James E. Smith & Associates, Inc.
Tyler, Houston, Madisonville, Bayou Choctaw

 Hydrogen-Sulfide Schools  Engineering Services  Wellsite Services  Special Activities  Publications  Planning References

Welcome to the Hydrogen Sulfide Home Page of James E. Smith & Associates, Inc. (JES). We are located in Tyler, Texas and have extensive experience in matters involving hydrogen sulfide (H2S). James E. Smith & Associates, Inc. is a multi-disciplined engineering firm that offers a total package of services to the Oil & Gas Industry in East Texas and other areas in the southwestern United States. James E. Smith, P.E., Founder and President of James E. Smith & Associates, Inc., is a Registered Professional Engineer with over 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. A graduate of Texas A&M University, James worked 18 years for the Texas Railroad Commission serving as Field Operations Director, Hearing Examiner, Special Project Engineer in Austin, and as the District Director of both the Kilgore and Abilene District Offices. As Field Operations Director for the Texas Railroad Commission, he developed Texas' "Rule 36" dealing with H2S sour gas in production, drilling and completion operations. Prior to forming JES, James was President of Smith & Harmon Engineering Company, Inc. and managed Petro-Management, Inc. James has extensive experience in economic and reservoir evaluation for acquisitions, producing properties and undeveloped prospects. JES is a recognized petroleum engineering firm with an established reputation and considers it a privilege to have the opportunity to provide the Oil & Gas Industry with the same quality of services it has provided its clientele for the past 20 years.

At JES, we understand the critical necessity for thorough planning, training and implementation involved in matters of H2S. We want to ensure that industry and public alike understand the hazards and preventative measures necessary when dealing with H2S operations.

James E. Smith & Associates, Inc. (JES) is a multi-discipline petroleum, environmental and safety engineering firm that offers a total package of services to the oil and gas industry. James E. Smith, a Registered Professional Engineer, founded JES in 1981. James Smith was an active participant during the major expansion period of the oil industry and has developed an excellent reputation throughout his field, especially in the area of hydrogen sulfide operations. JES provides a comprehensive package of services that encompass the experience and skills of the firm’s entire staff. Combining the talents of a group of highly qualified engineers, geologists and geophysicists with state-of-the-art technology allows JES to provide superb petroleum industry services within each client’s budget. Vast experience in petroleum operations, environmental and safety regulations along with continued involvement in current operations further enhances the JES expertise. As active engineers and petroleum consultants, the JES staff has been involved in drilling, completing and operating over 1000 wells in the depth range of 3,000' to 20,000'. These wells include Cotton Valley Lime, Smackover, Travis Peak, Pettit, Rodessa and Woodbine and, more recently, the Cotton Valley Pinnacle Reef wells of East Texas. Experience includes all the major producing areas of Texas and its neighboring states of New Mexico, Oklahoma and Louisiana. JES has also been involved in other well operations throughout the United States.

Services Available

Hydrogen Sulfide Schools:

One Day Basic Course: Designed for personnel who need a general awareness of hydrogen sulfide
  • What is hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and how is it formed
  • Physical properties of hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
  • Exposure limits Effects on personnel, equipment and environment
  • Control of hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
  • Monitoring of hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
  • Requirements for preventive and protective measures

Two Day Advanced Course: Designed for personnel who will be working in a hydrogen sulfide environment
  • Day one same as Basic Course
  • H2S Regulations
  • Recommended Practices for Safe Drilling
  • Workover and Completion Practices
  • Advanced Equipment Recommendations
  • Supervisor Training

To schedule a class please contact: James E. Smith, P.E. 903-593-9660

Engineering Services:

Well Planning and Authority for Expenditures
Complete written well plans and AFEs for drilling, completing and operating oil and gas wells involving H2S.

Installation Design
Complete design and engineering specifications for oil and gas facilities, pipelines and wellsite systems involving H2S.

Wellsite Services:

Engineering Supervision of Well Operations
Daily engineering supervision of drilling, completing and operating sour oil and gas wells.

Wellsite Supervision
Wellsite supervision of drilling and completing sour oil & gas wells by experienced wellsite foremen.

Installation Supervision
Supervision of the installation of sour oil and gas production facilities.

Production Foreman Services
Field supervision of well operations by experienced production foremen.

Production Services
Daily production service for operation of sour oil and gas wells.

