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Incomplete Combustion of Gas

Driving around Lubbock county may be boring for some, but for me it’s always an adventure. I was on FM 2641 when I saw smoke billowing from something in the distance. When I got closer, I noticed it was an oil tank in the middle of a cotton field. I pulled off on the side of the road, grabbed my camera, and jumped out of the car. To my surprise the moon was rising in the distance and the sky was a beautiful pastel color. The next day, I reached out to Dr. Marshall Watson, the Department Chair of Petroleum Engineering, because I wasn’t sure what I was looking at or why the stack was smoking. He said, “that is an oil field tank battery. The two vessels on left are to separate the oil, water and gas. The one that is smoking has an issue as they should not smoke (incomplete combustion of the gas). They are called heater

treaters which are like the water heater in your house. Heating the oil water mixture helps it separate better. The four tanks on the right are for oil and water storage. The far right, larger tank is water and the other are oil.” Since I have been more focused on my photography, I have learned something new every day. Now, I have a little knowledge on the oilfield thanks to Dr. Watson.

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