Gas sampling analysis involves taking a representative sample of a hydrocarbon product to ensure that the product is being processed effectively and efficiently. This analysis is important because of the sheer volume of hydrocarbon products that are transported in the supply chain from producer to processor to distributor to user.
The ability to verify the exact composition of the hydrocarbon product at various points along that chain is important to ensure quality products. There is also an important economic point of view to consider.
Money is saved when the composition is correctly determined so that producers can recoup their initial investment in gas sampling analysis systems fairly quickly. Sampling can also minimize disputes between hydrocarbon suppliers and their customers. In fact, proper gas sampling analysis benefits all the parties in the supply chain.
The Rules of Gas Sampling
Part of the rigor of gas sampling involves ensuring that the proper methods are used, that the equipment used is properly installed, and the equipment is properly utilized.
Historically, natural gas sampling has been performed the same way, largely with techniques handed down through several generations in the field. Thanks to advances in technology, the methods have become outdated and insufficient, and a higher standard was needed for test accuracy and sample repeatability.
There was also an industry need for an update to proper sampling techniques and proper equipment maintenance to address new gas meter technology such as software used on metering equipment. For example, poorly maintained sampling apparatus adversely affects the final results and the overall profitability of the company’s operation.
In the last two years, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued Onshore Order 3175 — an update to the gas sampling analysis methods.
What is BLM Onshore Order 3175?
The 3175 update is the first comprehensive overhaul of the gas measurement standard in the last 25 years.
As such, the update is a long-awaited revision of the overall gas measurement performance standard. It addresses new technology — particularly new hardware and software used on meters — and dictates reporting and recordkeeping requirements for the gas industry. In short, it ensures that the standard fits the operation and industry standards of new and modern gas wells.
BLM 3175 now incorporates proven industry standards that were co-developed by BLM and experts in gas measurement. The new standard also gives BLM more authority to perform equipment inspections to determine that everything is in proper working order.
First enacted in 2017, BLM 3175 had a phase-in period. For example, starting in 2019, BLM had to approve the make and model of measurement equipment used by gas producers. Equipment included is:
- Flow meters and conditioners
- Differential meters
- Linear meters
- Accounting systems
- Mechanical recorders
- EGM systems
BLM 3175 is a long-needed update to the minimum standards for gas measurement, ensuring higher volumes and lower production costs. Now, the standard creates more accountability throughout the industry, and facilities must comply by using the latest tools and technology.
Learn Gas Sampling Analysis
Your measurement team may need to receive training on gas sampling analysis to ensure adherence to the BLM Onshore Order requirements. Gas Certification Institute (GCI) supports measurement professionals by providing education and hands-on training on natural gas measurement to confidently perform tasks in the field.
Our Gas Measurement Fundamentals Certification course includes comprehensive training on natural gas sampling. The class covers sampling methods for the determination of chemical composition and heating values.
Participants of this course will gain knowledge regarding monitoring methods and best practices for sampling methods and systems, sample quality and integrity, and new standards regarding analysis, monitoring and assessment of gas sampling methodologies, systems, and equipment.
We also address sampling locations and hazards, as well as sample integrity criteria, safety concerns, and environmental compliance.
If your team of natural gas measurement technicians needs current knowledge and confidence to perform measurement tasks in the field, register for the next Gas Measurement Fundamentals certification course today. Ensure that your team is compliant with the new BLM Onshore Order 3175 requirements.