FROM WEST TO EAST: SAFE, SUCCESSFUL DEGASSING

CONNECTING EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE TO IMMEDIATE NEED THROUGH THE CORE KNOWLEDGE SHARING NETWORK

BY MELISSA CROCKER

Today’s oilfields demand detailed chemical expertise in a wide variety of applications and environments. Nalco Champion’s global footprint allows us to provide one-on-one help to our customers, backed by the experts in our global knowledge network. In this feature, we highlight in-the-field examples of the cross-functional collaboration and efficient problem solving made possible by connecting our global subject matter experts through CORE knowledge sharing.

THE SITUATION

Tatsuya Inoue, a Nalco Champion account manager in Japan, sought detailed information to help a customer develop a cleaning and degassing program to support the closing of an oil quench tower in Chiba, Japan.

Inoue knew the procedures could be very hazardous, particularly during the cleaning process when pyrophoric iron sulfide, an extremely reactive substance, can accumulate in the tower. It was imperative that the advice he provided the customer was based on comprehensive knowledge of the risks and how to mitigate them.

“Japan as a whole does not have as much experience with degassing in CPI, so I do not have many people to ask about it,” Inoue says. “From the training manual, I understand the cleaning procedure is different by unit.”

He posted his question on the Chemical Processing Industry (CPI) network to draw on Nalco Champion’s global knowledge.

THE INSIGHT

Ted Arnst, a senior research scientist, assured Inoue that his decision to seek out knowledge from experts was a good one.

“I learned the hard way from helping somebody who made a mistake in the past that there are certain things you must do in order to have a successful cleaning and degassing on that particular piece of equipment,” Arnst says. “Taking shortcuts can be very hazardous. I know what to do because I’ve had to deal with the aftermath of one not done correctly.”

Lisheng Xu, manager of the CPI network, says, “The technical details provided by those who are more experienced in this area allowed Tatsuya to put this project on the right technical path from the start. Details like how to remove coke fines and deal with emulsion are valuable tips for anyone not experienced in OQT cleanings.”

THE RESULT

Responses from experts in the United States and Spain gave Inoue exactly the knowledge his client needed to proceed safely with the program on a timeline that met the customer’s requirement.

Global knowledge sharing provided Inoue the direction to guide his customer through this challenge, and this collective knowledge will remain in CORE to help others who need it in the future. Javier Florencio, an innovation marketer who provided insight from his experiences in Spain, says, “Traditionally, we used to have all these discussions within email, which in the end are lost over time. I think it’s very valuable that these discussions are recorded in CORE and kept for future interest. That’s where the value is.”

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