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HydrocarbonProcessing.com | AUGUST 2014

REFINING DEVELOPMENTS
Heavy crudes and bitumen
offer low-cost feedstock options
MANAGEMENT
GUIDELINES
How companies are
achieving operational excellence
MAINTENANCE
Operator-based programs
improve plant reliability
SPECIAL REPORT:
Fluid Flow and
Rotating Equipment
Answers for energy.
siemens.com/energy/compression
Only the most efficient technology
ensures maximum availability.
Challenging customer requirements call for excellent compression solutions.
Select 68 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
AUGUST 2014|Volume 93 Number 8
HydrocarbonProcessing.com
SPECIAL REPORT: FLUID FLOW AND ROTATING EQUIPMENT
41 Update on secondary seals for fluid machines
C. Carmody and H. P. Bloch
43 Improve compressor reliability with advanced chemical treatments
M. Jain, S. Shende, M. Subramaniyam, S. Vijayaraghavan and K. D. Mankin
51 Triple-offset valves offer advantages in emergency services
S. Casaroli and M. Ferrara
57 Case history: Troubleshooting a leaking valve in a hydrogen unit
G. Yeh, P. K. Mandal, A. Y. Alabdulkarim and J. M. Jimenez Rodriguez
REFINING DEVELOPMENTS
61 Innovative modeling of heavy crudes provides competitive advantages
I. Rumyantseva, R. Beck, V. Ye and D. Ajikutira
65 What are the ecological and profitable uses of refinery residues?
R. Gambert
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
69 Use information management tools to support
best practices and increase reliability
R. Standish
REFINERY OF THE FUTURE
73 Case history: Modernization of Russias refining industryPart 2
V. V. Galkin, V. Makhiyanov and M. I. Levinbuk
MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES
77 How are leading organizations implementing operational excellence?
M. Moran
MAINTENANCE AND RELIABILITY
79 Optimize plant reliability with operator-based maintenance programs
D. Fearn and M. Porter
SAFETY, SECURITY AND THE ENVIRONMENTSUPPLEMENT
S-84 Understanding people helps reduce safety risks in the workplace
G. Ford
GAS PROCESSING SUPPLEMENT
GP-1 Technology and Business Information
for the Global Gas Processing Industry
DEPARTMENTS
4 Industry Perspectives
10 News
19 Industry Metrics
91 Innovations
94 Events
95 Advertiser Index
96 Marketplace
98 People
COLUMNS
9 Editorial Comment
EU refining industry struggles
to remain competitive in 2014
21 Reliability
Advances in gasket designs
making progress
23 Automation Strategies
Energy management lessons
from Europe
25 Project Management
What skills will project managers
need in the next decade?Part 2
29 Petrochemicals
Ethane cracking spurs need
for on-purpose butadiene technologies
31 Engineering Case Histories
Case 80: Sudden temperature change
in a centrifugal compressor
33 Boxscore Construction
Analysis
The CISfour countries, $50 billion
in downstream investments

37
Viewpoint
Optimize control systems
with preventive maintenance
40
10
4AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
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Second-generation petrochemical
processes take lead
Ethylene is the bellwether petrochemical. Almost all pet-
rochemicals begin with ethylene and proceed to other major
petrochemicals, including polyethylene (PE), ethylene dichlo-
ride, ethylbenzene and ethylene oxide (EO). Renewables have
been the main focus for fuels. Now, technologies are finding
new routes to produce bioethylene.
Biobased processes. The new pathway is ethanol-to-eth-
ylene (E2E); it involves the dehydrogenation of ethanol to
produce ethylene. BP Downstream Technology announced
its green ethylene process, Hummingbird, in late 2013. The
success of BPs process followed 10 years of research and de-
velopment to fine-tune the dehydrogenation process, using
mild operating conditions and an effective supported hetero-
polyacid (HPA) catalyst.
The dehydration of ethanol to ethylene occurs via diethyl
ether as the intermediate product. The second phase involves
dehydration of diethyl ether to ethylene. Selectivity is the key;
adjusting process conditions avoids generation of unwanted
byproducts.
More innovation. A second E2E process, Atol, is a technol-
ogy to profitably produce biopolymer-grade ethylene via the
dehydration of ethanol. Atol is the result of a partnership be-
tween Total, IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and its subsidiary
Axens, which began in 2011.
In this cooperation, Total developed the formulation of a
high-performance catalyst in its research center in Feluy, Bel-
gium, IFPEN developed catalyst performance for the innova-
tive process, particularly in terms of energy recovery, while
Axens has developed the catalyst formulation and finalized the
process diagram by focusing on energy efficiency.
The bioethylene can be directly integrated in existing po-
lymerization units, for the production of PE, polystyrene, poly-
ethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl chloride and more.
Atol uses the exceptional performance of the catalyst ATO 201,
which provides a high activity and selectivity to ethylene.
Bio-based EO has a broad use in consumer products and
packaging along with industrial applications such as a feed
chemical for ethylene glycol (antifreeze), ethanolamines used
in natural gas/gas treating operations, and glycol ethers. Scien-
tific Designs bioprocess dehydrogenates ethanol to ethylene us-
ing its patented SynDol catalyst to produce the bio EO.
Consumer driven. Consumer demands are driving the ingress of
biopolymers into the mainstream. Coca-Cola has been develop-
ing new packaging that incorporates bioethylene-derived mono-
ethylene glycol to develop viable PET bottles. Bio-based PET
bottles use up to 30% of biobase materials. Coca Cola has plans
to use 100% biomaterials in future PETbased bottles. Nestl and
Procter & Gamble are major consumer-product producers that
also apply bio-based film packaging for their products.
Select 93 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Esteemed Speakers
Include:
KEYNOTE: Rick Cargile
President, Midstream
Energy Transfer Partners
Tim Rollenhagen, PE, PEng
Lead Process Engineer
URS Corporation
Robert Schosker
Team Lead Interface Technologies
Product Manager
Pepperl + Fuchs, Inc
George Boyajian
Vice President, Business Development
Primus Green Energy
Dale Winterhof
Principal Engineer
Flowserve Corporation
Join The Experts at GasPro and Learn
about the Latest Developments in North
Americas Gas Market
We invite you to join us on September 1617 at the Hyatt Regency Houston for this exciting,
two-day, dual track, technical conference focusing on the latest trends, technologies,
opportunities and challenges in North Americas natural gas market. Were thrilled to
announce that Rick Cargile, President, Midstream, Energy Transfer Partners will be delivering
the opening keynote address. In addition, youll hear from other leading professionals at top
operator and service companies, connect with key players in the industry and engage in
knowledge-sharing and best practices.

Specic topics to be discussed include:
NGL/LNG
Stranded Gas/Sour Gas
Separation Technology/Catalysts
Dehydration/Cryogenics
Compressors/Equipment
Reliability
GTL/Modular Construction
Alternative Uses
North American Infrastructure
Development
Equipment
Methane
Process Improvement
View the complete agenda online at GasProcessingConference.com

Who Should Attend:
Those who are involved in natural gas gathering, compression, treating, processing, storage
and marketing, as well as those involved in natural gas liquids fractionation, transportation
and storage and marketing. Individuals involved in the following roles will benet by
attending: Chief executive of cers, chief operating of cers, chief technology of cers,
presidents, vice presidents, senior vice presidents, managing directors, managers, directors,
executive directors, country managers, regional managers, project managers, chief engineers,
engineers and technical directors.

Register Now and Save!
Conference Fees Early Bird (by August 13) Regular Admission
Single Attendee $891 $990
Team of Two $1,634 $1,815
Group of Five $3,787 $4,208
Questions about the event? Contact Melissa Smith, Events Director,
Gulf Publishing Company at +1 (713) 520-4475 or Melissa.Smith@GulfPub.com
Sponsorship Opportunities: Contact Lisa Zadok, Events Sales Manager,
Gulf Publishing Company at +1 (713) 525-4632 or Lisa.Zadok@GulfPub.com
September 1617, 2014
Houston, Texas | GasProcessingConference.com

AGENDA TRACK 1
Session 1: NGL
Removal of CO
2
from liquid NGL streams by membranes
Tim Rollenhagen, P.E., P.Eng., Lead Process Engineer,
URS Corporation
LNGL: Managing uncertain LNG market growth with
integrated LNG and NGL technology Leslie Agee, Manager-
Communications & Marketing, Linde Process Plants, Inc.
Flare gas recovery for LNG and NGL recovery is supercool
Trey Brown, VP, Engineering & Construction, S-Con, Inc.
Flexible Sulfur Recovery Processes for Sweetening Natural
Gas Howard S. Meyer, R&D Director, Energy Conversion,
Gas Technology Institute
Session 3: LNG
The Future of Long Term LNG Contracts Peter Hartley, PH.D.,
Baker Institute Faculty Scholar, Rice University (Invited)
Session 5: North American Infrastructure
Development: Expanding to Meet Future Needs
Panel discussion: Gas infrastructure development Invited
participants include: BG; Energy Transfer Partners,
MarkWest; Juniper GTL; Apache Corp and others
Session 6: Equipment
Wireless monitoring of rotating equipment using intelligent
sensors with mobile capability Dale Winterhoff, Principal
Engineer, Flowserve Corporation
Titan System and Reliability Modeling Analysis of a North
American Gas Plant Mike Strobel, Principal, Fidelis Group, LLC
Natural Gas/Electric Compressors David Coker, V.P.,
Energy Transfer Technologies
Session 8: Innovations
Adam Hedayet, Vice President, Business Development, Sea NG
Corporation (invited)
Session 10
Panel discussion: Transportation Fuels Invited
participants include: Sea Star Line -Tote Maritime;
EnCana Corp, Canadian Govt - Go With Natural Gas;
Waste Pro of Florida, Inc; Primus Green Energy Inc.

AGENDA TRACK 2
Session 2: Dehydration/Cryogenics
Determination of trace H
2
O using TDLAS for LNG and
gas processing applications Patty Summers, Director of
Marketing, Sales and Application Support, SpectraSensors, Inc
Sime DWC solution for sweetening and dehydration Domenico
Tedeschi, RM&D Project Engineering Manager and Matteo
Baggiani, Program Manager, Sime
The Fiscal impact of accurately measuring hydrocarbon
dew point Keven Conrad, Central and Gulf Coast
Regional Sales Manager, Michell Instruments, Inc.
Fast track engineering and construction of an LPG
cryogenic plant Miguel Wegner, CEO and Ivan Grosman,
USA Country Manager, Hytech
Session 4: GTL
Velocys Fischer-Tropsch Reactors: Enabling GTL at a Distributed
Scale Michael Williams, V.P. Strategy and Marketing, Velocys
Ethane to Gasoline Blendstock Edward Peterson, PhD, P.E.,
Synfuels International
Redefining GTL Fundamentals: Significantly improving the cost
of gas to liquids processes via a single loop thermochemical
technology George Boyajian, Vice President Business
Development, Primus Green Energy
Session 7: Separation Technology/Catalysts
Natural gas processing for sulfur removal with fixed bed
technology Holli Garrett, BU Catalysts, Gas Processing
Business Development, Clariant Corporation
Application of Deep Eutectic Solvents for the Separation of
Aromatics from Aliphatics Nasser A. Al-Qahtani,
Saudi Aramco Company
EOR design & economics: CO
2
supply & breakthrough
gas processing options Richard Wissbaum, P.E. P.Eng.
Technology Director, URS Corporation
Acid gas cleaning Manya Garg, Product Manager,
Aspen Technology, Inc
Session 9: Process Improvements/ Safety
Invoking the Equivalency clause in NFPA standards for
designing compliant burner management systems
Charles M. Fialkowski, CFSE Siemens Industry
Explosion prevention: A comparison between intrinsic safety
vs. explosion proof Robert Schosker, Team Lead Interface
Technologies Product Manager, Pepperl + Fuchs, Inc
GT- DWC Dividing wall column saves cost and energy
Manish Bhargava, GTC Technology

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION
Shale revolution driving industry transformation
Rick Cargile, President-Midstream, Energy Transfer
Partners Midstream
C O M P R E S S O R S T U R B I N E S G L O B A L S E R V I C E
www.elliott-turbo.com
The world turns to Elliott.
Customer:
Vertically integrated global
petrochemical company, Texas.
Challenge:
Build a world-scale olen plant to
process plentiful, low-cost shale gas.
Result:
Three trains of reliable, efcient
Elliott steam turbines and compressors
ensure the customers competitive
advantage in world markets.
They turned to Elliott
for a long-term partnership and long-term service.
World-scale olen processors turn to Elliott for steam turbines and compressors
that deliver unmatched reliability, efciency and value over the life of their investment.
Who will you turn to?
Select 54 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Editorial
Comment
STEPHANY ROMANOW, EDITOR
Stephany.Romanow@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 20149
For European refiners, the economic
situation remains clouded. The 2008
global recession sent this region into a
financial downward spiral. Conditions
are improving, but they still lag behind
other developed nations. Unfortunately,
Europes downstream industry is also
caught up in the economic mire. Nearly
six years after the bottoming of this eco-
nomic correction, the EUs refining and
petrochemical industries still struggle.
Innovate or perish. The EU refining
industry consists of older, smaller refin-
eries. The average complexity of EU re-
fineries is nearly 8 on the Solomon Index.
Many problems. The EU refining in-
dustry is tested under several conditions,
and its competitiveness is hindered by
overcapacity, imbalanced product mix,
falling demand, regulatory requirements,
and competition from new refining hubs
in the Middle East.
Dieselization of the EU vehicle mar-
ket has left this region unbalanced. Long-
standing tax incentives to favor diesel-
powered vehicles have complicated the
fuel market. By 2015, the EU passenger
fleet will be over 55% diesel-powered.
The EU is short on clean diesel and long
on gasoline. The US has been the dump-
ing zone for EU gasoline blendstocks.
However, the US is, likewise, enduring a
demand change, with more gasoline sub-
stituted by renewable fuels and gasoline
demand stagnating.
Tough medicine. Since 2009, 14 refin-
ery closings/terminal conversions have
occurred in the EU. Nearly 2 MMbpd of
refining capacity have been rationalized,
and pressure still remains to make more
cuts. France and Italy closed nine refiner-
ies between the two nations. France has
rationalized 585 Mbpd (or one-third) of
its refining capacity. The focus is now on
the competitiveness of the refinery. Total
is strengthening its competitive position
and is in discussions with PetroChina to
sell its 22% stake in the 200-Mbpd West
Pacific Petrochemical Corp. (WEPEC)
refinery. Total has been involved in the
WEPEC refinery since 1996. This refin-
ery is suffering losses due to heavy taxes,
and it also needs upgrades to produce
cleaner fuels, which will require addi-
tional investments.
Struggles in the UK. The UK refining
industry is also in a slump. Over the past
four years, two refineries have closed
(Petroplus Teesside and Petroplus Co-
ryton). Additionally, the transportation
fuel market is unbalanced. About 39%
of the refined product needs are met
by imports. The nation is short on die-
sel and aviation fuels. Again, high taxes
and environmental mandates burden
the domestic refining system. To meet
future diesel demand, the system needs
investment in hydrocracking capacity or
increased import dependence.
Even recently acquired refining as-
sets are not secure. In June 2014, Es-
sar Group announced plans to sell the
Stanlow refinery, which the company
purchased in 2011 for $350 MM. Essar
is trying to raise $500 MM to $600 MM
for this refinery, while two other EU re-
fineries are still available for sale.
Investment in EU. In a proactive step,
ExxonMobil recently announced the
construction of a new delayed coker at
the Antwerp refinery in Belgium. The
320-Mbpd refinery was originally con-
structed in 1953. With the new coker,
this refinery will convert high-sulfur
oil to diesel for use in trucks and ships
and is investing approximately $1 B to
increase diesel production. This refiner
has spent $2 B in the past decade on ex-
pansions in the refinery.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
37
Viewpoint. Ensuring
equipment integrity by
thorough maintenance programs and
inspections can provide many benefits.
Proactive/preventive maintenance
involves intelligent monitoring of
process variables and mechanical
conditions before failure conditions
materialize. There are other benefits too,
as defined in this editorial.
40
Fluid flow. Most HPI
processes are continuous.
Any problems or failures with the fluid
systems can impact the entire plants
operation. Fluid systems involve pumps,
compressors, valves, piping, vessels
and more. The August special report
investigates the numerous problems
around maximizing plant/unit uptime
and equipment reliability.
61
Refining developments.
The introduction of newly
available crude oils can cause problems
for refiners, especially in heat balances
and refined-product yields. Often, the
new crudes provide economic incentives
for use in the feedslate. Innovative
modeling and new software can unlock
the potential of processing new crudes.
69
Project management.
Asset management is a
data-intensive project area. Compliance
with new ISO 55000 requirements entail
procedures and programs that facilitate
the management and sharing of data
for plantwide assets. New information
management tools can provide reliable
methods to handle the volumes of
data needed for ISO certification.
EU refining industry struggles to remain
competitive in 2014

|
News
Refining capacity in the US increases slightly
At the beginning of 2014 in the US, there were 139 operating refineries and
three idle refineries with total atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity
(ACDU) of 17.9 million bpd (MMbpd), a 101,000-bpd increase in capacity from
January 1, 2013. In 2013, four refineries changed ownership, continuing the
trend of several sales each year. Valero Energy remains the largest US refinery,
with total ACDU capacity of more than 1.9 MMbpd. Exxon Mobil is second at
almost 1.9 MMbpd. With the recent purchase of the Texas City, Texas, refinery
from BP, Marathon Petroleum became the third-largest US refiner, with a
capacity of 1.7 MMbpd. Source: US Energy Information Administration
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201411
BILLY THINNES, TECHNICAL EDITOR
Billy.Thinnes@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
News
A snapshot of the German
chemical industry
Things are picking up for the German
chemical industry. For the overall year
2014, the German chemical industry as-
sociation Verband der Chemischen In-
dustrie (VCI) maintains its forecast of 2%
production growth and a sales increase
of 1.5%. The VCI represents the politi-
cal and economic interests of over 1,650
German chemical companies and Ger-
man subsidiaries of foreign businesses.
The domestic industrial business
improved noticeably in the first half of
2014, while orders for chemicals in-
creased from neighboring European
countries as well. The industry also saw a
rising demand from abroad for specialty
chemicals and pharmaceuticals. This led
to a healthy capacity utilization of 85%
for production plants.
The mood is good in our industry,
said VCI President Karl-Ludwig Kley,
assessesing the situation of Germanys
third largest industry. The rising do-
mestic demand brings full order books.
Also in the European Union (EU), busi-
ness is picking up. Our companies are
confident that this development is going
to last in the second half of 2014.
According to Mr. Kley, the recovery
of the chemical business is also driven
by demand from the US and Eastern Eu-
rope. By contrast, there are hardly any
growth impulses for German chemical
producers from Asia and South America.
With only slightly falling prices
(0.5%), the VCI expects sales to improve
by 1.5% to approximately 193 billion
(B). On the employment front, the year
2014 has seen a further rise in employ-
ment for German chemical companies. In
a comparison with 2013, the number of
employees increased by 0.5% to 440,000.
VCI has also come out in support of
the proposed Transatlantic Trade and
Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade
agreement between the US and the EU.
According to Mr. Kley, the German
chemical industry expects three things
from the agreement: tariff reduction,
reduction of non-tariff trade barriers,
and stimulation of the overall economy.
According to the VCIs calculations, the
chemical industry in Germany would
clearly benefit from TTIP. Potential ben-
efits include 2,000 new jobs, a produc-
tion boost of 2 B and extra value cre-
ation of 600 million.
According to the analysis from the
research company Ecorys, the German
chemical industry would rank among the
winners of an ambitious free trade agree-
ment, irrespective of the shale gas boom
in the US.
US companies are clearly at an advan-
tage where energy-intensive productions
are concerned, Mr. Kley said. But the
US companies supply their basic chemi-
cals mostly to emerging markets while
German chemical businesses export
mainly specialties and pharmaceuticals to
the strongly growing US market. If tariffs
and bureaucracy and regulatory costs can
be lowered, TTIP would strengthen our
competitiveness in specialty chemistry.
The German chemical industry is al-
ready closely intertwined with the US
economy. Aside from The Netherlands,
the US is Germanys most important
foreign market: In 2013, the German
chemical industry exported goods worth
around 15 B. The surplus amounted to
over 4 B. The US is also the major pro-
duction location outside Germany. The
output of German subsidiaries (26%
of production) is almost three times
as high as their output in China (9%),
the second important location abroad.
Roughly 40% of all foreign fixed asset
investments by German chemical com-
panies go to the US.
ExxonMobil to invest
over $1 billion
in Belgium refinery
ExxonMobil (EM) affiliate Esso Bel-
gium plans to install a new delayed coker
unit at its Antwerp refinery to convert
heavy, higher-sulfur residual oils into
transportation fuels products such as
marine gasoil and diesel fuel. The new
unit will expand the refinerys ability
to help meet energy needs throughout
northwest Europe, despite a challenging
industry environment. EM has invested
more than $2 B in the refinery in less
than a decade. The new unit will join
with the recently completed 130-mega-
watt cogeneration unit and diesel hy-
drotreater at the Antwerp complex.
Despite extremely low margins and
industry-wide losses in Europe, due pri-
marily to excess refining capacity, EM is
investing for the long term in its strategic
Antwerp refinery. The company believes
the investment addresses an industry
shortfall in capability to convert fuel oil
to products such as diesel. EMs annual
outlook projects that Europes demand
for diesel fuel will remain high in the
coming decades for trucking and other
commercial transportation.
Cyber attacks target
energy industry
An ongoing cyber-espionage cam-
paign against a range of targets, mainly in
the energy sector, gave attackers the abil-
ity to mount sabotage operations against
their victims. The attackers, known as
Dragonfly, managed to compromise a
number of strategically important orga-
nizations for spying purposes and, if they
had used the sabotage capabilities open
to them, could have caused damage or
disruption to energy supplies in affected
countries. This information was recently
posted to the Symantec website.
Among the targets of Dragonfly were
energy grid operators, major electric-
ity generation firms, petroleum pipeline
operators, and energy industry indus-
trial equipment providers. The majority
of the victims were located in the US,
Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey
and Poland.
According to Symantec, the Dragon-
fly group is well resourced, with a range
of malware tools at its disposal, and it is
News
12
capable of launching attacks through a
number of different vectors. Its most am-
bitious attack campaign saw it compro-
mise a number of industrial control sys-
tem (ICS) equipment providers, infecting
their software with a remote access-type
Trojan. This caused companies to install
the malware when downloading software
updates for computers running ICS equip-
ment. These infections not only gave the
attackers a beachhead in the targeted or-
ganizations networks, but also gave them
the means to mount sabotage operations
against infected ICS computers.
This campaign follows in the footsteps
of Stuxnet, which was the first known
major malware campaign to target ICS
systems. While Stuxnet was narrowly tar-
geted at the Iranian nuclear program and
had sabotage as its primary goal, Dragon-
fly appears to have a much broader focus,
with espionage and persistent access as
its current objectives, and with sabotage
as an optional capability if required.
Symantec says that, prior to publicly
publishing this information, it notified
affected victims and relevant national au-
thorities, such as Computer Emergency
Response Centers (CERTs) that handle
and respond to Internet security incidents.
The Dragonfly group, which is also
known as Energetic Bear, appears to
have been in operation since at least
2011 and may have been active even lon-
ger than that. Dragonfly initially targeted
defense and aviation companies in the
US and Canada before shifting its focus
mainly to US and European energy firms
in early 2013.
The campaign against the European
and US energy sector quickly expanded
in scope. The group initially began send-
ing malware in phishing emails to per-
sonnel in target firms. Later, the group
added watering-hole attacks to its of-
fensive, compromising websites likely
to be visited by those working in energy
to redirect them to websites hosting an
exploit kit. The exploit kit, in turn, de-
livered malware to the victims comput-
er. The third phase of the campaign was
the Trojanizing of legitimate software
bundles belonging to three different ICS
equipment manufacturers.
Symantec said that Dragonfly bears
the hallmarks of a state-sponsored opera-
tion, displaying a high degree of techni-
cal capability. The group is able to mount
attacks through multiple vectors and
to compromise numerous third-party
websites in the process. Dragonfly has
targeted multiple organizations in the en-
ergy sector over a long period of time. Its
current main motive appears to be cyber-
espionage, with potential for sabotage a
definite secondary capability. Symantec
believes that the attackers are likely based
in Eastern Europe.
The most ambitious attack vector
used by Dragonfly was the compromise
of a number of legitimate software pack-
ages. Three different ICS equipment
providers were targeted and malware
was inserted into the software bundles
they had made available for download on
their websites. All three companies made
equipment that is used in a number of in-
dustrial sectors, including energy.
The first identified Trojanized soft-
ware was a product used to provide VPN
access to programmable logic controller
2
1
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
15
14
16
17
18
19
6
7
8
9
10
11
12 12 12 12 12 12222 122 122222 12222 12222222222
13
15
14
16
17
18
19
c
e
n
t
i
m
e
t
e
r

1
:
1
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News
13
(PLC) type devices. The vendor discov-
ered the attack shortly after it was mount-
ed, but there had already been 250 unique
downloads of the compromised software.
The second company to be compro-
mised was a European manufacturer of
specialist PLC type devices. In this in-
stance, a software package containing
a driver for one of its devices was com-
promised. Symantec estimates that the
Trojanized software was available for
download for at least six weeks in June
and July 2013.
The third firm attacked was a Euro-
pean company which develops systems
to manage wind turbines, biogas plants,
and other energy infrastructure. Syman-
tec believes that compromised software
may have been available for download for
approximately ten days in April 2014.
US government project
captures and stores CO
2
The US Department of Energy (DOE),
in partnership with Air Products and
Chemicals, Inc., has successfully captured
more than 1 MM metric tons of carbon
dioxide (CO
2
) at a hydrogen-production
facility in Port Arthur, Texas. Using a tech-
nology called vacuum-swing adsorption
(VSA), the project captures more than
90% of the CO
2
from the product stream
of two commercial-scale steam methane
reformers that would otherwise be emit-
ted into the atmosphere. In addition to
the secure storage, captured carbon from
the project will be used to help produce
additional, hard-to-access resources from
existing nearby oil fields. In total, DOE
projects have captured and securely stored
nearly 7.5 million metric tons of carbon
dioxide to date, equivalent to taking more
than 1.5 million cars off the road for a year.
Air Products VSA project, supported
through the DOEs Industrial Carbon
Capture and Storage (ICCS) program, is
one of several ICCS projects advancing
and deploying CCS technologies at com-
mercial and utility-scale. Construction of
the facility was completed in March 2013,
on time and under budget.
In addition to demonstrating their
VSA technology, Air Products is also
helping verify that enhanced oil recovery
(EOR) is an effective method for perma-
nently storing CO
2
. This method would
not only allow the CO
2
to be stored un-
derground, but it would also increase oil
production from fields that were once
thought to be exhausted.
Captured CO
2
from Port Arthur is re-
used at the depleted West Hastings Field
in southeast Texas during the EOR phase.
Using this method, West Hastings is likely
to yield as much oil as it would from tra-
ditional production activities. It has been
estimated that the West Hastings Field
could produce between 60 and 90 MMb-
bl of additional oil using CO
2
injection.
Rice University
produces carbon-capture
breakthrough
A porous material invented by a Rice
University team led by chemist James
Tour sequesters CO
2
at ambient tem-
perature with pressure provided by the
wellhead and lets it go once the pressure
is released. The material shows promise
to replace more costly and energy-inten-
Select 152 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
News
14
sive processes. Results from the research
have been published in the journal Na-
ture Communications.
Since natural gas is the cleanest fos-
sil fuel, development of a cost-effective
means to separate CO
2
during the pro-
duction process could propel natural gas
to greater global usage.
Dr. Tours lab, with assistance from
the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST), produced the
patented material that pulls only CO
2

molecules from flowing natural gas and
polymerizes them while under pressure
naturally provided by the well.
When the pressure is released, the
CO
2
spontaneously depolymerizes and
frees the sorbent material to collect more.
All of this works in ambient temperatures,
unlike current high-temperature capture
technologies that use up a significant
portion of the energy being produced.
If the oil and gas industry does not
respond to concerns about CO
2
and oth-
er emissions, it could well face new regu-
lations, Dr. Tour said, noting the White
House recently issued its latest National
Climate Assessment and has set new
rules to cut carbon pollution from the na-
tions power plants.
Our technique allows one to spe-
cifically remove CO
2
at the source. It
doesnt have to be transported to a col-
lection station to do the separation, he
said. This will be especially effective off-
shore, where the footprint of traditional
methods that involve scrubbing towers
or membranes are too cumbersome. This
will enable companies to pump CO
2
di-
rectly back downhole, where its been for
millions of years, or use it for enhanced
oil recovery to further the release of oil
and natural gas. Or they can package and
sell it for other industrial applications.
The Rice material, a nanoporous solid
of carbon with nitrogen or sulfur, is inex-
pensive and simple to produce compared
with the liquid amine-based scrubbers
used now, according to Dr. Tour.
Amines are corrosive and hard on
equipment, he said. They do capture
CO
2
, but they need to be heated to about
140C to release it for permanent storage.
Thats a terrible waste of energy.
Rice graduate student Chih-Chau
Hwang, lead author of the paper, first
tried to combine amines with porous
carbon. But I still needed to heat it to
break the covalent bonds between the
amine and CO
2
molecules, he said.
Mr. Hwang also considered metal oxide
frameworks that trap CO
2
molecules,
but they had the unfortunate side effect
of capturing the desired methane as well
23180.02 A.W. Chesterton Company, 2014. All rights reserved.
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FIG. 1. Particles of nitrogen-containing porous
carbon are able to capture CO
2
from natural gas
under pressure at a wellhead by polymerizing
it. Photo courtesy of the Tour Group.
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Select 57 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
16AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
News
and they are far too expensive to make
for this application.
The porous carbon powder he settled
on has massive surface area and turns
the neat trick of converting gaseous CO
2

into solid polymer chains that nestle in
the pores.
Nobodys ever seen a mechanism like
this, Dr. Tour said. Youve got to have that
nucleophile (the sulfur or nitrogen atoms)
to start the polymerization reaction. This
would never work on simple activated car-
bon; the key is that the polymer forms and
provides continuous selectivity for CO
2
.
World demand for
hydrogen to exceed
300 B cubic meters
World consumption of captive and
merchant hydrogen is projected to in-
crease 3.5% annually through 2018 to
more than 300 B cubic meters, driven by
increasing use in refinery hydroprocess-
ing, especially in developing countries in
Asia. These advances will result from ris-
ing per capita vehicle ownership rates and
clean fuel regulations enacted to address
increasingly pressing environmental and
pollution concerns. Analysts from The
Freedonia Group say that the merchant
market for hydrogen will expand more
than 5% annually as the need for hydro-
gen in petroleum refineries exceeds refin-
ers available captive resources. Although
refining will account for most of the total
advances in absolute terms, growth will
be faster in chemical manufacturing and
industrial hydrogen markets.
The consumption of hydrogen in pe-
troleum refining has greatly increased over
the past two decades due to the adoption
of motor vehicle emission regulations by
developed countries. This trend will con-
tinue to drive demand going forward as
developing countries address air-quality
issues by enforcing more stringent clean-
fuel regulations. The broadening of these
laws to encompass marine fuels and other
fuels for off-highway equipment will fur-
ther support growth. Growth in develop-
ing countries will also be aided by rising
per capita vehicle ownership rates and
higher demand for fuels. Outside of refin-
ing, hydrogen is used in the production of
many important chemicals, as well as in
the metals, electronics, and thin-film so-
lar industries; edible oil processing; and a
variety of other applications.
Although the US will remain the
worlds largest hydrogen market in vol-
ume terms, the greatest share of growth
through 2018 is expected to occur in
China. With environmental concerns tak-
ing greater focus, the country is expected
to aggressively target motor vehicle emis-
sions by enacting and enforcing tighter
clean-fuel regulations. Countries such as
India and Russia, which will seek to ex-
port ultra-low-sulfur fuels, will see among
the fastest gains. In most developed coun-
tries, demand for hydrogen will grow only
modestly, if at all. Comparatively, the out-
look in the US and Canada will be more
positive due to relatively low energy and
feedstock prices. Consumption in West-
ern Europe and Japan, though, will be
quite weak, as the refining and chemical
industries in these countries will face stag-
nant domestic demand as well as a highly
competitive global market.
www.hoerbiger.com
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Industry Metrics
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HPEditorial@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201419
At mid-year, the global demand for oil remains steady, and growth
is forecast to average about 1.13 million bpd (MMbpd). Analysts are
more optimistic for greater demand increases in 2015 at 1.21MMbpd,
with Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
nations in the Americas experiencing positive growth next year. Non-
OPEC supplies are expected to increase by 1.3 MMbpd in 2015 and
average about 57 MMbpd. OECD Americas nationsthe US, Canada
and Brazilare the main contributors to higher oil production.
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Monthly price (Henry Hub)
12-month price avg.
Production
M A M F J D N O S A J J M A M F J D N O S A J J M
P
r
o
d
u
c
t
i
o
n
,

B
c
f
d
G
a
s

p
r
i
c
e
s
,

$
/
M
c
f
2012 2013 2014
Production equals U.S. marketed production, wet gas. Source: EIA.
Monthly price (Henry Hub)
12-month price avg.
Production
US gas production (Bcfd) and prices ($/Mcf)
45
60
75
90
105
120
135
Dubai Fateh
W. Texas Inter.
Brent Blend
M A M F J D N O S A J J M A M F J D N O S A J J M
2013 2014 2012
Source: DOE
O
i
l

p
r
i
c
e
s
,

$
/
b
b
l
Selected world oil prices, $/bbl
Global refining margins, 20132014
*
WTI, US Gulf
Arab Heavy, US Gulf
Brent, Rotterdam
Dubai, Singapore
LLS, US Gulf
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
M
a
r
g
i
n
s
,

U
S
$
/
b
b
l
J
u
n

1
3
J
u
l

1
3
A
u
g

1
3
S
e
p

1
3
O
c
t

1
3
N
o
v

1
3
D
e
c

1
3
J
a
n

1
4
F
e
b

1
4
M
a
r

1
4
A
p
r

1
4
M
a
y

1
4
J
u
n

1
4
Global refining utilization rates, 20132014
*
60
70
80
90
100
U
t
i
l
i
z
a
t
i
o
n

r
a
t
e
s
,

%
US
EU 16
Japan
Singapore
J
u
n

1
3
J
u
l

1
3
A
u
g

1
3
S
e
p

1
3
O
c
t

1
3
N
o
v

1
3
D
e
c

1
3
J
a
n

1
4
F
e
b

1
4
M
a
r

1
4
A
p
r

1
4
A
p
r

1
4
J
u
n

1
4
US Gulf cracking spread vs. WTI, 20132014
*
-10
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
C
r
a
c
k
i
n
g

s
p
r
e
a
d
,

U
S
$
/
b
b
l
Prem. gasoline unl. 93
Jet/kero
Gasoil/diesel, 0.05% S
Fuel oil, 1% S
J
u
n

1
3
J
u
l

1
3
A
u
g

1
3
S
e
p

1
3
O
c
t

1
3
N
o
v

1
3
D
e
c

1
3
J
a
n

1
4
F
e
b

1
4
M
a
r

1
4
A
p
r

1
4
M
a
y

1
4
J
u
n

1
4
Rotterdam cracking spread vs. Dubai, 20132014
*
Prem. gasoline unl., 10 ppm S
Jet/kero
Gasoil, 10 ppm S
Fuel oil, 1% S
-30
-20
-10
10
20
30

C
r
a
c
k
i
n
g

s
p
r
e
a
d
,

U
S
$
/
b
b
l
0
J
u
n

1
3
J
u
l

1
3
A
u
g

1
3
S
e
p

1
3
O
c
t

1
3
N
o
v

1
3
D
e
c

1
3
J
a
n

1
4
F
e
b

1
4
M
a
r

1
4
A
p
r

1
4
M
a
y

1
4
J
u
n

1
4
Singapore cracking spread vs. Brent, 20132014
*
-20
-10
0
10
20
30
C
r
a
c
k
i
n
g

s
p
r
e
a
d
,

U
S
$
/
b
b
l
Prem. gasoline unl. 92
Jet/kero
Gasoil, 50 ppm S
Fuel oil, 180 CST, 2% S
J
u
n

