Lower Viscosity and Flow Control in Colder Temperatures


Viscosity is a complicated and sometimes confusing topic and achieving lower viscosity is a challenge during cold winter months.


A fluid that is viscous will be thick, sticky, and semifluid in consistency.  Viscosity can be affected by friction and/or temperature.  For example, consider what happens when you need some ketchup on your burger.  If you simply invert the bottle and expect the ketchup to flow freely, you are a rookie in the sport of burger-eating.  A pro knows to shake the bottle and then to proceed with caution, because once you have decreased viscosity, due to the shaking, the ketchup can flow quite rapidly.

Now think about honey, certainly a substance that is thick, sticky and semifluid.  Simply shaking a jar of honey will not guarantee any flow.  Honey cooled in a refrigerator will have little to no flow because it has been cooled, but when warmed appropriately*, there is a viscosity reduction and honey will flow smoothly.


A fluid’s viscosity strongly depends on its temperature. Along with the shear rate, temperature really is the dominating influence. The higher the temperature is, the lower a substance’s viscosity is. The relationship between temperature and viscosity is inversely proportional for all liquids. A change in temperature always affects the viscosity – it depends on the substance just how much it is influenced by a temperature change. For some fluids a decrease of 1°C (1.8F) already causes a 10 % increase in viscosity.



Automatic Transmission Fluid, Antifreeze, and Brake Fluid

Aviation Fuels


Bunker Oil-Marine Fuel Oil


Crude Oil

Diesel Fuel


Gear Oil

Heavy Fuel Oil


Hydrofluoric Acid





Citric Acid

Paraffin Wax


Sulfuric Acid



Powerblanket® Viscosity Control Solutions

Powerblanket makes it easy to lower viscosity of fluids. Powerblanket offers various ready-to-ship products, from bucket and drum heaters to ibc tote heaters. We can also produce custom solutions for most applications. If you need help with viscosity reduction, Powerblanket has you covered.

  •   Deliver safe, uniform heat to expensive materials without overheating or burning while lowering viscosity.
  •   Full wrap-around design provides complete insulation and ensures equal heat distribution.
  •   Increase the performance and efficiency of your processes—decrease viscosity.
  •   Safety certified to UL and CSA Standards. Class1 Div2 hazardous location products also available.
  •   Energy-efficient technology lowers energy-related expenses and overall project and equipment costs.
  •   Decrease and prevent product waste among temperature sensitive materials by maintaining consistent storage temperatures without significant fluctuations.


Learn More Here


*Do not heat honey much above 100 degrees F (38 C) to avoid nutritional loss.


“Viscosity Tables and Viscosity Charts.” Viscopedia. 30 December 2016. http://www.viscopedia.com/viscosity-tables/


Custom Tank Heaters: The Perfect Approach to Heating Solutions

custom tank heatersIt would be absolutely ridiculous to assume that all tanks come in the same shapes and sizes, whether they hold water, gas, chemicals, or some other matter. We all know that this simply isn’t the case. While there are certainly standard measurements for specialty gas tanks, water tanks, and others, the range of variance between size, construction, and purpose is vast enough that there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for tank protection. That’s why Powerblanket® Custom Tank Heaters are the perfect approach to the need for a heating solution.


Customized for Your Tanks and Needs

Regardless of the size of your tank, the purpose it serves, or its shape, Powerblanket can help you protect it against cold weather and keep it running at the ideal temperature year round. Our custom approach to providing tailored heating solutions to a myriad of industries and applications has allowed hundreds of customers to protect their precious assets from the ravages of cold weather.

In addition to freeze protection, our custom tank heaters enable increased efficiency in gas and other kinds of tanks. Anywhere flow rates and extraction rates are affected by temperature, Powerblanket custom tank heaters can ensure the flow of liquids and extraction of gas is always at its best. Take, for example, the nature of a gas such as propane.

When gases are stored in tanks, they are stored under considerable pressure. Due to this fact, they reside in the tank in both a liquid and gaseous state. Extracting a gas means you must evaporate some of the liquid and that evaporation process requires an input of heat energy. If the gas extraction rate is fast enough, it could cause the tank to frost up and the extraction to be impeded. However, with a custom Powerblanket propane tank heater you can keep the extraction flowing fast and full, without the side effect of frosting or icing.

