*Happy Dance* ... U.S. Shale Oil Slowdown

1 minute ago, ronwagn said:

We drove by Fort Stockton and up to Ruidoso N.M. two years ago. It was great to see all the fracking going on. 

Today I rode up to Loving, NM via Pecos hwy, Then over to Jal, NM and on back down here. Was 350 miles roughly. My word they are still drilling like crazy. Eddy County NM had the most. Whole trip roundabout maybe 50 rigs and maybe 10 completion units. I worked the same area 38 years ago. They can drill same now with several horiz. legs in half the time we drilled to 9800 feet back then. Tech is sooo much better. Many in eastern NM were perfectly lined up 3 and 4 rigs 100 yard or lil more apart. Ultimate fracking. I think they are getting more production clustering the wells. 

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11 hours ago, Old-Ruffneck said:

Absolutely!! Dilling and frackin' faster than takeaway. As I said before on diff thread. when I was working for crappy drilling co. we were north of Andrews Tx and we were drilling 11960 feet per hole in proven field. Every 8 days we were "spudding" in. That was in 83, the rigs of today take less man power to operate and are much faster to 8 to 10k feet. Directional drilling is a fine art and they've improved vastly so wells don't cost what they used to back in early 80's. When Reagan did the windfall profits tax the drilling industry got essentially killed. Went from "contract" drilling to "by the foot". Most operators went belly up. Every drilling company I worked for back then is not in existence now. 

Hittin' the road, 

me.ride.jpg

On the rig that I am in, 2 crews per hitch, 6 men on day crew, 6 on night crew, 12 hr shifts, 2 wks on/2 off to get an idea the manpower per rig.  Current well is 20k+ ft down and 5k+ ft lateral.  On cost to completion, one of the top guys told me about $10 mill from drilling to fracking completion.  Just some more on the ground info for those inquiring...As for ducs, there are 8700+ waiting to be fracked and brought online...

Edited by cbrasher1
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1 hour ago, cbrasher1 said:

On the rig that I am in, 2 crews per hitch, 6 men on day crew, 6 on night crew, 12 hr shifts, 2 wks on/2 off to get an idea the manpower per rig.  Current well is 20k+ ft down and 5k+ ft lateral.  On cost to completion, one of the top guys told me about $10 mill from drilling to fracking completion.  Just some more on the ground info for those inquiring...As for ducs, there are 8700+ waiting to be fracked and brought online...

In 80 I was on a Parker bros. rig 12 on 12 off no time off. Made good money but burn a young man out. In 79 I worked on an old Double from the mid 60's. Was a bad crappy rig. I was offered a chance to go into the gulf but the platform in north sea capsized and decision was made. Our crew was 5 - Driller, derrickman, motorman, 2 tongs. Some rigs I work was 4 man and 6 days on 2 days off. Tom Brown drilling, I worked for them till Reaganomics kicked in and everyone was defaulting on loans. Contract drilling to Foot drilling. Deepest hole I worked on was with Parker south of Ft. Stockton. Gas well at 24k and change. Seemed to be trippin' pipe every 3rd day. Bits not last long that deep back then. It was good hard work and money was better than most 'cause the hours. 

As far as ducs, I saw the story earlier. I can believe it. I just hope they don't decide to pull the plug like 5 yrs ago and put a lot people out of work and weren't well prepared. I imagine if oil stays below 58.00 I can see a repeat. Sooner or later and it's been a good 2 years plus running on borrowed money. End of quarter will see.

 

Edited by Old-Ruffneck
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9 minutes ago, Old-Ruffneck said:

In 80 I was on a Parker bros. rig 12 on 12 off no time off. Made good money but burn a young man out. Our crew was 5 - Driller, derrickman, motorman, 2 tongs. Some rigs I work was 4 man and 6 days on 2 days off. Tom Brown drilling, I worked for them till Reaganomics kicked in and everyone was defaulting on loans. Contract drilling to Foot drilling. Deepest hole I worked on was with Parker south of Ft. Stockton. Gas well at 24k and change. Seemed to be trippin' pipe every 3rd day. Bits not last long that deep back then. It was good hard work and money was better than most 'cause the hours. 