1
3
J
u
l

1
3
A
u
g

1
3
S
e
p

1
3
O
c
t

1
3
N
o
v

1
3
D
e
c

1
3
J
a
n

1
4
F
e
b

1
4
M
a
r

1
4
A
p
r

1
4
M
a
y

1
4
J
u
n

1
4
78
80
82
84
86
88
90
92
94
96
-1.5
-1.0
-0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
Stock change and balance
World consumption
World production
2015-Q1 2014-Q1 2013-Q1 2012-Q1 2011-Q1 2010-Q1 2009-Q1
S
u
p
p
l
y

a
n
d

d
e
m
a
n
d
,

M
M
b
p
d
S
t
o
c
k

c
h
a
n
g
e

a
n
d

b
a
l
a
n
c
e
,

M
M
b
p
d
Source: EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook, July 2014.
Forecast
World liquid fuel supply and demand, MMbpd
* Material published permission of the OPEC Secretariat; copyright 2014;
all rights reserved; OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report, July 2014.
Brent Dated vs. sour crudes
(Urals and Dubai) spread, 20132014
*
L
i
g
h
t

s
w
e
e
t
/
m
e
d
i
u
m

s
o
u
r
c
r
u
d
e

s
p
r
e
a
d
,

U
S
$
/
b
b
lDubai
Urals
-2
0
2
4
6
8
F
e
b

0
3
F
e
b

1
0
F
e
b

1
7
F
e
b

2
4
M
a
r

0
3
M
a
r

1
0
M
a
r

1
7
M
a
r

2
4
M
a
r

3
1
A
p
r

0
7
A
p
r

1
4
A
p
r

2
1
A
p
r

2
8
M
a
y

0
5
M
a
y

1
2
M
a
y

1
9
M
a
y

2
6
J
u
n

0
2
J
u
n

0
9
J
u
n

1
6
J
u
n

2
3
J
u
n

3
0
J
u
l

0
7
2014 Schneider Electric, All Rights Reserved. Schneider Electric, SimSci and SimSci APC 2014 are owned by Schneider Electric, or its affiliated companies in the U.S. and other countries.
Reduce implementation time by up to 50%.
With the NEW, powerfully simple APC from SimSci.
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Select 96 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201421
Reliability
HEINZ P. BLOCH, RELIABILITY/EQUIPMENT EDITOR
Heinz.Bloch@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Advances in gasket designs making progress
Long service life and maintenance cost avoidance for equip-
ment are of great interest to reliability professionals in the
hydrocarbon processing industry. These goals are supported
by a renowned gasket manufacturer with over 100 years of in-
dustrial experience. FIG. 1 illustrates the many available gasket
cross-sections and recommended flange finishes now available.
Innovations from 2014 AFPM Maintenance conference.
This manufacturers recent innovation, the Change Gasket,
which probably is a play on the terms Heat Exchanger and
Change of Design, caught considerable attention in the wider
context of advancing technology improvements. The com-
panys metal-wound Change Heat Exchanger Gasket uses an
unusually thick metal spiral and full-penetration laser-welding
processes. Extensive and rigorous testing shows that its useful
life exceeds that of virtually any other heat-exchanger gasket.
This gasket requires no inner and outer ring. More important,
it is as easy to handle and install as a double-jacketed gasket.
FIG. 2 illustrates the performance under pressure/thermal cy-
cle testing for various gaskets.
The physical properties and performance of a gasket will
vary extensively, depending on the type of gasket selected and
the material from which it is manufactured. In all instances,
staying abreast of new developments and working closely with
experienced gasket manufacturers will pay rich dividends in
failure avoidance and maintenance cost reductions.
Beware of false economy. Quality products are generally
priced a little higher than inferior products. Components and
machines cannot both be less expensive and technically su-
perior to all competitors. Selection criteria include a number
of features and attributes such as service and warrantiesall
are of interest to serious reliability professionals. A cheap
and superior supplier would corner the market and have no
competition. This is a fact that we should not forget. Also,
consider a recent law case involving hydrogen sulfide leaking
from a reciprocating compressor distance piece. While the
legal wrangling centered on the packing ring finish and rod
straightness, we were certain that a re-used packing gland gas-
ket was the real cause for the leak. So, to a reliability profes-
sional, least-risk practices always win over low-initial cost.
Surface nish requirements
Gasket description
Spiral-wound gaskets
Flexpro gaskets
Metallic-serrated gaskets
Solid-metal gaskets
Metal-jacketed gaskets
Soft-cut sheet gaskets
Change gaskets
Gasket cross-section
Flange surface
nish, microinch Ra
Flange surface
nish, micrometer Ra
125250 3.26.3
125250 3.26.3
125250 3.26.3
125250 3.26.3
63 max. 1.6 max.
63 max. 1.6 max.
100125 2.5 max.
Matl < 1.5 mm thick
125250
Matl < 1.5 mm thick
3.26.3
Matl 1.5 mm thick
125500
Matl 1.5 mm thick
3.212.5
MRG
FIG. 1. Gasket cross-sections and recommended flange finishes.
Source: Flexitallic LP, Deer Park, Texas.
445
0 5 10
Pressure, psi
Change
HT X750
Kamm
Spiral
CMG
DJ
Fail
15 20 25
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
,

p
s
i
450
455
460
465
470
475
480
FIG. 2. Across a 24-day, 24-repeats pressure/thermal cycle
test replicating severe industrial conditions, the Change Gasket
outperformed every other gasket in the remaining available cycles.
Source: Flexitallic LP, Deer Park, Texas.
HEINZ P. BLOCH resides in Westminster, Colorado. His
professional career commenced in 1962 and included
long-term assignments as Exxon Chemicals regional
machinery specialist for the US. He has authored over
600 publications, among them 18 comprehensive
books on practical machinery management, failure
analysis, failure avoidance, compressors, steam
turbines, pumps, oil-mist lubrication and practical
lubrication for industry. Mr. Bloch holds BS and MS
degrees in mechanical engineering. He is an ASME Life
Fellow and maintains registration as a professional
engineer in New Jersey and Texas.
CompressorsTurbo & Recip / Steam Turbines / Gas Turbines / Engines / Control Systems / Expanders
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Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201423
Automation
Strategies
FLORIAN GLDNER
ARC Advisory Group, Dedham, Massachusetts
Energy management lessons from Europe
ARC Advisory Group research indicates that, by applying
appropriate energy management measures, energy-intensive
companies can reduce their energy consumption by 30% to
40% over a 15-year timespan. The challenge is to first iden-
tify low-hanging fruit for initial targeting, and then to imple-
ment the correct measures.
Much has changed since ARC Europe held its first workshop
on energy management in 2012. In Europe and Asia, energy
prices have continued to rise and, with the crisis in Ukraine,
the long-term supply of Russian gas in Europe could be
threatened (and almost certainly will get more expensive). In
North America, a boom in unconventional energy (including
oil sands, shale gas and oil) has lowered feedstock and energy
costs for chemical manufacturers, leading to a resurgence
in domestic production. In Japan, industries are rethinking
their energy strategies in the wake of the 2011 earthquake
and nuclear disaster, which may lead to the total phaseout of
nuclear-generated electricity there, further increasing the need
to import LNG and other fossil fuels. Even in the Middle East,
which is generally perceived as being energy rich, several
countries have started taking measures to increase energy
efficiency and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
Survey. As we learned from our recent energy management
survey, reducing costs remains the primary target for energy
management initiatives in industrial facilities, followed by the
need to optimize existing processes and a desire to plan for the
future, when both energy price volatility and the intensity of
global competition are likely to increase.
The process industries are by far the most energy-intensive
of all industrial sectors, and ARC estimates that the percent-
age of energy as a variable cost, which on average accounts for
approximately 8% of variable costs today, could rise to 25%
globally by 2025.
Real world experience. During the ARC European Forum
in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in March, Bayer Technology
Services presented its approaches to energy management dur-
ing a workshop. Bayer developed its energy management ap-
proach in 2005 with the initial goal to reduce emissions by 25%
for every metric ton of product produced by 2020. Based on
the programs success, Bayer raised the bar for its goal, and now
aims to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions within 15 years.
The program goes beyond capital investment to encom-
pass all aspects of energy management. This includes new
technologies, process improvements, operations and mainte-
nance. The company found that improvements in operations
and maintenance often brought large savings without requir-
ing any capital investment.
One of the key elements is the energy-loss cascade. The con-
cept of dynamic and static losses are similar to what ARC calls
active and passive energy management. By reducing partial
loads, Bayer was able to reduce energy consumption to a signifi-
cant degree without requiring any capital investment. In addi-
tion, the company was able to improve the efficiency of many
processes by using smaller equipment and correctly sized mo-
tors. During this process, it is important to reevaluate the point
of optimal operations, or the perfect unit. New equipment and
improved procedures can lower this theoretical optimum, turn-
ing energy management into an ongoing process.
In the end, investment needs to be profitable. FIG. 1 shows
Bayers approach to clustering investments in energy manage-
ment. Projects and measures can shift from difficult to easy
as new technologies are used, or from nonprofitable to profit-
able as energy prices rise. The company has rolled out the pro-
gram in more than 50 plants, which has introduced new chal-
lenges related to knowledge management.
Even in Europe, which is somewhat ahead of the curve when
it comes to industrial energy management, many companies have
still not harvested the low-hanging fruit of energy management
by addressing basic operational issues, such as right-sizing pumps
and motors or installing more efficient motors and/or AC drives.
First movers, such as Bayer, have already successfully harvested
the easy energy savings and must now move into the next phase
and explore new opportunities for further improving their ener-
gy efficiency, business competitiveness and reputation.
FLORIAN GLDNER is part of the automation team
at ARC, covering manufacturing topics in Europe.
He focuses on programmable logic controllers,
AC drives, motion control and discrete sensors.
Mr. Gldner has an MS degree in economics from
Friedrich-Alexander-University in Erlangen, Germany.
A. Low hanging fruit
B. Re-evaluate when prices change
C. Re-evaluate when new technology
is available
Difcult
N
o
n
-
p
r
o

t
a
b
l
e
P
r
o

t
a
b
l
e
Easy
D. Re-evaluate when prices and
technology change
FIG. 1. Clustering energy management projects.
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Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201425
Project
Management
WILLIAM BADGER, PROFESSOR EMERITUS
Del E. Webb School of Construction, Arizona State University
What skills will project managers need
in the next decade?Part 2
The role of the PM is evolving as new
HPI projects are constructed across the
world and enlist engineers and service
companies scattered in different countries
and regions. As discussed in Part 1, new
research shows that the role of PMs will
be more complicated and thus require
a different skill set and competencies.
TABLE 2 summarizes these competencies.
All of these recommended skills and
competencies can be learned; it is a pro-
cess that will span the PMs entire career.
Continuous learning applies to a PM
who moves from one project to another
and frequently heads more than one
project simultaneously. The well-known
70-20-10 model for professional devel-
opment applies particularly well to how
PMs learn and develop:
70% of learning occurs on the job,
as developed through delivering
commitments and special projects.
20% of learning is through others.
This 20% comes from drawing
on the knowledge of others in the
workplace, from informal learning,
such as coaching and mentoring,
and from support and direction by
managers and colleagues.
Only 10% of learning actually
occurs in a classroom environment,
with its formal teaching structure.
Training. Most organizations invest at
least 80% of their training budgets into
formal learning, where the least amount
of skill development occurs. Classroom
learning is also generally less effective
than informal learning. Recognizing this
TABLE 2. Needed competencies for future PMs
Competency areas Future PM competencies
Technical/virtual: The knowledge
and skills relating to the involvement
or use of technology
Is technically multi-disciplined. Demonstrates knowledge across multiple technical, project
management, and construction disciplines with deep expertise in at least one.
Demonstrates practical understanding of technology. Is up to date on project-related technology
and uses it efectively to lead and enable team members to work ef ciently.
Management: A set of activities,
procedures, boundaries, and structures
allowing an organization to achieve
its goals in a disciplined way
Possesses keen business insight. Embraces the parent organizations strategic purpose/goals
and translates these into practical concepts relevant to the project.
Understands project management. Knows and executes the policies, processes, procedures,
and best practices that lead to successful project execution.
Builds knowledge networks. Creates and maintains global knowledge network inside
and outside of the team and organization.
Monitors risk continually. Persistently monitors known and unforeseen strategic
and operational risks to maintain a robust response capability.
Cognitive: The intellectual processes that
enable one to learn from, make sense of,
and disseminate information
Communicates efectively. Listens to understand and is able to articulate ideas
and complex concepts clearly and convincingly to a wide range of audiences.
Displays emotional maturity. Understands and controls emotions while showing empathy
for others and using these skills to lead others.
Makes complex decisions. Thinks analytically, conceptually and adaptively, and makes sense of
new information across multiple levels of detail.
Leadership: Traits designed to align,
motivate and inspire a team to act
and achieve project objectives
Leverages diverse thinking. Uses the power of diversity to benet from cultural, gender, experience
and generational diferences.
Builds relationships. Builds collaborative relationships with clients, peers, global knowledge networks,
subordinates and superiors to achieve business objectives.
Engages others. Demonstrates active involvement, fosters teamwork, aligns diferences,
and leverages individuals talents to achieve objectives.
Mentors people. Consistently teaches, coaches and mentors to help ensure individual
and team success, as well as develop the next generation.
Builds trust. Practices chosen leadership truisms that enable others to have a rm reliance
on their character and competence under stress.
26AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Project Management
paradox, RT-281 has developed several
games and exercises to increase and maxi-
mize the benefits realized through the
classroom setting. TABLE 3 summarizes
several skill development exercises.
In conclusion, leadership competen-
cies for todays PM rose to the top of the
rankings for future competencies, above
technical and management competencies.
For example, current PMs recognize the
need to delegate and empower others rath-
er than being detail-oriented themselves.
They believe delegation and empower-
ment will be more important in the future.
End of series. Part 1, July 2014.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The Construction Industry Institute (CII) is a
unique consortium of more than 130 leading owner,
engineering-contractor and supplier firms from both
the public and private arenas. For more information
about CII, please visit CIIs website at: https://www.
construction-institute.org.
Kim Allen, CII associate director of knowledge
management is a coauthor for this article.
DR. WILLIAM W. BADGER retired from the military;
he then spent 28 years in academia and retired as
Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University.
For 18 years, he was the director of the Del E. Webb
School of Construction. He was inducted into the
National Academy of Construction in 2000.
DR. AVI WIEZEL is the dean of facilities and a
professor at Arizona State University. His prior
positions include chairman of the Del E. Webb School
of Construction and the director of graduate studies
in construction. With Dr. William Badger, he is the
co-author of several innovative learning tools such as
the Hassle Exercise, Project from Hell and the Senior
Executive Decision Making Exercise games.
TABLE 3. Recommended training exercises for PMs
Games/exercises Description
IR281-1, Hassles in
construction exercise
A PM needs to develop good facilitating skills to be an efective problem solver. In this exercise, PMs work
together in teams using a seven-step improvement model to improve their facilitator skills and nd solutions
to reducing job hassles while revisiting current and future skills, competencies, and attributes.
IR281-2, Whos on your
molecule? PM diagnostic tool
Efective leaders have great interactions and relationships with everyone in their network. This self-diagnostic
tool helps PMs understand how they t into the organization. The six-step evaluation process measures the
quality and importance of the PMs relationships with the people encountered daily and helps them recognize
where to best focus their eforts to become more efective project leaders.
IR281-3, PM magic deck
of action cards game
Playing games is educational and intensely thought provoking for all participants. In this particular card game,
the PMs work together in teams to propose, defend, and agree on corrective actions that address the issues
plaguing a project from hell. After the game session, the PMs are able to explain the inuence of
their actions, recognize and articulate their own leadership styles, and ultimately nd the correct balance
between management and leadership that will drive the most successful project performance.
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Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201429
Petrochemicals
BEN DUBOSE, ONLINE EDITOR
Ben.DuBose@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Ethane cracking spurs need for on-purpose
butadiene technologies
The ongoing shale boom has generally been a welcome de-
velopment for the US petrochemical sector, but some niche
markets have been left out. With olefins producers cracking
shale-gas-derived ethane rather than oil-based naphtha, one
downside is fewer co-product volumes.
Thats especially the case in the US butadiene (BD) industry,
which has seen rising shortages as producers switch their feed-
stocks from naphtha to ethane. The shortfall in butadiene, often
used to produce styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) for tire mak-
ers, could be as little as 7% over the next decade if the industry
shift to gas-based feedstocks is limited to North America, or up
to 27% if Europe and Asia also embrace the trend.
But the shale revolution that has helped create the problem
might also present the solution. Like ethane, butane is also a
popular natural gas liquid (NGL) derived from shale, and sever-
al companies are teaming up to develop technology to produce
butadiene from the suddenly abundant butane supplies.
Whenever there is a gap that opens up in the petrochemical
world, people are going to throw capital and technology at it until
they solve it, said John Roberts, a New York-based chemical in-
dustry analyst at UBS Securities, in an interview with Bloomberg.
TPC Group works with Honeywells UOP. One partnership
that could work is between the Houston-based TPC Group and
Honeywells UOP. TPC plans to have a plant ready by 2017 or
2018 to produce butadiene by on-purpose production rather
than capturing it as a byproduct.
To accomplish this, TPC is working with UOP to update
technology that hasnt been used since the 1980s. The compa-
nies say they will jointly develop further enhancements to the
OXO-D technology, which they say is the most efficient and
low-cost method to make on-purpose butadiene.
We believe our OXO-D technology is the most efficient, com-
petitive and commercially proven technology in the world for the
on-purpose production of butadiene, said Mike White, senior
vice president of operations and technology for TPC. We look
forward to working jointly with UOP to continue to advance our
leading on-purpose butadiene technology through UOPs depth
of knowledge and experience as a licensor within our industry.
The companies say they plan to have their technology ready
by the end of 2014 and are already talking with potential li-
censees. Demand could lead to as many as 20 or 30 new plants
worldwide, according to UOP officials.
BASF, Linde offer an alternative. But TPC and UOP arent
the only companies working together for the mission of on-
purpose butadiene. In early June, The Linde Group and BASF
(FIG. 1) announced plans to cooperate in developing and licens-
ing processes for linear butenes and butadiene.
BASF says it has developed process technology, catalysts and
extraction technologies, while Linde is providing expertise for
the integration, optimization and commercialization.
We focus on elaborating a solution that provides an effi-
cient process characterized by optimal integration of the whole
process chain, said Dr. Ernst Haidegger, head of the product-
line petrochemical plants in Lindes engineering division.
The new BASF technology is currently being developed in
a pilot-plant operation in Ludwigshafen, Germany, according
to Dr. Heinrich Josef Blankertz, senior vice president of global
technology within BASFs petrochemicals business.
We are optimistic that we can offer a new best-in-class tech-
nology for the manufacturing of on-purpose butadiene to help
producers meet the increasing global demand, he said.
Specifics remain unclear. But until the processes are com-
mercially available, the specifics of each process will not be dis-
closed. TPC and UOP hope to have theirs ready by the end of
2014, while BASF said it was too early to offer a timetable for
when theirs would be ready.
In China, several plants are similarly being built for on-pur-
pose production of butadiene, two of which are expected to be-
gin operations in the second half of this year. But, as with their
American rivals, the technology has yet to be proven.
In the meantime, the butadiene shortfall continues to increase,
and industry innovators are racing to find the best solution.
FIG. 1. BASF is one of several companies seeking a technology
breakthrough in butadiene production.
Select 60 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201431
Engineering
Case Histories
A. SOFRONAS, CONSULTING ENGINEER
http://mechanicalengineeringhelp.com
Case 80: Sudden temperature change
in a centrifugal compressor
A process upset occurred that caused
the gas temperature of a centrifugal
compressor to increase from the design
condition of T
start
= 300F to T
inf
= 600F
in t = 0.25 hours. Some engineers said
that the time was too short for the rotor
to be affected. However, the rotor had
previously been rubbed, which caused a
costly downtime, and now management
was concerned. The engineer was asked,
What should be done?
Options. Option 1 was to shut down
the unit and inspect for damage. How-
ever, huge production losses would oc-
cur from the shutdown; it would not
be a popular choice. Likewise, the shut-
down/inspection was not risk free. If
no damage was observed, then the engi-
neers decision-making skills would be
questioned in future events.
Option 2 had less risk and involved
forming an investigation team with other
compressor experts participating in the
decision-making process. Items such
as reviewing the failure history, inter-
nal clearances, and deviations from the
norm in the vibration or machines ef-
ficiency could be reviewed. The team
could recommend monitoring the vi-
bration level until a planned shutdown.
These are not the recommendations that
an individual would want to make on
their own, especially Option 1. Option
2 could be enhanced by performing an
analysis. This could help determine if a
rub was possible by evaluating the reduc-
tion in running clearance.
Example. Consider a multistage com-
pressor rotor. The gas temperature can
be extreme as previously stated. Exces-
sive axial growth of a rotor could cause
a rub with the case since the rotor heats
up faster than the massive case. Is this a
reasonable concern?
One solution uses a simplified isolat-
ed stage model, as shown in FIG. 1. Sever-
al stages witness the same temperature;
thus, the model seems appropriate. The
final temperature of the rotor disk is:
T
final
= (e
(z t)
)(T
start
T
inf
) + T
inf
z = h A/(C W) and e = 2.718
h is the forced convection heat trans-
fer coefficient from the gas to the rotor,
which was approximated from previous
rubs using these assumptions:
h = 10 Btu/hr-ft
2
-F
C = 0.12 Btu/lb-F the specific
heat of steel
A = 14.1 ft
2
the area in contact
with the gas
W = 576 lb the effective weight
of the disk.
The calculations result in a rotor tem-
perature of 421F during this brief period.
Since there was no degradation in effi-
ciency or increase in vibration with this
121F temperature rise, the rotor was un-
likely to have rubbed.
The closed-form solutions, as shown
here, are useful. They allow the interac-
tion of several variables to be examined
quickly. For example, FIG. 2 is a sensitiv-
ity study for air flow over a flat plate, or,
in this case, the rotor surfaces. Changes
in areas and weights could also have been
included. While more exact models can
be used, the h value would still be an es-
timate. In this case, it is from actual data
using this model. The change in width
of the one rotor can be estimated by a
simple equation:
= L T = 6.6 10
6
2 in. width
121F temp change = 0.0016 in.
This increase is not a concern with the
running clearances. Recall that, before the
analysis, there was no idea on how much
the clearance would have changed in such
a short time. Calculations are usually bet-
ter than speculation.
Many times, this is all that is required of
an analysis. Answers to a question raised
by the investigators are all that are needed,
so they can then proceed on to the other
possible causes.
NOTE
Case 79 was published in HP June 2014. For past
cases, please visit HydrocarbonProcessing.com.
TONY SOFRONAS, D. Eng,
P.E., was worldwide lead
mechanical engineer
for ExxonMobil Chemicals
before retiring. He now
owns Engineered
Products, which provides
consulting and engineering
seminars on machinery
and pressure vessels.
Dr. Sofronas has authored
two engineering books
and numerous technical articles on analytical methods.
T
inf
gas in case
T
start and nal
rotor
Shaft
Clearance
Not to any scale
36 in.
L = 2 in.
Insulated rotor
case
FIG. 1. Simplified rotor in case.
0.00
300
350
400
450
500
550
600
0.25 0.50 0.75
Time, hr
h = 1
Flat plate still air
h = 10
Flat plate 50 ft/sec
h = 50
Flat plate
250 ft/sec
A = 14.1 ft
2
W = 576 lb
F
i
n
a
l

t
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
,

F
1.00 1.25 1.50
FIG. 2. Rotor with various times and h values.
Select 95 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201433
Boxscore Construction
Analysis
LEE NICHOLS, DIRECTOR, DATA DIVISION
Lee.Nichols@GulfPub.com
The CISfour countries, $50 billion
in downstream investments
The Commonwealth of Independent
States (CIS) contains a vast amount of
hydrocarbon reserves. The main play-
ers in the region, excluding the Russian
Federation, are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. These
four countries alone account for almost
980 trillion cubic feet (Tcf ) of natural
gas and over 38 billion barrels (Bbbl) of
proven oil reserves, with the majority of
the oil volume located in Kazakhstan.
These countries are laying the founda-
tion to attract foreign investment to devel-
op their vast hydrocarbon reserves, as well
as to develop their downstream processing
infrastructure to meet rising demand and
export opportunities. From expansions,
modernizations and greenfield facilities,
these four countries will account for al-
most $50 B in downstream investments by
the end of the decade (TABLE 1).
Kazakhstan. The country is a major oil
producer in the region. Total liquids pro-
duction reached 1.64 million barrels per
day (MMbpd) in 2013. Kazakhstans oil
production is centered in two massive
fields: Tengiz and Karachaganak. These
two fields account for nearly 40% of the
countrys total liquids production. With
an estimated 14 Bbbl of oil reserves, the
offshore Kashagan and Kurmangazy oil
fields have also attracted sizable upstream
exploration and production investments.
Kazakhstan has a domestic refining
capacity of nearly 430 thousand (M) bpd.
Refining operations are located at three
facilities: Pavlodar in the north, Atyrau in
the west and Shymkent in the south. To
sustain well-balanced economic growth,
Kazakhstan is implementing the State
Program of Forced Industrial Innovative
Development. One of the major sectors of
improvement is the expansion and mod-
ernization of the countrys downstream
industry. This program includes the up-
grade and expansion of all three domestic
refining facilities. Each project will be im-
plemented by Kazakhstans state-owned
oil and gas company, KazMunayGas.
The Atyrau refinery modernization
project will increase processing capacity
from 4.3 million tons per year (MMtpy)
to over 5 MMtpy. The $1.7-B projects
goal is to achieve Euro 5 transportation
fuels by 2015.
The expansions will help boost the
production of high-octane gasoline, jet
fuel and diesel production at the facility.
Pavlodar, the countrys largest refin-
ery, is implementing its own expansion
project. The $1.07-B project will increase
the facilitys processing capacity from 5
MMtpy to 7 MMtpy. The scope of work
includes the modernization of 10 units,
as well as the addition of new isomeriza-
tion, sulfur recovery, sour water stripping,
amine regeneration and diesel hydrotreat-
ing units. The project is expected to be
completed in 2018.
The Shymkent refinery modernization
and upgrade project will increase capacity
from 5.2 MMtpy to 6 MMtpy. The $1.6-B
project will be implemented in two stages,
with the overall goal to produce Euro 4
and Euro 5 transportation fuels. The up-
graded facility is expected to begin pro-
duction by 2016.
To monetize the abundant natural gas
reserves from the Tengiz and Kashagan oil
fields, Kazakhstan Petrochemical Indus-
tries (KPI) is constructing a $6.3-B pet-
rochemical complex in Atyrau. The com-
plex will be the countrys first integrated
TABLE 1. Major downstream construction projects in the CIS
Country Company Project Cost, US$ MM Capacity Completion
Azerbaijan Socar OGPC project 17,000 10-MMtpy renery, 2-MMtpy ethylene cracker,
10-Bcmy gas processing plant
2018
Socar Integrated fertilizer project 650 438 Mtpy ammonia, 730 Mtpy urea 2016
Kazakhstan KazMunayGas Atyrau renery modernization/expansion 1,700 5 MMtpy 2015
KazMunayGas Pavlodar modernization/expansion 1,070 7 MMtpy 2016
KazMunayGas Shymkent modernization/expansion 1,600 6 MMtpy 2016
KPI Atyrau gas-to-chemicals complex 6,300 1-MMtpy ethylene cracker, 400-Mtpy LDPE unit,
400-Mtpy LLDPE unit, 400-Mtpy HDPE unit
2016
Turkmenistan Turkmengas Kiyanly petrochemicals complex 10,000 1 MMtpy1.5 MMtpy 2018
Uzbekistan Uzbekneftegaz Surgil natural gas chemicals project 4,000 400-Mtpy HDPE unit, 100-Mtpy PP unit,
110-Mtpy pyrolysis gasoline
2016
Uzbekneftegaz,
Sasol, Petronas
Oltin Yol GTL plant 3,200 38 Mbpd 3Q 2017
Source: Hydrocarbon Processings Construction Boxscore Database
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Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201435
Boxscore Construction Analysis
gas-to-chemicals complex. The greenfield
project will center on a 1-MMtpy ethyl-
ene cracker. Construction of the complex
will be implemented in two phases.
Phase 1 will involve processing natu-
ral gas liquids, such as propane, into
polypropylene (PP). This stage involves
the construction of a propane dehydro-
genation and PP unit, both with a capac-
ity of 500 Mtpy each. Total investment in
Phase 1 is expected to reach $2 B; opera-
tions are scheduled to begin in mid-2014.
Phase 2 includes the construction of
a 1-MMtpy ethylene unit, a 400-Mtpy
low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit,
and linear low-density polyethylene (LL-
DPE) and high-density polyethylene
(HDPE) units with a capacity of 400
Mtpy each. Phase 2 is expected to begin
operations in 2016.
Turkmenistan. In 2011, after the ap-
praisal of several natural gas fields, Turk-
menistan discovered proven reserves of
almost three times what was initially pro-
jected. Revised estimates have increased
from 94 Tcf to 265 Tcf. These discoveries
have made the country the sixth-largest
natural gas holder in the world.
Although the country has a vast
amount of proven reserves, production
is lacking. However, due to the recent
developments, the government has in-
stituted programs to boost oil and gas
production to monetize the countrys
abundant resources. A major investment
is being made in one of the countrys
fastest-growing industrieschemicals.
Turkmengas, the countrys state-owned
oil and gas company, is investing $10 B
in the construction of the Kiyanly petro-
chemicals complex. The facility will be
located at Kiyanly, on the east coast of
the Caspian Sea. The facility will process
5 B cubic meters per year (Bcmy) of gas
into products such as ethylene, ethylene
derivatives, urea and ammonia.
Operations at the facility are expected
to begin in 2018. Products from the plant
will be exported to Asian, European and
Turkish markets.
Uzbekistan. The country holds a sizable
amount of hydrocarbon reserves, mostly
natural gas. The highly energy-intensive
country uses gas for about 85% of its total
power consumption, according to 2013
data from BP. Domestic natural gas re-
serves sit at 65 Tcf, with gas production
reaching 2.2 Tcf in 2012. The country is
the second-largest gas producer in the CIS
behind Russia. Given the hefty amount
of hydrocarbon reserves and the need to
increase production to meet growing do-
mestic and export demand, the Uzbeki-
stan government is bringing forth new
initiatives to spur foreign investments.
Uz-Kor Gas Chemical, a joint venture
(JV) between Uzbekistans state-con-
trolled oil and gas national holding com-
pany, Uzbekneftegaz, and a consortium of
South Korean companies (Honam Pet-
rochemical Corp., Korea Gas Corp. and
STX Energy), are constructing the larg-
est petrochemical project in the history
of Uzbekistan. The $4-B Surgil Natural
Gas Chemicals project will process natu-
ral gas for domestic energy use. It will
also process a portion of the natural gas
feedstock into chemical raw materials for
export to plastics and textiles producers.
Select 156 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Boxscore Construction Analysis
36
The project will process 4.5 Bcmy of
natural gas from the gas condensate fields
of Surgil, East Berdakh and North Ber-
dakh. The plant will produce 400 Mtpy of
HDPE, 100 Mtpy of PP and 110 Mtpy of
pyrolysis gasoline. Operations are sched-
uled to begin in early 2016.
Uzbekneftegaz, Sasol and Petronas
have formed a JV to construct one of the
worlds only commercial-sized gas-to-liq-
uids (GTL) plants. The $3.2-B Oltin Yol
GTL project will be located at the Shurtan
gas and chemical complex in the Kash-
kadarya region of southern Uzbekistan. In
English, Oltin Yol means Golden Road,
and it represents Uzbekistans pathway
to a clean and sustainable energy future.
The plant will process approximately 350
MMcfd of methane-rich gas into 38 Mbpd
of clean transportation fuels. The GTL
plant will utilize Sasols Slurry Phase Dis-
tillate Process to produce primarily GTL
diesel and GTL kerosine. Plant startup is
expected in the third quarter of 2017.
Azerbaijan. The country is one of the
oldest oil-producing countries in the
world. Oil production reached 930 Mbpd
in 2012, with domestic consumption lev-
els reaching less than 90 Mbpd within that
same year. Due to the large differential
between production and domestic con-
sumption, oil and gas development and
exports are key to the countrys economy.
Azerbaijan relies heavily on oil and
natural gas for energy consumption.
Natural gas accounts for about 66% of
total domestic energy consumption, with
oil representing about 31%. Production
of natural gas is forecast to increase sub-
stantially within the next few years due
to additional exploration and production
developments. This includes a $25-B
investment by BP and Azerbaijan state-
owned oil and gas company, Socar, for the
Shah Deniz projects, Statoil and Socars
Umid gas field development and Cono-
coPhillips exploration campaign in over a
dozen regions of the country.
To align itself with upstream activities,
Socar is also investing heavily in the down-
stream sector. The country is planning one
of the largest integrated complexes in the
world. The Socar Oil & Gas Processing
and Petrochemical Complex (OGPC)
project is a $17-B venture to be located
near the capital city of Baku. The facility
will centralize oil, gas and petrochemical
production into one facility, leading to the
closing of other, similar facilities in the cit-
ies of Baku and Sumgait.
The complex will include a 10-MMtpy
refinery with 20 processing units; a 10-
Bcmy gas processing plant for ethane, pro-
pane, butane and methane; and a 2-MM-
tpy ethylene cracker to produce 670 Mtpy
of PE and 550 Mtpy of PP. Socar intends
to supply the domestic market with the re-
fined products to supply increasing domes-
tic consumption of transportation fuels.
The natural gas and petrochemical prod-
ucts will be exported. Completion of the
plants first phase is expected in 2018.
Detailed and up-to-date information for active construction projects in the refining,
gas processing, and petrochemical industries across the globe|ConstructionBoxscore.com
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Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201437
Viewpoint
PIER F. PARISI joined Compressor Controls
Corp. as the vice president (VP) of marketing
in January 2014. He has over 20 years of
experience in sales, product development and
marketing roles serving oil and gas and power
generation markets. Mr. Parisi began his career
at Bently Nevada Corp. in 1991, where he worked
in product marketing and as director of sales and
services for Latin America. He joined General
Electric in 2002, where he worked as a Six Sigma
Master Black Belt and in commercial leadership
roles until 2009. Mr. Parisi was then named as VP
of sales and marketing for the Fomas Group, a
leading supplier of steel forgings to the oil and
gas and power generation businesses, a position
he held until December 2013.
PIER PARISI
Vice President of Marketing, Compressor Controls Corporation
Optimize control systems with preventive maintenance
Ensuring equipment integrity by con-
ducting thorough maintenance provides
multiple benefits, from maximizing ma-
chine uptime and minimizing process
shutdowns, to prolonged equipment ser-
vice life and improved safety. This is true
and well understood by the downstream
industry. However, when it comes to con-
trol systems for mechanical equipment,
opportunities to improve still abound.
Maintenance approach. A plants
equipment maintenance approach typi-
cally falls into one of two categories: re-
active or preventive maintenance.
Reactive maintenance refers to wait-
ing for a compressors performance to
degrade so far that it is no longer able
to support its downstream companions
before understanding the cause of the
problem. Reactive maintenance does not
prevent subsequent safety and monetary
consequences; it is simply waiting for
negative events before taking action.
This approach leads to a number of
costly outcomes such as scrambling to
find a replacement from spare stock, or
ordering a replacement from a supplier.
This in turn results in long lead times or
exorbitant expediting fees, without ac-
counting for lost production and profits.
Reactive maintenance does not consti-
tute a program. It is choosing to live with
the risk of potential catastrophe.
Preventive maintenance (PM) goes
above and beyond reactive maintenance
by involving intelligent monitoring of
process variables and mechanical condi-
tions to identify potential causes of fail-
ure before they result in an unplanned
outage. This approach involves using the
intelligent blending of past controls and
condition monitoring data, plant knowl-
edge, and best practices to ensure opti-
mized plant throughput.
Links between maintenance and
optimization. An important step in
PM requires the monitoring of ongoing
machine outputs and performance pa-
rameters to identify irregularities. This
includes monitoring vibration of rotat-
ing equipment, performing scheduled
inspections of pipework, valves, pressure
vessels and other components. A major
element of PM programs involves em-
powering personnel with the knowledge
and expertise necessary to intelligently
interpret the gathered data and then rec-
ommend the proper corrective action
based on the factual information.
Too often, control systems known for
their reliability become victims of the set
it and forget syndrome. While these sys-
tems may perform as originally designed,
processes around them often change,
thus creating the real and unrecognized
need for lifecycle optimization. Regular
audits by qualified personnel of suction
and discharge pressures and tempera-
tures, process gas flowrates, machine vi-
bration, steam flow, motor power, or tur-
bine power, can be very insightful. They
can often provide early indication of de-
caying machine health and performance
long before the consequences are felt on
the process side. Correctly applied, a PM
plan means that a drop in compressor
performance caused by seal and bearing
degradation is properly identified before
it causes a process upset or shutdown.
PM means valves are regularly stroked
to ensure operation remains fast, accu-
rate and smooth. This is especially criti-
cal for recycle or blowoff valves perform-
ing antisurge functions, as these control
elements may remain fully closed for
months, but must be able to open imme-
diately in order to protect the machine.
Example 1. Recently, our company was
asked to assist in troubleshooting the
cause of several trips and a subsequent
inability to restart a turbo-expander unit
at a gas production facility in Northern
Africa. As the representatives inspected
the process layout, piping, control ele-
ments and fast-trend data taken during
turbo-expander the trip events, it became
evident that when the machine operated
at more than 20,000 rpm, a trip in the
downstream export compressors would
cause a process upset. The turbo-expand-
ers controls acted as designed, triggering
the immediate opening of the anti-surge
valve. However, complications arose as
the valve did not respond for more than
two seconds. During this brief period, the
machine experienced a surge event and
suffered a hard landing against its mag-
netic bearings followed by a trip. This
chain of events repeated itself three times
in a three-week period, creating such
38AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Viewpoint
damage that the unit could no longer be
brought back up to operating speed.
The resulting damage required instal-
lation of an entirely new rotating element
within the turbo-expandera costly
replacement for the facility in terms of
parts and downtime. After determining
the root cause of the failure, the represen-
tative assisted in retuning the anti-surge
valve to ensure proper response of the
valve to its control signal. Had the facil-
ity performed regular performance tests
on their control elements, a poorly func-
tioning valve would have been identified
before its behavior caused major damage.
The valve could have been retuned during
a convenient shutdown or turnaround.
When PM is in place, upon discover-
ing a point of concern or an irregularity,
a facility has time and is able to contact
vendors for materials and support well
in advance of significant equipment deg-
radation or costly adverse consequence.
Once preparations have been made, the
repairs can be completed at a convenient
time, with a much smaller impact on pro-
duction and business revenue.
Balancing controls with process
parameters. Another important as-
pect of PM that goes beyond preventing
equipment failure is ensuring that con-
trols are operating based on current pro-
cess parameters. If the process or equip-
ment have undergone significant (or even
rather insignificant) modifications since
commissioning, the controls may not
react properly, thus resulting in process
instability, wasted energy and reduced
operator faith in the controls themselves.
If the general throughput of a plant has
dropped over time, it is possible that an
anti-surge controller will demand recy-
cling for the safety of the machine where
there previously was none. For instance,
the actual flowrate through a machine
during commissioning maybe predicted
to be high, leading commissioning engi-
neers not to test the actual location of the
machines surge point, and choosing in-
stead to abide by predicted surge curves.
However, as we know, things can change
over time. As plant conditions may now
require constant recycling, conducting
the actual surge test will allow very accu-
rate sizing of safety margins and appropri-
ate tuning of the control response to max-
imize the allowed envelope of operation,
thus reducing unnecessary recycling with
direct impact on the plants bottom line.
When changes are made to a ma-
chines throughput capabilities by means
of alterations to piping, machinery re-
bundling, process gas composition
changes or driver upgrades, the control
strategy and response should be closely
evaluated to ensure that the configura-
tion is still applicable to the machines
operation, and that no energy is being
wasted due to improper settings.
Changes in the machines throughput
capabilities can affect a multitude of ma-
chine parameters. This can include how
the unit experiences surge and choke,
where the driver encounters high power
or speed restrictions, critical vibration
zones, and more. If a compressor has
been rebundled to alter its performance
profile and the anti-surge controls have
not been adjusted to compensate, the
controls may no longer recognize the
surge correctly, and the operators may
not be alerted to the eventsleading to
short-term process instability and long-
term equipment damage. Conversely,
if the performance envelope of the ma-
chine has been increased but the controls
are not updated, they may inadvertently
hinder the machine from performing to
its full potential by incorrectly limiting
pressures or speeds, or by unnecessarily
increasing the recycle or blowoff rate.
Always address change. Changes or
deterioration in control elements per-
formance can also alter the systems nec-
essary response actions. If a controller is
tuned for a fast-responding control ele-
ment that has slowed down over time, its
fast-moving output command can end
up causing process swings and increas-
ing instability. Alternatively, if a control
element has been rebuilt, retrimmed or
upgraded for faster and more accurate
performance, but the controls have not
been adjusted, then the controls may
continue operating with the lethargic
tuning parameters and unnecessar-
ily large safety margins required by the
slower control elements.
Controls that have not been adjusted
to take into account all present operat-
ing conditions can lead to decreased
operator confidence in the system. If the
controls are believed to be inadequate
in providing smooth, reliable operation,
operators will often assume manual con-
trol over the system, thus defeating the
purpose of having electronic controls.
Safety of the process and equipment will
in turn be reduced or disabled, and any
and all adaptations required for chang-
ing process conditions will now require
human intervention. In time, valves,
piping, machinery and the process will
experience change. Ensuring that the
control strategy is continually adapted
to those changes is vital to maximizing a
plants capabilities.
FIG. 1. An important step in preventive maintenance is monitoring ongoing machine operation
and performance for irregularities. This includes monitoring the mechanical condition of
rotating equipment and performing scheduled inspections of pipework, valves, pressure
vessels and other components.
Viewpoint
Example 2. A refinery in the southeast
US needed assistance for the return-suc-
tion pressure control response after refur-
bishing a suction-throttling valve. While
observing the controllers operation, the
field representative noticed that the suc-
tion-throttling valve spent most of its time
sitting on its software low clamp of 25%.
This prevented the valve from adequately
controlling suction pressure, and caused
the anti-surge controller to modulate its
recycle valve at 10%20% open to main-
tain the suction pressure at the required
level. This was unsatisfactory to opera-
tors, so the anti-surge valve was manu-
ally opened and held steady at 30%40%,
which raised suction pressure so that the
suction-throttling valve would rise off of
its clamp and begin modulating pressure.
After much discussion, it was deter-
mined that the suction-throttle valves
software low clamp had been set based
on process conditions that were no longer
applicable. The low clamp was necessary
for startup conditions witnessed during
the original commissioning. Because the
throttling valve typically operated in the
upper half of its stroke, the clamp never in-
hibited normal operation. However, due
to changes in the startup procedure that
no longer used the original startup gas,
along with a reduction in plant through-
put that kept the throttling valve operat-
ing near or at the clamp, it was determined
that the clamp could safely be lowered.
Based on observed conditions and an
evaluation of the startup procedure, the
running process, and the control element,
the field representative reduced the soft-
ware low clamp to 18%, at which level
the recycling was eliminated allowing
the throttling valve to properly modulate
pressure. With less recycling, the plant
significantly reduced steam consumption
and allowed the anti-surge controller to
operate in its automatic mode, thus ensur-
ing maximum safety of the machine and
greater stability of the process.
Active is better. A thorough PM plan
that encompasses constant monitoring
and examination of process and equip-
ment parameters, regular testing and
inspection of equipment, and that ac-
counts for changes in equipment, instru-
ments, and process conditions is critical
to minimizing downtime due to failure
and maximizing the capabilities of in-
stalled machinery. Reliable equipment
operating at the highest possible levels of
efficiency means many years of safe and
profitable operation.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Compressor Controls Corp. extends credit to
Mikael Gustafson, senior field engineer, who played an
integral role in the development of this article.
FIG. 2. Regular audits by qualified personnel of suction and discharge pressures and temperatures,
process gas flowrates, machine vibration, and steam flow, motor power, or turbine power, can
reveal significant details about a machines health long before the overall process suffers.
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|
Special Report
FLUID FLOW AND ROTATING EQUIPMENT
HPI facilities are metallurgical networks that handle fluids that are
reacted to produce higher-value consumer products. Fluid-handling
systems use rotating equipment along with piping, valves and
instrumentation. Proper maintenance of these systems maximizes
reliability and mitigates leaks and emissions.
Photo: Inside view of the worlds largest FCC diverter valve installed in Indian
Oil Corp. Ltd.s Paradip refinery in Paradip, India. Photo courtesy of Remosa
Valves. Remosa is part of IMI Critical Engineering, a world leader for FCC and
turboexpander valves and actuating system design and manufacturing.
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201441
Special Report
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
C. CARMODY, AESSEAL, Inc., Rotherham, UK; and
H. P. BLOCH, Professional Engineer, Westminster, Colorado
Update on secondary seals for fluid machines
Elastomer-based O-rings are used as secondary sealing com-
ponents in millions of fluid machines. Although O-ring seals are
primarily intended for fluid containment between different but
nonrotating components, there are also many other applications
where flying O-rings are performing needed duties, ranging
from fluid shut-off to making the rotor and stator into a nonsepa-
rable assembly. The unusual term flying O-ring implies that
this flexing component can expand and contract, while an adja-
cent machine element either remains stationary or is rotating.
Design benefits. Interesting examples of flying O-rings are il-
lustrated in FIG. 1. This figure shows the design principles found
in three different styles of bearing protector seals. The upper-left
image in FIG. 1 depicts a flying O-ring traveling partway from a
grooved rotating part into a grooved, sharp-edged, nonrotating
part. Because it is flying, the surface of this outward-moving
O-ring will degrade if it encounters the sharp edges in the non-
rotating part. FIG. 2 shows damage to the O-rings periphery. It is
possible that O-ring slivers, due to wear, can eventually contami-
nate the bearing lubrication oil.
While the upper-right design in FIG. 1 avoids the flying O-
ring, the upper-right image is typical of lip seal-like devices and
components that can cause considerable frictional drag. Unfor-
tunately, frictional drag produces heat, and the tight fit with fric-
tional drag causes undesirable wear rates.
In contrast, the lower image in FIG. 1 depicts the optimum
design using a best-available-technology (BAT) solution. As the
small cross-sectional area O-ring gets flung outward by centrifu-
gal action, the large cross-sectional area O-ring is free to move
axially. Extremely low-contact pressure and negligible friction
make this the potentially longest-lasting bearing protector seal.
Moreover, the two O-rings would be field-replaceable, if such
replacement should be needed.
O-ring lift explained. When an object is rotated at a speed, ,
the force, F, produced is a function of three quantities: the mass,
m, of the object, the radius, R, at which it rotates, and the square
of the angular velocity:
F = mR
2
The behavior of an O-ring subject to rotation can be assumed
as axisymmetric. Accordingly, the tensile force, F, in an O-ring of
specific weight, S
w
, and mean radius, R, due to rotational speed,
, is considered through an angle, ; it can be expressed as:
dF = r
2
RdS
w
R
2
sin
Integrating the force, F, with respect to yields:
F r
2
R
2
S
w
2
sin d
0
2
The final equation is:
F = r
2
R
2
S
w