What’s more, whether a tank holds gas or liquid, freezing temperatures pose big problems. Using a custom tank heater allows you to fully insulate and heat your tank to whatever temperature is best, regardless of the surrounding climate.


custom Powerblanket tank heater wrapped around a large tankGetting a custom tank heater from Powerblanket is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Contact us with the details of your application.
  2. We’ll design a custom tank heater for your application, based on your information and feedback.
  3. We’ll build your custom solution and ship it to you within two weeks. (Sometimes, we can even turn a project around in as little as one week.)


In the end, there’s no reason to leave your tank out in the cold. Powerblanket can cover it and keep it safe and functioning well through the most inclement weather.



Custom Heating Solutions Don’t Take as Long as You Think

Custom Heating Blankets from PowerblanketOften times when we think of customization, or taking a custom approach to something, the first thing that comes to mind is time. “How long is that going to take?” we ask ourselves. Well, in the case of Powerblanket custom heating solutions, not too long at all. Our custom approach to heating solutions doesn’t take as long as you might think. In fact, in most cases, Powerblanket can turn around a custom project in one to two weeks.


Custom is the Way to Go

Many applications can be adequately covered by our ready-to-ship product line, but there are equally as many projects that need a custom solution. Powerblanket works with many companies in a myriad of industries to supply custom heating solutions to a wide range of needs. So what does a custom heating solution process look like when working with us? We’ll show you.

Powerblanket’s custom heating solutions can be tailored to fit just about any application. If you can build it, produce it, or store it, Powerblanket can cover it. What’s more, completing a custom project with us can be summarized in three easy steps:


  1. Contact us and tell us the details of your application. (Many of our custom projects start with a simple phone call to one of our reps. From here, you can send any and all information we’ll need to form the proper heating solution for you. Additionally, we do offer what we refer to as the white glove treatment. In other words, we can come onsite and get all the details on our own.)
  2. We’ll design a custom heating solution for your application, based on the information and feedback we gather or you deliver to us. (Whether you choose to send us information or want us to come onsite, we will get all the details we need.)
  3. We’ll build your custom solution and ship it to you within two weeks. (Sometimes, we can even turn a project around in as little as one week.)


Case In Point

When Enduraplas’s plastics manufacturing process needed heating assistance, Powerblanket was able to deliver a custom tank heater that increased efficiency beyond expectations. Enduraplas’s manufacturing process uses propane extensively—making their large propane tanks an invaluable asset. However, cold weather threw a real damper on the whole thing, impeding the flow of propane significantly.
With the Poweblanket custom heating solution in place, however, Enduraplas was able to run their manufacturing processes through the coldest of weather.


Gold Coast Yachts is another great example of how Powerblanket custom heating saved immense amounts of time and money. Gold Coast Yachts builds custom, carbon-fiber yachts, and the curing process for the large sections of carbon-fiber frames needs high-temperature exposure for long periods of time. Previous to implementing the Powerblanket custom curing blankets, Gold Coast had to architect, build, and utilize large custom ovens for every cure. In other words, they had to build a large shed around every frame in order to pipe heat into the enclosure and cure the resins at the proper temperature. This process, as you can imagine, took a whole lot of time, manpower, and money. With Powerblanket, however, Gold Coast Yachts was able to save thousands of dollars and hours of time on each project.


When Cenovus turned to Powerblanket to design a custom valve and transmitter heating solution, Powerblanket was able to turn the product around with ease and speed. Powerblanket set out to create a custom heating system that eliminated the risk Cenovus had of losing money to freezing valves and transmitters. After Powerblanket completed the project, Cenovous no longer had to worry about the cost associated with downtime and the thawing of frozen instrumentation and valves.

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Heating and Hazardous Locations

Working in hazardous locations means you have to exercise serious caution regarding procedure, protocol, and equipment usage. What’s more, heating in hazardous locations takes all the more care and detail to make certain you aren’t adding fuel to a potential fire. This is why Powerblanket offers products certified to national safety standards.


CID2Class I Division 1 and Class I Division 2

We understand that hazardous location heating is nothing to take lightly. And we understand that heating products should be engineered to the highest standards of quality and safety. We’ve based our business on this simple reality and are able to customize our safe and innovative heating solutions to a myriad of industries because of it. In fact, our custom heating solutions can be designed and certified to Class I Division 1 (CID1) or Class I Division 2 (CID2) safety standards. We are certified for all four gas Groups, A, B, C, and D and up to a T4 Temperature Classification.  Many people who work in hazardous locations are familiar with these terms. For everyone else, here’s an explanation.

The classifications referenced as CID1 and CID2 regard the operation of electronic equipment in hazardous locations. CID1 is the identifier used for locations where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, mists or vapors could possibly exist under normal working conditions. This classification also covers locations where the same gases, mists or vapors may exist frequently due to repairs or maintenance in the area. It also includes potential scenarios where gases, mists or vapors could be leaked by faulty or damaged equipment.

