好英语网好英语网

好英语网 - www.HaoEnglish.com
好英语网一个提供英语阅读,双语阅读,双语新闻的英语学习网站。

如何拆除石油钻井平台?

欢迎来到 好英语网 - www.haoenglish.com
What it takes to dismantle an oil rig
如何拆除石油钻井平台?

They sound like the kind of arsenal controlled by a Bond villain – twin-hulled megaships, underwater lasers, robot submarines and diamond saws.

双连体巨型舰艇、水下激光器、机器人潜水艇以及金刚石锯……乍听起来,它们就好像一座《007》电影中大反派所控制的那种兵工厂。

But they are, in fact, the kind of tools that engineers will need to dispose of hundreds of the soon-to-be-derelict oil and gas platforms littering the North Sea.

然而,实际上,它们不过是工程师们在拆除海上石油和天然气平台时所需用到的工具。现如今,面对北海上散落着数百个报废在即的石油钻井平台,这类工具不日将派上用场。

While clean, green offshore wind farms increasingly begin to populate the North Sea – there are now 3,000 of them there – the area’s once-mighty oil and gas platforms, which helped fuel Europe’s economy for the best part of 40 years, are facing an ignominious end in the breaker’s yards. But getting them there is going to be hellishly difficult.

目前,落脚于北海地区的海上风力发电场已达3000个。随着这种清洁而环保的风电场开始日益增多,久居此地、曾不可一世的油气平台正在走向穷途末路。这些油气平台在过去四十年中的大部分时间里,一直为欧洲经济的增长推波助澜,但最终却要面临一个却并不光彩的结局——在拆解工厂中了却此生。然而,把它们弄到拆解工厂,这本身就是个极其困难的过程。

At issue is the fact that North Sea hydrocarbon reserves are depleting, and many hundreds of oil and gas rigs are approaching the end of their productive lives. And the emptier their wells get, the more the rigs cost to keep running, says Richard Neilson, a physicist specialising in offshore technologies at the University of Aberdeen.

阿伯丁大学(University of Aberdeen)专攻近海开发技术的物理学家理查德·尼尔森(Richard Neilson)指出,目前的问题在于,北海的油气储量正日趋枯竭,数以百计的高产油气平台即将寿终正寝;而且油井越干涸,钻井平台用于维持正常运行的成本就越高。

Helping fuel this downward economic spiral is the enduringly low oil price, which now has one-third of oil fields operating at a loss. Add in the uncertainties following Britain’s vote to leave the EU, and the result, says business newswire Bloomberg, is a slump that is fuelling a rash of North Sea platform shutdowns.

财经通讯社彭博社(Bloomberg)指出,油价长时间持续低迷,现如今已有三分之一的油田收不抵支,这让这一轮螺旋形下滑的经济颓势雪上加霜。除此之外,英国脱欧公投也给时局带来很多不确定性。结果就是,在经济衰退的刺激之下,许多北海钻井平台接连熄火关停。

But there’s just one problem: rigs cannot just be shut down.

然而,有一个问题来了:钻井平台没法轻易地一关了事。

Under a 15-nation protocol called the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic, known simply as Ospar, which came into force in March 1998, offshore platforms cannot be disposed of at sea or simply be left to rust and fall to pieces, as they risk damaging fragile marine ecosystems.

根据1998年3月生效的由15个国家共同签署的《奥斯陆巴黎保护东北大西洋海洋环境公约》(简称《奥斯陆-巴黎公约》)(Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic, 简称 Ospar),海上钻井平台不能被丢弃于海域中,也不能干脆留待生锈而任其分崩离析,因为这样做很可能损害脆弱的海洋生态系统。

Ospar’s measures are largely the result of a spat between Shell and Greenpeace after the pressure group occupied Shell’s Brent Spar – a floating oil storage buoy at which tankers would load up on crude – to stop it being sunk and disposed of at sea in 1995. “The legislation that came into effect after Brent Spar is what drives North Sea decommissioning,” says Neilson.

在很大程度上,《奥斯陆-巴黎公约》法案是1995年壳牌和绿色和平组织之间争执不下的结果。在此之前,为了阻止壳牌将布兰特史帕尔储油平台(Brent Spar,它是一个流动的储油浮筒,油轮会在此装载原油)击沉并丢弃在海上,该利益团体占领了这一平台。尼尔森指出:“这个在布兰特史帕尔事件之后开始实施的法案,就是迫使北海油田停运的根源。”

Ospar demands the massive superstructure of a platform has to somehow be removed and returned to shore for recycling. This “topside” includes the entire working core of the oil or gas rig, the drilling, production and processing modules, the helicopter deck and the accommodation for the crew.