2
The sign denotes the direction in which the force acts. As an
applicable example and relating it back to the O-ring as depicted
in the lower illustration of FIG. 1, we are only concerned with
O-ring stretch (extension) up to the point where the lift (i.e.,
no contact) occurs. Accordingly, the displacement will be very
small. This assumption also indicates that the strain will be very
small. Over such a small region, the material will exhibit a con-
stant elastic modulus. This makes it quite reasonable to assume
a linear elastic constitutive relationship as shown:
E
FIG. 1. Upper left image: A flying O-ring traveling partway from a
grooved rotating part into a grooved, sharp-edged, nonrotating part
will degrade as it travels partway into a grooved, sharp-edged, rotating
part. Upper right image: Styles seeking to avoid flying O-rings
often suffer from considerable frictional drag. Lower image: As the
small cross-sectional area O-ring gets flung outward by centrifugal
action, the large cross-sectional area O-ring is free to move axially.
Extremely low contact pressure and close to zero friction make this
the potentially longest-lasting bearing protector seal.
42AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
E is the elastic modulus, is the applied stress, and is the
strain. Taking the radial strain as /R and the load/area as the
stress, this expression can be rewritten as:

RF
E r
2
Finally, as 2 ( = pi) radians will equate to one revolution,
then the angular speed required to cause this O-ring to just
barely lift off can be expressed as:
Lift
rpm

60
2
E
R S
w
What it all means. A well-designed bearing protector seal will
incur zero possibility of O-ring damage. If the flying O-ring
principle is chosen, and in order to qualify as a superior prod-
uct, then the O-ring should not encounter any rubbing, scrap-
ing or cutting contours. As shown in FIG. 1 where, as the small
cross-sectional area O-ring is flung outward by centrifugal ac-
tion, the large cross-sectional area O-ring is free to move axially.
This large O-ring is subjected to extremely low contact pressure
and negligible frictional contact with a contoured rotating sur-
face. While only the small O-ring is free to move and stretch
radially, it too cannot possibly encounter sharp contours.
Examples. Speed-dependent stretch amounts can be visualized
as illustrated in FIG. 3. In this example, the O-rings are larger-sized
bearing protectors; they are lifting off at lower shaft speeds due to
the mass of the O-ring. FIG. 3 also helps to explain what happens
at lower shaft speeds and in applications where the radial force is
higher than in smaller seal sizes. In a 1.750-in. bearing protector
seal with the now well-proven geometry explained earlier, the O-
ring will lift at approximately 350 rpm. Note: This design does
not allow metallic parts to injure the two flying O-rings.
Small steam turbines with slow-roll speeds of 250 rpm to
450 rpm and equipment such as mixer shafts often rotate with
peripheral speeds near the O-ring lift-off. In these applications,
the bearing protector products designed with BAT principles in
mind represent added value to reliability-focused users. Regard-
less of shaft speed and O-ring travel, a good design strives for ex-
tremely low contact pressure and negligible friction. Once these
parameters are achieved and are combined with the absence of
sharp edges, then the axially-moving O-ring designs become the
users choice for the widest possible range of peripheral speeds.
Field tests. A no sharp edge contact bearing protector seal
design (lower image in FIG. 1) was subjected to rigorous testing
in the 20072008 timeframe (FIG. 4). An international testing
and certification authority followed up by placing this configu-
ration in a uniquely low-ingress category. It was given the rank-
ing totally protected against dust and protected against strong
jets of water.
Speed
1.0
0
1.0
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
1.5
L
i
f
t

s
p
e
e
d
,

r
p
m
2.0
Lab Tecta shaft size, in.
2.5 3.0
FIG. 3. O-ring lift-off plot. Source: LabTecta 66, AESSEAL Inc.
FIG. 4. Severe testing proves a virtual impossibility for water and
other external contaminants to get past an advanced technology
bearing protector seal. Source: AESSEAL, Inc., Rotherham, UK,
and Rockford, Tennessee.
After
startup
FIG. 2. Bearing protector seals with elastomeric components. The
flying parts are flung outward (i.e., away from the rotating shaft)
due to centrifugal force.
DR. CHRIS CARMODY was originally product development manager involved
in the design of many of the companys early products. He now works as the
technical products manager specializing in high-duty seals. Prior to his return to
AESSEAL, he studied for his doctorate at the University of Sheffield and spent
some time working as a consultant engineer.
HEINZ P. BLOCH is the Reliability/Equipment editor of HP. He has authored
18 textbooks and over 570 papers or articles, and was a senior engineering
associate for Exxon Chemicals. He is in his 52nd year as a reliability professional,
and continues to advise process plants worldwide on reliability improvement,
failure avoidance and maintenance cost reduction opportunities. He holds BS
and MS degrees from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201443
Special Report
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
M. JAIN, Dorf Ketal Chemicals, Dubai, UAE; S. SHENDE,
M. SUBRAMANIYAM and S. VIJAYARAGHAVAN,
Dorf Ketal Chemicals, Mumbai, India; and K. D. MANKIN,
Dorf Ketal Chemicals, Houston, Texas
Improve compressor reliability
with advanced chemical treatments
The cracked gas compressor (CGC) is the critical system
in modern ethylene plants. This compressor drives gases from
the crackers for downstream separation. Few plants can afford
the luxury of backup compressor trains. Any downtime or re-
duced capacity of the CGC negatively impacts olefin facility
profits. Under this highly competitive environment, even fewer
ethylene operators can afford the thousands or even millions of
dollars per day in lost revenues due to unplanned shutdowns to
clean and repair CGCs.
Significant design advancements have developed more ro-
bust systems. Although many olefin plants are making substan-
tial investments in hardware and metallurgy to improve com-
pressor performance and to extend run lengths, the reliability,
efficiency and throughput capacity of the CGC are still key in-
fluences on plant profitability. As engineering designs have im-
proved, more attention is directed to preventing costly fouling
of these critical systems with innovative chemical treatments.
Background. The purpose of the CGC is to compress the gas-
es from the cracker for separation in downstream units. Due to
the low boiling points of the light gases, very low temperatures
are required for separation at feed-stream pressures. FIG. 1 is a
basic schematic for a five-stage compressor train.
Fouling origins. Compressor fouling problems are common.
They are particularly troublesome in gas crackers due to the
low volume of aromatic gasoline formed during cracking. Aro-
matic hydrocarbons are useful because they help keep fouling
precursors in solution for easy removal. Liquid crackers have
an inherent advantage due to higher aromatics production;
however, these crackers also experience
extensive fouling. The fouling rates in
liquid crackers processing a variety of
feedstocks such as heavy naphtha, gasoil
(GO) and atmospheric GO residues have
increased substantially.
Costs associated with CGC fouling are
high, and they can increase exponentially
as conditions deteriorate. Result: The
reliability of CGCs remains a serious is-
sue in spite of improvements in design
and system metallurgy. Therefore, olefins
plants are exploring new techniques to optimize compressor
performance and run length. Many operators are discover-
ing that chemical additives can offer attractive advantages for
fouling control.
Feedstock. Gas crackers usually crack ethane and/or pro-
pane, whereas liquid crackers usually crack naphtha. The in-
creasing volumes of shale gas and advantageous pricing have
shifted more ethylene plants to rely heavily on natural gas feed-
stocks. However, this pattern is changing due to competition
and growing demand for natural gas. Several ethylene produc-
ers are responding by turning to heavier, cheaper feedstocks
such as GO and residues to improve profitability and to op-
erate their systems at more severe conditions, thus increasing
throughput. Variations in feedstock properties, higher cracking
severity, and operations near design capacity accelerate polym-
erization reactions that lead to compressor fouling.
Unsaturates formed during the cracking process are reac-
tive species, and levels found in effluent gas vary depending on
the feedstock. Although some heavier components are elimi-
nated in the quenching operation, the cracked gas still contains
virtually all the C
4
s and most of the C
5
s and C
6
s, along with
some heavier fractions in the gaseous phase. This stream also
contains appreciable amounts of highly reactive di-olefins and
acidic compounds that are subject to oxidation and/or polym-
erization. Unsaturates contribute to free radical generation via
thermal reaction or Dies-Alder mechanism or oxidation at the
high temperatures found in the compressors, forming poly-
mers. These polymers tend to accumulate in the compressor
discharge lines, casing and after-coolers.
Cracked
gases
1st stage 2nd stage 3rd stage 4th stage
5th
stage
Caustic
tower
To downstream
separation units
FIG. 1. Typical compressor train schematic.
44AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
Most of the worlds ethylene producers rely on wash oil and
wash water as a mitigation strategy. Wash-water injection reduc-
es the compressor discharge temperature, which helps control
fouling. Conversely, water injection also leads to erosion and
corrosion of the compressor wheels and blades.
Wash oil is used in a similar manner but works in a different
way. It serves as a solvent that dissolves some polymers, thus al-
lowing them to be removed from the system.
For maximum effectiveness, wash oil should be highly aro-
matic (60%) and have a boiling range of 175C to 315C. Most
important, it must be free of styrene, naphthalenes and diene
compounds. Wash oil that meets these specifications is increas-
ingly more difficult to obtain locally, and shipping adds signifi-
cant cost. High cost and short supplies are discouraging the use
of wash oil. A number of ethylene producers have found that
high-quality wash oil and wash water alone cannot provide suf-
ficient fouling control.
Potential fouling factors. Fouling is a continuous process
driven by free-radical chain propagation, oxidative and catalytic
polymerization, and Diels-Alder reactions. The polymers ini-
tially formed by these reactions are soluble in aromatic streams
unless they undergo continued polymerization. These factors
promote polymerization reactions in CGCs:
High concentrations of monomers, including dienes
formed by high-severity furnace operations
High compressor-outlet temperatures
Organic peroxide-induced fouling caused by oxygen
intrusions
Return/recycle stream contamination by peroxides and
other polymerization catalysts from LLDPE and HDPE
plants.
Fouling increases with the number of these influences pres-
ent within the system. FIG. 2 illustrates that it is essential to con-
trol as many of these factors as possible to manage the fouling
rate before it can begin to grow exponentially. Failure can make it
extremely difficult or impossible to control compressor fouling.
Fouling within a compressor train is seldom uniform, and
some areas are more susceptible than others. Fouling is worse in
hotter areas along the wheels near the discharge, discharge pip-
ing, after-coolers and diffusers. Medium-pressure (MP) casing
fouling is worse than high-pressure (HP) casing fouling because
the concentration of reactive dienes and other monomers in-
creases as condensation occurs in these stages, and the reactive
monomers from the gas phase tend to dissolve (or diffuse) into
liquid hydrocarbons that condense during compression.
Once in the liquid phase, the reactive monomers may undergo
polymerization where typically monomers with reactive double
bonds such as butadiene, styrene, isoprene and vinyl acetylene,
react and polymerize. The condensation of lighter hydrocarbons
can make the problem worse. Polymers forming in the compres-
sors, if not depositing on the machine, will likely accumulate on
the tube sheet or in the shell side of the after-coolers.
Continuous exposure to high temperatures supports poly-
merization. As the reactions between the monomers proceed,
large polynuclear aromatic compounds form. As the polymer
grows, it loses solubility, begins to cross-link, dehydrates and
transforms into brittle and insoluble coke deposits.
At this point, no aromatic stream, wash oil or dispersant will
solubilize the polymers or prevent their deposition. Increased
wash-oil injection may dislodge some of the polymers and al-
low them to move within the compressor. Some will accumu-
late in the after-cooler inlets or in knock-out pots, resulting in
high pressure drops.
Experience in a number of plants indicates that polymer
deposition on after-cooler surfaces has a significant impact on
plant run-length. Such deposits limit throughput and increase
power consumption, eventually forcing a shutdown. Few olefin
plants have spare exchangers or bypass routes available, so af-
ter-cooler exchangers must be protected from fouling (FIG. 3).
A certain amount of fouling is inevitable, but it can be con-
trolled. The key is to control fouling as it initiates during the
polymeric chain propagation rather than to implement a treat-
ment program for an already-fouled system. During the initial
polymerization steps, the polymers are more likely to be hy-
drocarbon soluble.
Advanced mitigation techniques. Conventional chemi-
cal mitigation techniques involving traditional antifoulant/
dispersants and wash oil have limited value. Conventional dis-
persants work by physically removing some deposits from the
fouling site. However, they cannot prevent solids generation.
They are ineffective on the insoluble polymers, metal precur-
sors, peroxides and free radicals that contribute to the fouling.
In addition, dispersants can have costly negative side-effects.
These compounds have an affinity for water; when added
in the CGC system, they can migrate with the wash water.
Once in the quench-water circuit, their surface-modifying
properties can create tight emulsions that make it more diffi-
cult to separate hydrocarbons from process water. Dispersants
may also cause operational upsets and enhance after-cooler
fouling by moving foulants from one location to anotherthe
so-called cleanup effect.
An innovative chemical treatment program can prevent
fouling by inhibiting reactions. This unique formulation con-
tains a true inhibitor and a highly effective antioxidant. The
R
a
t
e

o
f

f
o
u
l
i
n
g

Factors afecting polymerization
Optimum operating
zone
FIG. 2. Relationship between fouling rate and factors influencing
polymerization.
As fouling
occurs, CGC
efciency
declines
Vibration and
axial
displacement
increase
CGC discharge
temperature
and power
requirements
increases
CGC
suction
pressure
increases
Ethylene yield
and plant
capacity
decline
FIG. 3. CGC fouling process.
Select 86 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
46AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
true inhibitor reacts with monomers before they can form in-
soluble polymers, and the antioxidant-reduced oxidative po-
lymerization. Compatible metal chelators or passivators are
added as conditions warrant.
This unique formulation traps and inhibits free radicals
by making the precursor or reactive species inert, thus retard-
ing the polymerization reaction rate and reducing solids gen-
eration by altering the formation of insoluble molecules. The
method attacks the polymerization/fouling processes in the
initial phase where it is easiest to control and dramatically re-
duce solids generation. The treatment has allowed some com-
pressors to run efficiently for five to six years with minimal
fouling in the MP and HP casings and after-coolers.
The new fouling control program contains no metals and less
basic nitrogen than amine-based antipolymerants currently avail-
able in the market. This is important because traditional high-ni-
trogen chemistry reacts to form insoluble salts under acidic con-
ditions, as when hydrogen sulfide (H
2
S) is present, essentially
trading one fouling problem for another and contributing to the
after-cooler pressure drops that can eventually force unplanned
shutdowns. A new antipolymerant is effective in the presence of
H
2
S and does not form insoluble salts regardless of system pH.
Monitoring tools optimize performance. Monitoring is
important when any treatment program used, but it is essen-
tial for optimum CGC treatment. Pressures, temperatures,
flowrates, and wash-water and wash-oil injection rates (if any)
are the keys to understanding compressor performance. Moni-
toring these parameters allows calculating the theoretical effi-
ciency of the compressor system as well as after-cooler pressure
drop limits. Other important performance indicators include
machine vibration, knock-out drum polymer content and tur-
bine energy consumption.
Fouling is a complex process. Both gradual trends and sud-
den changes in these parameters can imply developing problems.
Solutions require an understanding of root causes that may not be
immediately obvious. Proprietary models and sophisticated sim-
ulation tools can be used to explain complex interrelationships
between changes in feedstock and furnace operating conditions
and their impact on the composition of cracked gas entering the
compressor.
1
Such tools can be used to evaluate how flow varia-
tions in recycle/purge streams influence cracked-gas composition
and the effects on compressor efficiency. The end result is a set of
realistic performance improvement targets based on a complete
understanding of what is actually happening within the system.
The chemical composition analysis of fouling deposits pro-
vides a wealth of additional information. Organic and inorganic
content can be identified, along with any corrosion products that
may be acting as fouling catalysts. A full elemental analysis can
identify impurities, and the carbon-to-hydrogen ratio indicates
the extent of polymerization in the compressor train as well as
the nature of those polymers.
The analysis allows treatment to be fine-tuned for maximum
performance, but each analysis is only a snapshot of a dynamic
process. Other proprietary assessment tools can address this
problem by allowing online sampling in real time, using a re-
tractable screen that can be inserted and withdrawn as often as
necessary for sample collection and analysis.
2
Case 1: Fouling example. A 400,000-tpy (400-Mtpy) olefins
gas plant cracked a mixed feedstock consisting of 80% ethane
and 20% propane. The quench-water tower overhead was com-
pressed in a four-stage centrifugal unit driven by a steam tur-
bine operating at 1,500 psig and 950F. The second-stage CGC
after-cooler design was unusual in that the process side was on
the tube side of the exchanger. This intercooler was susceptible
to fouling and had unacceptably high-pressure drops. During
normal operations, the plant used wash water at about 0.7% of
gas flowrates to maintain compressor discharge temperature at
194F and also injected wash oil weekly (80%90% aromatic-
ity) at about 0.1% of the charge gas flowrate.
Problem. The plant experienced an unplanned shutdown
approximately 18 months after a previous planned turnaround.
Unfortunately, this plant had no backup reboiler. Reasons for
the unplanned shutdown included:
1) Stage 2 pressure drop approached after-cooler design
limits (from 7 psig to 26 psig)
2) Stage 2 polytrophic efficiency decreased 8%10%
below start of run (SOR)
3) Stage 3 polytrophic efficiency decreased 5%8%
below SOR
4) Operating capacity declined 30%50%.
Considerable fouling was observed in the second-stage after-
cooler during the unplanned turnaround. Because the compres-
sor had been cleaned during the planned turnaround 18 months
previously, the plant expected little fouling and, therefore, did
not inspect or clean it. Conventional dispersants had been used
to wash off the polymers formed in the second and third com-
pressor stages in an attempt to eliminate polymer deposits in
CGC casings and discharge lines.
Evaluation and recommendations. Foulant samples were
collected and sent to a third-party specialty chemical research di-
FIG. 4. Proprietary online fouling monitoring system with retractable
filter and example of retractable filter with deposit sample.
2
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Select 81 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
48AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
vision to identify the fouling precursors and mechanisms. Based
on that analysis, the specialty chemical company recommended
a multifunctional antifoulant to control fouling where the prob-
lem was most serious, in compressor stages 2 and 3. Dosing
hardware and portable feed tanks were rushed to the site. Due to
the rapid pressure drop increase, it was recommended to install
assessment tools to facilitate polymer sample collection (FIG. 4)
and analysis so that treatment could be optimized and fine-tuned
as conditions changed.
2
Fouling declined and plant performance
improved dramatically.
Sample analysis. Data summarized in TABLE 1 indicate that al-
though some polymerization continued to take place, the severity
of polymerization decreased with treatment, as indicated by poly-
mer molecular weight and degree of cross-linking. Further analysis
showed that the deposit consists mostly of non-cross-linked poly-
mers. Treatment was successful in controlling polymerization.
Foulant samples were initially collected quarterly.
2
When
the pressure drop across the second-stage intercooler stabilized,
the sampling interval was lengthened to six months (FIG. 5).
Pressure drop remained stable and sample collection was dis-
continued when analysis 4 indicated that the fouling was un-
der control. In this case, a monitoring program and additives
improved fouling control and increased plant run-length while
achieving substantial energy savings.
Case 2: Treatment interruption increases fouling. A
400 Mtpy-ethylene plant, using a mixture of ethane and pro-
pane feedstock, experienced fouling problems in the CGC
unit. Evidence of severe fouling was found when the system
was disassembled during a shutdown in September 2010, and
a third-party specialty chemical company was approached for
recommendations. A site survey revealed several problems:
Decreasing plant throughput
Increasing energy consumption (specific steam volume)
High axial displacement in the MP-stage compressor
Increasing CGC discharge temperatures in all stages
Increasing wash-oil consumption.
Successful antifoulant trial. Following a turnaround in
2010, the plant approved a six-month antifoulant trial program,
and treatment was initiated in January 2011. Several CGC pa-
rameters were monitored daily:
Axial displacement
Specific steam consumption
Compressor discharge temperatures
Polytrophic efficiency.
The treatment program successfully controlled axial dis-
placement and vibration in all three monitored compressor
stages. The data indicated steady-state performance within
compressor design parameters. Steam consumption per ton
of ethylene stabilized below pretreatment consumption levels.
0.00
0.30
0.60
0.90
1.20
1.50
1.80
2.10
2.40
2.70
3.00
0
50
100
150
200
250
5
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d
r
o
p
,

b
a
r
F
l
o
w
r
a
t
e
,

t
p
h
2nd-stage CGC ow (T/H)
2nd-stage after-cooler pressure drop
FIG. 5. Second-stage after-cooler pressure drop trends.
TABLE 1. Fouling assessment and monitoring results
3rd Inter-stage cooler
Shutdown foulant samples Samples
Memo No. Analysis 1 Analysis 2 Analysis 3 Analysis 4
Description
Conventional treatment
program, 17-month run 3 months of exposure 3.5 months of exposure 6 months of exposure
Ash 0.014% 0.5% 1.2% 1
DCM insoluble 44.0% 4.8% 14.4% 43.0%
Elemental analysis
(OD sample)
C 85.8% 79.6% 70.3% 80.2%
H 8.8% 8.6% 8.8% 8.9%
N 2.2% 0.0% 1.9% 1.6%
S 0.0% 2.3% 1.6% 2.2%
O 3.2% 9.5% 17.4% 7.0%
C/H 0.82 0.67 0.75
Elemental analysis
(DCM soluble sample)
C 79.8% 77.8% 78.6%
H 8.2% 8.7% 9.0%
N 0.0% 1.8% 1.9%
S 1.0% 3.0% 2.8%
O 11.0% 8.7% 7.8%
C/H 0.82 0.74 0.73
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201449
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
Discharge temperatures remained below operating targets and
polytrophic efficiency increased during the trial (FIG. 6).
When the trial was complete, plant management decided to
halt the dosage and to monitor performance without treatment
for comparison purposes. The situation remained relatively
stable for three months. Later, indications of fouling reap-
peared in July, and the situation degraded rapidly and became
more difficult to control.
The axial displacement increased, steam consumption be-
gan to climb and the polytrophic efficiency declined mark-
edly. As discharge temperatures increased, polymer deposits
accumulated at rising rates on compressor internals, causing
potentially damaging vibration and a rapid increase in axial
displacement that soon exceeded the design limit for the MP
compressor stage.
Compressor loading reduced to prevent shutdown. The
treatment resumed at the plants request in August 2011. How-
ever, the axial displacement was so severe that vibrations were
almost impossible to control, and the polytrophic efficiency
continued to decline. Management decided to halt the anti-
foulant dosing again and reduce compressor loading by 20% to
30% to prevent the compressor from going offline and shutting
the plant down completely.
The reduced compressor loading forced the plant to operate
below normal capacity, thus lowering gross revenues as steam
and wash-oil consumption increased operating costs. Unfortu-
nately, the next planned shutdown was many months away.
Capacity increased with modified treatment. To improve
operating economics and keep the plant running until the next
planned shutdown, third-party specialty chemical technicians
reformulated the antifoulant with enhanced surface modifiers
and dispersants to increase antifoulant activity in the com-
pressor after-coolers and disperse the organics and corrosion
byproducts (FIG. 7). When the modified program was imple-
mented in November 2011, the axial displacement declined
and then stabilized slightly above design targets.
Although the situation was still far from ideal, the stabilized
system allowed the plant to increase throughput approximately
10%, increasing revenues and avoiding an extremely costly un-
-0.4
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Axial displacement AI C203B
Dosing on
Dosing of
Dosing
on

Dosing
of
Modied
antifoulant
chemical
FIG. 6. MP compressor axial displacement trends.
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Select 162 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
50AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
planned shutdown. The resulting efficiency improvement re-
duced operating costs for steam and wash oil, further improv-
ing plant profitability. The modified treatment was resumed
after the planned turnaround in April 2012, with excellent
results. Wash-oil consumption was reduced by 30%, axial dis-
placement stabilized within design limits, and specific steam
consumption declined substantially.
Results. The modified treatment allowed a 10% increase in
load over the five-month period preceding the planned shut-
down scheduled for March 2012. It also increased ethylene
production by 4%. At an average market price of $1,400/met-
ric ton, the 15 additional tons of ethylene added $21,000 to the
plants bottom line.
3
Average steam consumption declined, thus reducing ener-
gy costs. The plant required approximately 1 ton of steam to
generate 140 kW of energy at a cost of $50/ton (FIG. 8). The
additional steam required when treatment was discontinued
between April and August cost the plant nearly $33,000. Re-
starting the treatment program offset virtually all of that ad-
ditional expense by generating more power with less steam,
saving the plant approximately $31,000.
The plant purchased approximately 25 tons of wash oil an-
nually at a cost of around $2/kg. The wash-oil savings under
the modified treatment program are estimated at approximate-
ly 20%, a savings of $10,000 on an annualized basis.
Performance observation. Even the very best antifoulants are
preventive tools. Fouling is a continuous process. Once fouling
accumulates, it is extremely difficult to stabilize, let alone to re-
move by chemical treatment. In this case, the decision to halt the
first treatment regimen allowed fouling to resume and worsen.
Although the second treatment regimen helped to stabilize the
partially fouled system, accumulations occasionally broke free,
causing compressor imbalances and increasing axial shifts. The
on-again, off-again treatment is risky. When fouling symptoms
are observed, the treatment with an effective antifoulant should
be initiated as quickly as possible and maintained consistently.
Case 3: Mixed-feedstock cracker compressor fouling.
Within six months after a specialty chemical company began
compressor antifoulant treatment in 2008, the olefin plant
changed its feedstock from 100% naphtha to 60% naphtha and
40% LPG. The treatment allowed the plant to meet a 2012 turn-
around schedule established before the subsequent feedstock
changes. The operating issues were compressor fouling, de-
creased polytrophic efficiency and throughput limitations due
to increasing suction pressure. Following the treatment program,
plant reliability improved. More stable operations were possible
with less fouling. The olefin plant could increase throughput
capacity and conserve steam consumption. More importantly,
the plant was able to meet the targeted five-year run length with
clean compressors. CGC efficiency inevitably declines over time
as the system wears and deposits accumulate. Controlling foul-
ing deposits is essential, given the critical role played by CGCs
and their impact on plant revenues and operating costs.
NOTES
1
Compressor Advanced Simulation Software (COMPASS)
2
Fouling Assessment Tool (FAT)
3
Average market price according to ICIS
MANISHA JAIN is the lead engineer for technical services with Dorf Ketal
Chemicals at Dubai, UAE. She holds a BE degree in chemical engineering from
Mumbai University, India. Ms. Jain has six years of experience in troubleshooting
petrochemical plants.
SUDARSHAN VIJAYARAGHAVAN is technical leader for petrochemicals for Dorf
Ketal Chemicals treatment programs in Asia Pacific. He is a key member of the
training, technology and monitoring (TTM) initiative, where his work involves
program monitoring modeling for gasoline fractionators, CGC and light ends
units with various licensor configurations.
SAURABH SHENDE is the technical manager in global petrochemical technical
services group with Dorf Ketal Chemicals. He has about 12 years of experience in
preparing prototype models for plant monitoring and has remotely assisted in the
startup of one of the largest ethylene crackers. Mr. Shende holds an MS degree
in chemical engineering from UDCT (now known as ICT).
KYLE D. MANKIN is the global marketing manager-petrochemicals for Dorf Ketal
Chemicals, Houston, Texas. He has 32 years of experience in petrochemicals plants
around the world, including two world-scale ethylene plants. Mr. Mankin holds
a BS degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
MAHESH SUBRAMANIYAM is the director of research & development with
Dorf Ketal Chemicals and leads the companys chemical development. He holds
a PhD in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
2
3
-
D
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-
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y
,

%

CGC 1st-stage efciency CGC 3rd-stage efciency
CGC 4th-stage efciency CGC 2nd-stage efciency
Dosing on
Dosing of
Dosing on
Doing
of
Modied chemical dosing
FIG. 7. Plant-monitored polytrophic efficiency trends.
Specic steam consumption per ton of cracked gas (2010-2012) with CGC AF
Specic steam consumption per ton of cracked gas (2007-2009)without CGC AF
2
3
-
D
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0
7
2
3
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0.8
0.9
1.0
1.1
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1
1
5
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-
1
1
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7
-
F
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b
-
1
1
2
1
-
M
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-
1
1
1
2
-
A
p
r
-
1
1
4
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1
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6
-
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1
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7
-
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1
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2
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Date, 20072009
S
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Date, 20102012
Dosing on
Dosing of
Dosing
on
Dosing
of
Modied
chemical
dosing
FIG. 8. Specific steam consumption patterns.
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Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201451
Special Report
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
S. CASAROLI and M. FERRARA,
Pentair Valves & Controls, Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Triple-offset valves offer advantages
in emergency services
Liquid hydrocarbon storage facilities
have used triple-offset valves (TOVs) in
traditional tank farm applications for de-
cades. Due to more stringent health, safe-
ty and environment (HSE) requirements,
tank farm operators are selecting TOVs
for critical emergency systems, as well as
the first tank-body valves. The main driv-
ers supporting use of TOVs in tank farms
include a growing need to reassess emer-
gency valve risks and identifying alterna-
tive solutions to traditional gate, plug and
ball valve applications.
Introduction. Over the past four de-
cades, TOVs have gained popularity in
tank farms due to their ability to do bi-
directional zero leakage after several
operational cycles, which is an industry
innovation.
a
Many technical variations for the ba-
sic TOV designs are available and include
using removable seats and soft sealing
components. Metal-to-metal TOVs en-
sure extremely long mean time between
failure (MTBF) due to non-rubbing
qualities. With such flexibility in design,
operators can lengthen the time between
needed routine maintenance schedules
(only retightening of the packing may be
necessary), thus reducing the total costs
over the lifecycle of the valve.
Metal-to-metal TOVs were first ad-
opted in the 1980s to isolate hydrocar-
bon storage tanks, and were used as fire-
safe shut-off valves. They were capable of
maintaining a leak-proof seal under antic-
ipated fire exposure. Compared to tradi-
tional gate isolation valves, TOVs feature
optimized seating angles that minimize
the risk of jamming; the absence of body
cavities prevents the risk of reduced op-
erability (and possible leakage) and mini-
mizes medium contamination.
Sometimes confused with butter-
fly utility valves, TOVs are true process
valves with an extremely compact design.
They are easy to operate due to quarter-
turn rotation. TOVs have often been ad-
opted for the isolation of matrix mani-
folds and pump areas (FIG. 1) instead of
ball and plug valves. In addition, TOVs
can be used as general shut-off/on-off
valves to provide the flow logic by select-
ing one flow path vs. another and to con-
nect external equipment to the system.
New trends. Critical developments in
the management of safety integrity, in re-
sponse to several serious accidents, have
triggered a search for more reliable valve
solutions. Automated TOVs are capable
of achieving the safety integrity level
(SIL) 3 according to safety standard IEC
61508, and they are increasingly selected
to handle several functions within emer-
gency systems:
Emergency valves on storage tank
inlets and outlets. As illustrated in
FIG. 2, the TOVs provide the rapid
isolation of the vessel in response to
an emergency signal. These emer-
gency shutdown valves (ESDs) are
also called remotely operated shut-
off valves (ROSOVs). They are de-
signed, installed and maintained for
the primary purpose of achieving
rapid isolation of tanks containing
hazardous substances in the event
of a failure of the primary contain-
ment system including leaks from
pipework, flanges and pump seals.
1

This occurs independently from the
functioning of second tank-body
valves that are usually controlled un-
der the standard tank operating sys-
tem. Being automated valves, ESD
valves are operated remotely and
respond to predetermined emer-
gency close safety logic parameters.
Emergency valves on storage tank
overflow lines. As shown in FIG. 3,
the ESD can also be performed on
the overflow line (whenever pres-
ent), which is responsible for the dis-
charge of excessive product to pre-
vent an overfill event. Often used as
an emergency open process func-
tion, these valves recirculate the ex-
tra product, thus fulfilling a key safe-
ty function. Several recent recorded
accidents in tank farms involved
vessel overfilling.
2
The adoption of
TOVs in storage-tank safety systems
is driven by basic design principles
FIG. 1. Example of TOVs installed in tank farm
applications for liquid hydrocarbon services.
52AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
applied to emergency valves, and the
resulting intrinsic advantages.
Methodology. The first main distinc-
tion when storing a wide variety of liquid
hydrocarbons involves working tempera-
tures. Indeed, it is always safer to handle
hydrocarbons at ambient temperatures.
The examples will focus on the ambient
conditions as defined by three sub-catego-
ries based on tank structural architecture:
3
1. Fixed-roof and conical-roof tanks
are made of a vertical cylinder side
and feature a fixed cone-shaped roof
welded to each other. They typically
contain heavy products, such as
fuel oils, asphalt, and vacuum or
atmospheric residue.
2. Open-top floating-roof tanks
are made of a vertical, cylindrical
aboveground shell similar to the
previous category but with a pon-
toon-type roof. Such roofs will rise
and fall on the stored-fuel surface to
minimize fuel/vapor emissions.
3. Internal floating-roof storage
tanks are a combination of the
two previous types and consist of
a conical roof with the addition of
the internal floating roof that floats
directly on the fuel surface. This de-
sign decreases the potential of igni-
tion and helps to prevent fires.
The SIL level requirements for tank
farms are established based on the risks
posed to people and the environment.
In particular, they must take into consid-
eration the distance from the facilities to
highly populated areas, piping efficiency
and codes. The second and third tank
sub-categories are typically used for more
volatile (higher-risk) liquid hydrocarbons
such as crude oil and lighter products in-
cluding jet fuel, diesel and gasoline. The
analysis of TOV adoption on ESD systems
will focus on these two architecture types.
Analysis. Protective services are often
associated with two main valve safety
functions:
Valve closeto intercept a flow/
pressure source
Valve opento release a flow/
pressure source.
Usually, valve safety functions involve two
clearly defined parameters: a flow/pres-
sure direction and a differential pressure
(P) when the valve is closed and sealed.
The basic approach to handling such
functions is to adopt single-direction self-
operated valves, such as check or pres-
sure-relief valves. The symmetric valve
design, mechanical springs, gravity and
weights perform the opening and closing
of the valve, and it is the most immediate
solution as it responds to predetermined
P variations with a single flow direction.
Although this rationale is applied
to several applications, the main tank-
safety-valve functions are too critical to
purely rely on such basic principles. The
ESD on inlet and outlet lines (emergency
close), and on overflow line (emergency
open) functions have been historically
handled by other valves, primarily auto-
mated gate, plug and ball valves.
Gate, plug and ball valves have sym-
metric designs with respect to the pipe
axis, and, therefore, their behavior is
independent from flow direction and
P. Although this can be considered an
advantage in terms of simplification of
the installation procedure and actuator
selection as the flow/pressure direction
is irrelevant, they do not intrinsically
support a specific safety function. As a
consequence, they require higher contri-
bution from the actuation to be moved
from their stable and balanced oper-
ating conditions.
Complying with SIL 3. To increase the
safety and reliability of the end users pro-
duction facilities, the safety standard IEC
61508 has identified four different SILs,
which are defined by applying risk as-
sessment criteria in various areasper-
sonnel, environmental, production and
equipment. Two items are the critical as-
pects of the valves performance that are
usually assessed:
The failure rate of the valve to de-
liver full stroke.
The failure rate of the valve to de-
liver tight shut-off.
The required SILs in liquid hydro-
carbon storage tanks have been increas-
ing and can reach SIL-3 compliance,
as shown in FIG. 4. Frequently, the first
FIG. 2. Emergency valves installed on storage-tank inlet and outlet. FIG. 3. Emergency valves installed on storage-tank overflow line.
FIG. 4. Required SIL-3 architecture and control
system for hydrocarbon storage tank.
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54AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
tank-body valves must also fall within the
same PFD limits, as shown in TABLE 1.
Top-range quarter-turn non-rubbing
torque seated metal-to-metal TOV design
can achieve SIL-3 due to inherent design
features. Similarly to a globe valve, TOVs
use a sealing system consisting of a sta-
tionary seat and a rotating sealing surface
sharing an identical conic section shape.
However, utilizing a rotational movement
instead of an axial movement, TOVs rely
on the cones with an inclined apex, offset
in respect to the pipe axis to achieve shut-
off. This makes TOVs a quarter-turn
globe valve, as illustrated in FIG. 5.
4
As in a globe valve design, TOVs pro-
vide closing with no rubbing, thanks to
a single, instantaneous contact between
sealing elements only when closed posi-
tion is reached. However, unlike globe
valves, TOVs are bidirectional valves
and are capable of full shut-off. This is
achieved due to three offsets:
1. The shaft is placed behind the plane
of the sealing surface.
2. The shaft is placed to one side of
the pipe/valve centerline.
3. The seat and seal cone centerlines
are inclined with respect to the
pipe/valve centerline.
The asymmetric design of the valve
prompts an asymmetric behavior: de-
pending on the flow direction, shaft side
or disc side, the valve will tend to close or
open. This means that, when P is acting
on the shaft side, it generates a torque that
is acting to keep the valve closed. Con-
versely, when P is acting on the disc side,
the valve will tend to open (FIG. 6).
Due to the asymmetric design, TOVs
also benefit from an intrinsically safer valve
installation for fail-open/fail-close protec-
tive functions. When the valve is open, the
offset shaft produces a large region of low-
velocity flow whenever the flow is coming
from the shaft side, therefore generating
a large pressure differential between the
upstream and the downstream of the disc.
This dynamic will also push the valve to
close (dynamic torque, see FIG. 7).
Metal-to-metal valves are also inher-
ently firesafe, as their construction does
not involve the use of any soft compo-
nents. In any case, these valves are capable
of undergoing API 607-compliant firesafe
testing and performing with zero leak-
age under those conditions. In view of
all these considerations, metal-to-metal
TOVs are an increasingly adopted solu-
tions for emergency functions directly
connected to storage tanks.
Emergency valves on inlets and
outlets. In some cases, for example in
crude oil or naphtha terminals, a single
line is designed for both storage-tank in-
lets and outlets. Historically, the first tank-
body valve is operated by electric fail-last
actuators. For higher perceived risk sce-
narios (e.g., higher flammable hydrocar-
bons, such as LPG) and more modern
safety architectures, fail-close pneumatic,
hydraulic or electric fail-safe actuators are
adopted with a distributed control system
(DCS), which provides the emergency sig-
nal to shut down. In other cases, inlets and
outlets are on two distinct lines featuring
respective first tank-body valves (FIG. 2).
For the valves that require a fail-close
function, it is important to install a TOV
with flow coming from the shaft side. The
flow itself will act to close the valve and,
therefore, the fail action may be assisted
even in the case of a control-system failure.
The flow will shut the disc, and the re-
sultant pressure will keep the valve in the
closed and seated position. When the valve
is open, there is no contact between the
sealing elements, thus resulting in a very
low torque requirement to move the disc to
the closed position even with no flow. This
torque is mainly necessary to overcome
packing friction and/or bearing friction
specifically for dirty services. This friction
is extremely low compared to standard ball
(and plug) valves, where it is also necessary
to overcome the rubbing of two seal rings
compressed against a ball (or plug) surface
for the entire 90 closing rotation.
Emergency valves on overflow lines.
Whenever a dedicated overflow line ex-
ists, TOVs can be used to provide emer-
gency open upon a dedicated signal
(FIG. 3). In this case, there are two con-
flicting requirements:
1. To have a valve properly seated to
maintain excellent tightness per-
formance
2. To minimize any unseating resis-
tance and reduce any possible risk
of failing the unseating of the valve.
In a fail-open protective service, the
most reliable TOV direction of installa-
tion that minimizes operability system-
atic failures is the one where the pressure
promotes the seal ring unseating, and,
therefore, with the design differential act-
FIG. 5. TOV vs. globe valve seating
mechanism comparison.
FIG. 6. Comparison between disc areas of valves.
TABLE 1. Probability of failure for various
SILs
SIL PFD
4 10
5
to 10
4
3 10
4
to 10
3
2 10
3
to 10
2
1 10
2
to 10
1
IEC 61508-1, par. 7.62.9
DECON
SAFETY
FLOWS
THROUGH
EVERY JOB.
Zyme-Flow

tough. From routine decontamination to heavy oil.