Regulatory Services
Complete RRC, NGPA, Regulatory Support, Completion Filing, Hearings, New Field Discovery, NGPA Classification Determination, Special Filings and Representation.

Safety Studies
Complete review of safety and insurance audits for oil & gas operations.

Special Activities of James E. Smith, P.E. in the Field of H2S Operations:

James E. Smith is recognized throughout the industry for his expertise in Hydrogen Sulfide Operations. He was the principal author of the Texas RRC Rule 36 which has become the international standard for Hydrogen Sulfide regulations. The following list of activities outlines some of Mr. Smith's prior experience.

Chief Developer of Texas Railroad Commission Rule 36 for Hydrogen Sulfide Public Safety.

Developed internal safety training for Texas Railroad Commission staff.

Conducted six Safety Training Seminars in 1975 for the Texas Department of Public Safety Personnel.

Organized seminars for Texas Railroad Commission Industry Compliance.

Requested speaker on Hydrogen Sulfide regulation and safety at various industry and public groups in Texas and other states; fifteen (15) presentations in 1976.

Served as advisor to other states who are developing H2S regulations modeled after Texas rules.

Served as advisor and consulted numerous clients in conducting compliance studies.

Actively engaged by numerous clients to develop H2S safety systems.

Developed contingency plans for various clients with Hydrogen Sulfide operations.

Served as instructor at Petro-Management, Inc. sponsored H2S Safety School.

Served as expert witness on H2S for Basin Operating Company and Rudman Oil & Gas in the original Eustace Field Rule Hearing.

Developed the H2S Safety Plan for Delhi Gas Company and Texas Oil & Gas East Texas H2S System on H2S operation for drilling, completion and production.

Served as expert witness for Woolf & Magee, Inc. on its McCord Well #1, Henderson County, Texas. Protested by citizens group to prevent drilling of well. Texas Railroad Commission ruled in favor of Woolf & Magee, Inc.

Served as expert witness and consultant to the Union Grove School District of Upshur County, Texas on concerns about H2S operation in their area.

Developed H2S Safety Manual and H2S Contingency Plan for Tejas Gas Company East Texas Operations.

Served on Texas Railroad Commission Advisory Committee for review of Texas Railroad Commission Rule "36" effectiveness in 1984.

Served as an H2S Operations expert witness in several regulatory and civil litigation cases from 1976 to present.

Served as the primary engineering consultant on the planning for drilling, completion, and operation of more than 50 deep, high-pressure H2S wells in Texas Railroad Commission Districts 5 & 6. Assignment required the development of procedures, both for operating and safety, including the selection and specifications of materials.

As member and chairman of the East Texas Section of SPE, conceptualized and planned the 1974 "Sour Gas and Crude" Symposium held by the SPE in Tyler, Texas.

Served as guest instructor for H2S training for the American Society of Safety Engineers.

Served as consultant to Oxy USA Development H2S Safety Plan for Eustace-Myrtle Springs.

Prepared H2S Update Safety Plan for Trident NGL, Ginger Extension in Ranger County, Texas.

Served as consultant and advisor to Freeport McMoran on H2S Plan for Main Pass 299 Sulfur Field.

Served as consultant and advisor to Redwood Energy Production for well/facility design and operation for H2S service.

Collected and reviewed over 300 publications on H2S and prepared a bibliography of same in 1990.

Prepared a briefing on "Shelter in Place" for H2S for the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Developed H2S Safety Contingency Plan for Trident NGL, Inc., Myrtle Springs Gas Gathering System, 1993.

Prepared H2S Safety Study of Installation for Tufco in East Texas, 1993.

Developed H2S Awareness Training for Tufco in East Texas, 1993.

Prepared H2S Safety Study for Installation by TU Electric.

Developed H2S Safety Contingency Plan for Ultra Petroleum (U.S.A.), Inc., White Estate, Cedar Creek South (Smackover), Henderson County, Texas, 1997.

Developed H2S Safety Contingency Plan for Dynegy Midstream Services, L.P., Eustace/Edgewood/Myrtle Springs/Ginger, Rains, Van Zandt and Henderson Counties, Texas.

Developed H2S Safety Contingency Plan for Vintage Petroleum, Inc., Bright Star/Ginger, Edgewood/Edgewood NE, Fruitvale/Fruitvale-East, Wade, Wesson, Rains and Van Zandt Counties, Texas.

