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Gas Hydrates & Flow Assurance

Now Available: PhD Scholarships in Gas Processing at UWA

Receive up to $44,000 p.a. tax free at the Centre for Energy
In this century humanity will rely increasingly on natural gas to satisfy growing
energy demands with reduced environmental impact. WA is uniquely positioned
to provide the gas needed by billions of people. Your role in this global
transformation starts with a PhD at UWA's new Centre for Energy
UWA has partnered with Chevron to train future leaders & technical
experts for the global Gas & LNG industry
Physics, Chemistry & Engineering Honours Graduates Encouraged to

Energy research is multi-disciplinary

Centre for Energy PhD program builds upon fundamental skills to train
industry leaders
Science Honours students have record of success in gas processing
PhD students will meet & work with gas industry executives & researchers
Travel opportunities include spending several months working in US

Gas Hydrates & Flow Assurance

(a) Safe hydrate plug removal by direct electrical heating
The goal of this project is to assess the potential for over-pressurization of
a pipeline during hydrate plug remediation by direct electrical heating
(DEH) for hydrate plugs containing liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon
phases. The two most relevant questions that the data generated will
address are: 1) under what conditions is it safe to heat electrically an oilfilled gas hydrate plug, and 2) is electrically heating an oil-filled hydrate
plug an effective means of remediating the hydrate blockage. The primary
objective of this research is to measure, as a function of applied electrical
power, the pipeline pressures and temperatures resulting from laboratory
scale hydrate blockages remediated using DEH. Importantly, much of the
void space in these hydrate plugs will be filled with a liquid phase to
simulate the most likely scenario that could lead to a pipeline rupture in
the field.
(b) Understanding hydrate formation in gas-dominant pipelines
The prevention of natural gas hydrate (ice-like solid) blockages in
pipelines is of great importance to the oil and gas industry. A hydrate
blockage will result in severe financial penalties as well as significant
personnel and facility risk during removal, thus considerable effort is made
to prevent their occurrence. This project would examine new frontiers for
the prevention of hydrate blockage formation with particular emphasis on
conditions corresponding to those found in Western Australian fields. In
particular the flow of hydrocarbons from WA fields is often gas dominant
with little oil or condensate phase present; however most of what is known
about hydrate blockages relates to oil-dominated systems. The project will
involve the development of a key apparatus for studying the formation
and behaviour of natural gas hydrates, a high pressure - low temperature

autoclave cell named the high pressure hydrate agglomeration

dynamometer. The project will use this unique apparatus to study the
agglomeration of hydrate in gas-dominant, under-inhibited systems
(dosage of the industrial hydrate inhibitor mono-ethylene glycol is below
the required level for hydrate prevention). These conditions would reflect
one of the more likely scenarios for hydrate blockages to occur in Western
Australian oil and gas pipelines.
Applications due by 15 October 2010
For more information please contact
Professor Eric May, Chevron Chair in Gas Process Engineering
Further detail at