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Worldwide Leader in Hydrocarbon Decontamination
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56AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
ing on the disc side when the valve is shut,
as shown in FIG. 8.
Again, this scenario is more reliable
compared to a ball (or plug) valve where,
normally, large efforts are required to
move the trim from its seated position.
Conversely, gate valves are universally re-
nowned for their wedging effect caused
by the extremely low seating angle that
makes it difficult to open even manually
operated valves.
The pressure range inside a 30-m-tall
liquid hydrocarbon storage tank is usually
less than 10 bar (145 psi), and it is well be-
low the rating of overfill valves, which are
typically built in ASME class 150. Thus,
the valves fully rated trim is capable, with
a large safety factor, of securely tightening
against 10 bar of pressure pushing to open
the valve. While quickly opening the valve
by releasing the torque, the pressure sup-
ports the break-to-open torque provided
by the actuator, and the flow contributes
further by producing a dynamic torque
(opening the valve).
Key advantages. There are several key
advantages with TOVs over traditional
process valves:
1. With an accurate valve, material
and actuator selection, and the
nonsymmetrical design of the trim,
systematic failure can be signifi-
cantly minimized.
2. The nonsymmetrical trim design of
TOV valves triggers different valve
behavior, depending on which di-
rection the differential pressure is
applied. In the preferred sealing
direction of the valve, the pressure
keeps the valve closed, allowing us-
ers to benefit from safer function-
ing in emergency shutdowns. In
the opposite sealing direction, i.e.,
where the pressure facilitates open-
ing the valve, TOVs improve safety
whenever the function is to pro-
vide emergency open, including
blow down/vent operation.
Examples. There is a degree of variability
in terms of how safety is applied to tank
farms around the world. Often, safety fail-
ures are correlated with risk miscalcula-
tions that may be prompted by many dif-
ferent considerations.
Storage-tank fire. In a major Indian
storage tank, a fuel leakage and a conse-
quent fire resulted in several deaths and a
significant number of injuries. In response
to the recommendations by the investigat-
ing commission, TOVs were adopted to
improve safety by introducing a ROSOV
as the first tank-body valve. TOVs were
selected to create an independent emer-
gency-close function and were separated
from the newly installed MOVs. The sig-
nal to manage the ROSOVs is generated
independently from the standard operat-
ing devices for normal loading, offloading
and inventory activities. Adopting TOVs
in place of standard process valves will
significantly improve the safety standards
in these operations.
Furthermore, one of the largest refiner-
ies in the world has also adopted TOVs as
valves with emergency shutdown valves.
Depending on the risks arising from
handling specific fluids, the refiner has
increased the level of safety by combin-
ing different types of actuation with fail-
close/fail-last functions with TOVs.
EU developments. In Europe, the
Health and Safety Commission investigat-
ed, in 2005, the incident that occurred in
the Buncefield oil depot in Hemel Hemp-
stead, UK. The results of the investiga-
tion were used as a guideline across sev-
eral countries to review layouts and safety
regulation in tank farm facilities.
1
In The
Netherlands, for example, new rules were
introduced on the use of firesafe, fail-safe
valves as the first shut-off valves installed
on the tank wall, i.e., first tank-body valves.
These valves must now be automated and
controlled from the outside of the tank
dyke. Personnel and the DCS should be
able to remotely set the valves in a fail-safe
position. To comply, several tank opera-
tors have switched from gate to non-rub-
bing torque seated metal-to-metal TOVs.
Options. With increasingly higher safety
integrity level requirements, driven by
developments in HSE laws and regula-
tions, a rise in TOV adoption for liquid
hydrocarbon storage-tank protective ser-
vices is expected. Further investigations
regarding ESD functions may find TOVs
as suitable candidates. In particular, stor-
age-tank venting could become a new
area of research by manufacturers, engi-
neering companies and end users to iden-
tify how TOVs may provide increased
safety and performance.
FIG. 7. Dynamic effect of the flow acting to
close the disc of a TOV.
FIG. 8. Pressure effect acting to open the
disc of a TOV.
NOTE/LITERATURE CITED
Available online at HydrocarbonProcessing.com.
SERGIO CASAROLI is a global product manager
in Pentairs Valves & Controls business unit. He has
been with the company since 1994 and has held sales
responsibility over the US, Canada, India and China.
For the past three years, Mr. Casaroli has been highly
involved in various aspects of Pentairs Vanessa
brand triple-off set valve (TOV) product line including
development and marketing with a specialized focus in
oil and gas, processing and power industry applications.
MARCO FERRARA is a product marketing manager in
Pentairs Valves & Controls business unit. He has been
with the company since 2012 and holds an MSc degree
in international business and management from the
University of Manchester (UK). Since joining Pentair
Valves & Controls, he has been involved in a wide range
of marketing, communications and branding activities
for Pentairs Vanessa brand of triple offset valves.
Mr. Ferrara speaks fluent English, Italian and Japanese.
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201457
Special Report
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
G. YEH, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia;
P. K. MANDAL, A. Y. ALABDULKARIM and J. M. JIMENEZ
RODRIGUEZ, Saudi Aramco, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Case history: Troubleshooting a leaking valve
in a hydrogen unit
A Middle East refinery installed a hydrogen plant that was
designed to produce 20,000 Nm
3
/hr of pure hydrogen (H
2
) to
support a diesel hydrotreater. The unit was commissioned in
2006. This H
2
plant was equipped with a pressure-swing ad-
sorption (PSA) unit.
Several years after commissioning, the H
2
plant experienced
a major leak in the PSA unit. As a result, the H
2
concentration
in the tail gas jumped, while the H
2
production rate dropped
significantly. The leak caused significant supply problems to
the refinerys hydrotreating and hydrocracking units. This case
history discusses the investigation to identify the root cause for
the valve failure, and highlights new maintenance procedures
to mitigate future failures.
Unit failure. Since 2012, the refinery has experienced a leak-
ing valve and a significant amount of powder generation in the
PSA unit. The H
2
purity in the tail gas reached up to 90%, and
the production rate decreased to 7,000 Nm
3
/hr. Two powder
samples were collected from the PSA valves for analysis while
the vessel was idle. These samples were identified as adsor-
bent fines, as listed in TABLE 1. The PSA vessels are loaded with
alumina oxide, activated charcoal and molecular (mol) sieve
from bottom to top.
Due to the leaking valve event, a PSA valve maintenance pro-
gram was established according to the licensors instruction to
ensure proper operations of the valves. Even though the mainte-
nance staff used original parts to repair the valve, the valve-leak-
ing and powder-generation situation did not change. A team
was formed to troubleshoot the PSA valve problem.
Findings. There were eight alarm trips in the PSA unit from No-
vember 2012 to January 2013, due to various reasons, e.g., low-
low (LL) vessel pressure, high vessel temperature, LL H
2
product
pressure, vessel out of cycle and vessel high pressure. Mainte-
nance replaced the valves hard and soft parts, but reported that
the new parts had eroded within a few days after installation.
Bottom plate of the basket distributor in vessel A. The
H
2
unit uses six PSA vessels (A to F). The maintenance team
found more powder in the product and equalization valves as-
sociated with Vessel A than with the other five vessels. Vessel
A was inspected first. The maintenance team has discovered
that the bottom plate of the basket distributor at the top nozzle
was detached and had dropped to the top of the mol-sieve layer
(FIG. 1). The perforated body of the basket distributorwelded
to the platewas now disengaged.
Since there is no bottom plate seal to direct H
2
flow in a radi-
al direction, the H
2
flows directly into the mol-sieve layer, thus
generating powder. A significant amount of powder was found
at the top of the mol-sieve layer, as shown in FIG. 1. The outage
was decreased by 20 cm on the mol-sieve layer. A sample was
collected from the top layer, and a few activated carbon parti-
cles were, likewise, found. The bed in Vessel A was severely dis-
turbed, since the activated carbon loaded on the second layer,
which is more than one meter below the top bed, was found at
the top layer.
Bottom plate bent and filter screen of basket distributor
scratched. The bottom plate of the basket distributor for Ves-
sel A was bent, as shown in FIG. 2. There was a scratch on the
FIG. 1. Location of bottom plate of the basket distributor.
TABLE 1. Results of the powder samples from PSA control valves
in Vessel E
Compound Sample 953 A
a
, wt% Sample 953 B
b
, wt%
CarbonC 53
ZeoliteNaAlSiO
4
18 95
QuartzSiO
2
15 5
CalciteCaCO
3
9
SideriteFeCO
3
5
a
Sample 953 A was collected from the tail gas valve. Color is black.
b
Sample 953 B was collected from the equalization valve. Color is white.
58AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
filter screen of the basket distributor (FIG. 3). It was deduced
that the bottom plate could be uniformly severed by a sudden
opening of an equalization valve. However, this force could not
bend a portion of the rim of the bottom plate.
The bottom plate and the filter screen of the basket distribu-
tor could have been damaged during installation. The weld be-
tween the bottom plate and the perforated body was weakened
when the plate was bent; subsequently, a high-pressure drop be-
tween the basket distributor and the vessel caused the sudden
opening of a valve and detached the bottom plate.
Conditions in Vessels B to F. After repairing the basket
distributor of Vessel A, skimming 10 cm of the mol-sieve layer
and topping up 30 cm with the fresh mol sieve, Vessel A was
placed in operation. Vessels B to F were subsequently opened
to check the integrity of the basket distributor according to
the operation schedule. In these vessels, a moderate amount
of fines was found. A cone shape (FIG. 4) was formed at the top
layer, and there was no inter-mixing between the top and mid
layers of the adsorbent. The basket distributors for these ves-
sels were found intact, except for some cracks present along the
perforated cylinder above the bottom-plate weld.
Cracks in perforated basket cylinder. A typical basket dis-
tributor is shown in FIG. 5. The bottom plate is welded to the rim
of the perforated basket cylinder. Since the basket cylinder is
perforated all the way to the bottom rim, the strength of the bas-
ket cylinder is reduced, thus resulting in a crack formation be-
low the nut location (FIG. 6). The cracks are approximately 3 in.
long, initiating at the top of the weld just below the nut loca-
tions, as shown in FIG. 7.
Analytical review. The root causes of the abnormal phe-
nomenon are:
Powder generation. Detachment of the bottom plate of the
basket distributor of Vessel A allowed H
2
to flow directly into
FIG. 4. Cone shape in the mol-sieve layer of PSA vessels.
FIG. 5. A typical basket distributor.
FIG. 6. Cracks in the bottom-plate weld area.
FIG. 2. Bent bottom plate of the basket distributor.
FIG. 3. Scratch on the screen of the basket distributor.
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Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment
the mol-sieve layer and generate powder. This powder is then
carried over to other vessels during equalization steps between
the PSA vessels. Such powders can trigger leaking of PSA valves.
Also, the valve leaks could be caused by lack of maintenance.
Detachment of the bottom plate. The cause for the de-
tachment of the bottom plate of the basket distributor could
have been a sudden, significant increase of H
2
flow, which cre-
ates a high pressure drop. Due to a lack of preventive main-
tenance, the equalization valves can stick and then open
suddenly, creating a high pressure drop between the basket
distributor and vessel.
Bent bottom plate. If the detachment of the bottom plate
is solely caused by a high pressure drop, then the bottom plate
should be uniformly severed. The bottom plate was bent to
some degree on part of the rim. A bent bottom plate and a
scratch on the filter screen of the basket distributor were prob-
ably caused by improper installation of this basket distributor.
The bottom plate could have been bent by bumping into a sol-
id object during installation, thus weakening the welding joint
between the bottom plate and perforated body of the basket
distributor. Subsequently, a high pressure drop between the
basket distributor and the vessel severed the bottom plate.
Cone-shape formation in mol-sieve layer in PSA vessels.
During the inspection, it was found that there was a cone-shape
formation at the top layer in several PSA vessels. This cone-
shape formation on the top of the mol-sieve layer could be
caused by a rush of H
2
flow, resulting from the sudden opening
of a sticking valve. This sudden increase of H
2
flow rushed into
the rim of the mol-sieve layer, creating a cone shape at the top.
If the bottom plate were damaged beforehand, then the plate
may be disengaged, as found in Vessel A.
Cracks in the perforated basket cylinder. Several cracks
were found in the perforated basket cylinder below the nut lo-
cation and above the weld ring for Vessels BF. These basket
cylinders are perforated all the way to the bottom rim, which
is welded to the bottom plate. The purpose of the perforation
is to divert gas flow to the radial direction. The per-
forated basket cylinder could not provide enough
strength to cause the formation of cracks. To provide
a good strength for the basket cylinder, the bottom
section of the basket cylinder should be unperforated.
When checking with the PSA vendor and the equip-
ment drawing, it was discovered that the original de-
sign had a 40-mm unperforated segment into which
the bottom plate was supposed to be welded. During
construction, this information was missed.
Corrective action. To ensure smooth operation of the PSA
unit, several corrective actions were implemented:
To provide good strength for the basket cylinder, the bot-
tom 40 mm of the basket cylinder will be unperforated.
Level the cone shape on the mol-sieve layer if found dur-
ing inspection. If there is a significant amount of powder
generation, skim off the powder from the top of the mol-
sieve layer and replace with the fresh mol sieves.
Order a sufficient amount of adsorbent for replace-
ment. The adsorbents in Vessel A need to be replaced
completely, as a significant amount of powder had been
generated, and the adsorbent beds in the vessel had been
disturbed. Replace 50 cm of top layer, and top off with a
fresh mol sieve for Vessels B to F.
Clean the powder deposit in the piping system and PSA
valves. This task requires a shutdown of the H
2
plant at
an appropriate time.
Overhaul the PSA valves with original parts after the pip-
ing and valves are clean and powder free.
Monitor installation of the basket distributor to ensure
that the bottom plate and perforated basket cylinder are
not damaged.
Establish and execute the PSA valve preventive main-
tenance program, according to the vendors operation
manual, to ensure reliable operation of the PSA unit.
GENE YEH is a registered professional engineer in the state of Louisiana.
He holds a BS degree in chemical engineering, and an ME and PhD degrees in
chemical and fuels engineering. Dr. Yeh has 25 years of experience in oil refining,
catalyst manufacturing and R&D. He is currently working as an engineering
specialist in the process and control systems department of Saudi Aramco
in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. His support areas include catalyst and adsorbent
selection, hydrogen plant, hydroprocessing and naphtha reforming.
PRABHAS K. MANDAL holds a B. Tech. degree in chemical engineering and
an M. Tech. degree in petroleum engineering. He has 22 years of experience
in oil refining. He is currently working as a senior operations engineer in
Saudi Aramcos Riyadh refinery in Saudi Arabia. His support areas include
distillation, hydroprocessing and sulfur-recovery facilities.
ABDULLAH ALABDULKARIM holds a BS degree in chemical engineering and
an MSc degree in advanced chemical engineering with IT and management.
He has three years of experience in diesel hydrotreating and sulfur-recovery
units. He is currently working as an operations engineer in Saudi Aramcos
Riyadh refinery department in Saudi Arabia.
JOSE MANUEL JIMENEZ RODRIGUEZ is a registered professional engineer in
Venezuela. He holds a BS degree in chemical engineering and has 27 years of
experience in oil refining and petrochemicals, and R&D. He is currently working
as a senior process engineer in Saudi Aramcos Riyadh refinery. His support areas
include hydroprocessing, hydrogen, amine treating, sour-water treating,
sulfur units and utilities.
A hydrogen unit experienced a major
leak in the PSA unit. Result: The H
2

production rate dropped significantly,
causing major supply problems.
FIG. 7. Cracks in the bottom-plate weld area.
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201461
Refining Developments
I. RUMYANTSEVA, R. BECK, V. YE and D. AJIKUTIRA,
Aspen Technology, Burlington, Massachusetts
Innovative modeling of heavy crudes
provides competitive advantages
The increase in heavy crude production, together with the
diversity of heavy crude characteristics and sources, leads to
technical challenges in accurately predicting production and
refining process performance. This has placed a heightened
importance on understanding the way in which these crudes
will perform in all phases of the oil production cycle. At the
same time that natural gas prices in North America place that
resource at an advantage, those same low prices, paradoxically,
keep the cost of producing heavy crudes competitive (with low
prices for steam production and for use of gas as an agent in ex-
traction and transport). The stakes are high for engineers and
planners who are under pressure to make engineering and oper-
ational decisions that will lead to a competitive advantage with
the right decisions as opposed to lowered profitability and op-
erational reliability when the analysis is not timely or is wrong.
With that backdrop, researchers and software providers have
redoubled their focus on improving our understanding of the
behavior of heavy oils throughout the extraction, transport, and
processing stages, including the detailed behavior of heavy crudes
in the most commonly applied refinery reactor units. There is no
one silver bullet: A number of inter-related aspects need to be ac-
curately characterized and modeled to achieve a high-fidelity and
accurate representation of how the heavy crudes will perform.
Some important new software innovations are being adopted
by leading oil producers and refiners. One of the leaders in im-
plementing these innovations is Sinopec.
1
The company reports
an economic payback of $119 million per year through modeling
and optimizing 300 process units in the Sinopec system.
TECHNICAL CHALLENGES
Heavy crudes are associated with increasingly complex pro-
duction and processing challenges. This goes far beyond simply
understanding the evolving crude viscosity properties. The in-
creased presence of contaminants and need to crack the heavy
end also leads to more sophisticated and energy-intensive re-
fining processes. It is important to understand the detailed be-
havior of crude units such as delayed cokers, visbreakers, fluid
catalytic crackers (FCCs) and hydrocrackers under varying
crude conditions.
Strategies for extraction and transport involve introducing
steam for extraction, water and water-chemical mixtures to lu-
bricate flow within pipelines, natural gas and blending heavy and
light crudes for transport. Ongoing research into the hydraulics
of these multi-phase and multi-component hydrocarbons is the
subject of groups such as the University of Tulsa Consortium,
that bring together researchers, industry and software develop-
ers; this provides a pipeline to get the latest research findings
into process modeling software. For instance, flow assurance
and corrosion control are increasingly important in complex
crudes, with the reliability of pipeline flow critical to economics.
In addition to crudes becoming heavier, they are becoming
sourer. It is estimated that as much as 80% of the worlds crude
reserves can be classified as medium/heavy and sour.
2
Refiner-
ies capable of processing heavy sour crudes as efficiently as pos-
sible will have an advantage in the current market and in the
future. Innovations in process simulation software now allow
engineers to advise how to tune refineries to be able to process
challenging crudes, handle changing crude blends, remove sul-
fur in a cost-effective manner, and operate in the most energy-
efficient way possible.
ASSAY MANAGEMENT AND CRUDE
CHARACTERIZATION
The most sophisticated models in the world are still com-
pletely dependent on the accuracy of the characterization of the
crudes that will be processed. This all begins with the crude assay,
and how that assay data (whether skeletal or complete) is han-
dled in the model to present characterized results that are as accu-
rate as possible with respect to the actual crude properties. One of
the biggest advances in process modeling software in the past two
years is the introduction of advanced assay management based on
molecular characterization and representation of the crude assay.
Also, the availability of extremely comprehensive and updated li-
braries of commercially available crude assays with the process
simulators adds to that capability. Together these two advances
improve the ability of process modelers to accurately predict
separation, hydraulic flow, and refining processes by easily using
simulation software. Further, the availability of identical assay
systems within both the explicit engineering simulation models
and the LP-based planning models of the same refining process
increases the accuracy of refinery planning models (FIG. 1).
PROCESS SIMULATION FROM WELLHEAD
TO SALES POINT
With the variability and complexity of the heavy hydro-
carbon sources, using the same model to optimize the entire
system from wellhead to sales point increases the accuracy of
predictions. These provide users much value for a number of
62AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Refining Developments
reasons. First, faster and better decisions can be made through-
out the value chain, including buy/sell decisions, operating
decisions, regulatory compliance, minimizing safety risks, and
optimizing energy use throughout the system. Process simula-
tion software capable of characterizing hydrocarbons flexibly
and rigorously is essential to understanding operating and de-
bottlenecking tradeoffs in existing facilities for optimized pro-
cess energy consumption.
TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGES
Accurate process modeling and flow behavior predictions are
essential for flow assurance and to support the changing crude
compositions, ensure product quality, and lower process costs.
The ability to predict flow problems is essential in preventing
them, and the ability to predict hydrocarbon behavior is essen-
tial in ensuring that the desired product quality standards are
met. In addition, the ability to look at the entire process will help
optimize the process energy consumption.
One of the challenges is to simulate the behavior of multi-
phase flow, where oil, water, gases, and sand are present in the
pipelines at the same time. Heavy oils are also very strongly tem-
perature dependent, and they can have very high viscosities at
low temperatures.
3
In some situations, heavy crudes are mixed
with other compounds (light crudes, water or air) to ensure
their transport through the pipelines, which makes predicting
their flow behavior even more challenging.
3, 4
Another flow assurance issue is that some crude oils contain
a large amount of wax in solution, which is usually removed
by lowering the temperatures to get wax to solidify and settle.
3
Lower temperatures also lead to hydrate formation. Being able
to predict the behavior of the multiphase flow is essential to en-
sure uninterrupted flow through the pipelines.
Recent innovations in process modeling software have incor-
porated rigorous multi-phase and dynamic hydraulic modeling
within the process simulator. Additionally, specific flow assur-
ance models have been made simpler and more accessible to
the general process modeler within process simulators to enable
accurate modeling of the behavior of multiphase flow. As FIG. 2
indicates, accurate modeling of multiphase flow behavior in vari-
ous temperatures, pressures, and flowrates is crucial in predicting
common flow assurance obstacles such as corrosion, erosion, wax
deposition and hydrate formation to prevent their occurrences.
5
REACTOR MODELS
In the past, detailed reactor models, such as FCC units, hy-
drocrackers, reformers and so forth, were handled as stand-alone
analytical problems, and involved extensive customization for
each individual unit to fit these fragile models to current operat-
ing data. An important innovation has been to integrate rigorous
and robust refinery reactor unit models into broader engineering
simulation models, empowering the engineer to model the indi-
vidual reactors in detail and then to simulate the refinery trains
more completely, to analyze crude blend alternatives, to optimize
energy use, to understand their interaction with heat exchanger
subsystems, and to improve refinery efficiency and yields.
The most advanced of these rigorous models incorporate
molecular characterization of crude properties, equation-orient-
ed modeling of the behavior of the reactor units, application of
thermal cracking kinetics research, and modeling of molecular
lumps within the reactors. This, combined with improved and
easier-to-use tools to fit plant data to models, has achieved sig-
nificantly increased precision of these reactor models, all within
the broader process simulator.
Companies such as Sinopec, Taiyo Oil and BP are getting ex-
cellent results with these advanced models. Finally, of practical
importance in the refinery operations, tools to use these robust
models for updating vectors for planning LP models have en-
abled refinery planners to more closely match refinery plans with
actual performance.
6, 7, 8
OPTIMIZED MODELING
Refining is an energy-intensive process, and it is crucial to con-
figure heat exchanger networks in a way that will minimize en-
ergy costs. New advances in process modeling software allow for
the optimization of heat exchanger network design without hav-
ing to be an expert in heat exchangers. With a click of a button, a
process simulator will suggest options for optimal heat exchanger
network design for maximum energy recovery by making sug-
gestions on adding heat exchangers, increasing heat exchanger
surface area or moving existing heat exchangers around. Energy
optimization with a process simulator can be further enhanced
with incorporating accurate and detailed heat exchanger models
into the overall process design. Another benefit of having access
FIG. 1. Crudes and assay management libraries within the process
simulator provide an innovative work flow that increases both
accuracy and speed of analysis.
FIG. 2. Flow-assurance models within the process simulator.
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64AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Refining Developments
to software capable of rigorous heat exchanger design is being
able to evaluate the vibration and erosion risks. S-Oil, a large Ko-
rean refiner, reported in 2013 that it was able to save 102 MW of
energy and $39 million in one refinery through this approach.
9
Another valuable benefit of using process simulation software
when dealing with heavy crudes is being able to calculate pres-
sure drops, as there are large pressure drops associated with heavy
crudes. Software with rigorous heat exchanger modeling capabili-
ties is capable of calculating pressure drops, which will aid in oper-
ations as well as the design of pumps and other related equipment.
Saving energy costs in refining is ensured by the optimal per-
formance of heat exchanger units. Heat exchanger fouling over
time is contributing to the increase in energy consumption by
the process, and processing heavy crudes leads to a higher rate
of fowling. Here, another important innovation has been the in-
troduction of rigorous heat exchanger design models completely
within the process simulation environment, capable of evaluat-
ing operating heat exchangers, to understand when exchanger
cleaning is cost-effective, and additionally to evaluate the energy
and capital tradeoffs of modifying, replacing or altering heat ex-
changers (FIG. 3).
SULFUR REMOVAL MODELING
Sulfur is present in all crude oil samples, ranging from insig-
nificant amounts to 56%. When it comes to processing sourer
crudes, having a reliable process simulator capable of modeling
the entire process is essential in optimizing plant operations. In-
novations in simulation software make acid-gas cleaning mod-
eling more reliable than ever. Historically, process simulation
software used to model acid-gas cleaning was using equilibrium-
based calculations; however, the software that is using a rate-
based approach results in more accurate calculations, compa-
rable to the real-life behavior of the plant. This eliminates ability
to overcompensate with more amines, saving operating costs.
This is especially important with sour crudes processing, which
requires more amines to sweeten in the first place.
Another important newly innovated capability to look for in
process simulators, when it comes to complex and contaminated
sour gas processing, is the ability to perform rigorous column
design, which will allow facilities to contend with changing feed
compositions a lot easier. A process simulator capable of per-
forming rigorous process calculations for either tray columns or
increasingly widely applied packed columns is essential in ensur-
ing preparedness for changes.
Transferring data between different simulators is a painful
and time-consuming process, and it may jeopardize the accuracy
of the results. Having a simulator capable of modeling the entire
process is ideal to accomplish the ultimate project speed and de-
sign accuracy and optimization.
FORECASTING
Heavy sour crudes low prices make them an attractive mar-
ket opportunity, but their processing is complex and requires
a lot of resources in equipment investment and utilities. Long-
term economics of the heavy sour crude processing are impor-
tant to consider so an informed decision can be made about any
proposed capital improvements. Process models that can be
easily passed onto cost estimators are ideal in this case to speed
up the preliminary cost estimation to see what market oppor-
tunity if worth pursuing. Another area of recent innovation has
been the introduction of rigorous costing models within the
conceptual design process, closely integrated within the process
model. Pemex has reported on over 30 refinery projects within
the past five years in which this approach has achieved extreme-
ly accurate capital budgeting predictions, enabling informed
decision-making.
10
WHAT IS ON THE HORIZON?
The technical advances and innovations covered above are
enabling leading downstream players today to improve their ac-
curacy in refinery planning and performance prediction, leading
to more profitable operations. Rapid increases in the utilization
rates of the process modeling tools have been observed as a result.
A number of areas continue to be studied with the view of
introducing software innovations for optimizing refining and
chemical processes. Some current work areas include closer in-
tegration of dynamic simulation within the process models and
more detailed modeling of column performance. Columns tend
to be drivers of heavy energy consumption within the process as
well as key determinants of process yields.
A combination of such innovations and collaborative tools
packaged in an easy-to-use software solution will further em-
power process engineers to continually optimize operations,
capital and operating costs.
LITERATURE CITED

1
Li, D., Accelerate the Process of Smart Plant and Promote Ecological Civilization
Construction, Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China (CIESC)
Journal, February 2014.

2
International Council on Clean Transportation Production of Ultra Low Sulfur
Gasoline and Diesel Fuel, October 2011.

3
Lines, L. R., D. R. Schmitt and M. L. Batzle, Heavy Oils: Reservoir Charaterization
and Production Monitoring, October 10, 2010.

4
Meyer, R. F., and E. D. Attanasi, Heavy oil and natural bitumen-strategic petro-
leum resources, 2003.

5
Herrmann, L., An Integrated Approach to Modeling Pipeline Hydraulics in a
Gathering and Production System, Aspen Technology White Paper Series, 2013.

6
Pashikanti, K. and Y. A. Liu, Modeling Integrated Reactor Models and
Fractionation Systems, AspenTech Global Conference: Optimize 2011,
Washington, DC, May 2011.

7
Takeda, K., Refinery Margin Improvement, AspenTech Global Conference:
Optimize 2011, Washington, DC, May 2011.

8
Briggs, B. and K. Lau, Improve Refinery Margins with Hydroprocessing Model
Applications, Public webinar viewable online, delivered January 2012.

9
Kim, J. J., Energy Efficiency Gains and Improved Solomon Energy Ratings with
Aspen Energy Analyzer, AspenTech Global Conference: Optimize 2013, June 2013.