Developed H2S Safety Contingency Plan for Redwood Energy Production, Madisonville, Madison County, Texas.

Publications of James E. Smith, P.E. Related to H2S:

James E. Smith has authored many publications, and below is a listing of those relative to hydrogen sulfide.
  • Smith, J.E.; “H2S Regulations in Deep Well Drilling;” presented to the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Deep Well Drilling Conference; Amarillo, Texas, (April 1977).
  • Smith, J.E.; “The Effect of Rule 36 (H2S Service) on Material Selection;” presented to the Houston Chapter, American Society for Metals; Houston, Texas (January 4, 1977).
  • Smith, J.E.; “A History of the Development of Rule 36;” Journal of Petroleum Technology; (1977) 1227-1234.
  • Smith, J.E.; “A Review of Texas Railroad Commission Rule 36 for Operation in Hydrogen Sulfide Areas;” paper, SPE 6147, presented to American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. (1976).
  • Smith, J.E.; “H2S Regulation in Perspective;” presented to the 12th Annual Pipeline & Maintenance Institute; University of Kansas (November 16-17, 1976).
  • Smith, J.E.; “History of the Development of Rule 36;” paper presented to the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Annual Technical Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (October 1976).
  • Smith, J.E.; “Development of Texas Hydrogen Sulfide Public Safety Regulation (Rule 36);” paper presented at Interstate Oil Compact Commission Meeting, Wichita, Kansas (June 28, 1976).
  • Smith, J.E.; “The Relationship of New Texas Sour Gas Rules to Gas Conditioning Operations;” paper presented at 26th Annual Gas Conditioning Conference, Norman, Oklahoma (March 6-10, 1976).
  • Smith, J.E.; “New Texas Railroad Commission Regulation on Sour Gas (Hydrogen Sulfide);” paper presented at Drilling and Production Institute, U. of Kansas, Liberal, Kansas (February 3-4, 1976).

Hydrogen Sulfide Planning References:

Critical Elements of H2S Contingency Planning
Any company/corporation that handles hydrogen sulfide must be able to determine certain critical elements:

  • Must know that you have an actual gas escape.
  • Must be able to determine the location of a leak.
  • Must be able to determine the magnitude of the leak: Alarm level determination, escape rate, duration , H2S concentration.
  • Must be able to determine the potential affected general public that could be affected: Downwind quadrant, radius of exposure, gas dispersion, leak affected quadrant, public assessment.
  • Must be able to execute a response that will protect the general public: First responders, responder notification, public notification, shelter-in-place, evacuation, utilization of public safety.
  • Must be able to correct problem and secure same, and protect the general public at the same time.
  • Must have resources with sufficient response time to be able to implement plan.
  • Must have training for all plan response personnel and general public to be able to implement plan.

Basic Elements of H2S Contingency Planning
Any Contingency Plan for Hydrogen Sulfide should address the following basic elements:
  • Detection of a Gas Escape
  • Actual Problem vs False Alarm
  • Determination of the Exact Location
  • Determination of the Magnitude of Leak
  • Determination of the Weather Conditions at Well Site
  • Determination of the Affected General Public
  • Methods to Notify Affected Parties
  • Methods to Protect Affected Parties
  • Methods to Isolate Area – Public Safety Support and Assistance
  • Resources Available for Immediate Dispatch to Site
  • Minimum Response Time - +/-5 min (First Responders)
  • Pre-Developed Well Plan to Correct Gas Escape
  • Resources Available to Dispatch to Site to Implement Corrective Actions – 5-15 min Response Time
  • Company Management Resources to Establish Command Center with Acceptable Response Times – 5-30 min
  • Support Resources to Assist in Correcting Gas Escape Problem
  • Application of Shelter-In-Place
  • Accommodation of Relocated General Public
  • Communication of Plan Status with Regulatory Agencies
  • Public Relocation Handling and Information
  • Release Determination of Escape Rate
  • Calculation of ROE Use of Dispersion Modeling
  • Weather Considerations
  • Topography of Area
  • Public Assessment Considerations

©2004 James E. Smith & Associates, Inc. (800) 587-9660, 310 S. Vine, Tyler, Texas 75702
Fax (903) 593-5527, Houston (713) 263-8047, email: smithjames@jes-engineer.com