CID2, on the other hand, represents all locations where concentrations of flammable gases and/or vapors and/or mists are present in the air under operating conditions outside of the norm. So CID1 covers areas where such hazards are normally present, and CID2 covers areas where such hazards aren’t normally present but certainly could be under abnormal circumstances. Most importantly, if a product is CID1 or CID2 certified, it means that product is safe to use in locations that are CID1 or CID2 rated hazardous locations.

Powerblanket provides products that are certified to either of these hazardous location equipment safety standards. So when it comes to heating in hazardous areas, Powerblanket is both an efficient and safe choice. In addition to these ratings, Powerblanket products are also certified to UL, and CSA standards. Our innovative approach to providing industry-specific heating solutions has helped our customers save a lot of time and resources to safeguard and increase efficiency among the assets that keep their businesses running. So whether it’s freeze protection, viscosity maintenance, curing assistance, or some other heat-related dilemma, Powerblanket can help, even if you operate in a hazardous location.


Custom Heating Solutions: What You Need to Know

So many industries need heating solutions, and not just during the cold months either. Epoxy curing, chemical storage, viscosity maintenance, food preparations, concrete curing, and much more can all benefit from innovative temperature regulation year round. And hey, that’s what we do.


Custom Heating BlanketsCustom Heating vs. Ready to Ship Products

Powerblanket® produces an extensive line of ready-to-ship products designed and engineered for a myriad of purposes. For example, if you store temperature-sensitive materials in drums, barrels, or totes, then our ready-to-ship barrel and drum heaters or tote heaters will accommodate your heating needs perfectly. If you store DEF, then take a look at our DEF heaters. If you have palletized product you need to keep warm, check out our Hot Box.

Along with all these great product offerings, however, one of our company’s greatest contributions to the industries we serve is the ability we have of producing custom heating solutions for just about any project under the sun.

We’re in November now, and many are thinking about the effect cold weather is going to have on their business continuity. Some will search high and low and feel frustration at the lack of solutions that fit their very specific need. If you’re reading this as one of those frustrated individuals, then take courage, because we specialize in this sort of thing.

Sometimes the word “custom” makes a process sound like it’s going to take a long time and cost a boatload of money. With some manufacturers, that may be true, but our manufacturing and customization process is fluid and effective, meaning that we can turn around a custom product in a reasonable window. In the case of Powerblanket, you can expect to be wowed.

So whether you need a heating solution for a large or oddly shaped propane tank, truck-mounted water cylinders, valves, manifolds, instrumentation, large scale epoxy curing, or any other specific application, then Powerblanket is ready to help.


Custom Heating Solutions from Powerblanket Offer:

  • A reasonable window for completion
  • The ability to answer varying levels of customization
  • Certification to universal safety standards
  • Easy installation and use

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How to Keep Water Tanks from Freezing

If you’ve ever had a water storage tank freeze, then you know just how much of a disaster it can be. As the colder months are fast approaching, now is the time to consider what you can do to keep your tanks protected from failure.


water storage tanksFreeze Protection for Water Storage

When it comes to freeze protection for water storage, the water itself is only half the equation. Surely it’s obvious that your priority would be to protect your storage from freezing, but have you stopped to consider that your storage tank needs just as much protecting? If you’ve stored water before in cold temperatures, then you probably have, because you’ll be well aware of water’s unique characteristics.

Of all the pure elements on earth that we know of, H₂O is the only molecule that expands when it freezes. Everything else contracts. With this being the case, one can imagine, and most of us have experienced firsthand, the dilemma posed by water’s frozen state. As it has to do with tank storage, well, potential damage to the tank is a very real concern. Consequently, having your water storage tank freeze can create a very big problem.

Most water storage tanks are equipped with two different types of systems for churning the water within the tank. These systems only work well within the proper environments, however. One such system is known as a passive system. These are hydrodynamic mixing systems. Another type is a jet aeration system. Jet aeration systems create movement in the water only during the filling process, which means that are completely incapable of preventing ice buildup in the tank once the temperature drops.

Then there are your active systems, and there are two kinds: pulse hydraulics and solar. These types of systems are known as active because they can be programmed to respond to various needs in the tank environment. However, only the most powerful active mixers can prevent ice buildup all winter long.