10
Monterrubio, O., A Lifecycle Approach to Downstream Capital Estimating and
Risk Management, Aspen Global Conference: Optimize 2013, June 2013.
FIG. 3. The introduction of rigorous heat exchanger models within
the process simulation environment.
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201465
Refining Developments
R. GAMBERT, EDL Anlagenbau Gesellschaft mbH,
Leipzig, Germany
What are the ecological and profitable
uses of refinery residues?
With prices always under pressure and stricter environmental
legislation being implemented, refineries are increasingly forced
to look for new ways of processing heavy residues. Rising price
differences between light low-sulfur and heavy high-sulfur crude
oils produce greater amounts of residues at refineries. Stricter
environmental laws will further restrict the incineration of heavy
residues at power plants due to the emissions, and limit the sul-
fur content of marine fuel oils (MFOs) to 0.1% from 2015 on-
ward. The current sulfur content is 1.5%. The sale via MFO is
presently the last possible outlet for many refineries to get rid of
heavy residues. Alternatively, other conversion systems, such as
visbreakers and cokers provide for a deeper processing of heavy
residues and lead to substantial investments. These technologies
also produce smaller amounts of residues that are in need of dis-
posal in an environmentally sound manner.
The enrichment of highly condensed aromatic hydrocarbons
in the form of aromatics, resins and asphaltenes, not to mention
sulfur and nitrogen compounds and metal contaminantssuch
as vanadium (V), nickel (Ni) and iron (Fe)takes place in the
heavy residues. From an ecological point of view, the heavy
residues constitute a significant problem. Thus, refineries are
increasingly interested in highly efficient residue technologies,
allowing heavy residues to be processed up to 100%.
Sustainable combination. Though solvent deasphalting
(SDA) and bitumen production are well-known and widely used
technologies, combining these two processes makes it possible
to approach the residues issue in a sustainable way. Adjusting
the SDA process to bitumen-capable feed production provides
an opportunity to convert heavy refinery residues (particularly
vacuum residues) into products for the marketplace.
In SDA, heavy residues are split by extraction, using solvents
(such as propane, butane or pentane) at under-critical or over-
critical conditions, into deasphalted oil (DAO) and a pitch (as-
phalt). At the fuel refinery, the DAO can be further processed in a
fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) plant or a hydrocracker to become
valuable gasoline, diesel and fuel oil components. At the lube oil
refinery, it can be used as bright stock for lube oil production.
The bitumen-capable pitch is mixed with flux components
like vacuum gasoil (VGO), slop wax and extractsand pro-
cessed at a bitumen processing plant, where it undergoes a spe-
cific blowing process to become high-quality bitumen products
(FIG. 1). The weatherproof inclusion of accompanying compo-
nents taking place in the bitumen production leads to an envi-
ronmentally friendly solution for the heavy residue pollutants.
The DAO quality depends on the feed specification for the
downstream process. In the catalytic processes, the requirements
are particularly determined by the catalysts employed. TABLE 1
lists the typical feed specifications for certain follow-up processes.
The SDA process can be tailored to the necessary specifica-
tions by adjusting certain process variables. It can be conducted
both under-critically and overcritically. By increasing the pres-
sure, especially in an overcritical mode, substantial yields in the
60% to 70% range can be obtained in relation to the feedstock.
However, there is a disadvantage: the DAO quality deteriorates
substantially and the required quality criteria for the follow-up
process can often no longer be maintained. The overcritical
Rening
FCC unit
Hydrocracker
SDA
Bitumen plant
Deasphalted oil
VR
Bitumen
V
a
c
u
u
m
d
i
s
t
i
l
l
a
t
i
o
n
A
t
m
o
s
p
h
e
r
i
c
d
i
s
t
i
l
l
a
t
i
o
n
Residue processing technology
VR
Extract
VGO
Atmospheric
residue
Crude oil
Lube oil renery
Fuel oil renery
FIG. 1. The necessary process to create high-quality bitumen products.
TABLE 1. Typical DAO feed specications for follow-up processes
Designation Unit FCC plant MHC plant Lube oil plant
Metals (V, Ni) ppm < 30 < 12 < 2
Conradson carbon
residue (CCR)
% < 9 < 5 < 0.4
Nitrogen (N content) ppm < 5,000 < 4,000
66AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Refining Developments
SDA mode is often used to separate resins, and that is no solu-
tion when it comes to bitumen production.
The DAO yields may also be increased by selecting specific
solvents and mixtures for different components. For the SDA
process and the lube oil production propane is usually used as
a solvent. Propane ensures the quality criteria as listed in TABLE
1 for the lube oil plants. Meanwhile, adding a small amount of
n-butane to propane gives a considerably higher DAO yield.
The higher the yield, the more the quality decreases.
The DAO yield may also be increased up to a certain extent
by increasing the solvent amount. Looking at the necessary
downstream solvent separation from the extract and the raf-
finate, the solvent amount used should be minimal.
For the residue technology within an SDA and a bitumen
unit, not only must the DAO have the required quality, but
the pitch should be a bitumen-capable feed. Whether a pitch
is bitumen-capable or not can be estimated based on a feed
screening. Except for the main bitumen parameters, chemical
composition (like paraffin and asphaltene content) and ther-
mal stability need to be investigated. Final evaluation of bitu-
men quality is possible after the complete test program is com-
pleted. This includes all process steps required for bitumen
production. The basic pitch tests, like penetration, softening
point, penetration index and aging resistance will reveal the
feeds bitumen capability.
TABLE 2 lists the required pitch criteria from the SDA for the
production of bitumen type 50/70. In addition, the pitch of two
refinery residuesa vacuum residue (VR) and a visbreaker tar
(VT) from the SDAare compared with the required criteria.
Analysis. The VR pitch shows that the penetration index
(1.96) is far below the 1.5 value. Further, the remaining pen-
etration after testing at 163C is not reached. This means that
the VR pitch is not a bitumen-capable feed and can not be used.
The criteria comparison for VT pitch reveals substantial de-
viations in four major points. The penetration index (1.91) is
far too low, as is that of the VR, and the thermal stability is too
low. In addition, the kinematic viscosity, at 135C, is too low.
Especially problematic and typical for a visbreaker residue is
the extremely high negative change in mass (1.67) and the
insufficient remaining penetration (24) of the VT pitch. The
last two criteria show that the VT pitch is not bitumen-capable.
The VR pitch can be further optimized in the SDA plant,
meaning the pitch stability can be further improved by yield in-
crease. It is confirmed that the heavy residues from visbreakers
provide no bitumen-capable feed, even if an SDA is incorporated.
The lowering of the viscosity and the instability of the vis-
breaker products due to thermal cracking usually preclude the
production of high-quality bitumen products.
At the pilot plant for this concept, blowing tests will always
be necessary for a final assessment of the feedstocks bitumen
capability. The tests also contribute to decision-making as to
whether a bitumen plant makes sense. The SDA process is also
optimized so that both a high-quality DAO and a bitumen-ca-
FIG. 2. Pilot plant in Leipzig, Germany, with autoclaves for under-criti-
cal and overcritical conditions.
FIG. 4. A propane deasphalting plant at H&R lwerke Schindler
in Hamburg, Germany.
FIG. 3. SARA analysis is deconstructed.
TABLE 2. Pitch for production of bitumen 50/70
Designation Unit
Bitumen
50/70 VR VT
Penetration 0.1 mm 5070 57 50
Softening point C 4654 46 47.2
Penetration index 1.50.7 1.96 1.91
Paraf n content Ma.-% 2.2 1.86 2.04
Kin. viscosity (135C) mm2/s 295 335 283
Change in mass Ma.-% +/ 0.5 0.01 1.67
Remaining penetration to org. % 50 49 24
Change of softening point (R&B) C 9 6.8 15.4
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68AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Refining Developments
pable pitch can be produced. Finally, the decision to incorpo-
rate this combined residue technology depends on the compli-
ance with required criteria both for the DAO and the pitch.
Pilot plants do exist for SDA tests in which the quality pa-
rameters for various heavy residues (FIG. 2) are assessed. Tests
can be carried out for under-critical or overcritical conditions
where a range of solvents and solvent mixtures are used at dif-
ferent temperatures and solvent quantities. Special analyzers
for saturated aromatics, resins and asphaltenes (SARA) feed
analysis (FIG. 3) and end products have been set up. In connec-
tion with the entire process parameter determination and other
analytical data, the process can be simulated and result in the
design of an SDA plant. The SARA analysis permits an optimal
structure analysis of the mixtures for the theoretical calcula-
tion of the thermodynamic process. The data and analysis for a
scale-up are supported by the results from, and experience with,
a fully equipped reference plant (FIG. 4) for propane deasphalt-
ing (PDA). The plant supplies a high-quality DAO as bright
stock for the base oil production.
The pitch from the SDA plant can be tested in a pilot plant
like the one in FIG. 5.
Moving forward. The close coordination of the tests is the basis
for building a complete residue technology for a refinery. The
combination of these two technologies is also the most cost-
effective method of residue processing and gives the customer
a maximum economic advantage. The use of this technology
requires, however, that both the DAO quality for the follow-up
process and the pitchs bitumen capability are guaranteed to pro-
duce high-quality bitumen.
FIG. 5. Bitumen pilot plant in Vienna, Austria.
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Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201469
Project Management
R. STANDISH, AVEVA Solutions Ltd., Cambridge, UK
Use information management tools to support
best practices and increase reliability
The recently published ISO 55000 series of standards aims
to promote best practices in asset management. Other goals
of this standard include: achieving tangible benefits through
the effective management of risk, improving efficiency and
economics for assets, and developing better and informed
decision-making skills.
Asset management is data intensive. Achieving these
benefits requires large quantities of data to be stored, verified,
managed, and made readily accessible when and where need-
ed. While the ISO standard is not specifically an IT standard,
it identifies the value of IT systems in achieving and ensuring
compliance. It builds on PAS 55, which focuses on physical
assets; many companies already have invested in suitable IT
systems. These companies are well on the way to achieving
ISO 55000 certification, which addresses human, informa-
tion and intangible assets.
Supervising major capital projects is complex; the hand-
over process, operations, maintenance, engineering and regu-
latory compliance demand structured and accessible informa-
tion with the highest integrity. Poor information leads to poor
decision making, which has been a root or contributory cause
of several recent catastrophic incidents. Operations integrity
management (OIM) has been gaining traction in the energy
industry for many years.
Problems with data integrity and availability. According
to asset data integrity experts Robert Distefano and Stephen
Thomas, It is a serious problem when the correct data is un-
available for the creation of information, proper analysis, and
sound business decisions. Why? Breakdowns in acquisition,
development and use of data will ultimately result in loss of
profit.
1
Advanced OIM technology strategies enable owner
operators to control the quality and accessibility of critical
project and operational information in order to increase pro-
ductivity and profitability while reducing risk.
a
The strategy
involves three complementary solution areas: enterprise as-
set management (EAM), information management and im-
mersive simulation. These solutions meet the needs of the six
scope areas covered by ISO 55000: asset management strategy
and planning, organization and people enablers, asset knowl-
edge enablers, risk and review, lifecycle delivery, and asset
management decision making.
EAM. A recent article by Paula Hollywood noted that early
adopters [of EAM] have proven that it is possible to minimize
unscheduled shutdowns, to improve process and personnel
safety, and to protect the environment by managing capital
asset health.
2
EAM is a key element of successful mainte-
nance and the overall reliability of a facility.
Within most organizations, however, operational data is
continually transferred between different, often incompat-
ible, systems. Its quality and trustworthiness deteriorates at
every step. Unfortunately, asset management policies can be
based on information with uncertain reliability. In contrast,
the ability to aggregate all of the many disparate information
types into a single digital asset of information that fully and
correctly reflects the physical assets true as-operating status
enables the operator to create and manage their asset mainte-
nance policy from a single location with a foundation of reli-
able information.
Barriers. Dr. Sam Mannan, director of the Mary Kay
OConnor Process Safety Center, explained that, historically,
a barrier to adopting EAM systems has been the perception
that they (EAM) will increase the complexity in a time-pres-
sured environment in which downtime is costly and engineers
have to get the job done. Absence of a safety culture can be
self-perpetuating; without an effective EAM infrastructure,
establishing and sustaining safety-oriented procedures can be
very difficult, Dr. Mannan warns. The cost of EAM imple-
mentation also remains a major consideration. It is difficult
to compile a business case in a situation where the benefits
in risk avoidance are unquantifiable; you have to look at the
potential economic benefits across all aspects of the business.
However, Dr. Mannan also noted that such systems will pay
for themselves through more efficient operation and a reduc-
tion in lost-time incidents. Greater awareness of these benefits
is needed. If you consider an incidents potential impact on a
business (and it can be on more than just profitability), the in-
dustry must recognize that a lack of information management
systems is going to cost a lot more money in the long run, Dr.
Mannan concluded.
These views are based on hard evidence. By implement-
ing an integrated approach to asset management, Shell was
able to increase total production by 17% over four years and
slash operating costs by 50% while significantly increasing as-
set integrity.
3
New tools are available to enable companies to define and
execute an overall maintenance strategy that helps to maximize
both asset performance and safety.
b
These tools enable com-
70AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Project Management
plete integration of best-practice processes relating to techni-
cal information, maintenance management, materials manage-
ment and procurement. Such integration of information and
processes creates a powerful environment for maintenance
regimes and plans, work order scheduling, resource allocation,
materials tracking, spares and inspection management.
Downtime is expensive. Continual maintenance and
repair are necessary elements of operations; however, shut-
downs are costly. Planning and preparing for an optimized
planned shutdown is a very complex process. Numerous
tasks, as many as possible, must be carefully coordinated to
minimize the duration of the shutdown and the resulting lost
revenue. New AM tools are designed to ease this process, in-
tegrating with other systems to ensure that sufficient reliable
information is used to plan and prepare for each shutdown.
b

Such tools enable advanced planning and preparation of tasks
that can take advantage of any unplanned downtime.
Planning maintenance effectively and executing it on sched-
ule are vital because of the requirement for materials. Not only
is material provisioning to remote locations time-consuming
and costly, but there is often very limited storage space on site.
Efficient task coordination must, therefore, be accompanied
by equally efficient scheduling of materials deliveries.
Information management for effective decision making.
A UK Government study examined 502 maintenance ac-
cidents. The study found that over 25% of the accidents oc-
curred while maintenance work was being carried out on
pipes, pumps and valves. In short, the workers
simply did not have the vital information to enable
them to spot dangers at the worksite.
Examples. In the absence of a reliable and central-
ized data management system, an engineer created
his own database. This engineer had created a
database of critical flanges (flanges that were part
of dangerous piping configurations) and the spe-
cific technical and work processes required when
working with these joints. The maintenance plan-
ners believed that the database was still accurate.
Unknown to the planners, the engineer who had
created the database had moved on to another job
and was no longer maintaining it. Furthermore, the
procedure for working safely with these joints had changed to
a more stringent process. Fortunately for everyone, the prob-
lem was detected before the work was executed. It is easy to
imagine the potential damage and risk to the plant and its
personnel had this use of the secondary database and its in-
correct data not been uncovered.
1
New asset management tools can aggregate into a single,
digital asset all types of information from numerous sources.
c
Equally important, the new tools can automatically validate
data against prescribed criteria, thus creating intelligent as-
sociations between them. Validation can include the flagging
of missing items and inconsistencies. For example, an absent
heat rating or maintenance schedule for a pump, a tag that
appears out of sequence, or a nonstandard date format would
be flagged, using new management tools. The flexibility to
aggregate and validate all types of information can be used
to build a full and reliable digital asset, even where digital
information never previously existed.
c
The creation of intel-
ligent associations makes it easy for users to navigate quickly
between related items of information, thus eliminating costly
manual intervention and time-consuming searches.
More importantly, a critical feature is the support for the
creation and management of a consistent information tax-
onomy. Without this function, optimizing asset management
processes becomes very difficult, if not impossible.
Immersive simulation for training and competency
assurance. High-quality, accessible information must be
complemented by high levels of skill within the operations
and maintenance teams. It is no surprise that ISO 55000 also
addresses training and competency certification. Craftsmen
must be thoroughly familiar with a procedure to avoid dan-
gerous or expensive mistakes and delays. Experienced work-
ers often gained their experience the hard way via hands-on
training. While this is the most effective way to learn, it is
costly and poses serious hazards, both to employees and the
facility. Some procedures may be extremely hazardous, with
no room for error. Others may be done rarely, so workers can
be out of practice, while new staff may not be familiar with
the facility at all.
Video gaming technology has now been applied to over-
come these problems. Operations personnel use personal
The ISO 55000 series of standards
aims to promote best practices in asset
management. Asset management is data
intensive. Thus, achieving these benefits
requires that large quantities of data be
stored, verified, managed, and made readily
accessible when and where needed.
FIG. 1. 3D model provides realistic lighting scheme and visual of the
process unit.
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201471
Project Management
computers or laptops to engage with each other in complex
scenarios in convincing 3D virtual worlds where virtual ob-
jects behave like their real-world counterparts (FIG. 1). New vi-
sual training tools enable the creation of accurate and interac-
tive, immersive 3D model of a real facility. Such tools provide
multi-player applications that enable multi-discipline mainte-
nance teams to practice procedures under realistic conditions
without putting themselves, the facility or operation at risk.
Such software also enables movable objects such as cranes,
scaffolding, ladders or even fork-lift trucks to be used in these
procedures. Many important asset management tasks are done
infrequently, so a maintenance team may need to refresh their
skills and rehearse the task to minimize downtime. Equally
valuable, new employees being deployed to a facility can be
familiarized and trained in advance and are able to function
safely and efficiently at the site (FIG. 2).
Well-managed use of such tools could include the logging
of individuals training and test records, providing a record
of competencies achieved. Such information could be made
available to an EAM system and used in maintenance planning.
In an era of increased safety awareness, organizations can
cultivate a culture of safety through virtual reality simulation
tools such as this, and help prevent costly accidents and down-
time caused by operator error, through rigorous training in re-
al-life virtual environments, where scenarios can be repeated
continually until failure is not an option, commented Dick
Slansky, senior analyst, PLM & Industry, ARC. Virtualization
and simulation technologies can even further extend the value
of the 3D design models that are already mission critical to
industrial organizations that operate in plant, marine and off-
shore environments.
Looking forward. Maintenance and reliability are not pure-
ly operational issues. An in-depth understanding of an asset
should percolate through the entire lifecycle of the asset, from
design to decommissioning. This phase occurs very late in
the assets life, after many decisions have been made that will
determine the total cost of ownership. Asset management,
maintenance and other considerations must be addressed
early; otherwise, the asset is doomed to
suffer chronic reliability problems and
higher costs.
4
NOTES
a
AVEVAs technology strategy for OIM enables
owner operators to control the quality and acces-
sibility of critical projects.
b
AVEVAs EAM solution, AVEVA WorkMate,
enables complete integration of best practice pro-
cesses relating to technical information, mainte-
nance management, materials management and
procurement.
c
AVEVA NET provides solutions that can aggregate
into a single, digital asset all types of information
from all sources, including existing digital data and
documents, scanned paper and microfiche docu-
ments, as-built surveys, and photographsauto-
matically validate them against prescribed criteria
and create intelligent associations between them.
d
AVEVA Activity Visualization Platform (AVEVA
AVP) enables the creation of an accurate and
interactive, immersive 3D model of a real facility,
directly from the model.
LITERATURE CITED

1
Distefano, R. S. and S. J. Thomas, Asset Data Integrity is Serious Business,
Industrial Press Inc., New York, New York, 2011, pp. 4950.

2
Hollywood, P., ISO 55000 will up the ante for asset performance manage-
ment, Hydrocarbon Processing, February 2014, p. 25.

3
Woodhouse, J., Putting the total jigsaw together: PAS 55 standard for the integrated,
optimized management of assets, The Woodhouse Partnership Ltd., 2006.

4
ISO 55000: Why Do We Need a New Standard for Asset Management?, Life
Cycle Engineering, http://bit.ly/1jtIA8u, accessed April 9, 2014.
RICK STANDISH is the Strategy Manager for AVEVA Enterprise Solutions, and
is responsible for solution offerings in the Operations Integrity Management
space. He has 20 years of experience of delivering actionable intelligence from
lifecycle information solutions across a range of industries including oil & gas,
power, pharmaceutical and aerospace. Mr. Standish holds a bachelors degree
in electronic and manufacturing engineering and a diploma in industrial studies
from Loughborough University.
FIG. 2. Visualization tools enable learning through simulation.
FIG. 3. Screenshot shows history of actions logged and their relevant status.
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Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201473
Refinery of the Future
V. V. GALKIN and V. MAKHIYANOV, Gazprom Neft,
Moscow, Russia; and M. I. LEVINBUK, Topchiev
Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis, Russian State
University of Oil and Gas, Moscow, Russia
Case history: Modernization of Russias
refining industryPart 2
Russias refining industry is set to make major changes to im-
prove profitability and produce cleaner transportation fuels. Such
changes will enable the refining industry to export cleaner fuels
to Europe. These decisions will be based on evaluating the pres-
ent refineries and their ability to be revamped and remain profit-
able under new laws and export duties as discussed in Part 1.
Optimizing the refining assets. As summarized in TABLE 1,
the general performance indicators for all of the possible refin-
ing configurations are listed. They include processing heavy oil
residues and their breakdown. Most critical are the ROI and
CAPEX required for each configuration. The takeaways from
the analysis are:
Refinery schemes with bitumen production options have
the minimum investment, which ensures the best ROI at
present export duties. However, these configurations yield
high levels of dark oil products, along with the bitumen
production. Thus, they have the worst ROI under the
2015 100% export duty on dark oil products.
Investment for residue hydrocracking capacity is
comparable with CAPEX for coking installations. The
estimated investment is about $5.2 MM$6.2 MM for an
oil refinery with 10 MMtpy of capacity.
Coking configurations are the most effective method for
processing heavy oil residues under current Russian law.
TABLE 1. Performance indicators of considered schemes and options of processing of heavy oil residues
Name
Rening
ef ciency, %
Yield of light oil
products, %
CAPEX for renery
of 10 MMtpy, MM $
Productivity when renery is paid back, MMtpy
Rating 2012 duties 2015 duties
Coking 8489 7082 5.26.2 67 67 1
Deasphalting 7784 6378 4.85.5 67 78 2
Residue hydrocracking 8287 6880 5.26.2 67 89 3
Bituminous 9196 6371 4.05.2 45 910 4
O
i
l

p
r
i
c
e
s
,

$
/
b
b
l
60
70
80
90
100
110
120
2012 2013 2014 2015
Year
2016 2017 2018
FIG. 8. Forecast of oil price changes, 20122018.
TABLE 2. Requirements of sulfur content for non-road diesel fuel in the US (except for the state of California), ppm
Who Covered fuel 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Large reners
and importers
Non-road 500+ 500 500 500 15 15 15 15 15
Large reners
and importers
Locomotive
and marine
500+ 500 500 500 500 500 15 15 15
Small reneries
and other
exceptions
Non-road,
locomotive
and marine
500+ 500+ 500+ 500+ 500 500 500 500 15
74AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Refinery of the Future
Refineries with a capacity less than
6 MMtpy7 MMtpy will have great
difficulties with ROI when the 2015
export duties are introduced.
Oil price impact on ROI for new
refining schemes. Changes in oil price
are a major factor influencing refinery
profitability before and after the re-
vamps. When oil prices decrease, ROI,
likewise, decreases. Under such operat-
ing conditions, refinery modifications
end, as well. This trend is trackable; con-
sider the sharp fall of oil prices in 1998
and 2008. Recently, many experts pre-
dict a reduction of oil prices.
912
In 2018,
the decrease from the existing prices of
$105/bbl$110/bbl to $90/bbl$95/
bbl, as shown in FIG 8, is expected.
When upgrading refineries with high
CAPEX, there is sensitivity for the se-
lected configuration due to external fac-
tors. FIGS. 912 illustrate the changes in
minimum capacity of a refinery with the
various configurations. These examples
consider needed processing capability to
process heavy oil residues and achieve
an ROI at various oil prices. The take-
aways are:
1. Refining configurations with bitu-
men production have the great-
est sensitivity both to changes of
export duties and lower crude oil
prices. The price level of $70/bbl
$80/bbl is critical for ROI at the
existing level of export duties; at
higher duties, ROI rises to $90/bbl.
2. Lower crude oil prices (under
$80/bbl) will cause losses in ROI
for schemes with residue hydro-
cracking capability. The change
in oil price by $10/bbl alters the
minimum ROI for an oil refinery
with 2 MMtpy of capacity.
3. For configurations with deas-
phalting, oil price reduction under
$80/bbl are critical for ROI for
any upgrade. A $10/bbl oil price
change increases the minimum
refinery capacity to 2.1 MMtpy to
achieve ROI.
4. Processing configurations with
coking capacity have the highest
resistance to crude oil price reduc-
tions. Crude oil price of $65/bbl
$70/bbl is critical for ROI, and a
$10/bbl change in oil pricing sets
the minimum refinery capacity to
1.6 MMtpy to achieve ROI.
Diesel
Petrochemical
2.4 MMtpy
Not paid back
Gasoline
60 80 90 100
Crude oil price, $/bbl
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
R
e

n
e
r
y

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
,

M
M
t
p
y
60 80 90 100
Crude oil price, $/bbl
Minimum renery capacity which
is paid of, MMtpy 2012 duties
Minimum renery capacity which
is paid of, MMtpy 2012 duties
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
R
e

n
e
r
y

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
,

M
M
t
p
y
FIG. 9. Influence of oil price on performance of oil refining schemes with production of bitumen.
Diesel
Petrochemical
2.0 MMtpy
Not paid back
Gasoline
60 80 90 100
Crude oil price, $/bbl
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
R
e

n
e
r
y

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
,

M
M
t
p
y
60 80 90 100
Crude oil price, $/bbl
Minimum renery capacity which
is paid of, MMtpy 2012 duties
Minimum renery capacity which
is paid of, MMtpy 2012 duties
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
R
e

n
e
r
y

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
,

M
M
t
p
y
FIG. 10. Influence of oil price on performance of oil refining schemes with residue hydrocracking.
Diesel
Petrochemical
2.1 MMtpy
Not paid back
Gasoline
60 80 90 100
Crude oil price, $/bbl
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
R
e

n
e
r
y

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
,

M
M
t
p
y
60 80 90 100
Crude oil price, $/bbl
Minimum renery capacity which
is paid of, MMtpy 2012 duties
Minimum renery capacity which
is paid of, MMtpy 2012 duties
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
R
e

n
e
r
y

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
,

M
M
t
p
y
FIG. 11. Influence of oil price on performance of oil refining schemes with deasphalting.
Diesel
Petrochemical
1.6 MMtpy
Not paid back
Gasoline
60 80 90 100
Crude oil price, $/bbl
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
R
e

n
e
r
y

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
,

M
M
t
p
y
60 80 90 100
Crude oil price, $/bbl
Minimum renery capacity which
is paid of, MMtpy 2012 duties
Minimum renery capacity which
is paid of, MMtpy 2012 duties
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
R
e

