Project Spotlight: Natural Gas Compressor Station Design

Modifications Double Throughput and Eliminate Reliance on Methanol

The Challenge

Increase midstream client’s natural gas compressor station operating capacity while decreasing operating costs.  This was to be achieved through moving from a costly methanol-based hydrate prevention system to a gas-gas heat exchanger system to accomplish temperature stabilization.   One caveat, construction must be completed while the station was in operation, with minimal downtime to keep with demand.

The Solution

EarthRes was selected for this multi-million dollar modification project based on our excellent track record of providing innovative solutions and outstanding design/build project management service on previous projects.  Meeting the client’s challenging business goal required the development of a new system that improves flow with the utilization of electric motor-driven compressors and heat exchangers that utilize hot compressed discharged gas to heat inlet gas steam above hydrate formation temperature.

The EarthRes team of engineers and technicians provided design services  for the modification project that comprised of replacing six (6) 100 MMscfd capacity (each) compressor systems and engineering, sizing, and designing associated equipment including gas coalescers, gas scrubbers and gas/gas heat exchangers, including all structural support systems and pipe designs.

EarthRes created as-builts of the existing site utilizing the latest 3D laser scanning techniques to develop a point cloud of the facility.  This point cloud was then transferred into Autodesk® AutoCad® Plant 3D software to develop 3D piping placement options for the client.  EarthRes developed the Basis of Design and provided equipment selection specifications and purchasing support services.  The process engineering of the site was modeled in Aspen HYSYS® software based on the multi-phase organic components being processed at the facility and also included above-ground and underground piping system design encompassing all foundational, structural and mechanical instrumentation and power supply to modify the installation.  Additionally, EarthRes developed the Issue for Bid (IFB) and Issue for Construction (IFC) drawings for the project, performed the Process Hazards Analysis (PHA), as well as construction oversight.

Results

EarthRes completed the extensive expansion in only nine months with less than a week overall downtime.  The operating capacity of our client’s natural gas compressor station has doubled.  Utilization of methanol was significantly reduced and potentially eliminated, reducing operating costs over $1 million annually and meeting state DEP and OSHA emission requirements.

 

 

 

 

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