As far as ducs, I saw the story earlier. I can believe it. I just hope they don't decide to pull the plug like 5 yrs ago and put a lot people out of work and weren't well prepared. I imagine if oil stays below 58.00 I can see a repeat. Sooner or later and it's been a good 2 years plus running on borrowed money. End of quarter will see.

 

From everything I've heard everyone seems to think it will go for a duration.  With the OPEC or should I say Saudis this time willing to close the taps instead of attempting to flood US Shale out of business they do not want to cut off nose to spite face, as they need higher prices as well.  @Old-Ruffneck do folks you talk to and activity you see yourself share the same sentiment?

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2 minutes ago, cbrasher1 said:

From everything I've heard everyone seems to think it will go for a duration.  With the OPEC or should I say Saudis this time willing to close the taps instead of attempting to flood US Shale out of business they do not want to cut off nose to spite face, as they need higher prices as well.  @Old-Ruffneck do folks you talk to and activity you see yourself share the same sentiment?

Yes, so far no-one is concerned as of yet. I realize they dropped  25 rigs but another round or two of that I would worry. There is such a flurry of activity on the whole scale right now that it wont be shut down soon. Big pipelines are getting laid. Just the sheer amount of money on equipment is insane. You don't buy new High Hoes and dozers expecting to be outta work soon. New NG plants springing up in 100 mile circle around Ft Stockton. Rigs from Midland to Big Spring area was booming last week. I've been to Balmorhea Tx, up to Cayonosa , Monahans, Pecos (east a lot of) up to Jal, NM and west to Carlsbad. Still a sh*t load of rigs in that big circle. 

But in the oil industry, I have seen 4 crashes and all were ugly. Many peoples lives were upended. Horrible for a family, single guy not so bad.

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10 hours ago, Illurion said:

You wrote "adjusted for Iran and Venezuela"..

Is there an adjustment for Qatar ?

And where would it fall ?

I left out the small players (sub-1mbd) from my calc. Does Qatar matter - from NatGas perspective of course but from a Crude perspective. Between May-18 and Nov-18, when there was every opportunity to increase production (to capture the expected loss from Iran), Qatar was flat at 0.61mbd. They might be out of OPEC, but do they have projects coming onstream to ramp up materially. I am really asking - this one I dont know for sure (newbie, remember...)

Note: IEA data

Edited by AcK

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22 hours ago, Illurion said:

Were it not for the fact that i don't have the money to pay you,  i would be interested in both machines.

As for the steam engine,  i would hook it up to a generator instead,  and set it up as a backup generator for the house...

Tell you what: since you are such a fine fellow, when I get around to building these, I will ship you the steam-powered piston driven electric generator free-issue, with my compliments.  All you have to do is fill it up with the transfer fluid, probably alcohol or polypropylene glycol, and some wire to hook it up to your house panel.  [Your job is to tell your friends what a brilliant fellow I am and to go buy them from me!].  Cheers.  

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The price of oil stocks are a proxy for the price of  oil. Stocks such as exxon should be referred to as future indicators of the price of oil.

Any thouhts?

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On 1/20/2019 at 5:09 PM, Illurion said:

 

As for the steam engine,  i would hook it up to a generator instead,  and set it up as a backup generator for the house...

Looks like this Professor in India beat me to it  (working prototype).  Judging by the Comments, he took an old air compressor as his starting point, then removed the heads and installed his own machined steam-piston heads.  IN the video you can see the secondary cylinders that contain the slide valves for directing the steam.  It is a bit primitive, with steam escaping all over the place in clouds, but hey, it works! 

There is no way he is actually generating any 100 HP, but if you were to fabricate a serious boiler and the seals hold up, it just might get there.  Rather an expensive alternator he connected with that double set of speed-increaser belt and pulley sets!  Gotta give him credit for innovative thinking.  The set-up allows him to get where he wants to go without spending a fortune. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53aQBiaSGPw

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16 hours ago, stanley gronczewski said:

The price of oil stocks are a proxy for the price of  oil. Stocks such as exxon should be referred to as future indicators of the price of oil.

Any thouhts?

I strongly disagree. I find little correlation between the price of oil and Exxon stock price, although reason would dictate otherwise. Both prices are essentially independent, random numbers.

