In 2014, Patching Associates was retained by a major oil and gas company to provide a Noise Control Study of a drilling rig in a noise sensitive area. The goal of the project was to assist the company with planning future drilling operations and to understand noise mitigation options and budget costs to achieve regulatory compliance in noise sensitive environments.
The objectives of the project were:
Using high precision Class 1 sound level meters and sound intensity measurements, the individual rig components were analyzed and segmented by operating scenarios and duration of operation. The noise sources were quantified using close-up measurements following international standards and then used to create a detailed 3D noise model of the rig. This model was based on drawings, on-site measurements and actual noise emission data taken from each surface of the rig. The modeled levels were compared to and calibrated with the measurements done in the field, resulting in the most accurate acoustic model possible.
The noise model was used to simulate and optimize noise control scenarios. In consultation with the operations team, the scenarios were then assessed for their feasibility and noise control specifications were written for each rig component.
Specifications provided included:
Each specification was then offered to multiple acoustic equipment vendors to obtained competitive pricing, ensuring minimal cost to the client for each dB reduced.
Another key result was that the data and 3D model gets added to our already extensive database. The acoustic model can now be placed in other locations and used to predict sound levels at any distance from similar drilling rigs. This significantly reduces the time investment for future projects done by the operator.
“The AER has received an increasing number of noise complaints related to drilling, servicing, and well testing operations….We recommend contacting an acoustical consultant or noise control provider for advice….” Noise Key Message, Alberta Energy Regulator