《奥斯陆-巴黎公约》要求油气公司将钻井平台的大型上层结构以某种方式取走并运到岸上进行回收。这种“上部模块”包括了:石油或天然气钻井平台的整个工作内核、钻探机、生产及加工模块、直升机起落甲板以及员工住宿区。

Next, the rig’s subsea support structure has to be dealt with. This can be either an ultra-heavy “gravity-based” concrete foundation that may include concrete oil storage cells. Or it could comprise a substructure of massive steel legs and a braced steel frame – a combination dubbed the “jacket”.

接下来,还需对钻井平台的海底支撑结构加以处理。支撑结构可能是“基于重力”的超重混凝土基座,其中或许含有混凝土储油舱;也可能包含了由大规模钢支腿柱组成的下部结构和一个支撑平台的钢架,这两者被合称为“导管架”平台。

The rig’s support structure has to be completely removed if it weighs less than 10,000 tonnes – but if the platform is heavier, and was built before 1999 before removal was considered part of rig designs, oil and gas companies can try and make what’s called a “derogation” case allowing them to leave much of it in place.

如果钻井平台支撑结构的重量未达1万吨,则应将其整体移除。但是,如果钻井平台较重,并且建造时间早于1999年,那时的工程人员在设计钻井平台时还未将平台拆卸工作纳入考量范围,那么石油和天然气公司便可以尝试所谓的“部分废除”方案,而据此,该平台的大部分结构可以就地遗弃。

Because they are built to withstand hurricane force winds and the most turbulent of high seas, however, there is nothing remotely simple about breaking up and removing an offshore platform. Doing so at the required scale will require a panoply of technologies over the next couple of decades, some of which have yet to be invented.

这种安排的合理性在于,这些平台的建筑结构决定了它们既能够抵挡飓风级别的暴风,也经受得起公海上最为猛烈的惊涛骇浪;但是,这使得拆解并移除一座海上平台变得极其复杂。要以法案所需的规模来处理这种重型平台,那将离不开未来几十年内可能出现的一整套科技手段,其中一些技术今天尚未被发明出来。

And that scale is profound: there are currently 470 oil or gas rigs and 3,000 pipelines in need of decommissioning – and 5,000 wells that need plugging with cement to depths of thousands of metres. The topsides weigh typically in the tens of thousands of tonnes – with, for example, Shell’s Brent Delta platform’s topside weighing in at a cool 24,000 tonnes.

而且,这个规模庞大无比:目前,共有470个石油或天然气钻井平台以及3000条管道线需要退役——此外,还有5000口数千米深的海底油井必须灌注水泥以进行封堵。钻井平台的上部模块一般重达数万吨,以壳牌公司布伦特三角洲(Brent Delta)平台的上部模块为例,其重量足足有2.4万吨。

To get across the scale of the problem the industry likes comparisons with buildings. The removal of nine Norwegian rigs from the Ekofisk field, for instance, involves removal of 113,500 tonnes of steel – “equivalent to the weight of 54 London Eyes”, says the Royal Academy of Engineering. However, that pales compared to just one of Shell’s concrete-legged structures in the Brent field. “Our structures weigh 300,000 tonnes, the same as the Empire State Building,” says Duncan Manning, decommissioning manager for Royal Dutch Shell’s Brent field.

为了淋漓尽致地展现出拆解难题的规模之大,油气行业喜欢把高楼大厦拿来做比较。举例来说,想要拆除在埃科菲斯克(Ekofisk)油田上的九个挪威钻井平台,就必然要移除其重达11.35万吨的钢铁结构。对此,英国皇家工程院(Royal Academy of Engineering)表示,“这个量级堪比54个伦敦眼摩天轮”。然而,壳牌布伦特油田上仅仅一个混凝土支架结构的钻井平台就能把它们秒杀。荷兰皇家壳牌集团布伦特油田退役项目的总管邓肯·曼宁(Duncan Manning)指出:“我们的平台重达30万吨,和纽约帝国大厦(Empire State Building)是一个量级。”

The first job highly unglamorous job in the decommissioning process, says Manning, is to plug the well. “To do that, the platform mills out the steel casing in the well tube so that there is a rock-to-rock barrier that prevents any hydrocarbon leakage when the cement hardens,” he says.