So here’s the moral of the story: unless your environment is just right, simply moving the water around in your tank isn’t going to prevent freezing. Even if you have a large and powerful active mixer, you’re still gambling with Mother Nature. When ice develops in your water storage, it can damage your controls, the interior of the tank, or it can even puncture the walls of your tank. What’s more, all this can happen before you even realize you have ice buildup.


The Answer

So how to keep water tanks from freezing, it’s a good question. But as you can already tell, the answer section to this topic is much shorter than the problem, and that’s because the solution is simple. In order to eliminate the damage associated with freezing water, you simply have to keep your tank at the ideal temperature. To be quite frank, the traditional methods for reducing ice formation inside water tanks are expensive, difficult, and only partially effective, hence the word “reducing” instead of “eliminating”.

So when seeking a solution for preventing ice buildup inside a storage tank, the most important thing to remember is uniformed heat. In order to properly prevent ice buildup, you need to maintain the same temperature at the bottom of your water tank, as you do at the top. In order to do this, you need to have a solution in place that can keep your tank at an ideal, regulated temperature year round. And thankfully, it just so happens that we provide that very solution here at Powerblanket.

Methane Hydrates: A Dilemma for the Pipeline Industry

Sometimes the word methane carries with it a negative connotation, but if there’s a word or combination of words to trump it, it’s “methane hydrate,” at least if you’re in the piping industry that is. While methane hydrates can be found naturally occurring in the deep abys of the ocean bottom (and could serve as a good energy source) when it comes to gas lines, there’s nothing good to say about them.



What are Methane Hydrates?

In terms of simplicity, a methane hydrate is a combination of methane gas and water. When these two combine at freezing temperatures, they form a solid methane hydrate. Interestingly enough, these crystal-like rocks form naturally at the depths of the sea. And in cases of potential energy sources, well, methane hydrates could be a thing of the future. However, when it comes to the piping industry, these rocks just plain get in the way.


Methane Solids in Your Pipes

In the case of the piping industry, methane hydrates can put a stop on gas flow like plaque can put a halt on blood flow in our arteries. When natural gas passes through piping equipment at temperatures near or below freezing, the buildup of condensation and the contraction of gas molecules create these gnarly solids we’ve been talking about. When these hydrates buildup in pipelines, especially at transition points like valves, manifolds, and instrumentation, they can pose a substantial risk to continued operation. In fact, they can outright stop it in its tracks.

So what’s the solution? It’s a simple one. It’s heat. Adding heat to a pipeline can keep temperatures at the ideal level and will entirely prevent the formation of methane hydrates. When adding regulated and even heat distribution to your equipment in the form valve heaters, manifold heaters, and instrumentation heaters, hydrate formation is no longer a problem. Thankfully, this is one of the major areas Powerblanket assists the piping industry with. Our valve, manifold, and instrumentation heaters offer the easiest and most efficient solutions to heat maintenance on a natural gas or liquid pipeline. So if hydrate formation is a dilemma that keeps you up at night, reach out to Powerblanket today, so you can start sleeping better.



Powerblanket® Outperforms Heat Trace

When it comes to maintaining and protecting the precious valves and instrumentations on your pipes or pipeline, Powerblanket valve heaters and instrumentation heaters outperform the best heat trace. If that seems like a bold statement, read on to find out how and why.


Heat Trace vs. Powerblanket

Heat trace, often times referred to synonymously as trace heating, is a common form of providing heat and freeze protection to pipes and pipe valves, manifolds, and instrumentation. Trace heating (TH) has been around for a long time, but the cons associated with the technology are still present today. While TH offers a great solution for long stretches of pipeline sitting above ground, it certainly has its limitations when it comes to protecting valves, actuators, and instrumentation from cold weather.

One potential downside or setback related to TH installation is the requirements that come with its use. If a company is going to install TH on their piping system, they’re going to have to hire a certified electrician to do it. This translates into more time and more money. What’s more, once it’s installed, it’s permanent, whether it gets in the way or not. And while TH works well with metal piping instruments, due to the conductive nature of the material, it doesn’t work with anything else.

Benefits of the Powerblanket Solution

TH amounts to installing heated wires to the external surface or your pipes and instrumentation, but this isn’t the best option when it comes to protecting your assets from the cold. Applied heat, and insulation are what’s needed, and TH only offers conductive heat. Powerblanket valve heaters and instrumentation heaters, on the other hand, offer the best combination of both. With Powerblanket, you can easy install, uninstall, reinstall our rugged vinyl blanket to add an insulated wrap of direct heat to keep your instrumentation at the ideal temperature, regardless of the weather.

