- Adherence to ISO 17025 regulations
- Maintaining repositories for documents such as laboratory equipment and maintenance histories and analytical methodology records
- Establishing full traceability to prove compliance
- Communicating vital sample information early in the production cycle
- Providing proof that a sample was appropriately handled
- Demonstrating compliance with environmental safety standards.
A good example of how a petrochemical company is realizing the benefits of a LIMS can be seen in the case of Sakhalin Energy and their Sakhalin II Project, the world’s biggest integrated oil and gas project. Sakhalin II is the largest single foreign investment project in Russia and is the first offshore development project in Russia, as well as Russia’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. As part of the operation, Sakhalin built an LNG plant complete with a new central laboratory to provide a real-time, round-the-clock analytical regime of samples of oil, gas, chemicals, and wastewater from the site. To manage the sampling process from upstream to sample report, and integrate with the instrumentation, Sakhalin also invested in a new LIMS. Any data required by the business is automatically available from the LIMS with sophisticated automatic data transfer. The LIMS is used to interface seamlessly with critical IT systems including Sakhalin Energy’s corporate Energy Components package and process information system for efficient reporting and documentation support. While the LIMS is used in the laboratory for instrument integration and sophisticated data analysis, sometimes data is required in the field so that immediate decisions can be made to optimize production or operations. Portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) is emerging as a valuable way to obtain rapid, real-time, on-site chemical analysis of rocks, cuttings, and cores that can be used for identifying formations and determining rock composition. These characteristics can be used to infer lithological properties favorable to oil and gas production. As we noted in our last article, the elemental chemistry provided by XRF analysis assists upstream exploration and production in a variety of ways:
- Inferring Mineralogy
- Inferring Lithology (mud logging)
- Reservoir characterization
- Fracture population
- Oxic-anoxic boundary deliniation
- Indirect indicator of Total Organic Carbon (TOC)
See study results comparing a portable XRF instrument with certified reference materials for sedimentary rock.