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Ron, If you drove up US285 from Pecos to Carlsbad last summer you would have been taking your life in your own hands. I had to go from a rig in Coyanosa to another rig west of Malaga, NM back in June of '18 and it took forever with the construction delays and heavy traffic due to all the drilling. That part of the Delaware has seen intensive drilling activity in the last 12 months. Old-Ruffneck is spot on with his observations. 

I told my (then freshman engineering major) daughter two and a half years ago that if she wanted to retire at age 25 and never work another day in her life that all she had to do was invent an efficient way to convert all the energy lost in flaring gas into electricity that could be inserted into the grid and she would be an instant millionaire (and of course, me by association to the now-famous inventor!). I'm still waiting on her invention and my associated millions.

Bottom line as I see it is there is nothing coming down the lease road any time soon that will alleviate the huge waste that is the flaring of associated gas from Permian basin oil wells. Maybe our resident outside-the-box-thinker Jan will come up with something but the way I see it unfolding is that the gas will continue to be flared until the price of gas goes up enough for it to be profitable to install the gathering lines needed to get the gas to the new pipelines that are advertised to come online later this year.

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On 1/21/2019 at 11:04 PM, stanley gronczewski said:

The price of oil stocks are a proxy for the price of  oil. Stocks such as exxon should be referred to as future indicators of the price of oil.

Any thouhts?

Oil stocks reflect the price of oil they do not fortell it.

Edited by jaycee

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On 1/22/2019 at 9:19 PM, MUI said:

I told my (then freshman engineering major) daughter two and a half years ago that if she wanted to retire at age 25 and never work another day in her life that all she had to do was invent an efficient way to convert all the energy lost in flaring gas into electricity that could be inserted into the grid and she would be an instant millionaire (and of course, me by association to the now-famous inventor!). I'm still waiting on her invention and my associated millions.

Bottom line as I see it is there is nothing coming down the lease road any time soon that will alleviate the huge waste that is the flaring of associated gas from Permian basin oil wells. Maybe our resident outside-the-box-thinker Jan will come up with something but the way I see it unfolding is that the gas will continue to be flared until the price of gas goes up enough for it to be profitable to install the gathering lines needed to get the gas to the new pipelines that are advertised to come online later this year.

OK, you are on.  Give your daughter a break, she is still in school!    So, let's review the parameters:

1.     There is gas being flared constantly at the well.

2.      There is a lot of it.

3.      There is a lot of heat production not being utilized, which if it were, would result in either cash savings or actual cash receipts. 

From the above, it becomes apparent that putting that flame directly to an industrial boiler to produce steam will work nicely. And the reason you go to steam instead of firing say a gas turbine is that, inevitably, there will be slight variations in the gas pressure, thus the amount of heat available, so you need a heat sink.  The steam boiler becomes your heat sink, where is there is a gas over-pressure then extra steam can be valved off as made, and if a shortfall, a secondary flame nozzle, fed by anything available, oil, propane, whatever is handy, can be ignited, thus maintaining the steam levels. 

The steam drives a conventional piston engine coupled to a generator.  The generator would be multi-pole so that its speed of rotation can be matched up to what you have designed the piston engine to.  You want to stick with off-the-shelf generators; I think 600 rpm is available.  You can put in an 8:1 geared speed increaser in there so the piston machine can turn at a steady 75 rpm.  Such geared machines  are readily available  from gearbox builders, although direct-coupling is (obviously) a cheaper installation.  

The generator selected is whatever is optimal for that specific location and the available power feed off the grid or what you want to power up your local machinery.  Could be either 3-phase or single-phase. 

You control the speed of the piston machine with a conventional spinning-ball governor.  Cheap, simple, easy to set.  Put a conventional frequency meter on the generator so you can fine-tune it, then couple it on and let the grid signal pull the generator along.

This is all basic stuff.  So the question is:  why has nobody done this?  I suspect the answer is lack of manpower to monitor the steam driver. If that drill operator is scrambling to find roughnecks to work on the rig itself, then you don't want to take expensive labor and place that on baby-sitting some steam machine - which needs oiling, adding make-up water,and so forth.  Remember that old RR steam locomotives had a full-time oiler on the engine just to keep it running. If you have to add four or five more guys to the personnel roster, all with steam engineer's licenses, your payroll just went up substantially. You will also need to haul quite a bit of water, constantly, out to that rig to supply make-up water to the boiler.  Remember that steam locomotives had a scoop they dropped into a trough between the rails to re-load the water tender on the fly; they got that water from wells or a stream, another problem for the RR to go manage.  From an administration standpoint, probably a lot easier to simply flare it off. 