n
e
r
y

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
,

M
M
t
p
y
FIG. 12. Influence of oil price on performance for oil refining schemes with coking process.
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76AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Refinery of the Future
Recommendations. The analysis yielded several recom-
mendations:
The model with maximum output of middle distillates
and coking processing for refining heavy oil residues is the
most efficient refining configuration with the minimum
capacity criterion. It provides the optimum ROI and prof-
itability under current Russian law.
With an oil price range of $70/bbl$80/bbl, refinery up-
grades are below the profitability for all options.
An increase in oil pricing provides improvement of ROI
parameters for refinery upgrades. An increase of $10/bbl
results in an average decrease of the minimum required
payback capacity by 2 MMtpy under the legislation set by
the Russian Federation. Lower oil prices cause a respec-
tive deterioration of ROI and increases the minimum
paid-back capacity of the refinery.
New export duties in 2015 will decrease refining margin,
which causes economic hardship for medium-sized refin-
eries without heavy oil residue processing capability.
Mini-refinery fate. The estimates show that the mini-refiner-
ies, irrespective of their technological scheme, will be forced to
shut down due to economic conditions and the inability to be
modernized under new legal criteria. Only those mini-refineries
will survive that can be modified and are able to:
Increase refinery capacity up to 5 MMtpy6 MMtpy,
attain 75%80% of crude oil conversion, and find mar-
kets for refined products
Find options to purchase significantly cheaper process
equipment. Due to high demand with the wave of modi-
fications by other refineries in the Russian Federation,
there is high competition for process equipment.
Carry out consecutive (stage-by-stage) commissioning
of new equipment and process units within an accept-
able time frame before the new custom duties on dark oil
products go into effect.
At present, the total refining capacity of all mini-refineries is
about 10 MMtpy. One large-size, modern refinery will be able
to replace all of the capacity for the rationalized mini-refineries.
Conversely, closing mini-refineries will result in lost jobs and im-
pact the local economies. For some regions, it can significantly
affect both population employment and fuel safety (as the petrol
crises of 2011 is still a vivid memory). Global experience shows
that, during the change of environmental law, a diversified ap-
proach to various regions can be used. Consider the US, China
and India; the requirements for fuel quality differ by states.
In densely populated regions, the fuel quality requirements
are higher, and, in sparsely populated areas, they are lower.
13
As
listed in TABLE 2, new requirements for off-road diesel fuel (for
agriculture, locomotives and marine) were postponed for small
oil refineries.
14
Population density in Russia considerably varies. The applica-
tion of the present approach will help to keep jobs, increase power
safety in the regions located far away from large oil refineries and
minimize funding of science and industries of the western coun-
tries. Unfortunately, the majority of technologies and high-tech
equipment needed is offered by companies outside of Russian.
End of series. Part 1, July 2014.
NOTE
a
Validity of the models is verified using Honeywells RPMS.
LITERATURE CITED
1
Register of Refineries Currently in the Process of Design or Construction or Those
Put into Operation in the Russian Federation/Ministry of Energy of the Russian
Federation / http://minenergo.gov.ru/activity/oilgas/reestr_npz/.
2
Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 716 dated August
26, 2011. On Amending Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation
dated 27 December 2010 No. 1155 On Calculating Rates of Export Customs
Duties for Certain Categories of Goods Produced from Oil.
3
Levinbuk, M., V. Galkin and V. Makhiyanov, Update: Russias capacity and mod-
ernization program, Hydrocarbon Processing, September 2013.
4
Levinbuk, M., V. Galkin and V. Makhiyanov, Analysis of efficiency of oil refining
schemes depending on refinery capacity, Oil & Gas Journal Russia, No. 3, Vol. 69,
March 2013.
5
Rostekhnadzor Inspections Led to Shutdown of 80 Mini-Refineries/RBC daily
dated November 25, 2010 / http://www.rbcdaily.ru/tek/562949979211459.
6
Small oil refineries which are operating and being under construction in Russia,
http://www.kortes.com/products/sprav/Z5.pdf.
7
Hydrocarbon Processings 2011 Refining Processes Handbook.
8
Birkler, J. L., W. H. Micklish and E. W. Merrow. The relative cost factor: a method
of comparing petroleum refinery investment, March 1987 (http://www.rand.org/
content/dam/rand/pubs/papers/2008/P7307.pdf).
9
Reference book for chemist and technologist, (http://chemanalytica.com/book/
novyy_spravochnik_khimika_i_tekhnologa/05_syre_i_produkty_promyshlen-
nosti_organicheskikh_i_neorganicheskikh_veshchestv_chast_I/5946).
10
Ministry of Economic Development corrected forecast for oil price, Economy and
Life, Aug. 27, 2013, http://www.eg-online.ru/news/221027/.
11
Russias Federal Budget Depends On High Price Crude Sales, Climate Change
Sanity, December 29, 2012, http://cbdakota.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/rus-
sias-federal-budget-depends-on-high-price-crude-sales/.
12
FRS will bring down oil prices, Vedomosti, August 19, 2013, http://www.vedo-
mosti.ru/finance/news/15330011/neft-podesheveet.
13
Specifications for gasoline in Europe, Roger Hutcheson, Cameron Associates,
http://old.rgtr.ru/netcat_files/Image/Hutchson.pdf.
14
Information Center Clean Diesel Fuel Alliance, Locomotive, marine and non-
road diesel fuel standards begin at later dates (except in California), http://www.
clean-diesel.org/nonroad.html.
VLADIMIR GALKIN is the executive director and project manager for change
and operational improvements at the Moscow refinery. He graduated from the
Omsk State University with a degree in chemistry.
VADIM MAKHIYANOV graduated with honors from the Russian Gubkin State
University of Oil and Gas with a BS degree in chemical technology. He studied
for a masters degree in refining technology. Since 2011, he has been actively
researching ways to improve the effectiveness of different refining operations.
M. I. LEVINBUK graduated from M.D. Millionshchikov Grozny Petroleum Institute
in 1973 with the specialty of automation and complex mechanization of chemical
technological processes. In 1980, he defended his PhD thesis at Lomonosov Moscow
State University. From 1999 to present, he has been a professor of the Technology
of Oil Refining Department at RSU. Since January 2011, Dr. Levinbuk has been a
chief researcher at A.V. Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis. He became a
consultant of the general director at the Moscow refinery.
Boston
Hartford
New York
Philadelphia
Baltimore
Washington, DC
Richmond
Norfolk
Louisville
Chicago
Sacramento
Fresno
Los Angeles
San Diego
Milwaukee
St. Louis
Fort Worth
Houston
Dallas
RFG used in entire county
Partial RFG county
FIG. 13. Requirements for reformulated gasoline in the US.
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201477
Management Guidelines
M. MORAN, Moran Manufacturing Excellence
Consultants, Houston, Texas
How are leading organizations implementing
operational excellence?
ExxonMobil did not devote four full
pages to operational excellence (OE) in
its 2012 annual report because they had
nothing else to talk about, but rather be-
cause they viewed it as one of their five
key competitive advantages. However,
they are not the only major organization
with a passion for implementing OE.
Whether a company is a great performer
dedicated to remaining great, a good per-
former aspiring to become great, or one
of the large number who know improve-
ments are essential for continuing suc-
cess, it is important to learn why leading
organizations like ExxonMobil, Chevron
and DuPont are embracing OE.
It is natural to be somewhat skeptical.
Will OE be just another in a long series
of initiatives that executives have tried in
an effort to improve performance? Will it
be replaced two years down the road with
yet another program with another fancy
name? It is possible, but the odds of OE
succeeding where others have failed are
considerably higher.
Why its different. OE is an opportu-
nity-driven improvement program that
identifies opportunities to safely and sus-
tainably increase business value, reduce
risk and lost opportunity in a value priori-
tized sequence. If one is to focus on the
single, central reason why OE is different,
it is because proven processes, programs,
practices and procedures are implement-
ed in a sequence and extent prioritized by
value and risk.
This is somewhat different than the
conventional implementation in which
a program or practice is broadly imple-
mented, assuming it will create value
along the way. Unfortunately, a typical im-
provement program addresses many areas
where improvements are not necessary
and/or produce minimal value. In addi-
tion, most improvement programs are ei-
ther technical or organizational. They are
not naturally focused on value.
OE constantly challenges the organiza-
tion by asking, How can the enterprise
act to improve value and in what sequence
should improvement actions be imple-
mented to have the greatest positive im-
pact in the least amount of time?
OE starts in the present, not from
where a company thinks it might be, and
then helps push the company where it
needs to go. In fact, every enterprise, ev-
ery site and even different process units
within a site will have different strengths
and weaknesses. Therefore, they will have
different improvement opportunities.
Since all organizations are different and
are at different places along their respec-
tive improvement journeys, what gets im-
plemented at a particular company, and in
what order, will be different than what gets
implemented in another locale.
Beyond efficiency. If one defines ef-
ficiency as the ability to perform a given
task well, then effectiveness is performing
the correct task with maximum efficiency.
Efficiency is task oriented; it does not
question whether the task was appropri-
ate or even necessary. Effectiveness is re-
sults oriented; it addresses both the ability
of the task to achieve desired results and
how well it was performed.
In that sense, OE is different than func-
tional programs in that it is results and ef-
fectiveness oriented, rather than activity
and task protective. By going beyond ef-
ficiency to concentrate on effectiveness,
OE elevates performance from simply
performing activities safely and correctly
to safely performing the right activities ex-
ceptionally well at the right time. This is es-
sential to creating strategic advantage and
the driver for continuous improvement.
Heres another advantage that OE her-
alds: the advantages of shifting from a cost-
centered, manage-to-budget constraint to
a profit-centered, manage-to-value mind-
set. In reality, the only way to permanently
and sustainably reduce cost is through in-
creasing effectiveness that eliminates the
need for spending. Arbitrarily removing
costs (typically people) from an inefficient
organization without removing the inef-
ficiencies responsible for the costs makes
the organization more inefficient and cost-
ly. OE provides the methodology to iden-
tify and remove the cause of inefficiency.
Alignment. Value gain within OE is
demonstrated by contribution to top-level
business/mission effectiveness measures.
These include profitability, increased
throughput, capital effectiveness and risk
reduction weighted for the specific mission.
Determining potential value gain de-
mands a simultaneous and thorough risk
assessment. All alterations intended as an
improvement or modification to reduce
costs must include a risk assessment to
ensure that potentially unsafe, adverse or
costly unintended consequences are rec-
ognized and mitigated.
OE will drive a change in organization-
al mindset. Working-level managers, pro-
fessionals, supervisors and employees will
all need to think differently. The specific
point for them to ponder: What are im-
provements worth in terms of value to the
enterprise? In terms of improvements to
mission compliance, risk reduction, cost
and business values?
Changes. In the past, most improvement
initiatives have been function specific
and managed as independent programs.
78AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Management Guidelines
However, within OE, they become knit-
ted into a larger, coordinated and more
fully integrated tapestry constructed to
improve value produced within the en-
terprise mission strategy.
In that sense, OE does not reinvent
any wheels or replace or eliminate func-
tional improvement initiatives, like reli-
ability-centered maintenance (RCM) or
root cause analysis (RCA), but rather be-
comes their home where they are applied
in a prioritized fashion when and how
they make business sense. OE identi-
fies opportunities for improvement, pri-
oritizes by value and then develops and
implements specific action plans from
different functional programs to gain the
greatest benefits from the opportunity.
OE becomes the single overall mas-
ter program that includes, governs and
coordinates all functional improvement
programs to achieve a common set of
business value objectives. It can be ap-
plied at the plant level or across the enter-
prise and provides the framework where
short-term gains can be achieved most
effectively and with lasting effect within
a long-term strategy.
Leadership. OE programs are normally
driven by executive-level managers who
recognize the need for major improve-
ments to assure continuing enterprise
success. They see OE as the way to cre-
ate the internal environment to make it
happen. These executives establish the
necessity for improvement, define the
benefits, set objectives for the mission
effectiveness and assure that the organi-
zation is aligned to succeed. In addition,
executive-level commitment is essential
to create and sustain the necessary cross-
functional teamwork and cooperation.
It is possible that the OE initiative can
originate at an enterprises mid-level. If
that is the chosen route, its important
that cooperation exists between the dif-
ferent functional disciplines. In most
cases, mutual cooperation at the level
required for OE can be established by an
informal agreement between the depart-
mental superintendents.
Some enterprises have gone the other
way by establishing essentially indepen-
dent functional improvement programs
in the belief that attempting to find com-
mon ground among different depart-
ments required within each function is
overly complicated. This virtually never
works as desired. If objectives and efforts
are not coordinated and synchronized, an
improvement program developed for one
function or specific set of circumstances
can easily sub-optimize activities and re-
sults within another function.
If you are reading this and thinking
that OE is a silver bullet, think again.
While its an important step forward for
any organization, executive management
must understand that those organiza-
tions that do the best job of managing
their talent will obtain the largest finan-
cial improvements. OE stills requires that
manufacturing organizations attempt to
hire the best and brightest employees,
but, more importantly, manage that tal-
ent over the long term. That requires
providing basic fundamental training,
motivating employees and having man-
agement practices present so that talent
can be retained over a number of years.
Also crucial: putting into place effective
transition plans as older workers retire
so as to be able to retain as much of their
current knowledge as possible.
Charter plan. The OE program is de-
fined and established with an enabling
charter and detailed business plan. The
charter begins with a clear mission state-
ment and measurable program objectives
derived directly from business objectives.
The charter and plan are periodically re-
viewed and updated.
The program plan continues with
the strategy, specific objectives and
detailed plans directed at improving
process, practice, technology and orga-
nization. Improvement initiatives are
identified and prioritized by potential
increases in effectiveness and contribu-
tions to results based on value and risk.
Each plan begins with a description of
the results expected, strengths to build
from, potential barriers and challenges.
The plan continues with all tasks and
activities required to achieve the objec-
tive. These include: resources, risk and
time requirements, responsibilities and
metrics linked to enterprise objectives.
Improvement action plans compete with
a sustainability (control) plan.
In OE, a supporting program, practice
or technology, such as RCM, might be
selected to address a specific opportunity
for improvement. The team identifying
the necessity for RCM is trained and
immediately puts the training to use ad-
dressing their specific opportunity. This
concept of opportunistic implementa-
tion is far more effective to gain enthusi-
asm and ownership for the process, dem-
onstrate results and achieve maximum
value as early in a program as possible.
As with any new concept, the intro-
duction and first use of the OE program
should be carefully controlled in a way
that maximizes the potential for success
and minimizes barriers.
Benefits. The bottom line is that OE is a
high-performance, cooperative, success-
oriented work culture that elevates mind-
set, actions and activities to safely create
the greatest sustainable value. It requires
thinking well beyond increasing efficien-
cy to improving effectiveness. Benefits
for an OE initiative are many, including:
Ability to quickly achieve the
highest safety and environmental
performance by concentrating
efforts on high-priority
opportunities for improvement
More effectively increase business
value and operating effectiveness
by identifying and exploiting
improvement opportunities
Reduce risk through identification,
management and containment,
beginning with greatest risk,
which is where potential value
is also most significant
Establish all processes and
improvements necessary to
maintain industry-best performance
in an effective, risk/value
prioritized sequence
Achieve optimum operating
effectiveness and reliability
with minimal surprises and lost
opportunity
Gain optimal resource effectiveness
in regard to people, material and
finances
Build an effective organization and
institutional culture by creating
engagement, energy, ownership,
commitment and responsibility
Demonstrate results in credible
business and financial terms.
MARTY MORAN is a chemical
engineer with over 30 years in
the process industries. His primary
focus has been in reliability, asset
management, advanced process
control and plant optimization.
Mr. Moran holds a US patent
for multivariable control.
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201479
Maintenance
and Reliability
D. FEARN, Fluor Canada Ltd., Saint John,
New Brunswick, Canada; and M. PORTER, Irving Oil
Refining, G.P., Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Optimize plant reliability with
operator-based maintenance programs
There are few groups within an oper-
ating facility that have as much impact on
production and availability as operations.
Regardless of the level of process auto-
mation and condition monitoring, an
operator-performed preventive-mainte-
nance (OPPM) program, in conjunction
with positive and consistent engagement
with operations, will be a driving factor in
a facilitys total effectiveness. OPPM pro-
grams provide a boots on the ground
approach in determining asset health,
along with determining other issues that
may not be reflected through a traditional
preventive-maintenance (PM) program.
For many organizations, OPPM has
traditionally been an informal process
with scant attention to operator-recorded
equipment data sheets. For these organi-
zations, the OPPM process will be an op-
portunity to refresh the total approach to
PM and to develop new work processes
that validate reliability and maintenance-
related metrics. In addition, it will assist
the organization to adapt to external
pressures, such as environmental regula-
tions, market volatility, direct competi-
tion or changing market conditions.
CASE HISTORY
While the engagement and empower-
ment of functional groups within a facil-
ity are normally viewed as common, any
new program requires a sound business
case. This is particularly important, as
such programs must receive sufficient
resources to implement multi-year pro-
grams. The following case study dem-
onstrates the potential maintenance-
labor cost savings that can be obtained
through the greater utilization of op-
erations staff; such savings can justify
OPPM program investment. In this case
history, the timeline of the OPPM roll-
out was approximately four years from
inception to full implementation.
In reviewing data over the past three
years, the OPPM work orders (WOs)
now comprise roughly 30% of the total
maintenance WOs, which reduced main-
tenance-labor costs by 30%. As OPPM
addresses less-critical issues (gauge, steam
trap and belt replacements, etc.), the total
number of WOs is expected to decrease
over time. As the number of less-critical
tasks decreases, the average maintenance-
labor costs per hour will also decline. Re-
sult: More internal payback for OPPM.
PURPOSE
An OPPM program includes PM ac-
tivities that are performed by operations
staff. Corrective actions found through
a PM route can be done by operators,
who are trained to do the task safely and
correctly within the time allowed in the
process-operations environment. If the
action cannot be remedied, then the op-
erator escalates the process to their lead
for review, and it is addressed by a main-
tenance WO.
In general, OPPM should focus on
checks that are not automated through
a distributed control system, and this re-
quires using basic senses. Operators learn
about the nuances for process assets over
time and can recognize step changes that
may warrant further inspection. In facili-
ties where the operators shift scheduling
may only allow periodic access to certain
assets, the formalized OPPM program
ensures that all operators are working to
the same standard and that asset owner-
ship is shared by the entire team.
PM CHECKS
OPPM development should be part
of the overall facilitys PM program. This
ensures that operator-driven tasks are fo-
cused on areas where they can provide
value and are within the operators realm
of control. It ensures that other required
checks are performed by staffers with the
technical competence required.
A number of resources can be used to
create PM templates such as asset man-
agement literature or third-party soft-
ware. In all cases, a contributing factor to
the success of OPPM checks is how oper-
ations personnel are engaged. Operators
must fully understand the importance of
the maintenance tasks. Also, it is recogni-
tion of operational insight from operators
that may go unnoticed, such as:
Operators may understand unique
design issues with assets that may
not be included in standard
PM templates.
Operators may understand where
equipment should run relative to
design parameters. It would be very
beneficial to know where pumps
(particularly those on a parallel
operation) operate on their curves
before the PM is set. Otherwise,
groups will be attempting to
address nonrelevant actions
once the PM is in place.
Operators must have the
opportunity to outline in what
80AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Maintenance and Reliability
areas they feel competent enough
to perform certain checks.
For example, it would serve no
value to a company if operations
personnel were asked to look for
valve-related temperatures on a
reciprocating pump or compressor
with no training to understand what
parameters they are inspecting.
To support the template development,
equipment-specific acceptable operating
conditions must be provided to help the
operations staff understand what is ac-
ceptable and what steps to take if it is not.
The end product is a document that is
specific to the assets within the facility and
not a generic one-size-fits-all approach.
EXPECTATIONS
The changing of work processes and
expectations from traditional systems, in
which trained maintenance technicians
did all corrective actions, to the opera-
tions hands-on wrench turning is a major
cultural change for many organizations.
It could be viewed as job encroachment
by the maintenance department to lower
maintenance costs, and may result in
hostility and mistrust over the proposed
changes. To help offset the expected re-
sistance to change, the organization must
effectively use management of change
(MOC) methods.
MOC is an engagement tool to en-
sure that business or process gaps are
identified and communicated to the af-
fected groups. MOC seeks input to find
valid solutions. Of all activities involved
with the successful rollout of OPPM,
the MOC requires the greatest amount
of time and effort. Yet, MOC will be the
most rewarding segment, as it permits a
real-time feedback loop to ensure that
OPPM is fully deployed in the field.
Regardless of the MOC medium ap-
plied, the approach that is the most effec-
tive bridges business issues at a personal
level. This can be accomplished through
benchmarking visits with other companies
that have implemented similar programs.
Training provides rewards. Opera-
tors who receive additional training have
higher confidence in understanding the
equipment and how to do the trouble-
shooting. Of the various mediums that
can be used for training purposes, the
most beneficial was the one-on-one
coaching with a reliability engineer. Un-
der this training program, the operator
learns first-hand of the importance of
OPPM and why the checks are critical to
process and equipment performance. For
the reliability engineer, this strengthened
the operations/reliability (maintenance)
relationship. It helped determine the
technical/competence level of the op-
erators and what measures are needed to
achieve best practices by all.
For the maintenance team, lower value
(remedial) tasks, relative to their skill sets,
were now transferred to operations. Now,
the maintenance crafts could attend to
tasks requiring their skills. For organiza-
tions that operate according to metrics, the
lowering of the WO backlog and reduc-
tion of emergent WOs (lowering the total
maintenance costs) is a win-win for all.
Benchmark metrics. There are many
methods and tools available for work
process development (Six Sigma, Lean
or organizational management contact).
Regardless of the method used, it should:
Bring affected groups together to
review and create the work process
as a team (swim lane and fish-bone
diagram). As the analysis nears
completion, all functional groups
must understand what steps were
taken that led up to their activity
and how their actions impact the
total metric.
Allow each group to establish what
it is responsible for, or provide
support such as responsible,
approve, support, consult and
inform (RASCI). The RASCI
identifies each group that owns,
actions issues and/or
provides support to the
work process.
Allow work processes to
lead to a quantifiable metric
(maintenance and/or
operational scorecard)
Allow the process, metrics
and RASCI to be audited,
reviewed and, if necessary,
revised for improvements
or changes in the business
Clarify job functions and
descriptions
Identify training requirements
either from formal external training
or facility equipment-specific
operational guidelines.
Document work processes. For the
organization, the development of docu-
mented work processes and a RASCI
matrix provides an opportunity to revise
job descriptions. It will serve as a tool
to assist managers with budgeting re-
sources to address operator actions. For
the operations group, the work process
and RASCI matrix will help to provide
answers to these questions:
Why is the check being performed
and/or why is it important?
What exactly is the inspection
looking for and what are the
acceptable limits?
Who wants the data that is being
collected (i.e., process engineering,
reliability, etc.)?
What functional group will review
and action the issue?
When will the issue be addressed
(now, or a year from now)?
How will information be fed back
to operations?
Although work process and RASCI
development is a long-term task that re-
quires commitment, support from the
executive level is critically important to
the programs success. If OPPM is im-
portant enough for operators to spend
time and effort, then it is equally im-
portant for them to know that the issue
found was meaningful, that it will be cor-
rected now or later, and by whom. In do-
ing so, an atmosphere of empowerment
is created that fosters cross-functional
team building and greater overall owner-
ship of facility assets.
The changing of work processes and expectations
from traditional systems, in which trained maintenance
technicians did all corrective actions, to the operations
hands-on wrench turning is a major cultural shift
for many organizations.
Maintenance and Reliability
STANDARDIZATION AND
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
While specific assets may have unique
OPPM templates, a standardized OPPM
approach across the facility is needed.
Standardizing work processes on similar
assets eases an operators mobility within
the facility to other areas that should pro-
mote career development. Standardization
also ensures that operators are working to
the same expectations regardless of the
plant location. It would be unreasonable
for operators in one part of a facility to
be operating to a higher level of diligence
than an adjacent unit where no PM checks
are expected. While some units are more
critical than others, a standardized OPPM
program will ensure that a leaking bearing
housing or broken gauge will look the same
regardless of service. The standardizing of
OPPM checks helps to remove noise in
data collection and analysis. By removing
the operator variable, data analysis can
focus elsewhere to determine root causes.
Although a successful operator-driven
reliability team comprises different func-
tional roles, a key member for OPPM is
the reliability engineer. For operators, the
reliability engineer serves as a question/
answer post for technical questions and
becomes the face of the technical por-
tion of PM checks. Data analysis through
operator-driven alerts can be used to:
Identify equipment-specific issues
that could potentially provide input
to equipment specifications.
Determine process-specific
issues that could result in process
and instrumentation diagram or
datasheet revisions.
Find training opportunities that
can be identified through validating
operator-discovered range alerts.
For example, if a particular operator
is saying that something is out
of range and it is not, then this
might be an opportunity to review
training material.
Validate the PM template (content/
inspection frequency) through
analyzing its effectiveness.
Reliability engineers also serve as li-
aisons between operations and various
other groups that may be affected by op-
erator-driven alerts. Reliability engineers
can help organize operator-driven alerts
with the facility process owners, who may
not otherwise realize the severity of the
operators discoveries.
Many changes occur within an operat-
ing unit over its service life. Technology
may have been added to increase process
safety, newer assets may have been in-
stalled for greater efficiency, changes in
processing conditions, etc. These changes
also mean that OPPM checks may need
to change. It is perfectly acceptable for
OPPM checks to change frequency, vary
the acceptable limits and revise the escala-
tion process. For example, if pump pres-
sures are recorded daily and if only one
pressure is outside of the acceptable limit
in a given period, then a great amount of
data and effort was given for very little
reward. Revising inspection frequencies
helps to right size the PM task and to re-
move noise for data analysis. At the same
time, it sends a message to operators that
someone is listening and that their time
and effort are valued.
CHANGING VIEW
ON MAINTENANCE
An effective operator-driven PM pro-
gram begins and ends with operator en-
gagement at every step of the process. The
old adage it is your job no longer applies
in the new workforce. Facility managers
should plan to invest a great deal of on-
going organizational effort in optimized
work processes, training, data analysis and
communications. Implementing a solid
OPPM program will lead to a highly en-
gaged and aligned workforce, all yielding
greater effectiveness.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Hiatt, J. M., ADKARA Model for Change In Business,
Government and Our Community, Prosci Research,
Loveland, Colorado, 2006.
Howlett II, H. C., The Industrial Operators Handbook,
2nd Ed., Techstar, Pocatello, Indiana, 2001.
Le Blue, J., Best practices for operators, Twenty Fifth
International Pump Users Symposium, 2009.
Mitchell, J. S., Physical Asset Management Handbook,
4th Ed., Clarion Technical Publishers, Houston,
Texas, 2006.
DAN FEARN, PE and CMRP, is a design engineer with
Fluor Canada. His expertise lies with the specification
and selection of mechanical equipment and in the
development and implementation of maintenance
programs with a focus on site support and installation.
MARK PORTER is the Operator-Driven Reliability
project manager at Irving Oils refinery in Saint
John, New Brunswick, Canada. He has over 28
years of experience in petrochemical operations
and maintenance groups. Mr. Porter is focused
on developing, implementing and reporting on
improved operations work processes. He holds
a Class 3 Power Engineer classification, and is
responsible for the successful implementation of
Irving Oils Operator-Driven Reliability Project.
www.borsig.de/zm
BORSIG GmbH
Phone: ++49 (30) 4301-01
Fax: ++49 (30) 4301-2236
E-mail: info@borsig.de
Egellsstrasse 21, D-13507
Berlin/Germany
COMPRESSORS
AND
SERVICES
Reciprocating Compressors
for Process Gases
Centrifugal Compressors
for Process Gases
Compressor Parts
Services
Installation & Commissioning,
Overhauling, Engineering,
Maintenance, Spare Parts
Management, Training
BORSIG -ALWAYS YOUR
FIRST CHOICE
BORSIG
Select 161 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
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Understanding people helps reduce safety risks in the workplace S84
CORPORATE PROFILES
FabEnCo S87 Scott Safety S89
2014
SAFETY, SECURITY AND
THE ENVIRONMENT
Special Supplement to
84 SAFETY, SECURITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT | AUGUST 2014 | HydrocarbonProcessing.com
SAFETY, SECURITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE HELPS REDUCE
SAFETY RISKS IN THE WORKPLACE
G. FORD, TalentClick Workforce Solutions, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Its fair to assume that most employers strive to deliver qual-
ity results and maintain high safety standards in their plant op-
erations. Recent research has shown that employing staff who
share the organizations safety attitudes and behaviors strongly
contributes to incident and injury prevention.
Charlie Morecraft is an example of a worker who did not share
the same safety values as his then employer, Exxon oil refineries.
Mr. Morecraft worked as a refinery operator; he had been with
the company for over 15 years and had experience in all refinery
areas. In managements eyes, Mr. Morecraft was a good employee
who worked hard, met his marks and often undertook overtime
shifts. However, he was known for his tendency to minimize the
importance of safety protocols and procedures because he be-
lieved they countered efficiency and speed.
Late one evening in the summer of 1980, Mr. Morecraft
was working overtime during his third consecutive shift, when
he was called out to replace a blank, which is a solid piece of
metal. Replacing a blank was a task Mr. Morecraft was very famil-
iar with and said it was a job he had done 1,000 times before.
Because of his extensive experience and relaxed attitude toward
workplace safety, Mr. Morecraft decided to forego two of Exxons
core protocol safety procedures: he chose not to wear his safety
glasses and left both arms exposed by pulling up the sleeves of
his fireproof suit. Further, Mr. Morecraft left his truck running
on the worksite, outside the manifold.
Replacing a blank was a time-consuming procedure, and, in
addition to ignoring key safety protocols, Mr. Morecraft chose to
take several shortcuts. The particular valves in the manifold Mr.
Morecraft had to change were older and difficult to remove. De-
spite being aware of Exxons detailed safety procedures for chang-
ing older values, Mr. Morecraft disregarded them to save time.
As he opened the pipe chamber, it began to leak highly flam-
mable petroleum that seeped into a nearby trough. Because it
was a larger leak than usual, Mr. Morecraft phoned the control
room to find out if they thought anything was amiss. The con-
trol room indicated things still looked fine but that he should
check to confirm that everything was aligned and isolated prior
to changing the blank.
While the circumstances did not match the procedures out-
lined, Mr. Morecraft decided to proceed and extract the blank
once the leak had resided. As he began to remove the blank, the
upstream valve collapsed, and an influx of petroleum surged up
into his eyestemporarily blinding him, because he wasnt pro-
tected by safety glasses. Mr. Morecraft then ran toward the safety
shower to clear the chemicals from his face.
He passed his running truckwhich was a critical safety vio-
lation and an astronomical hazard in the presence of toxic and
flammable petroleum. Moments later, the vapors caused the
truck to explode several feet in front of Mr. Morecraft, and he
became engulfed in flames. Desperate to save his life, Mr. More-
craft jumped into a nearby water puddle to extinguish the flames.
Then, he phoned for help and did all he could to put out the fire
that ended up costing the refinery $5 million in damages.
The accident caused Mr. Morecraft severe physical and emo-
tional trauma and nearly cost him his life. He spent five years in
and out of hospitals. In addition to the major devastations that
Mr. Morecraft and his family underwent, this single incident
cost Exxon an astronomical number of lost hours and money to
repair the damages.
Reducing risks. Mr. Morecrafts personality and perception of
risk triggered him to behave in an unsafe manner. Perhaps if Mr.
Morecraft and management had been made aware of the potential
consequences of his high-risk behaviors, individualized safety
coaching could have prevented this unfortunate incident.
Advancing the topic of safety to an individual basis, in addition
to general safety training, is important because every person is
different, and everyone perceives safety risks differently. For this
discussion, risk refers to the possibility of harm or loss presented
by the existence of perceived threats within a particular situation.
Each individuals perception of risk is different, though, and may
not adhere to a textbook definition. Risk perception is determined
by many factors, including personalities, behavioral patterns and
situational biases. As a result, an estimated 90% of workplace inci-
dents are caused by human error linked to personality.
Personality has been defined as those stable psychological
characteristics that permit a prediction of what a person will do
in a given situation and a relatively enduring disposition to be-
have consistently across situations. Personality characteristics
have been frequently linked to job performance in the work-
place. Perception has also been shown to be a key component
that influences human behavior. Perception is the mechanism
that people use to evaluate their external environments, which,
in turn, determines their behavior responses. With the combi-
nation of personality and attitudes, a persons appraisal of his or
her external environment is an important precursor to behavior.
For example, when individuals sense danger, they either face it
(fight) or avoid it (flight). Some perceive danger in every situa-
tion, while others rarely see it. Because of these differences, some
people have a greater tendency to take risks, while others have a
greater tendency to avoid them.
Risk taking is determined by a persons risk perception per-
sonality. Workplace attempts to minimize risk-taking behavior
fail to account for these individual differences and how the per-
sonalities of risk-takers affect their perception.
Risk perception. The notion that people show individual differ-
ences in risk inclination has important implications for practical
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING | AUGUST 2014 | SAFETY, SECURITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT 85
SAFETY, SECURITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
insights in road safety improvement, personnel selection for
sensitive profiles and employee development. Individualized
safety training, between employers and workers is important
because incidents and injuries in the workplace are rarely caused
due to controls and technical skills. Instead, psychological and
behavioral factors play an important role. This is why advancing
the topic of safety on an individual basis encourages employees
to take safety issues more seriously.
Individualized safety training and coaching provide a way for
supervisors to prioritize safety for employees who underestimate
the value and importance of safety practices in the workplace.
With workers who are more likely to resist rules and processes,
safety communication can be brought to discussion on a one-on-
one basis so that unique plans and considerations can be devised
based on the impulses and default behaviors of the worker.
The impact of individualized coaching has been reviewed in
various work settings, and it is apparent that both learners and
instructors preferred a person-centered approach to coaching,
as each person is different and has unique learning needs. Indi-
vidualized safety training has been proven to be a more effective
learning methodology and behavior-modification tool in com-
parison to standardized safety training.
In an evaluation of motor vehicle incident rates, adult drivers
across North America were assessed using a safety personality
assessment. The results showed that drivers who scored in the
higher risk range of resistant experienced, on average, 130%
higher at-fault accident rates and 362% more traffic tickets. Ad-
ditionally, drivers scoring in the higher risk range of irritable
experienced, on average, 158% higher at-fault accident rates and
38% higher near-miss rates.
Personality risk assessments, designed specifically for workers
in industrial settings, were used to help identify higher risk per-
sonalities who are prone to unsafe workplace behaviors. Similar
results were found in an evaluation of foremen building an oil re-
finery for a multinational construction company. Foremen who
scored in the higher risk range of resistant had an average crew
incident rate that was 2.3 times higher than those who scored in
the lower risk range. Workers who scored in the higher risk
range of impulsive had an average personal incident rate five
times higher than those who scored in the lower risk range.
The construction company began using this safety person-
ality assessment as a guideline for its recruitment practices.
Participants that registered as impulsive were screened out,
resulting in eight fewer personal injuries per 100 hires. Scores
recorded as resistant were used as a guideline to help the or-
ganization screen-in lower risk supervisors, resulting in four
fewer crew first aid incidents per 100 hires. This shows that
assessing employees for high risk behaviors during the recruit-
ment process could save organizations substantial costs and re-
duce incident rates caused by human error.
Risk awareness. Every person is driven by natural default behav-
iors (commonly known as knee-jerk reactions) that predict how
they react in different situations. Knowing what motivates work-
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SAFETY, SECURITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
ers and how they behave in stressful and high risk situations can
go a long way in selecting effective training and coaching pro-
grams. While knowledge can be gained through time and work-
ing with employees, viewing existing workers personality risk
assessment reports can indicate which employees exhibit high
risk personality traits and enable supervisors to more proactively
manage employee high risk behaviors and reduce safety hazards
that could lead to incidents.
Personality risk assessments seek to measure three key char-
acteristics that commonly lead to workplace incidents. These
include rule resistance, impulsivity and irritability.
Rule resistant individuals tend to disregard authority and
have been known to cut corners when no one is watching. This
can be extremely dangerous and has been shown to be the direct
cause for many workplace incidents. Coaching resistant workers
is crucial because it reminds workers of the organizational rules
and procedures and the consequences associated with ignoring
regulations. In addition, ensuring that employees understand the
safety programs and the reasons behind the set rules and proto-
cols has been shown to build compliance and rule abidance in em-
ployees. Therefore, organizations could strongly benefit from the
feedback provided by personality assessments, as it allows them
to devise one-on-one coaching sessions that are designed to meet
the unique temperaments of workers and reduce the occurrence
of rule breaking that could lead to workplace safety incidents.
Those who test out as impulsive typically seek excitement
and stimulation that often leads them to take unnecessary risks
and underestimate the possible negative consequences associated
with their actions. By keeping the confidence levels of impulsive
employees in check through the regular reinforcement of orga-
nizational expectations and consequences for high risk actions,
impulsive employees can learn to monitor their behavior and
modify their urge to act impulsively in a high risk situation. Im-
pulsiveness is a common link to workplace incidents. Advance
individualized coaching with impulsive workers is therefore rec-
ommended to prevent avoidable missteps.
An irritable employee can cause problems in stressful work-
place situations with time constraints and production demands,
as they easily become annoyed, frustrated and aggravated, and
have proven to possess little control over their emotions. Since
highly irritable individuals have been known to make poor deci-
sions (especially when they are stressed or under pressure), hav-
ing this type of employee working in a safety sensitive setting can
lead to astronomical costs and injuries for organizations. For this
reason, managers should take a more proactive approach when
managing highly irritable employees.
Across various studies, it has been reported that employees
scoring high in irritability often feel underappreciated and under-
valued by their organization. Organizations can strongly benefit
from having their managers make time to discuss the needs and
concerns of irritable employees, because when managers make
one-on-one time for them, they feel as though they are a prior-
ity and a valued member of the workplace. In times of stress or
conflict, it has been recommended to give irritable em-
ployees time to cool off, and to remind them that deci-
sions made at work are not personal, and are meant for
their own safety and for the safety of the organization
as a whole. In addition, providing these employees with
positive feedback and reinforcement on a regular basis
will improve overall employee morale because this al-
lows employees to feel as though they are valued and
esteemed members of the organization. In studies of or-
ganizations where employees have demonstrated a commitment
to the organization, incidents related to irritable workers were at a
minimum and this was attributed to overall employee morale. Per-
sonality risk assessments detecting irritability levels could be use-
ful to organizations that experience high incident rates, as they can
identify highly irritable employees and support individual coach-
ing initiatives to reduce incidents attributed to worker irritability.
Since 90% of incidents are caused by human error, aware-
ness, personalized coaching and proper training can teach even
the most at-risk worker to manage his own personality-risk fac-
tors and contribute to a safer and more productive work environ-
ment. Raising the topic of safety on an individual basis with em-
ployees and implementing standardized safety training programs
are crucial for workplace safety, because every worker is different
and their perception of workplace risk varies. Placing a stronger
emphasis on making safety a priority at an individual level has
proven to reap countless benefits.
Reduce incident rates. Over the past 20 years, organizations have
based safety methods on a variety of strategies, including using
safer equipment, enhancing procedures, reducing occupational
stress and promoting safety values, yet it is clear that the struggle
still exists in managing workplace risks and safety. The proof is in
the large costs incurred by companies due to workplace injuries
and incidents. These costs can be reduced by understanding the
way personality characteristics affect safe and unsafe behaviors.
Injuries and incidents can be further prevented by considering
psychological makeup. Employers can systematically screen job
candidates for positions where on-the-job injuries occur when
proper safety rules and precautions are not followed. High acci-
dent-risk applicants can be identified and screened out. Applicants
identified as high risk for incidents due to individual differences in
attitudes and personality traits can also be placed in less hazardous
jobs, or placed in special safety training or coaching programs de-
signed to reduce their chances of causing work related incidents.
Given that individual differences in personalities can predict
workplace behavior, companies should evaluate and assess indi-
viduals working in safety sensitive settings and be aware of their
work styles, or typical working behaviors. These combined ef-
forts will help ensure that people are working in jobs that best
match their personalities and work styles, thus ultimately elimi-
nating potentially avoidable incidents in industrial settings. With
more widespread and long-term implementation of personality
and behavioral assessments and individualized coaching tools
for safety, companies around the world can prevent serious
work-related incidents, like the one that befell Mr. Morecraft at
the Exxon oil refinery on that fateful day in 1980.
Organizations can benefit from the feedback provided
by personality assessments, as it allows them to devise
one-on-one coaching sessions that are designed to
meet the unique temperaments of workers.
SPONSORED CONTENT HYDROCARBON PROCESSING | AUGUST 2014 | SAFETY, SECURITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT 87
FabEnCo
Over the past four decades, FabEnCo has
been the oil & gas industrys one-stop-shop
for high-quality, American-made safety gates.
Our full range of gates helps companies elimi-
nate the time and expense of fabricating their
own gates while providing OSHA-compliant fall
protection, access control, machine guarding,
pedestrian traffic management and security at
ladder, platform and stair openings, as well as
catwalks and mezzanines.
FabEnCos adjustable safety gates fit unpro-
tected openings from 16 inches to 39.5 inches.
To protect openings up to 6 feet wide, custom-
ers can mount FabEnCo safety gates on both
the left and right rail in a one-way saloon door
configuration. On request, FabEnCo also devel-
ops custom safety gates to meet our customers
special requirements or protect unusual open-
ings up to 60 inches.
Easy to install on all types of handrails or to
existing walls, most gates can be mounted on
either the left or right side of handrail openings.
Each safety gates reliable stainless-steel spring
automatically closes the gate.
Safety gates are shipped directly from
FabEnCos manufacturing facilities in Houston,
Texas, or from one of our many distributors, and
arrive with all the necessary mounting hard-
ware. In addition to contacting the company
by phone, customers have the option of easy
online ordering using a major credit card or
charging their open account. FabEnCo also
supports blanket orders and JIT programs.
The XL Series offers 22 vertical coverage.
CONTACT INFORMATION
2002 Karbach
Houston, TX 77092
Phone: 713-686-6620
Toll Free: 800-962-6111
Fax: 713-688-8031
sales@safetygate.com
www.safetygate.com/hpp
FabEnCo SELF-CLOSING SAFETY GATES
FALL PROTECTION AND ACCESS CONTROL
Made in the USA
www.safetygate.com/hpp
1-800-962-6111
Providing Safety Solutions Since 1972
A Safety Products Group Company

Fall Protection Access Control


Security Machine Guarding
Available in carbon steel, aluminum and stainless steel, FabEnCo Self-Closing
Safety Gates eliminate the time and expense of fabricating OSHA-compliant
gates that provide fall protection at ladders, platforms, stairs, catwalks
and mezzanines.
Easy to Install in most cases, gates can be quickly installed using simple hand tools
Versatile can be installed on either side of the handrail, left or right
Adjustable can be adjusted to t a variety of openings
Adaptable mounts on all types of handrails (channel, angle, atbar, pipe)
FabEnCoat Finishes galvanized and safety yellow powder coated
Proudly serving oil & gas reneries and petrochemical facilities
for more than 45 years.
Your One-Stop-Shop for
Safety Gates
The Worlds Leading Manufacturer of Self-Closing Safety Gates
Select 164 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
LET'S WORK.
From the plant oor to the executive suite, a single device is now capable
of protecting your people and impacting the operations and economics of
your entire organization. The Meridian gas detector does just that, detecting
both combustible and toxic gas. A single detector head easily accepts all
sensor types its simply plug and play. Learn how the Meridian universal gas
detector is redening universal. Visit www.UniversalByScott.com
Introducing
2013 Scott Safety. SCOTT, the SCOTT SAFETY Logo and Scott Health and Safety are registered and/or unregistered marks of Scott Technologies, Inc. or its afliates.
Select 71 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
SPONSORED CONTENT HYDROCARBON PROCESSING | AUGUST 2014 | SAFETY, SECURITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT 89
SCOTT SAFETY
SCOTT SAFETY: A HISTORY
Scott Safety is a world leader in the design, manufacture and sale
of high performance respiratory protection products, monitoring and
sensor equipment and other protective solutions for the fire services,
petroleum, chemical, construction, industrial and emergency services
including first responders, law enforcement, military and civil defense.
From oil and gas operations around the globe to the nations leading-
edge military forces, Scott Safety has earned a legacy of innovation
among aviation, safety, fire and defense sectors by providing purpose-
built technology and product solutions critical to emergency-response
and disaster-preparedness professionals throughout the world.
Founded in 1932 by Earl M. Scott, Scott Safety started as an avia-
tion components manufacturer called Uniloy Accessories Corporation.
Based out of Lancaster, New York, Uniloys first product was the pivoting
tail wheel. The product was eventually patented, and the malleable iron
skid shoe was relegated to history.
In 1938, Uniloy changed its name to Scott Aviation; in 1940,
the company landed its first contracts with the British government and
also began its long-standing relationship with the U.S. military forces.
As World War II came to a close, Scott Aviation began applying its
expertise to new industries, including civil aviation and fire services,
leading to its development of the first portable Air Pak breathing device.
Making history with products that evolved aviation, fire services
and safety environments across industries continued to be Earl Scotts
stock in trade. In 1946, Scott Aviation began the longest relationship
in company history with the Fire Department of New York.
The 1950s and 1960s were banner decades, as Scott Aviation
continued to develop new products for the aviation industry, and, as
such, Scott Aviation went public in 1960. In 1966, Mr. Scott retired,
and, in 1967, the company was purchased by Figgie International.
In 1980, Scott Aviation purchased Tool Service Company in Mon-
roe, N.C.; in 1993, the health and safety division separated from the
aviation division, moving its offices from New York to Monroe, N.C.,
and changing its name to Scott Health & Safety.
In 2010, Scott Health & Safety shortened its name to Scott Safety.
Today, Scott Safety is a Tyco business, generating more than $400
million in revenues annually and employing more 1,100 people world-
wide. The company continues to be a leader in innovation with more
than 34 products developed in the last five years. With its global head-
quarters still in Monroe, N.C., the company also has operations in the
United Kingdom, Finland, China, Australia and Mexico.
With more than 80 years experience, Scott Safety is dedicated
to continually providing and advancing the highest level of safety
for its customers. This is accomplished through the brands signature
approach to innovating with purpose, providing tailor-made solutions
for customers specific needs and its commitment to its relationships with
the emergency-response professionals it seeks to serve and protect.
CONTACT INFORMATION
4320 Goldmine Road
Monroe, NC 28110
Phone: 704.207.2627
Fax: 704.291.8420
sh-sale@tycoint.com
www.scottsafety.com
HydrocarbonProcessing.com | JUNE 2013

PROCESS/PLANT
OPTIMIZATION
Automation and new technologies
provide means to increase
profitability and reliability
ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Better heat integration
of hot and cold streams
reduce operating costs
INDIA/IRPC PREVIEW
A closer look at Indias
hydrocarbon resources
and energy potential
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Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201491
Innovations
ADRIENNE BLUME, MANAGING EDITOR
Adrienne.Blume@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Small-capacity SRUs
available for petchems
Principal Technology offers sulfur
recovery units (SRUs) (FIG. 1) specifi-
cally designed for small-capacity petro-
chemical plants. The SRUs are available
in nameplate capacities of 2 tons per day
(tpd) to 50 tpd, with sustained turndown
capabilities to under 0.5 tpd. The turnkey
systems provide cost savings for proces-
sors, and the modular SRU design gives
faster installation time.
The SRUs apply technological solu-
tions for individual gas treating and refin-
ing operations, accounting for the capaci-
ties and the relatively small amounts of
sulfur generated. With emphasis on heat
conservation and temperature manage-
ment, Principal Technologys systems
feature high turndown ratios that can
accommodate fluctuations in feeds. The
equipment is sized to maintain optimum
process efficiency and to meet the capac-
ity demands of a refinery or natural gas
plant while retaining operator access to
all components.
The fabrication of modular compo-
nents in a controlled factory environ-
ment ensures quality control and testing
during the manufacturing phase. Com-
pletion of the units at a customer site
involves connecting components and fi-
nal testing, thereby reducing installation
time from 50% to 75% and minimizing
disruptions to ongoing operations.
Select 1 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Mobile apps provide
technology support
SKF Mobile Apps expanding portfolio
provides users with technology informa-
tion and software to make critical calcula-
tions, as well as the capability to conduct
product and application searches. The
app offerings can be downloaded free to
smartphones and tablets from the Apple
app store and the Google Play store.
The SKF Mobile Apps portfolio in-
cludes the SKF Shelf, which offers a li-
brary of SKF product and technology
literature presented in various languages
and then sorted by product, industry, and
other categories. SKF Shelf is a resource
tool for original equipment manufactur-
ers, end users, and distributors.
Another noteworthy mobile app is
SKF Bearing Calculator, which enables
proper bearing selection based on key
parameters, such as dimensions, and of-
fers calculation programs. This app al-
lows the quality of an existing belt drive
design to be checked in remote locations,
and it identifies more than 100 proposed
solutions to problems within seconds.
The SKF Seals app profiles industrial
sealing solutions and application recom-
mendations, while SKF DialSet provides
assistance in setting up SKF automatic
lubricators, establishing correct set-
tings based on application criteria and
the appropriate grease, and confirming
relubrication intervals and calculating
lubricant quantities.
Select 2 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Actuators control valves
in hazardous areas
Available in quarter-turn, rotary and
linear versions, Rotork CMA actuators
(FIG. 2) perform process control valve,
metering pump and damper applications.
Installation and control valve actuation
require single-phase or direct-current
electrical power in safe or hazardous ar-
eas. Explosion-proof certification to in-
ternational standards is available.
The newest Performance Plus de-
velopment introduces a user-selectable
increased shutoff torque/thrust option.
Created in response to industry feed-
back, this option enables a more tailored
and cost-effective sizing regime to be ap-
plied to both the modulating and tight
shutoff demands of the control valve.
A tight shutoff is often required as part
of the valve duty, leading to potential
oversizing of the actuator for mid-travel
modulating operations. The increased
torque/thrust option is selected and
configured during the actuator setup
program, as part of a menu-driven pro-
cess using an internal electronic LCD
display and push-buttons.
A new model size has also been in-
troduced to the rotary CMA design,
creating a range that is suitable for most
process control applications. The new
size also features upgrades to internal
electronics and HMI enhancements. For
additional functionality, all rotary CMA
actuators have output speeds that are
adjustable down to 50% of full speed, in
10% increments.
The maintenance-free CMA drive
train, permanently lubricated and envi-
ronmentally protected to IP67, can be
mounted in any orientation. Accepting
an industry-standard 4-20 milliampere
FIG. 1. Principal Technologys SRUs are designed
for small-capacity petrochemical plants.
FIG. 2. Rotork CMA actuators perform process
control valve, metering pump and damper
applications, and are available in quarter-turn,
rotary and linear versions.
92AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Innovations
control signal, the CMA provides accu-
rate and repeatable positional control.
The resolution is 0.2% on linear and
quarter-turn applications, and 2 on the
multi-turn models.
Manual operation is available as stan-
dard, while optional extras include local
push-buttons and a selector switch, a
digital position indicator, and network
compatibility with Rotork Pakscan,
HART, Profibus, Modbus and Founda-
tion Fieldbus.
Select 3 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Catalyst eliminates
antimony oxide in PET
A new titanium catalyst technology for
the industrial production of polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) polyester is now be-
ing adopted as PET manufacturers and
processors seek to eliminate the use of the
heavy-metal catalyst antimony oxide.
The new technology, developed by
Catalytic Technologies Ltd. (CTL), offers
a range of benefits. These benefits include
high polymer thermal stability, improved
brightness and clarity owing to lower im-
purity content, a significant net reduction
in the overall process energy required to
produce plastic packaging and, most sig-
nificantly, lighter bottles that do not com-
promise on bottle strength (FIG. 3).
The new products target the markets
for mainstream, high-intrinsic-viscosity
PET resin and sheet used for the pro-
duction of bottle and packaging plastics.
Their use is currently greater than 30 mil-
lion metric tons per year (metric MMtpy).
Select 4 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
New software streamlines
data organization
Intergraph released SmartPlant Fu-
sion 2014, the latest version of its solu-
tion for engineering, procurement and
construction (EPC) companies and
plant operators to quickly find, capture,
organize, link and visualize large volumes
of information through a web portal.
Reliable engineering data and docu-
mentation are essential to effective proj-
ect delivery and safe, efficient operations.
EPC companies and owner-operators of-
ten struggle to manage large volumes of
unstructured information, such as docu-
ments, drawings, models, lists and data-
sheets that exist in multiple formats and
locations.
SmartPlant Fusion 2014 delivers sev-
eral significant functionality enhance-
ments for addressing these problems,
including faster document loading; im-
proved user experience and navigation; a
reporting and charting engine with out-
of-the-box reports for document lists, tag
lists, document status, tag-document rela-
tionships and more; improved integration
with Leica TruView laser scans for intui-
tive navigation; and multi-site capability.
The latest incarnation of SmartPlant
Fusion also provides interoperability
with Intergraphs template solutions for
EPC companies and owner-operators.
SmartPlant Fusion users can incremen-
tally promote documents with their re-
lated tags into a fully managed environ-
ment within SmartPlant Enterprise or
SmartPlant Enterprise for Owner Op-
erators with integrated tools, automated
work processes, checkin/checkout, elec-
tronic sign-off, transmittals, manage-
ment of change and other functions.
Select 5 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Machine alignment
integrates cardan shaft
Premature wear of cardan shaft joints
is one of the most common causes of
machine downtime. PRFTECHNIK
has introduced cardan shaft alignment
with patented brackets and new mea-
surement methods.
Using a bracket with a rotating arm,
cardan shaft alignment can be achieved
in minutes. The premounted brackets are
attached on the shafts, using the supplied
chains. Then the dimensions are entered,
the shafts are rotated to the next measure-
ment position and readings are taken.
Since the sensor is mounted on a ro-
tating arm, it can be turned back as the
shafts are rotated. The sensor is then
moved along the posts to intersect the
laser beam. This procedure is repeated
for several shaft positions to capture the
necessary readings.
The alignment condition is accurate-
ly measured after as little as a 60 shaft
rotation, and the angular cardan mis-
alignment can be corrected by moving
the machine according to the displayed
feet correction values. Depending on
the application at hand, the entire align-
ment job can be completed in less than
30 minutes.
Select 6 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Increase H
2
output
while recovering CO
2
Union Engineerings FlashCO2 tech-
nology recovers carbon dioxide (CO
2
)
while increasing hydrogen (H
2
) produc-
tion to approximately 115% of original
H
2
plant capacity. The technology re-
duces the cost of CO
2
recovery from fos-
sil-fuel-based hydrogen production and
enables liquid CO
2
to be produced at a
direct operating cost of around 25/ton.
FIG. 3. Catalytic Technologies Ltd.s titanium
catalyst technology eliminates the use of
antimony oxide catalyst in PET production.
FIG. 4. The OXY K escape device can be
used in situations when plant workers need
immediate protection against potentially
deadly environments.
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201493
Innovations
The FlashCO2 technology was devel-
oped to provide an attractive solution for
the recovery of CO
2
from the medium-
rich CO
2
offgas being purged from the
pressure-swing absorption unit. By using
an innovative process of combining con-
ventional physical absorption by means of
chilled methanol (MeOH) and liquefac-
tion technologies, the FlashCO2 process
eliminates the requirement for steam strip-
ping and minimizes power consumption.
Utilizing the pressure swing absorp-
tion offgas means that the FlashCO2 is
an end-of-pipe solution; that is, it does
not need direct integration with the H
2

