Ron Gusek, President Liberty Energy, participated in the development of these guidelines.
“Applying natural gas in the field will cut emissions and deliver fuel savings throughout the system. These guidelines are an essential tool companies across the oilfield services sector can use to safely and efficiently implement low emission operations.”Energy Workforce Advisory Board Member Ron Gusek, President, Liberty Energy
Aaron Hilber, VP of Power Solutions, NexTier, led the working group, along with representatives from Halliburton, Liberty Energy, ProFrac, ProPetro Services, STEP Energy Services and Universal Pressure Pumping.
“By producing these leading-edge guidelines, we are setting a foundation for safely using alternative fuels in the oil field to reduce fuel costs and emissions levels. These guidelines will ensure that hydraulic fracturing continues to be safe and productive, while embracing new systems and technologies across the industry.”Aaron Hilber, VP of Power Solutions, NexTier
The document delves into specific instructions and examples of what is required to safely and properly use natural gas in hydraulic fracturing work. As the overall safety mission states, “The industry guidelines discussed within this document are focused on mitigating risk. These guidelines include properly managing the pressures and temperatures, making releases easily detectable and ensuring adequate setbacks to keep personnel and unclassified equipment away from potentially flammable environments.”
Detailed descriptions of the technical requirements necessary to safely perform this work from beginning to end are thoroughly outlined in the document. This includes:
- Program Requirements: Gas Quality Requirements, Integrity Programs and Maintenance Requirements and Standardized Training
- Equipment Requirements: Process and Distribution Equipment, Emergency Shutdowns, Additional Safety Devices, Dual Fuel Conversion Kits and Fuel Trains
- Pre-Frac Planning: Lease Spacing and Equipment Layout, Multiple Parties Onsite and Hazard Identification/Risk Management
- Rig Up: Verifying Safety Systems, Gas Quality Verification, Natural Gas Supply Equipment, Laying Out Gas Distribution System, Introducing Gas to a De-Energized Line and Readiness Checklist
- Pumping: Recurring Leak Checks, Recurring Visual Inspections, Connection or Disconnection of Any Line, Known Change to Gas Supply, Two-Way Radio Communication and Traffic Onsite
- Rig Down: Preparation, Procedure and Post-Mortem Lessons Learned
This document will be reviewed regularly and updated as systems and processes change and new technologies in these operations are developed and utilized.
If your company performs hydraulic fracturing operations and would like to join the Well Stimulation Services Committee, contact Energy Workforce Senior Director Government Affairs Deidre Kohlrus.
Deidre Almstead Kohlrus, Senior Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.