PS: as far as H2S hitting the flame and burping, remember that the boiler does not have to be designed with a contained flame. You can make that an open-bottom firebox, so that there is direct exposure through the bottom grate to the outside air. Run the piston engine steam exhaust up into the smokestack to create positive draw, it will work like a charm.  Cheers.

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Jan, I knew you would not disappoint and I enjoyed reading your idea in reply to my post. I agree that with contemporary mechanical technology this problem will remain unsolved.

Here is how I break it down:

1) Whatever solution is used has to be simple, efficient, and require little or no hands-on babysitting. Put all required sensors in said device and beam the data to a monitoring location that will keep tabs on all the units running and dispatch a technician as required for repairs and scheduled maintenance. I envision a device whose components can be trucked to it's location on skids and connected together easily. Being modular will help reduce downtime since replacement modules can be trucked in quickly and installed.

2) H2S is a real problem that has to be eliminated prior to exposing expensive ferrous equipment to this corrosive compound. It can be separated from the feedstock but flaring it off is not advisable since SO2 is just as deadly. It can be stripped into elemental sulfur that is quite harmless and has a value to industry. It is my understanding that sulfur is no longer mined from the ground in the US since all our needs are met by removing H2S from CH4 streams of well gas. I am no expert here but a scaled-down unit should be able to be produced for the task here.

3) Once you have a feedstock that is free of H2S then all we need is an efficient conversion of the available BTUs into electrical power that can be sold to the grid. 

4) Steam power is attractive because it is simple. To make it even simpler, how about a condensation unit to recover the steam and send it back into the boiler?

5) Get some young minds involved. They are not as burdened with convention as us more seasoned problem solvers are. I have no doubt that there is some as-yet-to-be-discovered conversion out there just waiting for someone to stumble onto it.

There are too many BTUs in CH4 being wasted right now. Something can be done and someone is going to get very rich doing it.

 

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1 hour ago, AcK said:

Country Analysis Executive Summary: Venezuela
 Last Updated: January 7, 2019
Overview

• Reduced capital expenditures by state-owned oil and natural gas company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) are resulting in foreign partners continuing to cut activities in the oil sector, making crude oil production losses increasingly widespread. With Venezuela’s heavy dependency on the oil industry, the country’s economy will likely continue to shrink, and that the runaway inflation will remain the mainstay at least in the short term. 


• Venezuela’s revenue from oil exports is severely constricted because only about half of the exports generate cash revenues. U.S. refiners are among the few customers that still remit cash payments. The remaining crude oil exports are sold domestically at a loss or sent as loan repayments to China and Russia (the repayments to Russia are sent to Nayara Energy’s (formerly Essar) Vadinar refinery in India to service debt that Venezuela owes to Russian oil company Rosneft, the co-owner of the Vadinar refinery

venezuela_oil.pdf

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(edited)

Seriously how irrational can the US shale industry be - a case of rational irrationality "behavior that, on the individual level, is perfectly reasonable but that, when aggregated in the marketplace, produces irrationality"

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/great-oil-paradox-too-many-095223769.html

 

Edited by AcK

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On 1/6/2019 at 11:57 PM, mthebold said:

Granted, low WTI could lead to further slowdowns, which will hammer the shale industry.

On the other hand the WTI-Brent spread is so wide in part because of transport bottlenecks.  How much will the spread narrow when new pipelines come oneline in 2019? 

Also, shale wells are flaring vast quantities of natural gas, and new gas pipelines have been announced.  How would sale of that gas affect shale oil economics? 

It’s simple economics which can be compared to any commodity such as a Big Mac if you produce enough and can sell enough you have the perfect market a cheap Big Mac, only position which has changed is now the US can provide its insatiable appetite for both. A great way to devalue any commodity is to over produce and consume it.

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Just now, James Regan said:

It’s simple economics which can be compared to any commodity such as a Big Mac if you produce enough and can sell enough you have the perfect market a cheap Big Mac, only position which has changed is now the US can provide its insatiable appetite for both. A great way to devalue any commodity is to over produce and consume it.