In addition to this, Powerblanket instrumentation heaters offer the most consistent and efficient heat distribution on the market. With our patented technology and proprietary blend of materials, Powerblanket heaters provide even and regulated heat distribution throughout the entire surface area of application. What’s more, our custom approach makes our technology available to fit the biggest, smallest, or most uniquely shaped instruments around.

So whether you’re looking to protect small, large, or oddly shaped instrumentation, look no further than Powerblanket.

Heat Tape—And the Better Solution

Heat tape (or heating tape, as it’s sometimes referred to) is a way you can implement low-key freeze protection for your exposed pipes during the winter. In fact, this handy technology can even be used to safeguard instrumentation and other devices that are left out in the cold. However, as savvy as this approach sounds, did you know that there is a much better solution?

Heating Blankets Bolster Safety and Efficiency

Heat tape has its uses in very small applications, but in most scenarios, it can be like putting a Band-Aid on a broken bone. Such a technology offers direct heat only where the tape contacts the pipe or apparatus on which it’s placed. When used on metal pipes, the heat exchange is bound to spread, merely because metal is an obvious conductor of heat. With this in mind, then, we can see another limitation in the freeze protection offered by heating tape; it can only be used on heat conductive surfaces.

Aside from this, another problem with heating tape is the simple fact that it offers only heat. Such an approach provides no insulation against the cold. Insulation on its own isn’t enough; that’s for sure. But neither is heat. Instead, the proper combination for free protection and temperature regulation is the combination of both. And this is where heating blankets come in.



The Better Heating Solution

Now that we’ve sufficiently covered all the shortcomings of heating tape, we can address the characteristics of a far better solution. That far better solution is heating blankets, or heat blankets. Heat blankets are a combination of heat-distribution capabilities married with durable insulation for a myriad of industrial and commercial applications.

In the case of Poweblanket, we offer a revolutionary and patented approach to heating blankets. Our durable vinyl shells are capable of insulating assets in temperatures as low as -50° F. What’s more, Powerblanket heating blankets offer the best and most efficient heat distribution on the market. So if you have valuable material or equipment to protect from the effects of cold weather, give us a call today.

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Winter Preparation: Now’s the Time

As the temperatures around the nation rise into the hundreds, cold-weather preparation may be the furthest thing from your mind. What’s more, there are plenty of warm-weather applications that Powerblanket technology is used for. But we would be completely remiss if we didn’t say enough of proper winter preparation. After all, when it comes to preparing for winter, you don’t want to be a grasshopper…

Aesop’s Fable: The Ant and the Grasshopper

Perhaps you’re already familiar with the old fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper from Aesop. If you’re not (and even if you are) we’ve recited it here. Below follows the most popular English renditions of the story:

“In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

‘Why not come and chat with me,’ said the Grasshopper, ‘instead of toiling and moiling in that way?’

‘I am helping to lay up food for the winter,’ said the Ant, ‘and recommend you to do the same.’

‘Why bother about winter?’ said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.’ But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came, the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew it is best to prepare for the days of necessity.”

Of course, the implications of this story can go far deeper than the need for good winter preparation. But for the sake of comparison, the story’s plot is rather poignant for the industries we serve. When cold weather does hit, it’s best to already have the systems and products you need in place to brave the effects of winter. So if you have assets to cover come late October, now’s the best time to start getting together the protection you’ll need.

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Participation at the 2015 Global Petroleum Show

Our recent attendance at the 2015 Global Petroleum Show was a real blast. It was great to meet so many of our customers and members of our network. We also came away thrilled about the interaction we had with those who stopped by to see our new technology. Read on to learn a little more about what took place.


Powerblanket Team at the 2015 Global Petroleum Show

Powerblanket Technology at This Year’s Show

The Global Petroleum Show (GPS) is one of the most prestigious venues for showcasing the technologies and services related to the oil and gas sector. This year was a huge success, and we were glad to be a part of it.

Our booth showcased some of the most reliable and innovative products we offer for the oil and gas industry, and the interaction we saw from visitors was exciting. However, equally as exciting to us is the inclusion we offered of our most recent, game-changing technologies. GPS was the perfect venue for us to talk about our new smart controllers, our video scanning capabilities, and our anticipation for our CID1 certification.

Our new video scanning capability makes our technologies all the more accessible to those in need of them. Imagine the ease of submitting a 2D image (via video) to us to simplify the customization process. Add to this the fact that we now offer smart controllers for many of our products, and heating assistance and freeze protection have never been so easy and so helpful.

