Searching for ways to further reduce noise in the oil and gas industry

Due to the various compressors, pumps, furnaces, blowers, extractors, and other equipment placed on rigs and in refineries, it comes as no surprise that the hundreds of thousands of employees working in oil and gas drilling, servicing and refining around the world are all exposed to higher decibel levels than most workplace locations.

While the likelihood of a major reduction in noise at these various rigs and refineries is minimal, there is a desire in the industry for ways to decrease decibel levels further and decrease noise as a “workplace hazard.”

Looking for ways to further reduce noise in the oil and gas industry, Dresser-Rand, a supplier of rotating equipment solutions to the worldwide oil, gas, petrochemical, and process industries, is collaborating with the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) to research how to manage this frequently overlooked problem.

Dresser-Rand supported the KFUPM Research Day, an event focused on enabling guests to learn about research activities at the University and build an environment of innovation, with a booth and an exhibit of the Dresser-Rand Array demonstration rig.

An interactive demonstration of the Array noise reduction technology was performed, and KFUPM students from the Mechanical Engineering Department presented findings of a Dresser-Rand-funded research project focused on improving the Array technology.

The research team from KFUPM included Dr. Samir Mekid and three students. Two undergraduate students worked on how to reduce the manufacturing cost of Array technology and collaborated with another team of students from Lehigh University to expand on the topic.

A graduate student studied resonator arrays in general to further improve the acoustic performance of Dresser-Rand arrays.

Elements of the joint research project included a presentation covering acoustics fundamentals, acoustic measurement techniques and an Array demonstration. A field noise survey at Saudi Aramco sites was also conducted by Dresser-Rand and KFUPM.

Dresser-Rand and Saudi Aramco are evaluating opportunities to apply noise reduction technology to compressor installations at production facilities within the Kingdom.

Office space has been established in Dhahran Techno Valley to provide a convenient location for Dresser-Rand personnel to meet and collaborate with local students in support of these and other local projects.

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