曼宁分析道,在退役进程中,首当其冲的是一项非常稀松平常的工作:封堵油井。他指出:“为实现封堵,首先要铣削掉钻井平台油井管中的钢质护筒,再建构出一个岩石结构的屏障,水泥一硬化,就不会有丝毫油气从中泄漏出来。”

If there is no rig currently above a well, because the rig has moved on to another more productive one, a mobile drilling platform called a ‘jack-up rig’ is parked over it to do the job. It’s pricey though: using a jack-up rig doubles the cost of plugging the well.

而如果某口油井产量不尽如人意,其钻井平台转移到了产量更佳的另一油井处,造成该油井上方现在没有钻井平台,那怎么办?我们可以采用一种被称为“自升式钻井船”的移动式钻井平台,将其停靠在此油井上方,完成封井工作。不过,这种做法颇为昂贵:出动一艘“自升式钻井船”的花费是封堵油井的两倍。

Then there are three major ways to remove the heavyweight topsides. The first is a method the industry dubs “piece small” in which the rig's own crane plucks the superstructure apart, dropping the scrap metal on a barge that takes the pieces to a shore-based recycling centre.

然后,在移除重量级的上部模块的过程中,主要有三种方法可供选择。第一种方法被业内戏称为“大事化小”。运用这种方法时,钻井平台用自带的起重机摘除、拆分上部模块,将由此产生的废弃金属碎片卸载到一艘驳船上,再由这艘驳船将它们运送到岸上回收中心。

“The second method is called reverse install,” says Manning – which, as its name suggests, is a backward rig building process. “Rather than take off small bits of at a time you take off larger modules with a very large floating crane moored next to the platform. You then float those complete modules on a much bigger barge to recycling.”

“第二种方法叫做‘先装的后拆’/‘拆装倒序’,”曼宁说道——顾名思义,这种方法就是按照钻井平台建造步骤的倒序来进行拆解。“与其每次拆掉几小块,不如一口气将那些较大的模块拆卸下来。为此,你需要调用一台非常大的水上起重机,将它停靠在钻井平台旁边作业。然后,再将这些完整的模块装载到一艘硕大无比的驳船上进行回收。”

The third method, which Shell will be using on its Brent Delta platform, should be a quite a spectacle: the whole 24,000 tonne topside is to be removed in a single lift operation using a specially-designed series of cranes placed between the bows of a giant catamaran – effectively two oil tankers welded together, so that one bow can come alongside each side of a rig (shown in a video here). Once the rig is in the slot between the bows, the crane’s lifting arms slide beneath the topside and snatch it off. At least, that’s the theory.

第三种方法的作业现场应该相当壮观:开动一艘巨型双体船,并在其两个船头之间的位置停放一系列专门定制的起重机,再让这些起重机通过单次作业将整个重达2.4万吨的上部模块吊起并移除。实际上,这艘巨型双体船是由两艘油轮焊接在一起得到的,这样两个船头就可以各靠在钻井平台的一侧(详见此处视频)。一旦钻井平台处于两个船头之间的空隙处,起重机的吊臂就滑动到上部模块的下方,一把将它抓举起来。至少,理论上是这样实现的。壳牌就将会在拆解布伦特三角洲平台时采用这种方法。

The huge vessel, weighing just under a million tonnes and almost half a kilometre long, was built in South Korea for Dutch offshore vessel operator Allseas Group. Now called Pioneering Spirit, after its name was changed from that of Nazi war criminal Pieter Schelte, it allows some 97% of the topside to be recycled. “You have to weigh up the cost of this method versus the cost of having an enormous crane offshore,” says Manning.

现名为“先锋精神”号(Pioneering Spirit)的巨型船舶建于韩国,东家是荷兰的近海船舶运营商Allseas集团,船身的重量将近一百万吨,长度差不多有半公里。更名前,船东曾以一名纳粹战犯的名字命名该船,将其称为“彼得·舍尔特”号(Pieter Schelte)。现今,这艘巨轮能够拆除钻井平台约97%的上部模块,并将其进行回收利用。曼宁表示:“这就不得不掂量一下这种方法和出动一台巨型起重机到底哪个更划算。”

Once that megaship has taken the topside off, the gravity structure and/or the full metal jacket has to be dealt with. What seems to be happening is that oil and gas companies are being allowed to leave the ultra-heavy concrete structures on the seabed while getting rid of most of the metalwork above it, at least to a depth whereby ships can pass over it unhindered.

一旦这艘“海上巨无霸”将钻井平台的上部模块拆除完毕,接下来需要移除的就是它的重力基座平台和/或整个金属导管架。目前的情形似乎是,油气公司正获准将超重型混凝土建造物留在海底,同时需要拆解掉海床之上的大部分金属制品,起码保证船只过往不受影响。

That’s what happened in BP’s North West Hutton field. “Once BP had removed the topsides there they cut the jacket up and cut down to the level of the concrete piles in the seabed, which they were allowed to leave,” says Neilson. Shell is hoping to do the same with its three gravity structures in the Brent field.