So now it’s time for us to ask you for your feedback. In the comments below, let us know which of these technologies you’re anticipating most: our video scanning addition, our smart controllers, or our anticipation of our CID1 certification. What’s more, if our recent strides have inspired some thoughts of your own, let us know by accessing our idea board.



The 2015 Global Petroleum Show Starts Today!


It’s finally here. Today marks the beginning of the 2015 Global Petroleum Show in Calgary, Alberta. This annual show accommodates the world’s biggest gathering of companies, contributors, and benefactors from the oil and gas sector.


The 2015 Global Petroleum Show

The 2015 Show

This year marks the 25th running of the Global Petroleum Show (GPS), a show that now runs every year at Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The 2015 edition of the GPS looks to be the biggest yet. With thousands of participants from over one-hundred countries, the show offers a wide scope of demonstrations for the oil and gas sector. This year includes a mock drill site that allows attendees to see firsthand the process of oil drilling. The site will showcase a drilling rig, mud unit, and a well head and command center.

In addition to this, the show will accommodate the Safety Zone, a destination for professionals to explore the industry’s latest in safety and health. What’s more, the Manufacturing Zone showcases live demos and simulations of manufacturing processes related to oil and gas. All this, along with the Capital Forum and Global Energy Career Expo, shapes up to produce another great year for the Global Petroleum Show.


Camera Icon

Don’t Forget to Come See the Powerblanket® Demos

Of course, we would be completely remiss if we didn’t mention one of the most intriguing of all demos going on at the show. Powerblanket will be in halls D,E at booth 7852 showcasing our latest technologies for the oil and gas sector. We’ll be running a demo related to piping applications where we showcase the capabilities of our instrumentation heaters, as well as our valve and manifold heaters. The ability these products have of protecting piping assets against the ravages of cold weather are of significant importance to the industry.

In addition to this, we’ll also be displaying our video scanning demo (which allows you to submit a video of your equipment in order for us to create a custom heating solution for it). We’ll likewise be showing off our smart controller (allowing you to remotely monitor and control your Powerblanket products) and we’ll be discussing our latest certification. So come join us at our booth for all of this and more.



Calgary, Alberta: A Mecca for the Oil and Gas Sector


When you stop to think of the world’s biggest capitals for the oil and gas sector, does Calgary come to mind at all? Well, if it doesn’t, it should now. Read on to see why so many are looking to Calgary as a Mecca for the oil and gas industry and why it’s always been the rightful place for the Global Petroleum Show.


Calgary, Alberta

Canada’s Impressive Contributor

What makes Calgary such an energy hub? Perhaps it’s merely a matter of location. Canada is the third largest global contributor to the world’s oil and natural gas stores. The only two countries ahead of our northern neighbor are Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. What’s more, Alberta (the province in which Calgary resides) produces almost 70 percent of Canada’s crude oil. (On a side note, it also produces almost 80 percent of Canada’s natural gas.)

Due to Alberta’s heavy influence in the oil and gas sector, it should come as no surprise that for more than two decades it has been the spotlight for the world’s biggest expo for the petroleum industry. The Global Petroleum Show, now running as an annual event, attracts the world biggest manufacturers, operators, servicing companies, and engineering firms from around the world. Hundreds of industry-leading contributors gather from over 100 countries to the capital city of Alberta each year in order to network, showcase, and improve upon industry trends and practices.

Thanks to its considerable clot in global energy, Calgary, Alberta has brought to itself some of the most influential institutions and businesses involved in sustainable energy. Of all the places in Canada, there is no other city with such a concentration of engineers and engineering organizations associated with industry-relevant technologies and applications. Now, with the 2015 edition of The Global Petroleum Show only a week away, Calgary is about to be under a high concentration of petroleum-sector limelight. Organizers anticipate that this year’s show will be the biggest yet, and with Calgary as its perpetual headquarters, the show will have a demonstrative influence for many years to come.

Crude Oil Prices Fluctuate the Rate at the Pump


You’re bound to have noticed that gas prices, which were at an unprecedented low a couple of months ago, are now on the rise again. In fact, they’ve been on the rise ever since the general price for crude oil has gone up to as much as $60.00 per barrel.


Oil dollar sign

Why the Rise?

If you’re like most American’s, you’re probably asking yourself: What on earth is going on with gas prices lately? Not too long ago, they were at an unprecedented low nationwide. Now, over the past month, they’ve been on a steady climb. We reported on the drop in gas prices back in January in our article, “Why The Drop in Gas Prices?” The amazing deals we were seeing at the pump the first two months of this year had two primary forces behind them: domestic drilling and fracking. Domestic oil drilling and fracking increased crude oil stores in the U.S. to surplus levels.

