See the Dramatic Difference in Wired and Wireless Costs for Toxic Gas Monitoring in Remote Crude Storage

Chances are you’ve read a white paper or blog from Emerson talking about the dangers of toxic gas, specifically hydrogen sulfide, and the challenges relating to monitoring the presence of toxic gas in remote or dangerous locations. If you haven’t, check out this white paper. You’ll see that many remote locations are completely without toxic gas monitoring or rely on personal, portable monitors that place personnel in harm’s way and escalate maintenance costs.

The solution to the challenges associated with remote location toxic gas monitoring is the use of wireless technology. Just how good is it? Take a look at this business case study in which 10 toxic gas points are added to a remote oil tank battery with and without wireless infrastructure.

Like so many applications in the oil and gas industry, the need for toxic gas monitoring at oil tank batteries is critical. In this case, sour gas accumulates in the head-space of 8 tanks at a remote crude storage facility causing a safety concern during sampling/gauging operations. Piping leaks and open hatches could easily go unnoticed. To monitor this storage facility, 8 hydrogen sulfide monitors (one on each tank hatch) and 2 hydrogen sulfide monitors (one on each of two low point sumps) are required.

To add these monitoring points to a remote oil tank battery, here are the assumptions:

The charts below show the difference in costs between a wireless and conventional wired installation concluding with a dramatic difference between $46K and $127.5K.

 But that’s only the initial installation savings. Look at the difference over 12 years of maintenance. Here are the assumptions:


The charts below show the significant difference in saving over time – from $64.75K for wireless to $130.5K for wired.

The total costs then for the wireless monitoring points are $110.75K versus $258K for the conventional monitoring systems. This is a $14K per point savings over the 12-year case.

The cost of wireless looks very affordable when stacked up against the costs of doing nothing since wireless technology provides life-saving protection of personnel from H2S gas exposure, reduces wasted trips into the field, and eliminates material and labor costs associated with cable and conduit. When remote toxic gas monitoring is the question, wireless technology is the answer.

Josh Hernandez | Marketing Engineer | Emerson Process Management | Rosemount Pressure

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