Sample Box

on . Posted in Pressure Vessel

DSC03419DSC06383A sample box is a series of pipe, valves and fittings located on a pressure vessel or storage tank that is used to manually determine the height of the liquid or where the interface between oil and water resides.  It is common in the upstream oil and gas industry when water is removed from the process stream during the dehydration process. 

sample box Index

The way it works is there are several ports installed on the vessel at known elevations.  These are generally 3/4" to 1" couplings, depending on the designer's preference.  These are couplings so that they can be easily removed and cleaned out in the event they get plugged.  For sandy service or heavy oil service, a larger connection is usually preferrable.  During operation of the vessel, an operator may want to verify the location of the oil/water interface or may want to check the height of an oil pad.  By opening the valves at the set locations, the operator can determine the level. 

It should be noted that these are generally used for low pressure tanks and vessels.  While they can be used for higher pressure vessels, care needs to be taken to ensure that the operator and other personnel do not get exposed to high pressure or high temperature process fluids.

Additionally, if there are poisonous gasses, such as Hydrogen Sulfide, there should be provisions (such as a fan) to blow the gasses away from the operator.  The sample box will need a receptacle to collect the production fluids. Often times, this is sent to a gravity drain system.  If there is no system available, the drainbox should have enough volume to hole the fluid so it can be removed with a vacuum truck or a series of buckets.

reasons for oil field sample box

An oil field sample box, often referred to as a sample container or sample kit, is a container or kit used in the oil and gas industry to collect, store, and transport samples of oil, gas, water, or other substances from oil fields, well sites, and production facilities.  These samples are essential for various purposes, including reservoir analysis, production optimization, environmental monitoring, quality control, and regulatory compliance. Here's how oil field sample boxes are typically used.

  • Sample Collection  -  Oil field technicians and geologists use sample boxes to collect samples of oil, gas, water, and other fluids or solids from various points in the production process.  This can include samples from wellheads, pipelines, separators, tanks, and more.
  • Preservation  -  Depending on the type of sample and its intended analysis, the sample box may contain specific preservatives or additives to maintain the sample's integrity and prevent contamination or degradation during transport.
  • Labeling  -  Each sample container is usually labeled with critical information such as the well or facility location, date and time of collection, depth or pressure information, and the specific purpose of the sample.
  • Transport  -  Once collected and properly sealed, these sample boxes are transported to laboratories or analytical facilities for further testing and analysis.  They may be transported via specialized carriers or shipped to the destination.
  • Analysis  -  In the laboratory, scientists and analysts perform a wide range of tests and analyses on the samples.  These tests can include measuring properties such as chemical composition, viscosity, density, pH, sediment content, and more.  The results of these analyses are critical for reservoir characterization, production optimization, environmental impact assessments, and quality control.
  • Regulatory Compliance  -  In many cases, oil and gas companies are required to collect and analyze samples to ensure they are complying with environmental regulations and safety standards. Sample boxes help document and demonstrate compliance.
  • Research and Development  -  Oil field samples are also used in research and development efforts to develop new technologies and processes for oil and gas extraction, refining, and environmental impact reduction.
  • Documentation and Reporting  -  All data related to sample collection, analysis, and results are documented and reported to regulatory agencies, company management, and other stakeholders.

Oil field sample boxes are typically designed to be sturdy and resistant to leaks or contamination to ensure that the samples collected remain representative of the conditions in the field.  Proper handling and documentation of samples are critical to maintaining the accuracy and reliability of the data collected, which in turn supports safe and efficient oil and gas operations.


Sample Box Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Sample boxes are designed to preserve the integrity of collected samples.  They can prevent contamination and maintain the original characteristics of the material being sampled.
  • Sample boxes provide a convenient and secure means of transporting samples from the collection site to the laboratory or analysis facility.  They are often designed to minimize the risk of spillage or leakage.
  • The use of standardized sample boxes can contribute to consistency in sample collection procedures.  This is important for maintaining accuracy and reliability in scientific research, environmental monitoring, or quality control.
  • Sample boxes can protect samples from external factors such as sunlight, temperature variations, and atmospheric conditions.  This is crucial for ensuring that the samples remain representative of the original state.
  • Sample boxes typically allow for easy labeling and identification of samples.  Proper labeling is essential for tracking samples, maintaining data integrity, and ensuring accurate analysis.
  • Sample boxes come in various sizes and materials, making them versatile for different types of samples and environments.  They can be adapted to meet the specific requirements of diverse sampling applications.
  • Some sample boxes may have limitations on the volume of material they can contain.  In situations where large sample volumes are required, alternative collection methods or containers may be necessary.
  • While sample boxes are designed to minimize contamination, there is still a potential risk of cross ontamination, especially if the same box is reused for different samples without proper cleaning.
  • Depending on the material and design, sample boxes can be relatively expensive.  This cost factor may be a consideration, especially in large scale or repetitive sampling projects.
  • Sample boxes, especially for solid or liquid samples, can add weight and bulk to the collection equipment.  This may be a concern in situations where portability and ease of handling are crucial.
  • Some samples may have specific requirements that standard sample boxes may not fully address.  In such cases, specialized containers or collection methods may be more suitable.
  • The production and disposal of sample boxes may have environmental implications.  Consideration should be given to the sustainability of materials used and proper disposal practices.


Piping Designer Logo Slide 1


Tags: Storage Tank and Pressure Vessel