Now, gas prices have been on a steady rise for about a month, closer to the prices we used to see at the pump a year ago. The national average for regular unleaded gas is now up to $2.63 per gallon. So why have gas prices increased? Well, it would seem that an increase in price would be due to supply and demand. While many oil companies have scaled back on drilling since the drastic drop in prices, some experts suggest that this alone isn’t the reason for the price increase. Instead, another theory points to the uncertainty associated with the ever-volatile conditions in the Middle East.

Some suggest that tension in Iraq and other neighboring countries have caused the cost of crude oil to go up worldwide. And as the price increases per barrel so to do gas prices, of course. What could this mean for the near future? Well, we might see a similar cycle reoccur as fracking efforts increase again domestically in order to counteract foreign pricing restrictions. Whatever the cause may have been, the outlook for the next several months appears positive, with gas prices plateauing and even dropping a small amount, according to industry experts.

Preventing Hydrate Formation in Gas Pipeline Valves


For anyone with experience in gas pipelines, hydrate formation is no new phenomenon. But even if you work or have worked in the natural gas industry, it’s worth revisiting the cause behind hydrate formation and how it can be altogether prevented.


Hydrate Formation in Gas Pipeline Valves

Hydrates Are Bad

Hydrates, the term may sound relatively harmless, but when it comes to gas pipelines, harmless certainly isn’t the case. Hydrates are solid, crystalline compounds that form when water molecules chemically bond to another compound under high pressure and low temperatures—in this case, natural gases of any form. Hydrates are certainly the enemy for any pipeline transporting gas under high pressure, and this problem becomes compounded as temperatures drop close to and below freezing.

With that said, the formation of hydrates can and will occur in temperatures above freezing too. So regardless of where the pipeline runs, hydrate maintenance is something to keep high on the priority list. Ultimately, hydrates can drastically impeded and even stop the flow of gas through a pipeline, especially around transition points such as valves, manifolds, and instrumentation. These transition points are where the problem is often encountered. While heat trace applications can be used to keep temperatures high enough to prevent the formation of hydrates in long sections of pipe, the same technology doesn’t work as well around the aforementioned transition areas, at least not without considerable attention and cost devoted applying the solution.

Preventing the accumulation of hydrates in valves and instrumentation doesn’t necessitate traditional heat-trace methods. No, there’s a much simpler solution to the problem. A pipeline needs something that can be easily installed and removed, something that provides heat and insulation in one simple, easy-to-use system. Thankfully, the ideal solution is right here at Powerblanket®.



Powerblanket and the Pipeline

In the world of gas pipelines, equipment is expensive, product is valuable, and time is money. A company’s assets can range from a heavy-duty pipeline down to the products and equipment it uses to service it. Whatever the case may be and whatever the need may pose, Powerblanket can help you protect your assets against the threat of failure or malfunction.

valve manifold heater wrap

In the case of preventing hydrate formation in valves, manifolds, and instrumentation, Powerblanket has products designed with this specific task in mind. Our valve, manifold, and instrumentation heaters provide durable insulation and a consistent, regulated, and even distribution of heat that will keep your instruments operating in ideal temperatures ranges, warding off the formation of hydrates completely. What’s more, Powerblanket heaters are easy to install and remove when circumstance doesn’t necessitate their use. This means that you don’t have any need to expend large amounts of time and money to incase your instruments in a box or to attempt heat trace around gadgetry. With Powerblanket, you have the complete solution in one system.


Stand Out Features of Valve and Manifold Heaters

  • Custom designed to fit your pipes and valves perfectly
  • Provides freeze protection down to -40º F / -40º C
  • Prepares pipes for coatings and welding
  • Meets important UL/CSA safety standards
  • Can be custom made to operate in Class I Div. 2 hazardous locations

Stand Out Features of Instrumentation Heaters

  • Innovative design allows easy access PTs, gauges, and instruments
  • Highly efficient and evenly distributed heat • UL/CSA and CE certification
  • Ability to meet CID2 hazardous location requirements
  • Wind and water resistant
  • Ensures smooth operation



How Can Powerblanket Help My Oil or Gas Company?

Cold weather can pose real problems to a company in the oil or gas industry. Wasted time, lost profits, and drops in efficiency can all hurt your business. Powerblanket can help.

Powerblanket is the leading provider of standard and custom-designed industrial heating blankets. No matter what equipment you need to keep warm, Powerblanket can get you what you need. Watch the oil and gas overview video to find out about some of our products and how they have helped companies like yours.