Don’t get high on your own supply

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4 hours ago, James Regan said:

Don’t get high on your own supply

@Tom Kirkman, James just responded to himself.  Bot? 

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8 hours ago, mthebold said:

@Tom Kirkman, James just responded to himself.  Bot? 

Nope, I've known James a long time, from LinkedIn and Oilpro.

I sometimes quote and respond to my own earlier comments when I have something additional to add.

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(edited)

OK, I know many of you have quickly forgotten the lessons of 2014/2015, but I have not.. Nor have I forgotten the lessons of 1986 and 1998.  When you have a producer that can basically still produce at $8.00/bbl, which is essentially the lift cost, be careful.  Global recession, EV and an outbreak of peace in the Middle East can bring WTI way down.  

PB producers may say their break-even is under $50, but are they considering all the costs? Flaring gas that was used in your EUR calculation is a fool's endeavor.  And what does it cost to handle all that produced water?  

As for me, I'm circling the wagons...

 

Edited by Outlaw Jackie
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Um, "unexpected" ????????????

Sometimes I feel like nobody pays attention to the things I keep repeating over and over and over and over again...

Top story right now on Oil Price main news site:

An Unexpected Bullish Factor For Oil

U.S. shale drilling activity is set to slow this year as companies respond to lower oil prices. However, a lower WTI price is not the only reason for the deceleration. A series of lingering operational issues that have long been papered over by relentless drilling are starting to become increasingly apparent, while pressure from Wall Street is also forcing a reckoning.  

 

 

A few of my earlier threads:

My personal view is U.S. Shale Oil production should start cutting back in H1 this year, and avoid an increase in Shale Oil overproduction. 

The $50 WTI bugbear appears to be the safety relief valve for 2019.  If WTI stays close to or below $50, I expect new drilling to be put on hold this year.  And combined with the hefty decline rates of Shale Oil wells, excessive overproduction (like in the 2014 / 2015 crash) may be avoided.

 

 

My version of "treadmill" is "hamster wheel of debt".  More accurate visual image, in my opinion.

As WTI slows down overproducing, the rest of the oil producing world will likely recover toward a more stable $65 to $70 Brent price.

OPEC has not been driving down WTI prices and widening the gap between WTI and Brent.  The independent U.S. Shale Oil producers have done that all by themselves.

So as WTI prices seem unlikely to rise too high due to WTI overproduction, and CapEx gets scaled back, the niggling nuisance of past debt rears its head.  Running faster on that hamster wheel of debt, but not making much progress.

 

 

So heading into 2019 shortly, I'm starting to reconsider what I have considered for almost a year now, to be the most suitable, balanced oil prices for 2019.  I'm still thinking $70 - ish Brent is good. 

But since WTI insists on shooting itself in the foot, and also shooting the rest of the oil producing world as well, sub-$50 WTI might be a suitable balance to start choking off the U.S. Shale Oil industry's overproduction, and bring global oil production a bit more back toward a suitable balance.  Not sure yet on the most suitable WTI price. 

Time to mull this over a bit, but it is looking increasingly suitable to me for $70 Brent and sub-$50 WTI in order to balance out the global oil & gas industry in 2019.

 

 

The viewpoint in this opinion article glosses over a glaring, crucial point... overproduction by U.S. Shale Oil industry.  Although that should eventually start to self-correct next year as WTI prices react to excess production of U.S. Shale Oil, new drilling reduces, and existing production eventually drops due to the crazy decline rates of Shale Oil wells.

 

The U.S. Shale Oil industry is reluctantly waking up to a few doses of reality.  What goes up eventually comes down.  The beer is getting warm at the party and it's getting late.

 

https://community.oilprice.com/topic/4389-rigs-down/?tab=comments#comment-34779

(posted December 10th, 2018)

 ... how soon until U.S. Shale Oil production starts declining due to lower WTI prices.  Should already be in progress, near as I can deduce.  I'm just waiting for the news to start reporting the production decline. 

Also, sub - $50 WTI should choke off excess U.S. Shale Oil production pretty darn quick, as well as severely curtail new drilling for shale oil, which would further reduce future production.  Should know more by end of this month.