plant (or multiple H
2
plants), which re-
duces the risk of unwanted interruptions
to H
2
production.
In addition to the environmental ben-
efits in terms of carbon recovery in the
longer term, FlashCO2 technology can
be used to produce high-purity CO
2
for
reuse in the petrochemical or beverage
industries.
Union Engineering installed a Flash-
CO2 plant with Indura SA, an industrial
gases company in Chile. Indura wanted
to utilize a byproduct energy stream for
its new CO
2
processing plant. Using a
byproduct stream as the source for CO
2
production with FlashCO2 technology
also allowed Indura to qualify for carbon
credits under the Kyoto protocol.
FlashCO2 technology represents a
large-scale option for long-term CO
2
emissions reduction. Liquid CO
2
can
be produced at a low cost, and units
can be standalone. The Indura installa-
tion shows that FlashCO2 technology
can provide a solution for CO
2
recovery
from hydrogen plants in both the short
and long term.
Select 7 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Escape device gives
immediate protection
Drgers OXY K escape device (FIG. 4)
can be used in confined spaces and situ-
ations when plant workers need immedi-
ate protection against potentially deadly
environmentse.g., smoke, toxic gases,
a lack of oxygen or a mixture of hydro-
carbons and air.
Encased in a hard, water-resistant
case to protect it from damage by impact,
puncture or moisture, the OXY K device
can be opened rapidly, in one step, dur-
ing an emergency. The color of the ser-
vice indicator notifies the user when the
device is ready to be used.
It can be carried on a shoulder strap
and activated with a quick-start mecha-
nism. The equipment delivers a 30-min-
ute supply of instant, chemically gener-
ated oxygen, providing clean air on the
way out of an emergency situation.
Select 8 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Linear sensors offer
alternative to analog
Pepperl+Fuchs has added two new
PMI40 models to its family of PMI lin-
ear inductive sensors. PMI40-F90-U-V15
and PMI40-F90-I-V15 sensors offer a 40-
mm distance measurement for vertical
valve measurements.
PMI linear measurement sensors re-
place standard cylindrical analog sensors
by delivering greater linear range, linear-
ity and accuracy. With these new models,
PMI linear inductive sensors are now
available with linear ranges of 14 mm, 40
mm, 80 mm, 104 mm and 120 mm to sat-
isfy a range of sensing requirements.
The optimal distance from PMI40
(FIG. 5) to the standard sensor target is 2
mm, but an available sensing range of 0.5
mm to 3 mm delivers accurate linear posi-
tion, regardless of the sensing range. The
40-mm linear distance delivers 33 m res-
olution. The shorter housing of the PMI40
enables it to be applied where models with
longer housings are unsuitable.
Select 9 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
FIG. 5. PMI40 sensors offer a 40-mm distance
measurement that is ideal for vertical valve
measurements.
SAVE
THE DATE!
Gulf Publishing Company will host its third annual Eastern
Mediterranean Gas Conference (EMGC) in Nicosia, Cyprus
on March 1718, 2015.
As activity continues in the Eastern Mediterranean, where an estimated 40 tcf of
recoverable natural gas reserves has been discovered, EMGC will provide attendees with
the knowledge and insight necessary to successfully build business operations in the
area. EMGC will provide an exclusive forum to network with inuential executives actively
involved in the development of the areas natural gas industry. The conference will
cover such critical issues as resource potential, leasing/permitting, development plans,
infrastructure requirements, governmental plans and regulations, and more.
Visit EMGasConference.com to learn more.
94AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
HELEN MECHE, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Helen.Meche@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Events
AUGUST
AFPM Cat Cracker Seminar,
Aug. 1920, Royal Sonesta
Houston, Houston, Texas
(See box for contact information)
NAPE South, Aug. 2022,
George R. Brown Convention
Center, Houston, Texas
P: +1 (817) 847-7700
info@napeexpo.com
www.napeexpo.com
National Association of Corrosion
Engineers (NACE), Central
Area Conference, Aug. 2527,
Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and
Convention Center, Tulsa, Okla.
P: +1 (281) 228-6223
firstservice@nace.org
www.nace.org/events
China International
Petrochemical Technology
and Equipment Exhibition
(cippe), Aug. 2628, Shanghai
New International Expo Center,
Shanghai, China
P: +86-10-58236555/58236588
cippe@zhenweiexpo.com
sh.cippe.com.cn/2014/en/
AIChE 2nd CCPS China
Conference on Process Safety,
Aug. 2829, Howard Johnson
Kangda Plaza Qingdao,
Shandong, China
(See box for contact information)
SEPTEMBER
Engineering and Construction
Contracting (ECC) Association
Conference, Sept. 36,
JW Marriott Grande Lakes
Resort, Orlando, Fla.
P: +1 (713) 337-1600
board@ecc-association.org
www.ecc-conference.org
AIChE 59th Annual Safety
in Ammonia Plants and
Related Facilities Symposium,
Sept. 711, Hyatt Regency,
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
(See box for contact information)
National Safety Council (NSC)
2014 Congress and Expo,
Sept. 1319, San Diego, Calif.
P: +1(630) 285-1121
customerservice@nsc.org
www.congress.nsc.org
AIChE 6th CCPS Latin American
Conference on Process Safety,
Sept. 1517, Plaza Hotel,
Buenos Aires, Argentina
(See box for contact information)
Gulf Publishing Company Events,
GasPro North America,
Sept. 1617, Hyatt Regency
Houston, Houston, Texas
www.GasProcessing
Conference.com
(See box for contact information)
dmg events, Canada LNG
Export Conference and
Exhibition 2014, Sept. 1618,
Calgary TELUS Convention
Centre, Calgary, Alta., Canada
P: +44 (0) 203 615 2899
damianhoward@dmgevents.com
www.canadalngexport.com
International Gas Union
Research Conference
(IGURC), Sept. 1719,
Tivoli Congress Center,
Copenhagen, Denmark
P: +45 20401405
F: +45 20169600
pih@igrc2014.com
www.igrc2014.com
2014 Polyurethanes Technical
Conference, Sept. 2224,
Gaylord Texan Resort and
Convention Center, Dallas, Texas
P: +1 (202) 249-6121
online@americanchemistry.com
www.americanchemistry.com
Texas A&M University
43rd Turbomachinery &
30th International Pump
User Symposia, Sept. 2225,
George R. Brown
Convention Center,
Houston, Texas
P: + 1 (979) 845-7417
F: + 1 (979) 845-1835
info@turbo-lab.tamu.edu
pumpturbo.tamu.edu
OCTOBER
International Pipeline Exposition
(IPE), Sept. 30Oct. 2,
Calgary TELUS Convention
Centre, Calgary, Alta., Canada,
P: +1 (403) 209-3555
F: +1 (403) 245-8649
bradridler@dmgevents.com
www.internationalpipeline
exposition.com
Gas Machinery Research
Council (GMRC), Gas Machinery
Conference, Oct. 58,
Music City Convention Center
and Omni Hotel, Nashville, Tenn.
P: + 1 (972) 620-8505
admin@gmrc.org
www.gmrc.org/gmc
Institution of Mechanical
Engineers (IMechE), 12th
European Fluid Machinery
Congress, Oct. 67, Caledonian
Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
P: + 44 (0) 20 7973 1258
eventenquiries@imeche.org
www.imeche.org
AFPM Q&A and Technology
Forum, Oct. 68, Hyatt Regency
Denver, Denver, Colo.
(See box for contact information)
ISA Process Control & Safety
Symposium 2014, Oct. 69,
Houston Marriott West Loop,
Houston, Texas
P: +1 (919) 549-8411
info@isa.org
www.isa.org
API 2014 Fall Committee
on Petroleum Measurement
Standards Meeting, Oct. 610,
Westminster, Colo.
(See box for contact information)
AIChE Natural Gas Applications
Workshop, Oct. 89,
Hilton Alexandria Old Town,
Alexandria, Va.
(See box for contact information)
6th AIChE Southwest Process
Technology Conference
(formerly the AIChE Regional
Process Technology Conference),
Oct. 910, Moody Gardens
Hotel, Galveston, Texas
(See box for contact information)
API Tank, Valves and Piping
Conference & Expo,
Oct. 1316, Caesars Palace,
Las Vegas, Nev.
(See box for contact information)
dmg events, Heavy Oil
Latin America (HOLA)
Conference, Oct. 1517,
Margarita Island, Venezuela
P: +1 (403) 209-3565
calgaryhelpdesk@
dmgevents.com
www.heavyoillatinamerica.com
AFPM Environmental Conference,
Oct. 1921, Marriott Rivercenter,
San Antonio, Texas
(See box for contact information)
Gasification Technologies
Council (GTC) 2014 Gasification
Technologies Conference,
Oct. 2629, Washington, D.C.
P: +1 (703) 276-0110
info@gasification.org
www.gasification.org
European Autumn Gas
Conference (EAGC) 2014,
Oct. 2830, Grange
St. Pauls Hotel, London, UK
P: +44 (0) 20 3615 2899
damianhoward@dmgevents.com
www.theeagc.com
dmg events, Gas Asia Summit
Conference and Workshop,
Oct. 2931, Sands Expo and
Convention Centre, Level 4,
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
P: +44 (0) 203 615 2850
info@gasasiasummit.com
www.gasasiasummit.com
NOVEMBER
Gulf Publishing Company Events,
2014 Womens Global Leadership
Conference in Energy,
Nov. 45, Houston, Texas
www.wglnetwork.com
(See box for contact information)
Hydrocarbon Processing/
Gulf Publishing Company
Events
P: + 1 (713) 529-4301
Melissa.Smith@GulfPub.com
EnergyEvents@GulfPub.com
American Fuel
and Petrochemical
Manufacturers (AFPM)
P: +1 (202) 457-0480
meetings@afpm.org
www.afpm.org/Conferences
American Institute of
Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
P: +1 (203) 702-7660
customerservice@aiche.org
www.aiche.org
American Petroleum
Institute (API)
P: +1 (202) 682-8000
register@api.org
www.api.org
Hydrocarbon Processing|AUGUST 201495
ADVERTISERS INDEX / HydrocarbonProcessing.com
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2. Go online to the advertiser's Website listed below.
Bret Ronk, Publisher
Phone/Fax: +1 (713) 520-4421
E-mail: Bret.Ronk@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
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SALES OFFICESNORTH AMERICA
IL, LA, MO, OK, TX
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Phone: +1 (972) 816-6745, Fax: +1 (972) 767-4442
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AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IN,
KS, KY, MI, MN, MS, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV, OR,
SD, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY,
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Ryan Akbar
Phone/Fax: +1 (713) 520-4449
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CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH,
PA, RI, SC, VA, VT, WV,
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Phone: +1 (617) 357-8190, Fax: +1 (617) 357-8194
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Phone: +81 (3) 3661-6138, Fax: +81 (3) 3661-6139
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JES Media, Inc.
Phone: +82 (2) 481-3411/3, Fax: +82 (2) 481-3414
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Phone: +92 (21) 663-4795, Fax: +92 (21) 663-4795
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3P Prinz SRL .........................................................36 (159)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-159
Ametek Process Instruments .................................35 (157)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-157
AW Chesterton Company ...................................... 14 (153)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-153
Axens ................................................................ 100 (51)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-51
Bete Fog Nozzle ...................................................53 (73)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-73
Bluebeam Software Inc. ....................................... 15 (57)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-57
Borsig GmbH ....................................................... 81 (161)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-161
Burckhardt Compression AG .................................. 17 (79)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-79
Clariant ............................................................... 12 (151)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-151
Cudd Energy Services .......................................... 49 (163)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-163
Dresser-Rand .......................................................22 (59)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-59
Elliott Company .................................................... 8 (54)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-54
Emcor .................................................................27 (97)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-97
FabEnCo, Inc. ...................................................S87 (164)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-164
Flexim Americas Corp. ..........................................39 (165)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-165
Flexitallic LP ......................................................... 5 (93)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-93
GSE .................................................................. 50A
Gulf Publishing Company
Construction Boxscore Database ........................67
EventsECF .....................................................82
EventsEMGC ..................................................93
EventsGasPro ..............................................67
EventsWGLC ..................................................72
HP Webcast ......................................................26
HPI Market Data 2015 ....................................... 68
Marketplace ...............................................9697
Petrochemical Processes Handbook ...................75
US Gas Processing Plant Directory ......................63
Hoerbiger ............................................................ 16 (154)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-154
John Zink Company ............................................. 18 (56)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-56
Kobe Steel Ltd ......................................................47 (81)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-81
Linde Process Plants ............................................ 99 (82)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-82
Merichem Company ..............................................59 (84)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-84
OHL .................................................................... 49 (162)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-162
Paharpur Cooling Towers, Ltd. ...............................32 (95)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-95
PARCOL SpA ......................................................... 13 (152)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-152
Petro-Canada Lubricants ..................................... 34 (75)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-75
Philly Gear .......................................................... 30 (60)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-60
Royal Purple, LLC ................................................. 45 (86)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-86
Schneider Electric ................................................ 20 (96)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-96
Scott Safety .................................................... S88 71
www.info.hotims.com/50999-71
Servomex Ltd.......................................................36 (158)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-158
Siemens Energy International ............................... 2 (68)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-68
SoCAP SRL ...........................................................35 (156)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-156
Spraying Systems Co ............................................28 (66)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-66
Trachte USA .........................................................36 (160)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-160
Weir Minerals Lewis Pumps ...................................24 (94)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-94
ZymeFlow Decon Technology ................................55 (92)
www.info.hotims.com/50999-92
This Index and procedure for securing additional information is provided as a service to Hydrocarbon Processing advertisers and a convenience to our readers. Gulf Publishing Company is not responsible for omissions or errors.
MARKETPLACE / Gerry.Mayer@GulfPub.com / +1 (972) 816-3534
96AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
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Specialty Engineering
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Materials Lab
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Specialists in design, failure
analysis, and troubleshooting of
static and rotating equipment
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Why Should You Filter Your Water?
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Detailed and up-to-date information for active
construction projects in the refining,
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HEAT EXCHANGERS
Liquid Cooled
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SURPLUS GAS PROCESSING/REFINING EQUIPMENT
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Bexar Energy Holdings, Inc.
Phone 210-342-7106 Fax 210-223-0018
www.bexarenergy.com Email: info@bexarenergy.com
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Eliminate
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Consists of 20 reservoir engineering programs
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98AUGUST 2014|HydrocarbonProcessing.com
BILLY THINNES, TECHNICAL EDITOR
Billy.Thinnes@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
People
Dean Lewis has joined
Lonestar Ecology as vice
president of sales. He has
35 years of experience in
the environmental field,
much of it focused on
waste treatment. Another
new Lonestar Ecology
employee is Mike Young,
who comes on board as
senior account manager.
Mr. Young has 28 years
of experience in sales
and marketing in the
environmental industry.
Lonestar Ecology offers
a centralized wastewater
treatment facility in
Bayport, Texas, with
hazardous and non-
hazardous wastewater
treatment capacity is
in excess of 300,000
gallons per day.
The board of directors of
Exxon Mobil has appointed
D. G. (Jerry) Wascom as
president of ExxonMobil
Refining and Supply Co.
He was also elected as
a vice president of the
corporation. Mr. Wascom
previously served as
director of North American
refining for the company.
He began his career in
1979 as a refining engineer
at the Baton Rouge
refinery in Louisiana for
Exxon Company USA.
Western Refining
Logistics has appointed
Andrew L. Atterbury to
the companys board of
directors. This increases
the board from five to six
members. Mr. Atterbury
will serve on the boards
audit and conflicts
committees.
Titeflex, a manufacturer
of fluid transfer hoses and
assemblies, has hired
Amy Hoage as vice
president of sales. In this
position, Ms. Hoage will be
responsible for overseeing
the sales force and
executing the companys
sales strategy to meet
key objectives and goals.
She will report to Graham
Thomson, Titeflexs general
manager. Ms. Hoage
comes to Titeflex from PAS
Technologies, where she
served as vice president
of business development.
Prior to PAS, she was
director of aerospace
business development
at Goodrich Corp.
ASTM International
Committee D02 on
Petroleum Products, Liquid
Fuels and Lubricants has
recognized Lawrence
Wilkinson, a chemist at
ExxonMobil Refining and
Supply Co. in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana, with the 2014
ASTM Award of Merit.
The Award of Merit and
its accompanying title of
fellow is ASTMs highest
organizational recognition
for individual contributions
to standards activities.
Wilkinson joined
ExxonMobil (then Exxon)
in 1990 as special lab
technician and was
promoted to chemist in
the Baton Rouge Refinery
Quality Assurance
Laboratory in 1993. He
serves as the labs hazard
communication contact
and as the management
of change sponsor for
changes involving the
use of new chemicals.
Energy Recovery has
promoted Joel Gay to
CFO, replacing Alex
Buehler. Mr. Gay joined
Energy Recovery in
January 2012 and has held
several positions at the
company, serving as vice
president of finance since
June 2013. Prior to joining
Energy Recovery, he was
the CFO of the largest
division of Aegion. Energy
Recovery focuses on
capturing reusable energy
from industrial fluid flows
and pressure cycles.
Enbridge has announced
that J. Richard Bird,
the companys executive
vice president and CFO,
plans to retire by the
end of 2014. Upon
Mr. Birds retirement, his
responsibilities will be
split into two separate
roles: CFO and chief
development officer.
John Whelen has been
appointed as senior vice
president for finance
and Vern Yu was named
senior vice president for
corporate development.
Mr. Whelen was promoted
from the position of
controller; he will retain
executive leadership
for Enbridges financial
reporting function and will
also assume responsibility
for Enbridges tax and
treasury functions.
Mr. Yu previously worked
as Enbridges senior
vice president for the
liquids and pipelines
business. He will assume
responsibility for
executive leadership
of Enbridges
corporate planning.
Swift Worldwide
Resources, a supplier
of manpower resources
to the global oil and
gas industry, has
strengthened its
commitment to the
US market by adding
to its executive team.
Janette Marx (pictured),
has joined the company
as COO, while Brian
Coffman has been
named the new global
operations director. Both
will report directly to
Swift CEO Tobias Read.
Further, Amber Polk has
been promoted to serve
as business services
and safety manager for
North America. Ms. Marx
brings 20 years of senior
leadership in the staffing
industry to the company.
She will manage the
day-to-day operations
and implement business
strategies to drive growth
and fulfill customer needs.
Most recently, she served
as senior vice president
at Adecco Staffing,
USA. Mr. Coffman has
more than 15 years
of experience in the
global energy sector.
He previously worked
for Maxwell Drummond.
Velecia Valentine has
been named COO of
Tesla NanoCoatings.
Ms. Valentine brings over
25 years of experience
to Tesla. She joins Tesla
from Newell Rubbermaid,
where she led the global
supply chain and sales
and operations planning
for Rubbermaid,
Goody, Levelor and
Calphalon brands.
Charles Whisman has
joined CH2M HILL as vice
president and US oil and
gas operations manager
for the environment
and nuclear market. Mr.
Whisman has more than
20 years of experience in
leading environmental,
engineering and energy
projects. He will be
responsible for helping
CH2M HILLs oil and gas
team grow business and
expand service offerings
for existing and new
clients. Mr. Whisman
is a recognized expert
in in-situ remediation,
including feasibility
testing, design,
installation, operation and
optimization management
to aggressively remediate
soil and groundwater. He
is a licensed professional
engineer in Pennsylvania
and Florida. Mr. Whisman
has presented at more
than 75 technical and
regulatory conferences
and professional
organizations since 2001.
Peter Vermeulen has
joined Linde as head of
human resources for North
and South America.
Mr. Vermeulen previously
worked as vice president
of talent management
and diversity for Johnson
and Johnson in New
Brunswick, New Jersey.
Mr. Vermeulen holds
a degree in business
economics from Katholieke
Universiteit Leuven in
Leuven, Belgium, and
a degree in European
studies from Universit
Robert Schuman in
Strasbourg, France.
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Stimulate the heart of
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Special Supplement to
SMALL-SCALE
GAS PROCESSING
SOLUTIONS
SHRINKING TECHNOLOGY
Leading companies discuss
big impacts from small plants
LNG DESIGN
Design considerations for LNG
and regasification equipment
MIDSTREAM BUSINESS
Diversification drives
North American M&A activity
Technology and Business Information for the Global Gas Processing Industry
GasProcessingNews.com | JULY/AUGUST 2014
Mission Critical
Equipment
chart-ec.com
Brazed Aluminum Heat Exchangers,
Cold Boxes, Air Cooled Heat Exchangers
at the heart of gas processing
JULY/AUGUST 2014
GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT:
SMALL-SCALE GAS
PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
23 Velocys shrinks GTL
hardware, offers technology
solutions for gas producers
R. Lipski
25 Small-scale GTL technology
cuts production costs
for drop-in fuels
G. Boyajian
29 Valerus CEO: Modularization
is key to gas industry
evolution
S. Gill
41 Consider technology
implications for small-scale
Fischer-Tropsch GTL
A. de Klerk
49 Planning small-scale LNG?
Manage engineering risk
to maximize returns
E. H. Rodriguez
BONUS REPORT: LNG
55 Simplify BOG recondenser
design and operation
Part 2
S. P. B. Lemmers
61 Uruguay inds loating
regasiication solution to LNG
growth
M. Nogarin
GAS PROCESSING IN
NORTH AMERICA
63 Diversiication drives
North American
gas processing M&A activity
J. Stell
Cover Image: The Velocys smaller-scale GTL pilot
plant and customer training center in Plain City,
Ohio has been in operation since March 2013. It
includes microchannel Fischer-Tropsch and steam
methane reforming reactors. The pilot plant is testing
commercial plant configurations at commercially
relevant operating conditions. Note: Pilot-plant
workers are not required to wear hard hats.
61
DEPARTMENTS
Gas Processing News .....................................................................................6
US Industry Metrics ...................................................................................... 12
Whats New in Gas Processing Technology .............................................69
COLUMNS
Editorial comment ................................................................................................... 4
Small-scale gas processing offers flexibility, adaptability
and cost-effectiveness
Regional perspective: Canada ............................................................................15
Canadas gas processing industry faces
three challenges, and more opportunities
Boxscore Construction Analysis ................................................................. 21
Alaska LNG JV eyes FID amid growing competition
15
25
6
4JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
EDITORIAL COMMENT
Small-scale gas processing
offers flexibility, adaptability
and cost-effectiveness
Small-scale gas processing technologies and facilities
provide alternative ways of producing synthetic crude oil,
transportation fuels and chemicals from stranded, small or
associated gas reserves and biogas. These technologies are
becoming more refined, allowing for special-purpose adap-
tations and designs.
With several companies preparing to transition from the
pilot-plant stage to the demonstration/commercial stage,
the small-scale GTL arena is gearing up to make significant
inroads into localized fuel markets. The July/August special
report examines technology selection and market develop-
ment for small-scale gas processing solutions, from both a
technical and commercial perspective.
Shrinking hardware, expanding efficiency. From a technical angle, the implications
of technology decisions associated with the processing steps in small-scale GTL facilities
are discussed, as is the construction of the necessary processing capacity and infrastruc-
ture to deliver LNG to customers. Small and mid-sized, purpose-built GTL and LNG
production facilities can be constructed close to natural gas fields. They are dedicated to
customers that need energy or to producers seeking to make use of marginal gas supplies.
Mobility and adaptability equal profit. From a commercial viewpoint, the success of
small-scale GTL technologies will be determined by market needs, as well as by the grow-
ing shift in production from site-specific to distributed processing. Velocys CEO Roy Lip-
ski discusses the challenges inherent in transporting natural gas, which is a cheaper and
more environmentally friendly fuel than oil or coal. These challenges can be turned into
opportunities with the help of smaller-scale production facilities that are positioned
closer to gas gathering and processing sites. Such smaller-scale production networks are
more flexible, robust and adaptablea view also shared by Valerus CEO Steve Gill.
Valerus sees the industry as being challenged to focus on building facilities that meet a
wide range of process conditions, enable quick installation and have scalability. In this way,
small-scale gas processing solutions help expedite cash flow, which has become a main
concern for producers as they continue to build gathering and processing infrastructure.
Feed flexibility enhances production options. Additionally, the vice president of
business development for Primus Green Energy, George Boyajian, speaks to Gas Process-
ing about the importance of feedstock flexibility to successful small-scale fuels production.
He explains how Primus technology uses a variety of carbon-rich feedstocksincluding
natural gas, biomass, municipal solid waste and othersto make high-quality syngas.
The mix of engineering and commercial perspectives in this months special report
provides a comprehensive picture of the evolving small-scale gas processing industry, and
how these technologies can be applied to create custom solutions for large, mid-sized and
small gas processors alike. Additionally, a bonus report on LNG examines the design and
operation of boiloff gas recondensers for liquefaction operations, as well as the construc-
tion of a new offshore regasification facility in South America. GP
P. O. Box 2608
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Bret.Ronk@GulfPub.com
EDITORIAL
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Adrienne Blume
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Melanie Cruthirds
Associate Editor
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Lee Nichols
Editor, Hydrocarbon Processing
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Other energy group titles include:
Hydrocarbon Processing, World Oil and
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ADRIENNE BLUME,
Managing Editor
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6JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
GAS PROCESSING NEWS
M. CRUTHIRDS, News Editor
Dual-fuel engines for worlds rst LNG icebreaker
A new icebreaker being built
by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard
for the Finnish Transport Agency
will be powered by Wrtsil
dual-fuel engines capable of
operating on both LNG and
low-sulfur diesel fuel. When
launched in late 2015, it will be
the first LNG-powered icebreaker
in the world. By enabling LNG to
be used as the engine fuel, both
exhaust emissions and fuel costs
will be reduced.
The full scope of supply
calls for one 8-cylinder Wrtsil
20DF engine; two 9-cylinder
Wrtsil 34DF engines; and two 12-cylinder Wrtsil 34DF engines. The contract was signed in March,
and delivery of the equipment to the yard will be made in spring 2015. The vessel will be able to move
continuously through 1.6-m-thick ice, and be capable of breaking a 25-m-wide channel with 1.2-m-thick ice
at a speed of 6 knots. It will also be able to reach an average assistance speed of 9 knots to 11 knots, and, in
open water, the service speed will be a minimum of 16 knots.
While the main purpose of the vessel is icebreaking, it will independently be able to perform oil spill
response operations and emergency towing under demanding conditions, both in winter and summer.
Image courtesy of Wrtsil.
LNG bunkering
report addresses
regulations
ABS, a provider of
classification services to the global
marine and offshore industries, has
released a report on the bunkering
of LNG-fueled marine vessels in
North America. The objective of
the report is to provide guidance
to potential owners and operators
of gas-fueled vessels, as well
as LNG bunkering vessels and
facilities, to help them obtain
regulatory approval for projects.
The report, developed by
ABS and ABS Group, takes a
broad look at the requirements
of various regulatory bodies,
including the International
Maritime Organization, the US
Coast Guard (USCG), Transport
Canada, the US EPA, and the
many state and local authorities
involved in a bunkering project.
Included in the report is
a recommended process for
meeting those requirements
and obtaining approval for the
LNG bunkering infrastructure
project. The report touches on
a number of key considerations
for any LNG bunkering project,
including reviewing potential
bunkering options; identifying
potential hazards and risks,
and recommending potential
safeguards; presenting state,
local and port-specific issues;
summarizing applicable
regulations; and outlining a
process for meeting those
requirements and obtaining
project approval.
EPA nalizes
ONEOK GHG permit
The US Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) has
issued a final greenhouse gas
(GHG) Prevention of Significant
Deterioration (PSD) construction
permit to ONEOK Hydrocarbon.
The company plans to expand
operations at its existing NGL
processing plant in Mont Belvieu,
Texas. The permit allows the
company to construct two new
units at its Mont Belvieu facility,
east of Houston.
The units will use fractionation
to process NGL into products
such as propane and butane. The
estimated project cost is $800
million (MM). After the expansion
is complete, the company will
add 15 to 25 permanent jobs.
The EPA issued a previous GHG
permit for this facility in July 2013.
In June 2010, the EPA finalized
national GHG regulations, which
specify that, beginning on January
2, 2011, projects that increase
GHG emissions substantially will
require an air permit. The EPA has
finalized 44 GHG permits in Texas,
proposed an additional seven
permits, and has 19 additional GHG
permit applications under review.
Technology selected for Malaysian
FLNG project
Air Products, a provider of
LNG technology and equipment,
has signed an agreement
with JGC Corp. to provide its
proprietary LNG technology,
equipment and process license
for Petronas second floating LNG
(FLNG) project, PFLNG 2, to be
located off the coast of Malaysia.
PFLNG 2, which will draw
natural gas from the Rotan field
in the South China Sea offshore
Sabah, Malaysia, will use the
companys proprietary AP-N
LNG process and equipment. Air
Products will manufacture the
equipment, including coil-wound
heat exchangers and compressor-
expanders, at facilities in the US,
and the economizer cold boxes in Tanjung Langsat, Malaysia.
The equipment will be shipped from the Air Products manufacturing
facilities for assembly into modules, and then installed on the PFLNG
2 vessel. The AP-N LNG process was also selected for Petronas
previously announced PFLNG 1 project, which is under construction in
South Korea. Image courtesy of Air Products and Chemicals Inc.
Louisiana LNG secures funding, contractor
Louisiana LNG Energy (LLNGE) has acquired funding from an
affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners for the companys mid-scale LNG
export terminal under development in Louisiana, along the Mississippi
River. The project, which is expected to start up in late 2017, will have an
export capacity of 2 MMtpy, possess deepwater access for very large gas
carriers (VLGCs), and utilize modular construction for speed to market.
Additionally, LLNGE announced that it has selected Chart Energy
and Chemicals to perform advanced engineering for the project, based
on the companys 500,000-tpy standard LNG liquefaction plant design.
The plants will feature Charts proprietary liquefaction technology, with
in-house design and manufacture of all mission-critical equipment. The
project has also procured four manufacturing space reservations with
Chart, to ensure that the 2-MMtpy LNG plant can be online in the fourth
quarter of 2017.
Magnolia LNG les
export application
Magnolia LNG LLC has filed
an application with the US FERC
seeking authorization for the
siting, construction, ownership
and operation of the proposed
Magnolia LNG project. Located
along the Calcasieu River, near
Lake Charles, Louisiana, Magnolia
LNG is a wholly owned subsidiary
of Australia-based Liquefied
Natural Gas Ltd.
The FERC filing follows
extensive work performed by the
Magnolia LNG team on front-end
engineering design (FEED),
pre-filing consultation and the
preparation of 13 draft resource
reports for FERC. The work,
which has been ongoing since
early 2013, has also involved
consultation with other federal,
state and local agencies, such
as the Louisiana Department of
Environmental Quality, the US
Department of Transportation
(DOT) and the US Coast Guard.
Magnolia LNG anticipates
receiving all approvals during
2015. Construction will begin
shortly thereafter, with first LNG
exports planned for the second
half of 2018.
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8JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
GAS PROCESSING NEWS
M. CRUTHIRDS, News Editor
Dominion receives
favorable
FERC review
Dominion Energy has received
an assessment from the US FERC
that finds the natural gas export
project proposed at the existing
Cove Point LNG facility in southern
Maryland can be built and
operated safely, with no significant
impact to the environment.
Cove Point is the fourth LNG
export project to receive an
environmental document from
FERC. The cooperating agencies
that participated in the FERC
environmental assessment for the
Cove Point export project were
the US DOE; the Army Corps of
Engineers; the US DOT, including
the Pipeline and Hazardous
Materials Safety Administration;
the US Coast Guard; and
the Maryland Department of
Natural Resources.
The construction of the export
project, which is estimated to
cost between $3.4 B and $3.8 B,
will create thousands of skilled
construction jobs, 75 permanent
jobs and an additional $40
MM in annual tax revenue to
Calvert county. The county today
receives $15.7 MM/yr from the
LNG import facility.
FEED work
awarded for
Goldboro LNG
CB&I has been awarded a
contract by Pieridae Energy
for FEED for the Goldboro LNG
project located in Guysborough
County, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Under the FEED contract, CB&I
will design and engineer two LNG
trains and associated facilities in
preparation for the EPC phase.
Goldboro LNG will produce up
to 10 MMtpy of LNG and will
have onsite storage capacity of
690,000 m3 of LNG.
Pieridae is in advanced
discussions with several
natural gas producers, pipeline
operators and LNG customers,
the company reported. In June
2013, Pieridae entered into a
20-year sales agreement with
E.ON Global Commodities, a
subsidiary of one of the worlds
largest investor-owned power
and gas companies, to deliver
approximately 5 MMtpy of LNG
from Goldboro LNG to E.ON.
Permian basin
midstream
gas deal inked
Canyon Midstream Partners
has entered into gathering and
processing agreements with
Apache and XTO Energy, a
subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, for
midstream services on Canyons
James Lake System. In addition,
Canyon said it expanded its
cryogenic gas processing plant
at the James Lake plant in Ector
County, Texas, from 70 MMcfd to
100 MMcfd, by adding a 30-MMcfd
cryogenic turboexpansion train.
The James Lake plant is part
of Canyons James Lake system,
which includes 60 mi of 12-in.
trunkline and six field compressor
stations providing low-pressure
gathering services to Ector,
Andrews, Martin, Dawson and
Gaines counties, Texas.
When completed in late 2014,
the James Lake system will deliver
residue gas into the El Paso gas
pipeline, and deliver NGL to the
Sand Hills and Chaparral pipelines.
Canyon is also developing Phase 2
of the James Lake system, which
will consist of a second 100-MMcfd
cryogenic gas processing plant in
Martin county and 60 additional
mi of 12-in. trunkline, which will
expand the systems service
territory into Howard and Borden
counties, Texas. Canyon expects
Phase 2 to commence operations
in the first half of 2015.
FERC approves Cameron LNG project
Sempra Energy announced
that its subsidiary, Cameron LNG,
has received authorization from
the US Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) to site,
construct and operate a natural
gas liquefaction and export facility
at the site of the companys LNG
receiving terminal in Hackberry,
Louisiana.
The FERC permit is one of the
last major regulatory approvals
required to start construction
on the $9 B$10 B LNG facility.
The authorization approves the
development of the three-train
liquefaction facility, which will
provide an export capability
of 12 MMtpy of LNG, or approximately 1.7 Bcfd. The FERC also authorized a subsidiary of Sempra Energy to
construct a 21-mile, 42-in. natural gas pipeline expansion of the Cameron Interstate Pipeline, a new compressor
station and ancillary equipment that will provide natural gas transportation for the liquefaction facilities.
Earlier this year, Cameron LNG was awarded conditional approval from the US Department of Energy
(DOE) to export LNG to non-free-trade-agreement countries, including Japan and several European nations.
Gulf LNG awards FEED work
KBR has been awarded a
contract by Gulf LNG Liquefaction
Co. to provide FERC FEED
engineering and FERC report
pre-filing services. The contract is
aimed at supporting the addition
of 10 MMtpy of liquefaction and
export capabilities to Gulf LNG
Energy LLCs existing LNG import terminal in Jackson County, Mississippi.
Under the terms of the contract, KBR will perform FERC FEED
engineering for two LNG trains of 5 MMtpy each, and associated
facilities based on KBRs reference design using APCI C3MR technology.
Additionally, KBR will provide FERC technical documentation.
The terminal will retain its current capability to receive, store, regasify
and deliver natural gas into the interstate pipeline system as originally
constructed, thereby making the Gulf LNG terminal bidirectional.
Regency to build out gas processing
in Louisiana
Regency Energy Partners plans to construct a new processing plant
and NGL pipeline at its Dubberly facility in northern Louisiana. The
project will include the addition of a 200-MMcfd cryogenic processing
plant at the existing Dubberly facility, which will accept gas directly from
Regencys recently completed Dubberly gathering trunkline.
In addition, Regency will construct a 160-mile, 8-in. and 10-in.
NGL pipeline from Dubberly for delivery to fractionation facilities.
The pipeline will have an initial capacity of 25,000 bpd, and it will be
expandable via additional pump stations.
Combined project costs are expected to be approximately $260 MM,
and both projects are expected to be completed in mid-2015.
Algerian gas project in execution phase
A project consortium that includes RWE Dea has signed a $976
MM contract for the construction of a natural gas processing plant and
infrastructure in the Algerian Sahara for the Reggane Nord project.
Representatives of the Groupement Reggane, of which RWE Dea
is a partner, signed the contract to construct the natural gas processing
facilities and corresponding infrastructure, including the gathering
network and export pipeline, on May 15. The contract was awarded to
Petrofac International LLC, and it stipulates completion of the facilities
within 36 months.
After completion, the plant will be operated with a gas throughput
capacity of around 283 MMcfd.
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10JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
GAS PROCESSING NEWS
M. CRUTHIRDS, News Editor
Pembina plans new NGL fractionators
Pembina Pipeline plans to build a 55,000-bpd NGL fractionator at
its Redwater complex in Alberta, Canada. The fractionator, named RFS
3, will be the third NGL fractionator at the Redwater site. It is expected
to be in service by the third quarter of 2017.
The propane-plus RFS 3 fractionator will raise Redwaters total
fractionation capacity to 210,000 bpd. A planned deethanizer tower
on RFS 3 could later raise overall site capacity to 228,000 bpd.
The RFS III project remains subject to standard regulatory and
environmental approvals.
In conjunction with building RFS 3, Pembina plans to construct
a new high-vapor-pressure (HVP) pipeline lateral into the Willesden
Green area in south-central Alberta. The project entails installing
approximately 56 km of new HVP pipeline, along with other associated
infrastructure.
The new pipeline will be connected to Pembinas Brazeau pipeline
and will be capable of transporting ethane-plus (C
2
+
) NGL from
the field for delivery into the Fort Saskatchewan area. Subject to
regulatory and environmental approval, Pembina expects the new
C
2
+
lateral to be in service in mid-2015. Photo courtesy of CNW Group/
Pembina Pipeline Corp.
Technip wins work for Chinese LNG, CNG
The French firm has been awarded an engineering, procurement
and technical assistance contract by Fengzhen Wanjie Gas for an
LNG plant in Fengzhen City, Inner Mongolia province, China. The
plant will consist of a 1.3-MM-Nm3/day LNG train and a 0.3-MM-Nm3/
day compressed natural gas (CNG) station. The contract covers
basic engineering design (BED) of the process plant; BED and
detailed engineering design of an LNG tank; and procurement of
key equipment. The LNG plant will be based on an Air Products
liquefaction process. Technips operating centers in Shanghai, China
and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will execute the contract, with plant
startup scheduled for the second half of 2016.
Cameron brings
CryoCAM plant
online
Camerons CryoCAM plant
is now operating at Nuevo
Midstreams Ramsey processing
facility in Reeves County, Texas.
The 200-MMscfd cryogenic gas
processing plant was built for the
Phase III expansion of Nuevos gas
gathering, processing and treating
system in the Delaware basin near
Orla, Texas.
The new CryoCAM plant brings
the total cryogenic gas processing
capacity of the Nuevo system to
300 MMscfd, nearly tripling its
current capacity. Cameron has
introduced two new standardized
modular configurations of
its CryoCAM cryogenic gas
processing plants for maximum
NGL recovery using NGL-MAX
technology from Randall Gas
Technologies. Cameron offers
standard 75-MMscfd and
200-MMscfd cryogenic gas
processing plants.
LNG Canada
chooses FEED
contractors
A JV of Foster Wheeler,
Chiyoda, Saipem and
WorleyParsons was awarded a
contract by LNG Canada for the
provision of front-end engineering
design (FEED) and project
execution services for a proposed
LNG export project in Kitimat,
British Columbia.
The LNG Canada project
is planned as a phased
development that will initially
comprise two processing trains,
each with a production capacity
of approximately 6 MMtpy of
LNG, with an opportunity for an
additional two trains.
The release to proceed with
the project execution phase is
subject to regulatory approvals
and a financial investment decision
by LNG Canada, which is expected
to be made in the next few years.
LNG Canada comprises Shell
(50%) and affiliates of PetroChina
(20%), Korea Gas Corp. (15%) and
Mitsubishi Corp. (15%).
MarkWest to expand NGL complex
MarkWest Energy Partners and The Energy and Minerals Group (EMG) plan to add capacity at their Hopedale
fractionation and marketing complex in Harrison County, Ohio. The move aims to meet growing NGL production
in the Utica and Marcellus shale regions under new contracted commitments from producer customers.
The expansion will double the propane and heavier fractionation capacity at the Hopedale complex to
120,000 bpd, and it is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2015.
Once the Hopedale expansion is complete, MarkWest will operate 300,000 bpd of ethane and heavier
fractionation capacity at four complexes in the US Northeast. The company also has an NGL gathering pipeline
connecting its Hopedale complex to its existing NGL infrastructure in the Marcellus shale.
Yamal LNG awards EPC contract
Technip and its partners have together finalized the award by JSC Yamal LNG of a major contract for an
LNG facility with a capacity of 16.5 MMtpy. The project will comprise three liquefaction trains of 5.5 MMtpy
among the worlds largestand it will make extensive use of modularized construction in yards.
For the past 14 months, Technip has been involved in providing project planning, detailed engineering,
estimation and procurement work for the project; handover of the first train is planned for 2017. The scope of
work for this contract will consist of engineering, procurement and module fabrication on a fixed-price basis,
and site construction on a reimbursable basis.
Diesel-to-gas
engine picked
for pilot program
Omnitek Engineering Corp.
has been selected for a Little
Rock, Arkansas pilot program
intended to demonstrate
the economic benefits and
environmental effectiveness of
the companys EPA-approved
diesel-to-natural-gas engine
conversion technology for the
Navistar DT466E heavy-duty
truck engines used by the citys
municipal truck fleet.
Werner Funk, president and
CEO of Omnitek, noted that the
converted natural gas trucks will
use Little Rocks new CNG fueling
station, resulting in an estimated
savings to the city of $2.50/
gal$3/gal equivalent, compared
to the retail price of diesel fuel.
Canada approves
LNG export
licenses
Canadas National Energy
Board has approved two
applications for 25-year natural
gas export licenses. A license was
approved for Aurora Liquefied
Natural Gas Ltd. to export LNG.
The export point would be in
the vicinity of Prince Rupert,
British Columbia, at the outlet of
the loading arm of a proposed
liquefaction terminal.
A license was also approved
for Oregon LNG Marketing
Company LLC to export natural
gas. The export point would be
in the vicinity of Kingsgate and
Huntingdon, British Columbia,
via existing natural gas pipelines.
The issuance of both licenses is
subject to the approval of the
Governor in Council.
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12JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
US INDUSTRY METRICS
A. BLUME, Managing Editor
According to the US Energy Information Administration, natural
gas prices rose to a peak of just below $8/MMBtu at Henry Hub
in February, before falling to between $4.50/MMBtu and $5/
MMBtu through June. The price spike was the result of high
demand during unseasonably cold winter months, which drew
down inventories in storage. NGL spot prices followed suit, with
the composite price climbing over $13/MMBtu during February
and then sliding to $10/MMBtu through April. Meanwhile,
production of NGL, LPG and propane/propylene rose steadily
in the year through April, while output of ethane/ethylene saw
a small drawback at the beginning of 2014, only to rebound
between February and April. GP
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US natural gas spot prices at Henry Hub
and NGL spot prices at Mont Belvieu, $/MMBtu
July 2013
$
/
M
M
B
t
u
0
5
10
15
20
25
Oct. 2013 Jan. 2014 April 2014 July 2014
Natural gasoline Isobutane Butane NGPL composite
Propane Ethane Natural gas spot prices (Henry Hub)
US natural gas plant field production of NGL,
LPG, ethane/ethylene and propane/propylene, MMbpd
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
3,000
Propane/propylene
Ethane/ethylene
LPG
NGL
April
2014
Mar.
2014
Feb.
2014
Jan.
2014
Dec.
2013
Nov.
2013
Oct.
2013
Sept
2013
Aug.
2013
July
2013
June
2013
May
2013
April
2013
U
S