Transcript: In the oil and gas industry, winter means frozen pipes and faulty equipment. Ever considered how much cold weather costs your business?

McADA did. As a frac fluids heating company, the company used to heat its truck mounted propane tanks with tarps and space heaters. It was a slow process and limited the number of customers they could serve. They turned to Powerblanket for a better solution.


With Powerblanket heaters, McADA now services customers faster, even in colder conditions, and reduced its service costs while growing its business. The custom heaters paid for themselves in just two weeks.

Or consider a large energy service provider that faced losing thousands of dollars in profits a day if their wellhead pressure transmitters froze. Powerblanket stepped in and designed custom heaters that eliminated the threat of frozen pressure transmitters–forever.

Powerblanket® heaters can be tailored or custom designed to fit any job, and any weather condition. Face cold weather with confidence. Let Powerblanket weatherproof your business for good.

Want to see more about Powerblanket and the products offered?



Why The Drop in Gas Prices?

Perhaps you’ve noticed the recent decline in gas prices. After all, they’re nearly half of what they used to be. But if you’re wondering what’s caused this sudden change in the game, well, you’re not the only one. The good news is that the prices are the way they are for reasons that hit close to home for us Americans.

Pumping gas

Domestic Oil  

That’s right, domestic oil. The idea of drilling for our own oil in the US has been a long-standing debate for some time now. Fast forward to the end of 2014 and it’s finally come to fruition. The major contributing factor to the drop in gas prices is the fact that petroleum companies are drilling in the US. What a noble idea! With US companies drilling for this resource at home, all of a sudden, the prices placed on petroleum used here in the states aren’t contingent on some other country’s economic interest.

In addition to this, petroleum isn’t being exported from the US right now. What that means is that it’s staying here at home and is bound to boost our own economy. Some experts have speculated that the drop in gas prices is only going to continue too. Within the next couple of years, industry professionals suggest that prices may even be inching further away from the two-dollar-per-gallon mark and closer to one dollar per gallon.


Oil Fracking

The second biggest contributing factor to the drop in gas prices is the use of a relatively new form of petroleum extraction. This technique is referred to as fracking. Fracking allows petroleum to be extracted from places that use to be a dead end. With fracking techniques used by numerous companies, the US is tapping into its previously unreachable stores. In fact, the US is one of the leaders in petroleum production globally now.

This means that as a global player in the petroleum market, we are no longer merely an interested buyer, but a self-sustaining petroleum powerhouse. This means a lot for the price of fuel as it also eliminates the costly process of overseas shipping. All in all, the decrease in gas prices means a boost to the American economy. And with oil being reachable in places it wasn’t before, this has also produced more jobs for Americans.


Advances in Natural Gas Dehydration

Have you ever heard of it—natural gas dehydration? Well, if you’re in the industry, you certainly have. You’ll know all about the need for managing the formation of hydrates during the pumping and processing of natural gas, but there’s now a new means for preventing such, and it’s a lot more friendly to the environment and company budgets.


Advances in Natural Gas Dehydration


That’s right, Siftek. It’s the new name in natural gas dehydration. At least, its creators are hoping it will be. The new technology is the child of Vaperma and Ecana (with Ecana assisting in the funding of the project). Siftek is set to provide a more energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly means for hydration management in natural-gas processing and transportation.

Whenever natural gas is taken from its raw and “natural” state and made into a useable resource, it requires a dehydration process in order to prevent the formation of hydrates. Hydrates are crystalline compounds that form when water molecules are chemically bound to another compound—in this case, natural gases of any form.

Traditionally, natural gas dehydration is accomplished through the use of glycol, often referred to as MEG (or mono-ethylene glycol). This chemical is the same substance used for automobile anti-freeze. The presence of the chemical lowers the freezing point of the gas and, in turn, prevents the formation of hydrates. But glycol is messy stuff and unfriendly to the environment, due to the emissions that come as a result of its use.

The Good News

Vaperma’s membrane-based Siftek, on the other hand, is expected to reduce emissions significantly. And in addition to this, it’s also supposed to be more economical. Thanks to the fact that Siftek is not a chemical, the emissions that come from its use are destined to be drastically lower. This, along with its direct effect on a reduction in energy consumption, makes the new technology a potential breakthrough for the industry.

The testing and demonstration of Vaperma’s Siftek will soon take place at an undisclosed facility in Quebec. If this new product is all it’s hype up to be, then the natural-gas industry is set to become more profitable and environmentally friendly in the very near future.