英国石油公司(BP)在西北哈顿油田的拆除工程便是如此。尼尔森指出:“一旦英国石油公司完成了平台上部模块拆除作业,它们便摧毁导管架,将其削减到法规允许的与海底混凝土桩平齐的水位。”壳牌公司也希望其在布伦特油田的三个重力基座平台能享受到这种待遇。

It’s in the underwater environment that many subsea cutting technologies come into play, using abrasive water jets, hydraulic shears and diamond saws, optionally attached to robot submarines, or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

在水下环境中,许多水下切割技术有了用武之地。磨料射流、液压剪板机和金刚石锯可以派上用场,它们可连接到机器人潜水艇中,也可附着于遥控潜水器(ROVs)上。

A diamond saw comprises a wire coated in ultra-hard industrial diamond crystals and it runs between a series of spools. “It’s very like hack sawing but it can cope with very large cuts,” says Neilson. The diamond saw is also used to sever the steel legs from the topside – but to do that it has to make cuts in a castellated profile, like on a castle battlement – so that the topside does not slip off sideways once all the cuts are made but before the crane can lift it.

单片金刚石锯中含有一段覆盖超硬工业金刚石晶体的金属丝,它就在一系列线轴之间运行。尼尔森表示:“金刚石锯与弓锯非常相似,但是前者可以用来切出非常巨大的开口”。金刚石锯也可用于切割与上部模块相连的钢铁支架。但这样做的话,它需要在一个雉堞状的剖面中进行切割,一如古堡城垛上那般。如此一来,上部模块在切割已经完成、但还没被起重机举起的时候,不会侧向滑落。

For the future, better, faster techniques are going to be needed if the North Sea is ever to be cleared. Neilson’s group at the University of Aberdeen, alongside Peter Gledhill of local firm Deep Ocean Limited, are working on perfecting faster, more efficient laser-cutting techniques for subsea structures.

如果想还北海海域以清澈洁净,那么未来我们还需要用到更好、更快的技术。尼尔森在阿伯丁大学的团队正携手来自本土企业深洋有限公司(Deep Ocean Limited)的彼得·格莱德希尔(Peter Gledhill),努力改进针对水下装置的激光切割技术,使其更快速、更高效。

One of their ideas is to make use of fibre lasers – which allow many optical fibres carrying laser light to be grouped together to achieve the desired level of cutting power. “It has some huge advantages over other techniques,” says Neilson. “You can put three to four kilowatts of power down a single 0.2-millimetre wide fibre. You can cut quite a lot with that.”

他们的创意之一便是启用纤维激光器——借此将多条传输激光的光导纤维聚集到一起,以达到理想的切割功率。尼尔森指出:“它具备一些超越其它技术的巨大优势。单靠一条0.2毫米宽的光纤,你就可以获得三到四千瓦的功率。以这样的功率,你可以进行非常多的切割作业。”

Against all other cutting methods, lasers promise less-unwieldy, smaller, lighter and less power-hungry methods, Neilson adds. But for now it is a research idea. At Shell, Manning says, lasers have also been considered.

尼尔森补充道,与其它所有切割方式截然不同的是,激光器绝对没它们那么笨重,而且体积更小、更轻便、耗电更少。但就目前来看,这还只是一个研究构想。曼宁表示,壳牌公司已将激光切割纳入考虑范围之内。

Once the North Sea's rigs are history, however, the tools used to deal with them may find a new target: those offshore wind turbines. Ospar covers any “human activity that might adversely affect” the North Sea’s marine environment, and so they too will one day reach their end of their service lifetimes and need recycling.

有朝一日北海钻井平台成为历史,这些用于拆解它们的工具或将找到新的着力对象:海上风力发电场。《奥斯陆-巴黎公约》对所有“可能损害”北海海洋环境的“人类行为”都具有约束力。这么看来,那些海上风力发电场有朝一日也要退役,也需要回收利用。

“Somebody will need to look at it,” says Neilson. “Anything that is put in needs to be taken out.”

尼尔森指出:“任何投入大海里的东西,都得如数从中取走。必须有人对此加以考量。”
赞一下
好英语网
上一篇: 如何保护自己避免成为网络犯罪受害者?
下一篇: 三条黄金准则杜绝信用卡诈骗
欢迎来到 好英语网 - www.haoenglish.com

相关推荐

隐藏边栏