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Posts from the ‘Oil & Gas’ Category

Monitoring Compressor Health

The U.S. shale basin production growth has raised the demand for new infrastructure investments for gas processing capacity.  As more natural gas processing plants come online over the next few years, they must be flexible enough to deal with changing demands and richer gas streams.

Gas Processing PlantThese new gas processing plants must not only be flexible, but also efficient.  Machinery health is monitored to prevent costly unplanned downtime or failures.  But newer plant control systems also enable compressors to precisely match required process conditions and run much more efficiently.  Both of these factors point to screw compressor technology.

Most natural gas produced from wells contains water and various other hydrocarbons which need to be removed from the gas stream by processing plants before being injected into transportation natural gas pipelines. Such is the case with most shale gas produced today, which contains heavier gas constituents. These high BTU liquids often have greater value as a separate value stream in liquid form, rather than as part of the natural gas being sold.

Midstream Business magazine recently interviewed Emerson Climate Technologies to discuss the new types of rotating equipment technology for gas compression and process refrigeration applications.  To learn about trends in wireless plant technology, plant-wide distributed control systems, and packaged refrigeration systems for midstream gas processing plants, read the entire article.

Mark McCormick
Director Gas Compression
Emerson Climate Technologies

Packaged Applications for Shale Gas Processing

This blog was originally posted on Emerson Process Experts on April 17, 2013.

The 92nd Annual Gas Processors Association (GPA) Convention was held last week, down the road from me in San Antonio, Texas. Two of the Emerson business platforms, Emerson Process Management and Emerson Climate Technologies were there to show ways technologies are being applied to help address the technical challenges related to the shale gas infrastructure expansion occurring in North America and other parts of the world.

Gas-Plant-Refrigeration-OptimizationHere are some of the discussions that took place from the Emerson team in attendance. One application discussed was an integrated approach for gas plant refrigeration optimization. These refrigeration systems are critical for the liquids (Natural Gas Liquids-NGL) recovery portion of these gas-processing facilities. These heavier hydrocarbons (typically propane) are recovered using mechanical refrigeration.

For this application screw compressor technology provides high-pressure handling with low bearing loads, discharge pressures above 900 PSIG and flow rates up to 4.3MMCFD. The compressor and systems are driven by motors from 200 to 2,000HP. Capacity and volume ratio can be controlled independently with volume ranging from 1.2 to 7 and capacity from 10-100%.

Depending on the application, the Emerson Climate technology is combined with instrumentation and controls from Emerson Process Management, including Fisher valves and regulators, Rosemount pressure and temperature transmitters, CSI vibration sensing and online monitoring, and integration with control systems, such as the DeltaV system. The goal is to match the process conditions with the refrigeration compressor design to minimize energy costs and operate at the best efficiency levels. The Emerson works with gas processors to package these technologies together into integrated skids to meet the process requirements to achieve these efficiency and performance objectives.Tank-Vapor-Recovery-Unit

A second application that was discussed was tank vapor recovery. Scroll compressors are well suited for this application, since they are rated for hazardous area and have no shaft seals, valves, or wear parts. They can be used in pipeline gas applications up to 400MCFD at discharge pressures of 325PSIG, with a compression ratio up to 13 from suction to discharge. They can also be operated with variable speed motor control to adjust to changing compression requirements.

The vapor recovery system skid can include remote terminal unit (RTU) controllers and HMIs, Rosemount pressure, temperature and level measurement, and Fisher level controllers, as well as Control Techniques variable speed drives, ASCO solenoid valves, and SOLA power supplies from the Emerson Industrial Automation business platform.

The wealth of shale gas poses a challenge to increase the capacity to process this natural gas. Technologies and expertise to package, install, and optimize these technologies spans many of the Emerson business platforms.

Jim Cahill
Emerson Process Management

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