 

 

 

 

 

I could go on and on and on and on yet again, but if people didn't pay attention the first few dozen times, repeating it again prolly won't help much.

 

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On 1/20/2019 at 9:45 PM, Old-Ruffneck said:

I understand what your saying. A inexpensive boiler generator on permanent gas plants seems logical and possibly offset their energy usage tab, but I truly think if it was viable in any manner of capturing the gas it would have been done. Oil companies like most business' don't like throwing money away. I will research what I can as I really don't know anyone working in that phase of manufacturing. Today I saw hundreds literally of new wells flaring gas. Small flame is just the ignitor. Big orange flames are gas coming off the new wellhead. 

flares.jpg

flares2.jpg

The process that Ronwagn showed would obviously work,  

BUT,

They must be expensive to build,  and set up,  and i just cannot see how it would be cost-effective to place one of them on every well just to prevent flaring.

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On 1/24/2019 at 2:08 AM, Jan van Eck said:

OK, you are on.  Give your daughter a break, she is still in school!    So, let's review the parameters:

1.     There is gas being flared constantly at the well.

2.      There is a lot of it.

3.      There is a lot of heat production not being utilized, which if it were, would result in either cash savings or actual cash receipts. 

From the above, it becomes apparent that putting that flame directly to an industrial boiler to produce steam will work nicely. And the reason you go to steam instead of firing say a gas turbine is that, inevitably, there will be slight variations in the gas pressure, thus the amount of heat available, so you need a heat sink.  The steam boiler becomes your heat sink, where is there is a gas over-pressure then extra steam can be valved off as made, and if a shortfall, a secondary flame nozzle, fed by anything available, oil, propane, whatever is handy, can be ignited, thus maintaining the steam levels. 

The steam drives a conventional piston engine coupled to a generator.  The generator would be multi-pole so that its speed of rotation can be matched up to what you have designed the piston engine to.  You want to stick with off-the-shelf generators; I think 600 rpm is available.  You can put in an 8:1 geared speed increaser in there so the piston machine can turn at a steady 75 rpm.  Such geared machines  are readily available  from gearbox builders, although direct-coupling is (obviously) a cheaper installation.  

The generator selected is whatever is optimal for that specific location and the available power feed off the grid or what you want to power up your local machinery.  Could be either 3-phase or single-phase. 

You control the speed of the piston machine with a conventional spinning-ball governor.  Cheap, simple, easy to set.  Put a conventional frequency meter on the generator so you can fine-tune it, then couple it on and let the grid signal pull the generator along.

This is all basic stuff.  So the question is:  why has nobody done this?  I suspect the answer is lack of manpower to monitor the steam driver. If that drill operator is scrambling to find roughnecks to work on the rig itself, then you don't want to take expensive labor and place that on baby-sitting some steam machine - which needs oiling, adding make-up water,and so forth.  Remember that old RR steam locomotives had a full-time oiler on the engine just to keep it running. If you have to add four or five more guys to the personnel roster, all with steam engineer's licenses, your payroll just went up substantially. You will also need to haul quite a bit of water, constantly, out to that rig to supply make-up water to the boiler.  Remember that steam locomotives had a scoop they dropped into a trough between the rails to re-load the water tender on the fly; they got that water from wells or a stream, another problem for the RR to go manage.  From an administration standpoint, probably a lot easier to simply flare it off. 

PS: as far as H2S hitting the flame and burping, remember that the boiler does not have to be designed with a contained flame. You can make that an open-bottom firebox, so that there is direct exposure through the bottom grate to the outside air. Run the piston engine steam exhaust up into the smokestack to create positive draw, it will work like a charm.  Cheers.

It has been a long time since i heard anyone discussing old steam Railroad Cabs.

My Grandfather,  and many of my Uncles were Railroaders.

The closest i ever did was to pilot Monorails at Disney World when it first opened in the 70's,  and my Uncles used to call me the "baby train engineer".

 

As for the flaring issue,   as silly as it sounds,   to me,   the ideal solution would be to somehow insert the gas back into the ground,   therefore eliminating the need to burn it,  or convert it in any way.

I have no clue as to how such a thing could be done,  so i see no cost-effective alternative at this time other than flaring.

 

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