Where can you find H2S in Midland Texas?
Hydrogen sulfide is a poison gas that can be deadly even with small quantities. When inhaled, the gas can cause dizziness, blackouts, and even death. For H2S in Midland/Odessa Texas we are concerned first about the possible location of sources of hydrogen sulfide.
H2S gas is generated in environments that are anaerobic with organic materials present. An example of this type of environment is food waste, such as grease, that are trapped in a container without ventilation. As bacteria breaks down the grease waste it may begin reducing sulfur compounds due to the lack of oxygen. This process releases hydrogen sulfide, which becomes concentrated because it cannot leave the area due to the lack of oxygen. When cleaning grease traps and other food waste containers, care must be taken to identify and mitigate low oxygen environments that could contain hydrogen sulfide in Midland.
As we know, hydrogen sulfide is generated in areas that are both anaerobic and organic. This makes sewage systems susceptible to creating H2S when they become blocked. The blockages restrict the ventilation and also concentrate the hydrogen sulfide in that area. The danger often comes when workers are sent to clear out the blockage without being aware of the hazard involved. In these cases we see a very dangerous combination of both hydrogen sulfide gas within a confined space entry.
Oil and gas wells
Midland and Odessa Texas are both well known for their oil and gas wells and oilfield service activities. For this, it is important to keep in mind that oil and gas wells can generate hydrogen sulfide in two different ways. The first, and most common way is in-situ H2S generation. This means that the hydrogen sulfide was created in the reservoir either before drilling the well or after production started due to the presence of bacteria introduced during injection activities. In this case, the oil or gas well will always continue to produce hydrogen sulfide as a byproduct of its normal petroleum production.
The second gas of oil and gas wells producing hydrogen sulfide occurs during acid treatment of the well. When wells become plugged, a strong acid is often the first choice to clear the plug and restore production. Presence of iron sulfide or other sulfur bearing scales can react with the acid and generate hydrogen sulfide. This is specifically dangerous when work crews are informed that the well is not a hydrogen sulfide producer because it has not been in the past. In this case, the generation of hydrogen sulfide gas now has the potential to catch the operation by surprise.
Petroleum Processing facilities
Petroleum processing facilities can also be sources of hydrogen sulfide in populated areas like Midland. These facilities include gas plants, separators, storage tanks, flow lines, among other surface vessels. Many of these facilities may handle large quantities of hydrogen sulfide due the contents of upstream sources. In those cases, the facility may be designed to process the gas into something else, such as sulfur dioxide, or prepare the gas for disposal during injection. In either case, releases can happen when a vessel is opened normally, when a vessel is opened due to a containment failure, or during a processing upset when gasses are vented as part of abnormal operations.