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Home / Issue Archive / 2010 / October #10 / Innovative Technical Equipment in Utilization of Associated Petroleum Gas (APG)

№ 10 (October 2010)

Innovative Technical Equipment in Utilization of Associated Petroleum Gas (APG)

   APG utilization technologies include the following basic equipment:
separation equipment for Stage I, Stage II and final separation stage of oil of various compositions, pressures and temperatures; compressor equipment for the specified gas compression to pressures required by Customer;
heat exchange equipment for compressed gas cooling; mass-transfer equipment for gas treatment to the required dew point; equipment for sour components (Н2S, СО2 etc.) removal from sulfurous gases; equipment for recovered components utilization: phase separators for immiscible liquids (water-based and hydrocarbon-based) separation; regenerators for absorbent regeneration; units for recovered components pumping; gas heaters; flare equipment; end filter separators, etc.

By Article has been presented by CJSC GK RusGazEngineering Candidate of Technical Sciences G.K. Zibert, A.G. Zibert

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   Even this far from being complete list of technological equipment is indicative that APG utilization units are expensive metal-intensive facilities requiring for large construction sites.

   To achieve the target of cost reduction related to APG utilization units construction the employees of CJSC GK RusGazEngineering have put forward design solutions for engineering of innovative technological equipment enabling:
reduction the number of equipment units;
capital expenses reduction;
improved efficiency and environment friendliness of processes of APG compression, separation, drying and stripping;
reduction of facilities footprint area;
avoidance of special high qualification personnel;
reduction of deadlines for facilities commissioning.

   The key trend in creation of innovative equipment for APG utilization is the engineering of multifunctional units or apparatus (MFU) with looped material and heat circuits. These apparatus use multifunctional elements and processes; on the other hand they fulfill several process functions.

   The apparatus with the functions of a plug arrestor and separator, immiscible liquids separator have been designed.

   The specialists of CJSC GK RusGazEngineering were the first in oil and gas industry to design and to construct a multifunctional apparatus (Fig. 1) at Romanovo Oil-gathering Facility (OGF), Kaliningrad, having the following functions:
jet compressor for compression of gases of various composition, pressures and temperatures;
gas receiver;
liquid mixtures degasser;
water-based and hydrocarbon-based liquids separator;
heat exchanger for compressed gas cooling;
gathering tank.

   The apparatus output capacity is 50,000 cu. m/day of APG including 29,000 cu. m/day of gas from oil separation Stage I at 0.15 MPa and 21,000 cu. m/day of APG from Stage II and end separation stage at 0.0094 MPa. Compressed gas pressure in MFU is up to 0.7 MPa.

   To the time being the option of a multifunctional apparatus has been designed having additional functions of heating gas and technological premises.
Application of this innovative equipment is economically sound:
for compression of condensing vapor/gas mixtures resulting in detonation during compression with the help of conventional machines;
for compression of explosive sulfurous gas with corrosive aggressive components up to two percents and higher;
for gas containing solid and other admixtures;
when working within a wide range of variation of gas flow rate and process parameters;

   when high requirements are imposed to ensure environmental-friendly processes and apparatus for APG utilization, i.e. when looped cycles and liquids are used in gas compression and drying systems (water is used);
to ensure high reliability in case of high qualification personnel deficiency and in other cases.

   Currently a new module (Fig. 2) for Arctic areas have been designed based on previously engineered and constructed facilities for utilization of gases of various composition and initial pressures in one multifunctional jet unit. This diagram is based on looped material and heat circuits for technological processes: production of combustible natural gas for industrial and household use complying with the requirements of GOST 5542-87 and for heating of technological shelters. In this case the by-product is a broad fraction of light hydrocarbons in accordance with TU 38.101.524-93 that may be pumped back to oil pipeline.

   The module makes it possible to reduce capital expenses, hydraulic losses due to reduction of utilities length, number of valves, foundations, supports, and elimination of insulation.

   The option of replacement of two high pressure air coolers with one low pressure chiller has been elaborated (Fig. 2 (b)).

   Currently CJSC GK RusGazEngineering has elaborated the option of a multifunctional unit for APG desulfurization including hydraulic jet compressor units (HJCU) for utilization of APG from oil separation Stage I and Stage II, a water washing absorption section and amine desulfurization absorption section, liquid gathering tank (splitter, when condensate has to be recovered).
Company has experience of engineering of innovative MFU with supersonic gas flow rate in Venturi tubes enabling liquid hydrocarbons recovery and simultaneous gas drying at pressure up to 10.0 MPa.

   To reduce power consumption the equipment with internals having low hydraulic friction were designed. The equipment is required for oversaturated gas separation. These are separators with vertical cord separation and coalescing packing. The peculiar feature of these devices is their design including macro and micro structures to enable simultaneous separation and mass exchange.
Specifically, for Romanovo OGF, Kaliningrad, a compact tube flare separator was designed and constructed, which performances are provided in a table provided with the above photo (Fig. 3).

   Separators with new straight flow centrifugal elements have been designed; in addition to separation in a centrifugal field they provide for coalescence (drops size increase) as well that improves separation efficiency, Fig. 4.
In addition to jet compressor units the company uses liquid-ring compressors in their designs together with absorbers/separators for simultaneous gas compression and drying with glycols.

   Nowadays CJSC GK RusGazEngineering is designing multifunctional processes and units for APG utilization (drying, stripping, separation) with gas isentropic adiabatic cooling in a supersonic flow on the basis of studies related to creation and testing of supersonic multifunctional units for HP (10 MPa) various gas compositions, Fig. 5.

   To design innovative equipment for low potential gas utilization, GK RusGazEngineering uses customized approach and takes into consideration all gas parameters (output, composition, pressure) as well as infrastructure level, remoteness from GPP, potential options for gas or products of gas processing shipment to customers and each сustomer’s individual requirements.
MFUs allow cutting down capital expenses (by 20-25 percent) through the reduction of:
a number of process equipment units;
length of utilities;
a number of shut-off and control valves and instrumentation;
a number of foundations.

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