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a
s

p
l
a
n
t

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l
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p
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o
d
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,

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US gas production (Bcfd) and prices ($/Mcf)
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Production
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Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201415
Canadas gas processing industry faces
three challenges, and more opportunities
J. STELL, Contributing Writer
REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE: CANADA
One hundred years ago, the success of
Calgary Petroleum Products Co.s Ding-
man No. 1 well in Alberta changed Cana-
das economy and led to the nations first
natural gas processing plant, marking the
beginning of the modern era of Canadian
oil and gas exploration and processing.
The plant, built in Turner Valley ap-
proximately 60 km south of Calgary, con-
tributed to the successful development of
the Turner Valley oil field, which became
western Canadas first commercial petro-
leum-producer well on May 14, 1914.
Despite Canadas long history of suc-
cessful oil and gas development and pro-
duction efforts, the nation has been ex-
periencing new challenges over the past
several years.
Processing issues. Firstly, its major
market for exports, the US, no longer
needs as much imported natural gas or
NGL as it has in the past, due to the na-
tions increasing development of uncon-
ventional resources. In fact, the US is
Canadas only significant foreign market
for oil and gas, comprising some 98% of
its petroleum exports and 100% of its
natural gas exports, according to the Ca-
nadian Chamber of Commerce.
Although new gas export markets can
be found throughout Asia, Canada lacks
the infrastructure to move its products to
the region. The country reportedly loses
billions of dollars each year due to its lack
of energy export transport infrastructure.
As a result, NGL production levels have
declined during the past decade, accord-
ing to a March report by the Canadian En-
ergy Research Institute. Fortunately, that
trend has leveled off during the past few
years, with industry statistics showing a
slight uptick in NGL extracted per unit of
gas produced. Also, a larger percentage of
gas is being processed in Western Canada.
The second challenge is that excess
gas processing throughout Canada is
squeezing profit margins as plants oper-
ate well below their nameplate capacities.
Thirdly, some historical gas plant con-
figurations are not efficient for process-
ing Canadas new rich gas plays. Not all
producers have deep-cut (or ethane/light
NGL extraction) plants, so more ethane is
now kept in the pipeline gas stream, which
is showing up at export straddle plants.
Meanwhile, pentanes-plus production is
declining, ethane and butane output is
flat, and propane production is increasing
rapidly, according to recent reports.
At present, Canada has ample pro-
cessing capacity of approximately 30 bil-
lion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) (TABLE 1),
along with a robust natural gas gather-
ing and transportation pipeline network.
Canadas gas processing plants are run-
ning at a total aggregated average of 50%
utilization after the 2014 spring gas plant
turnaround season. Generally, gas plant
turnarounds take place every four years,
with operators staggering their facility
turnarounds to ensure sufficient available
capacity to serve upstream operators.
Specifically, Canada has more than
500 thousand barrels per day (Mbpd) of
NGL extraction capacity and significant
sales gas reprocessing/ethane extraction
plant capacity of 14.7 Bcfd.
Meanwhile, in late 2012, Canadas
National Energy Board (NEB) released
a study showing that gas production in
Western Canada has fallen 15% from
20082012, to just over 13 Bcfd. How-
ever, the NEB forecast that production
could rise to 18 Bcfd by 2035.
New projects in the pipeline. Despite
these market and processing challenges,
some new projects for processing Ca-
nadian gas are underway. According to
David Smith, president and COO of
midstream company Keyera Corp., one
factor behind the buildout is that many
plants in Alberta were originally built
for a less-rich product blend and cannot
handle todays liquids-rich gas stream.
For example, sour gas production has
been in steady decline, and the process-
ing facilities that serve those plays are
now underutilized, or, as in the recent
case of the Balzac sour gas plant north of
Calgary, closed down. As a result, Keyera
plans to lay down new feeder pipe at its
Rimbey gas plant in central Alberta and
is constructing a $210-million (MM)
turboexpander to enhance the recovery
of ethane and other NGL.
Similar to Keyera, other Canadian gas
processing companies are planning up-
grades and expansions of their facilities.
Not the least of these are the new lique-
fied natural gas (LNG) export facilities
being proposed, planned or constructed
TABLE 1. Canadian gas processing capacities, estimated
Province Estimated no. of plants Estimated processing capacity, MMcfd
Processing plants
Alberta 620 23,700
British Columbia 70 5,800
Saskatchewan 20 190
Nova Scotia 1 600
Reprocessing plants
Alberta 10 14,000
British Columbia 1 750
16JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE: CANADA
at various locations. These new terminals,
when completed, will present export op-
portunities for upstream operators and
midstream gas processing companies
alike, as detailed in the following sections.
AltaGas Services. This year, AltaGas
Services Inc. made significant progress
developing its LPG export business. The
companys AltaGas-Idemitsu joint ven-
ture (JV), which has a two-thirds owner-
ship of Petrogas, is driving its LPG export
initiative forward. Also contributing to
AltaGas LPG portfolio is Petrogas acqui-
sition of the Ferndale LPG export termi-
nal in Washington.
AltaGas has a goal to reach 60 Mbpd
of export capability through Ferndale and
one other export facility by the end of the
decade, according to its first-quarter 2014
operating highlights report. LPG ship-
ments are planned to begin in the second
quarter of 2014 and increase during the
next few years. In addition to the Ferndale
site, the JV continues the development
of an LPG export terminal on the west
coast of Canada. Terminal sites and refrig-
eration technology have been identified,
and front-end engineering and design
(FEED) studies are underway.
Meanwhile, AltaGas is continuing its
LNG export initiative, the Triton LNG
project, which received approval from the
NEB on April 16 to export 2.3 million met-
ric tons per year (metric MMtpy) of LNG.
AltaGas owns natural gas gathering
and processing assets in southern Alberta,
including working interests of 65% in the
Parkland gas plant, 70% in the Mosquito
Creek gas plant, and 5% in the Vulcan
gas plant. These facilities have a gross
throughput of 27 million cubic feet per
day (MMcfd), 32 MMcfd and 43 MMcfd,
respectively. The Parkland and Mosquito
Creek sweet gas plants are interconnected
through 70 km of gathering lines.
Overall, the companys infrastructure
handles more than 2 Bcfd of natural gas
in Canada via its assets, which include six
extraction plants, five natural gas trans-
mission systems, three NGL pipelines,
more than 70 gathering and processing
facilities and a 6,500-km network of gath-
ering and sales lines.
Apache. In early 2013, Apache Canada
Ltd. began a JV with Chevron Canada
Ltd. to build and operate the Kitimat LNG
project and develop shale gas resources at
the Liard and Horn River basins in Brit-
ish Columbia. Apache and Chevron will
each assume 50% ownership of Kitimat,
the associated Pacific Trail Pipeline, and
644,000 gross undeveloped acres in the
Horn River and Liard basins. Chevron
Canada will operate the LNG plant and
the pipeline, while Apache Canada will
operate the upstream assets.
Kitimat LNG will be built on Bish
Cove near the Port of Kitimat, about 640
km north of Vancouver, to reach LNG
markets in the Asia-Pacific region (in-
cluding South Korea, China and Japan),
the largest importer of LNG in the world.
The Kitimat LNG project has under-
gone a number of ownership changes
since it was first announced, and yet it
remains the Canadian LNG project that
is furthest along in development. Bar-
ring significant setbacks, first shipments
of LNG are scheduled to begin in 2018.
Once both phases of the project are
completed, Kitimat will have an export
capacity of 10 metric MMtpy of LNG.
Going forward, Apache Corp. chairman
and CEO Steve Farris suggests that the
company would be open to a possible
Chinese partner, such as Sinopec, join-
ing the venture.
Additionally, after Apaches recent
success in the Glauconite play, the com-
panys West 5 team in the Alberta foot-
hills is reviewing economic and produc-
tion scenarios for full-field development
of the formation. Such a development
could lead to the drilling of more than
100 wells in the play and the expansion of
Apaches Leafland gas plant.
ARC Resources. The oil and gas compa-
ny has completed construction of a new
gas plant and liquids handling facility
at its Parkland property in northeastern
British Columbia. The plant has a design
processing capacity of 60 MMcfd of gas
and 8 Mbpd of liquids, including 5 Mbpd
of oil and 3 Mbpd of NGL. Construction
began in late 2012 and was completed
in the fourth quarter of 2013. ARC will
systematically bring on wells throughout
2014 to fill the new facility.
Aux Sable. Aux Sable Canada continues
to be a significant contributor to Canadas
gas processing capacities. The companys
Heartland Offgas processing plant in the
industrial area of Fort Saskatchewan,
commissioned in September 2011, is a
conventional cryogenic extraction plant
that uses propane refrigeration.
The Heartland facility was the first
processing plant in Alberta to produce
valuable products such as hydrogen, eth-
ane and other NGL from a refinery off-
gas stream supplied from Shells Scotford
complex. The plant has a licensed capac-
ity of 20 MMcfd.
Sited in Northeastern British Colum-
bia, Aux Sables Septimus sweet gas pro-
cessing facility, purchased in late 2009,
was expanded from its initial capacity
of 25 MMcfd to 60 MMcfd in 2011. In
2013, work began on the installation of
an additional compressor to further ex-
pand the plants capacity.
FIG. 1. The Dingman No. 1 well led to the development of Canadas first gas processing plant.
Photo courtesy of Alberta.com.
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18JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE: CANADA
Aux Sables Septimus pipeline trans-
ports sweet, liquids-rich gas from the
Septimus facility to the Alliance Pipe-
line for downstream processing at Aux
Sables Channahon NGL extraction and
fractionation facility. The pipeline was
constructed and sized to accommodate
potential future volumes from the liq-
uids-rich Montney gas play.
Encana. The company signed an agree-
ment with a third party to invest $244
MM to expand its Resthaven plants gas
processing and NGL extraction capac-
ity by an additional 200 MMcfd in two
phases. Completion of the first phase is
expected in mid-2014. The plant is sited
in west-central Alberta.
Encana Corp. has a 70% ownership
interest in the Resthaven gas plant, which
has a processing capacity of about 100
MMcfd (net 70 MMcfd to Encana). En-
cana has additional processing capacity
of about 85 MMcfd at other gas process-
ing plants in the area.
Also, Encana has a processing capacity
of 235 MMcfd at its Musreau plant under
an eight-year commitment. Musreaus
deep-cut facility was commissioned in
February 2012, and it has a net liquids
production of approximately 5.5 MMb-
pd after royalties.
In 2011, Encana began the initial steps
to establish a strong position in Canada
with its $1.1-B investment in the devel-
opment of the Cabin gas plant in the
Horn River basin in northeastern British
Columbia, which has growth potential
from future development.
Ferus Natural Gas Fuels. In late April,
Ferus acquired Encanas 50% share in the
proposed Elmworth, Alberta LNG plant.
The Elmworth plant is a 190,000-liter/
day LNG production facility that will
retain key Encana technical and manage-
ment personnel. As a result of this trans-
action, Ferus is the 100% owner/opera-
tor of the largest merchant LNG plant in
Canada, with plans for future expansion.
Phase 1 of the Elmworth LNG facil-
ity became operational in May 2014. The
plant is in close proximity to the active
Alberta-British Columbia Deep basin oil
and gas region, and it will produce LNG
for use in drilling rigs, pressure-pumping
services and heavy-duty trucks.
Keyera. In January, Keyera Corp. began
an expansion of its NGL fractionation
and storage facility in Fort Saskatche-
wan. The project will involve more than
doubling the facilitys existing C
3
+
frac-
tionation capacity from 30 Mbpd to 65
Mbpd. The project, which will include
new product receipt facilities, operational
storage, and pipeline interconnections,
has an estimated total gross cost of $220
MM. Detailed engineering work is ongo-
ing, with completion targeted for the first
quarter of 2016.
The new fractionator will process a
C
3
+
mix stream of NGL (propane, bu-
tane and condensate) in addition to a
deethanizer project that will fractionate
30 Mbpd of a C
2
+
mix stream (ethane,
propane, butane and condensate).
Pembina. In mid-May, Pembina Pipe-
line Corp. reached binding commercial
agreements to begin construction of a
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Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201419
REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE: CANADA
new 55-Mbpd propane-plus fraction-
ator, called RFS III, at its existing Red-
water fractionation and storage complex.
It also began work on a new high-vapor-
pressure pipeline lateral that will extend
the gathering potential of its Brazeau
Pipeline in the Willesden Green area of
south-central Alberta.
The $400-MM RFS III fractionator,
which is supported by long-term take-
or-pay contracts with multiple pro-
ducers, will be the third fractionator at
Pembinas Redwater complex and will le-
verage the design and engineering work
completed for Pembinas RFS I and RFS
II fractionators.
RFS I, with an operating capacity of
73 Mbpd, will be debottlenecked to bring
capacity to 82 Mbpd in the fourth quar-
ter of 2015. When combined with RFS
II, which is expected to come into service
at the same time, the companys fraction-
ation capacity will nearly double to 155
Mbpd. With the addition of RFS III, Pem-
binas fractionation capacity will total 210
Mbpd, making the Redwater complex the
largest fractionation facility in Canada.
The site will be designed to accommo-
date a deethanizer tower, which will al-
low a capacity of 73 Mbpd and bring the
total capacity at Redwater to 228 Mbpd.
Subject to regulatory and environmental
approval, Pembina expects RFS III to be
in service by the third quarter of 2017.
At present, Pembinas Redwater West
NGL system includes the Younger ex-
traction and fractionation facility in Brit-
ish Columbia; a 73-Mbpd fractionator,
6.8 MMbbl of cavern storage and termi-
nal facilities at Redwater, Alberta; and
third-party fractionation capacity in Fort
Saskatchewan, Alberta. Also located at
the Redwater facility is Pembinas rail-
based condensate terminal, which serves
the heavy oil industrys need for diluent.
FIG. 2. The sun rises over the Ricinus gas plant in Apache Canadas West 5 operating area
in central Alberta. Photo courtesy of Apache Corp.
20JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE: CANADA
Pembinas condensate terminal is the larg-
est of its size in western Canada.
Elsewhere, Pembinas Empress East
NGL system includes a 2.1-Bcfd interest
in the straddle plants at Empress, Alber-
ta, along with 20 Mbpd of fractionation
capacity and 6 MMbpd of cavern storage
in Sarnia, Ontario. The Empress East
system extracts NGL mix from natural
gas at the Empress straddle plants. NGL
mix is also purchased from other pro-
ducers and suppliers. Ethane and con-
densate are generally fractionated out of
the NGL mix at Empress and sold into
Alberta markets.
The remaining NGL mix, consisting
primarily of propane and butane, is shipped
on Pembinas 50%-owned Kerrobert pipe-
line to third-party pipelines for transport to
Sarnia, Ontario, where it is then fraction-
ated into specification products.
Petronas and Japex. The two compa-
nies plan the Pacific NorthWest LNG
complex on Lelu Island in Port Edward,
British Columbia. At its completion, the
three-phase project will have a cumula-
tive capacity of 18 MMtpy, requiring a
feedrate of 2 Bcfd. First shipment is ex-
pected in 2018.
Shell Canada. In March, Qatar Petro-
leum International and Centrica Plc
formed a partnership, known as CQ En-
ergy (CQE) Canada Partnership, to ac-
quire a package of natural gas assets from
Shell Canada in the Foothills region of
Alberta. As part of the transaction, Shell
will receive CQEs interest in the Burnt
Timber gas processing plant and its inter-
est in the Waterton undeveloped lands in
southwest Alberta.
Shell Canada is the major owner and
operator of the Burnt Timber complex,
which includes a gas processing plant, six
compressor stations, and operations for
seven gas fields. Burnt Timber is one of
four Shell gas complexes in southern Al-
berta, contributing to a combined overall
production average of 300 MMcfd of gas.
Elsewhere, Shells Groundbirch ven-
ture includes five gas processing plants,
more than 250 wells, and more than 900
km of pipeline. Groundbirch is still be-
ing explored, so the current drilling pro-
gram includes a mix of single-well and
multiple-well pads. Eventually, most of
the wells will be drilled on pads contain-
ing up to 26 wells, with two such pads for
every 3 square miles of land.
Future prospects. Despite the challeng-
es faced by Canadas gas processing oper-
ators, the industry segment continues to
expand and to supply its nation, and the
US, with much-needed oil and gas prod-
ucts. Going forward, as proposed and
planned LNG export capacities come
onstream, Canadian gas processors are
expected to see an uptick in both expan-
sions and future profits. GP
Multilateral Cooperation to Connect Gas Markets
Hear from leading industry experts including:
3
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Tuesday 28 October 2014
Pre-Event Worksh op
Wednesday 29 October
Energy Mix: What Role Does
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Gas Trade in Asia
Unlocking Gas Demand in
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Markets
Thursday 30 October
New Supply Markets: An
Overview of New Supply
Players and How New Volume
will Change Dynamics in Asia
The Expected Rise of Import
Volumes Required to Sustain
Growth for Fast Economies:
Strategy and Opportunity
Gas and LNG as an
Alternative Resource for
Power Generation
Innovation and Technology
Impacting LNG Markets
Asia as a LNG Trading Hub
Moon Ming
Seah, Executive
Director and
Group Chief
Executive
Ofcer, Pavilion
Energy Pte Ltd
and Pavilion Gas
Pte Ltd
Dr Anthony
Barker, General
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Singapore Gas
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Bernard
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Vice President
Commercial,
Sakhalin Energy
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Company Ltd
Nicolas Zanen,
Vice President,
Trading,
Cheniere Energy

Amos J Hochstein*,
Deputy Assistant
Secretary for
Energy Diplomacy,
Bureau of Energy
Resources, U.S.
Department of
State
Laszlo Varro,
Head of Gas, Coal
and Power Division,
International
Energy Agency
Anthony Jude,
Senior Advisor
concurrently
Practice Leader
(Energy), Regional
and Sustainable
Development
Department, Asian
Development Bank
Hiroki Sato, General
Manager of Fuels
Department, Head
of Trading Business,
Chubu Electric
Power Co., Inc
28 30 October 2014
Organised by
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JEANNIE STELL is an award-winning
freelance writer and editor focused
on the upstream, midstream and
downstream energy industry. Her
articles have been published in
several languages and referenced in
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Iranian National Oil Co., and her photographs have
been featured on industry magazine covers and in
feature editorials. Ms. Stell is the founder of Energy Ink
and can be reached at jstell@energyink.biz.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201421
Alaska LNG JV eyes FID
amid growing competition
A. BLUME, Managing Editor
Adrienne.Blume@GulfPub.com
BOXSCORE CONSTRUCTION ANALYSIS
The Alaska South Central LNG (Alaska LNG) project,
which was in the late conceptual stage in late June, would in-
volve the construction of an LNG plant, an LNG storage termi-
nal, a gas treatment plant and two new pipelines.
A joint venture (JV) of ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP,
TransCanada and the state of Alaska, the project is estimated to
cost $45 billion (B) to $65 B, in 2012 dollars.
1
Mega-project scope. The Alaska LNG project, if completed,
will be a massive development. A 58-mile (mi) pipeline would
be built to carry gas from the in-development Point Thomson
gas field to Prudhoe Bay in Alaskas North Slope region, where
a large-scale gas treatment facility would be constructed to re-
move carbon dioxide and other impurities from produced gas.
The facility would include four amine trains with compression,
dehydration and chilling, as well as infrastructure and utilities.
The plant would be modularized and sea-lifted to Prudhoe
Bay, and then assembled onsite.
An 800-mi, 42-inch pipeline with eight compression sta-
tions would be built to carry the treated gas from Prudhoe
Bay to Nikiski, Alaska, located along Cook Inlet. The pipeline
would be designed to manage both continuous and discontin-
uous permafrost regions. Additional gas compression and/or
expansion capacity could be added, if necessary.
At Nikiski, an LNG terminal, storage tanks and shipping
facility would be constructed. The terminal would produce
17 million metric tons per year (metric MMtpy) to 18 metric
MMtpy of LNG from 2.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) to
2.4 Bcfd of natural gas. The plant would consist of three trains
with a capacity of approximately 5.8 metric MMtpy each. A
small volume of stabilized condensate would also be produced.
Storage would consist of two to three 160,000-m
3
LNG tanks.
The marine offloading facility would comprise one or two con-
ventional jetties, two berths and a marine support system. FIG.
1 shows the computer-rendered conceptual layout of the pro-
posed LNG terminal.
The Prudhoe-to-Nikiski pipeline would be designed to
transport 3 Bcfd to 3.5 Bcfd of treated gas. Some of this gas
would be consumed directly by resident Alaskans, and the
remainder would be used to operate the pipeline and as feed-
stock for the LNG terminal. FIG. 2 shows the planned layout of
the entire project and the locations of each segment.
Project progress and target market. In April, the Alaska
Legislature approved legislation to allow negotiations between
pipeline firm TransCanada and North Slope gas producers for
the development of the Alaska LNG project. The modified laws
will pave the way toward the state of Alaska becoming an equity
partner in the project. An agreement to this effect was anticipat-
ed to be signed by the end of June. The agreement would move
the project into the pre-front-end-engineering-and-design (pre-
FEED) stage, which could see completion in 2015 or early 2016.
The projects partners are targeting the nearby expanding
Asia-Pacific demand market, which could double in volume by
2025. However, a number of LNG projects in British Colum-
bia, Canada, are also eyeing this market. The huge volume of
LNG that would be produced from the project would enter the
market at once, forcing the JV partners to ensure outlets for
the product prior to making a final investment decision (FID).
The FID will likely take several years; Black & Veatch,
which is advising the state of Alaska on the project, reports that
an FID could come in 2019, at the earliest. The FID for Alaska
LNG is heavily dependent on securing LNG buyers and proj-
ect permits. Pre-FID spending, which is typically less than 10%
of the total cost of a project, is estimated at $2.4 B for Alaska
LNGs pre-FEED and FEED. It is customary for large-scale
LNG projects to secure commitments from customers for the
majority of the LNG output before the FID is made.
Alaska LNGs $45 B$65 B costthe majority of which cov-
ers the LNG plant and the 800-mi pipelinehas been called
prohibitive by some analysts. If the large-scale gas project is
scrapped because the projected profits would not be worth the
high project cost, a second option could be to convert stranded
gas on the North Slope into GTL. A smaller-scale GTL plant
FIG. 1. Computer-rendered conceptual layout of the proposed Alaska
LNG facility at Nikiski, Alaska. Image courtesy of Alaska LNG.
22JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
BOXSCORE CONSTRUCTION ANALYSIS
would be an ideal option for the North Slope, where large-scale
facilities are cost-prohibitive and difficult to permit.
The GTL products could be shipped to markets through the
under-utilized Trans-Alaska Pipeline system. Such a plan would
still generate revenue for the state of Alaska, despite the lack of a
short-term, mega-construction boom of the kind that would be
required by Alaska LNG. Instead, steady construction demand
of 10 years or more would support a small increase in construc-
tion employment, particularly fabrication work.
2
In Alaska LNGs October 2012 work plan, the JV partners
acknowledged that possible challenges in the lead-up to FID
include protracted resolution of fiscal terms, permitting
and regulatory delays, legal challenges, changes in commodity
market outlook, time to secure long-term LNG contracts, labor
shortages, material and equipment availability or weather.
3
In late June, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said that the
mega-project can be developed under the right conditions, de-
spite a rising number of competitors. Although the project has
not filed for any permits, it is ready to move on practical fiscal
terms and supply costs, Mr. Lance said.
4
Next steps for Alaska LNG. The next steps to be taken dur-
ing the pre-FEED stage include securing state and federal
government support for the project, building out the business
structure and financing plan, assessing potential commercial
viability, and securing permits and land-use agreements.
If these goals are reached, then the FEED stage will begin.
During the FEED stage, financing permits will need to be se-
cured, stakeholder agreements must be signed and commercial
agreements will need to be struck. Also, commercial viability
will need to be confirmed and engineering, procurement and
construction (EPC) contracts will be issued. At this time, an
FID would need to be made. During the EPC stage, final engi-
neering, fabrication, logistics, financing and permitting issues
would be resolved.
In a March presentation prepared for the Senate Finance
Committee by the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Gas Line
Projects, the coordinator advised patience during state LNG
investment. Although returns on investment from a project on
the scale of Alaska LNG will take time, the project will give an
extended payback. If [Alaska] wants to act like an oil and gas
business, then it must think like oneand think long term,
the coordinator advised.
5
The next few years could bring fluctuations in the LNG
market that may prompt the JV to issue an FID before the on-
set of the next decade. It remains to be determined if the scope
or scale of the project will change, and whether or not adequate
LNG offtake commitments can be secured. The JV partners,
along with the state of Alaska, are working diligently to make
Alaska LNGs potential profits worth the projected cost. GP
LITERATURE CITED
1
Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects, Office of the Federal Coordinator,
Alaska LNG project, April 20, 2014.
2
Bradner, T., Without LNG, whats our Plan B? Anchorage Daily News, June 15, 2014.
3
DeMarban, A., ConocoPhillips CEO says Alaska LNG project has potential,
Alaska Dispatch, June 24, 2014.
4
Lee, J., Final investment decision: The big breakthrough, Office of the Federal
Coordinator, April 8, 2014.
5
Persily, L., Federal Coordinator for Alaska Gas Line Projects, Alaska gas pipeline
project: Whats different this time? March 10, 2014.
FIG. 2. The Alaska LNG development would be one of the largest
in the world and would include a gas treatment plant, two pipelines,
an LNG terminal, storage tanks and a shipping facility. Image
courtesy of Alaska LNG.
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Esteemed Speakers
Include:
KEYNOTE: Rick Cargile
President, Midstream
Energy Transfer Partners
Tim Rollenhagen, PE, PEng
Lead Process Engineer
URS Corporation
Robert Schosker
Team Lead Interface Technologies
Product Manager
Pepperl + Fuchs, Inc
George Boyajian
Vice President, Business Development
Primus Green Energy
Dale Winterhof
Principal Engineer
Flowserve Corporation
Join The Experts at GasPro and Learn
about the Latest Developments in
North Americas Gas Market
We invite you to join us on September 1617 at the Hyatt Regency Houston for
this exciting, two-day, dual track, technical conference focusing on the latest
trends, technologies, opportunities and challenges in North Americas
natural gas market. Were thrilled to announce that Rick Cargile, President,
Midstream, Energy Transfer Partners will be delivering the opening
keynote address. In addition, youll hear from other leading professionals
at top operator and service companies, connect with key players in the
industry and engage in knowledge-sharing and best practices.

Specic topics to be discussed include:
NGL/LNG
Stranded Gas/Sour Gas
Separation Technology/Catalysts
Dehydration/Cryogenics
Compressors/Equipment
Reliability
GTL/Modular Construction
Alternative Uses
North American
Infrastructure Development
Equipment
Methane
Process Improvement
View the complete agenda online at GasProcessingConference.com

Who Should Attend:
Those who are involved in natural gas gathering, compression, treating,
processing, storage and marketing, as well as those involved in natural gas
liquids fractionation, transportation and storage and marketing.
Individuals involved in the following roles will benet by
attending: Chief executive of cers, chief operating of cers,
chief technology of cers, presidents, vice presidents,
senior vice presidents, managing directors, managers,
directors, executive directors, country managers,
regional managers, project managers, chief
engineers, engineers and technical directors.
September 1617, 2014 | Houston, Texas
GasProcessingConference.com
REGISTRATION
OPENING REMARKS: John Royall, President and CEO, Gulf Publishing Company
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Shale revolution driving industry transformation Rick Cargile, President-Midstream,
Energy Transfer Partners Midstream
COFFEE BREAK

TRACK 1

TRACK 2
Session 1: NGL Session 2: Dehydration/Cryogenics
Removal of CO
2
from liquid NGL streams by membranes
Tim Rollenhagen, P.E., P.Eng., Lead Process Engineer,
URS Corporation
Determination of trace H
2
O using TDLAS for LNG and gas
processing applications Patty Summers, Director of Marketing,
Sales and Application Support, SpectraSensors, Inc
LNGL: Managing uncertain LNG market growth with
integrated LNG and NGL technology Leslie Agee, Manager-
Communications & Marketing, Linde Process Plants, Inc.
Sime DWC solution for sweetening and dehydration Domenico
Tedeschi, RM&D Project Engineering Manager and Matteo Baggiani,
Program Manager, Sime
Flare gas recovery for LNG and NGL recovery is supercool
Trey Brown, VP, Engineering & Construction, S-Con, Inc.
The Fiscal impact of accurately measuring hydrocarbon
dew point Keven Conrad, Central and Gulf Coast Regional
Sales Manager, Michell Instruments, Inc.
Flexible Sulfur Recovery Processes for Sweetening Natural
Gas Howard S. Meyer, R&D Director, Energy Conversion,
Gas Technology Institute
Fast track engineering and construction of an LPG
cryogenic plant Miguel Wegner, CEO and Ivan Grosman,
USA Country Manager, Hytech
LUNCH
Sessions 3 and 4
The Future of Long Term LNG Contracts Peter Hartley, PH.D.,
Baker Institute Faculty Scholar, Rice University (Invited)
Velocys Fischer-Tropsch Reactors: Enabling GTL at a
Distributed Scale Michael Williams, V.P. Strategy
and Marketing, Velocys
Ethane to Gasoline Blendstock Edward Peterson, PhD, P.E., Synfuels International
Redefining GTL Fundamentals: Significantly improving the cost of gas to liquids processes via a single loop thermochemical technology
George Boyajian, Vice President Business Development, Primus Green Energy
COFFEE BREAK
Session 5: North American Infrastructure Development:
Expanding to Meet Future Needs
Panel discussion: Gas infrastructure development Invited participants include: BG; Energy Transfer Partners, MarkWest;
Juniper GTL; Apache Corp and others
CLOSING REMARKS
September 16, 2014 AGENDA
September 1617, 2014 | Houston, Texas
GasProcessingConference.com
REGISTRATION
OPENING REMARKS: John Royall, President and CEO, Gulf Publishing Company
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: MarkWest (invited)
COFFEE BREAK

TRACK 1

TRACK 2
Sessions 6 and 7
Wireless monitoring of rotating equipment using intelligent sensors
with mobile capability Dale Winterhoff, Principal Engineer,
Flowserve Corporation
Natural gas processing for sulfur removal with fixed bed
technology Holli Garrett, BU Catalysts, Gas Processing Business
Development, Clariant Corporation
Titan System and Reliability Modeling Analysis of a North
American Gas Plant Mike Strobel, Principal, Fidelis Group, LLC
Application of Deep Eutectic Solvents for the Separation
of Aromatics from Aliphatics Nasser A. Al-Qahtani,
Saudi Aramco Company
EOR design & economics: CO
2
supply & breakthrough gas processing options Richard Wissbaum, , P.E. P.Eng.,
Technology Director, URS Corporation
Natural Gas/Electric Compressors David Coker, V.P.,
Energy Transfer Technologies
Acid gas cleaning Manya Garg, Product Manager,
Aspen Technology, Inc
LUNCH
Sessions 8 and 9
Invoking the Equivalency clause in NFPA standards for designing compliant burner management systems
Charles M. Fialkowski, CFSE Siemens Industry
Explosion prevention: A comparison between intrinsic safety vs. explosion proof Robert Schosker, Team Lead Interface
Technologies Product Manager, Pepperl + Fuchs, Inc
Adam Hedayet, Vice President, Business Development,
Sea NG Corporation (invited)
GT- DWC Dividing wall column saves cost and energy
Manish Bhargava, GTC Technology
COFFEE BREAK
Session 10
Panel discussion: Transportation Fuels Invited participants include: Sea Star Line -Tote Maritime; EnCana Corp, Canadian
Govt - Go With Natural Gas; Waste Pro of Florida, Inc; Primus Green Energy Inc.
CLOSING REMARKS
September 17, 2014 AGENDA
September 1617, 2014 | Houston, Texas
GasProcessingConference.com
Come to GasPro for:
Insight from Industry Experts
Networking
Knowledge Sharing/Best Practices
Information on the Latest Trends and Developments in North America

Register Now and Save!
Conference Fees
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Single Attendee $891 $990
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Questions about the event?
Contact Melissa Smith, Events Director, Gulf Publishing Company
at +1 (713) 520-4475 or Melissa.Smith@GulfPub.com

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Contact Lisa Zadok, Events Sales Manager, Gulf Publishing Company
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According to Michael Smith,
chairman and CEO of Freeport
LNG Development,
The appetite for LNG
just keeps growing
and growing.
September 1617, 2014 | Houston, Texas
GasProcessingConference.com
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201423
Velocys shrinks GTL hardware,
offers technology solutions for gas producers
ROY LIPSKI, CEO, Velocys
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE
GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
ROY LIPSKI has been heading fast-growing
technology companies for more than 17 years. He
has pioneered modular GTL since 2005, when he
helped found Oxford Catalysts, leading it through
an initial public offering and the subsequent
acquisition of Velocys Inc. Velocys, a world leader
in microchannel process technology, has raised
over $130 MM from institutional investors. Mr.
Lipski holds an honors degree in biochemistry
from the University of Cambridge in Cambridge,
UK. He began his career working at Goldman
Sachs in London, UK.
Velocys, a leading smaller-scale GTL
technology firm and solutions provider
to the upstream, midstream and down-
stream markets, is making quick strides
in integrating its smaller-scale reactors in
downsized GTL applications. The time
is right for a shift in production from site-
specific to distributed processing, accord-
ing to Velocys CEO Roy Lipski. Here,
Mr. Lipski discusses with Gas Processing
the evolution of small-scale GTL and the
companys role in this journey.
GP. Youve spoken about an
overall shift in manufacturing
practices that includes a change in
production from site-specific to
distributed processing. Do you view
this movement as a sea change
for gas processing, or as a
complement to traditional, large-
scale processing operations?
RL. We are entering the age of gas, and
with it will come far-reaching changes.
The industrial age began with coal; it pro-
vided power, lighting and chemicals. Then
we moved to oil. Both coal and oil are
easy and cheap to transport, which gave
birth to the centralized production model.
However, gas is harder and more expen-
sive to transport, so its forcing a rethink.
The answer is smaller-scale produc-
tion closer to the source, at gas gathering
and processing sites. I see these develop-
ing into mini-industrial sites where gas is
used to make an array of basic building
blocks for society: fuels, fertilizers, chem-
icals and electricity.
Centralized facilities will persist
theres too much invested in thembut
I envision the future as being about the
growth of a distributed network of produc-
tion. Such a network would be more flex-
ible, robust and adaptable. By definition,
these smaller and cheaper facilities are
within reach of many more customers
not just the largest corporations.
GP. What has the evolution of
smaller-scale GTL allowed the
industry to accomplish so far,
and how do you see this journey
developing into the future?
RL. Six years ago, the mere idea of an
economical small-scale petrochemicals fa-
cility was almost against the laws of nature.
Then, about three years ago, people began
to accept that smaller-scale GTL might be
possible, but few believed there was any
real need for such facilities. Around a year
and a half ago, the industry came to realize
that this was going to happen.
Beginning at the end of 2013, with cost
escalations and delays plaguing more and
more large-scale projects, like LNG
and, in some cases, even causing projects
to be canceledit started dawning on
people that this may actually be the way to
build infrastructure, rather than the large
plants. Smaller-scale, standardized, shop-
fabricated modular facilities are leading
the way, like the 3,000-bpd plant were en-
abling through Pinto Energy in the heart
of the Marcellus.
I foresee smaller-scale GTL becoming
an integral part of the gas infrastructure,
providing locally produced diesel fuel,
an alternative and complementary route
to market for gas production, and an in-
creasingly significant source of new de-
mand for gas.
GP. Where does Velocys fit into
this journey?
RL. Velocys has been at the forefront,
pioneering the smaller-scale GTL indus-
try for the production of fuels and chemi-
cals from as little as 15 million standard
cubic feet per day (MMscfd) of gas, to as
much as 150 MMscfd per facility.
24JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
It all began in the 1990s, at one of the
US national labs, where they reinvented a
chemical reactor so that it could be taken
into space, making it small and light. The
technology was spun out into a company
called Velocys; now, almost 20 years and
$300 MM later, weve built on these early
innovations to produce a complete and
cost-effective modularized smaller-scale
GTL plant, just as the shale revolution has
gotten to the point where what we have
can make a big impact. Its a very exciting
time for the industry and for Velocys.
GP. Do you view projects such as
your joint venture (JV) with
Waste Management, which will
convert biogas into GTL, as an answer
to the need for achieving energy
and environmental sustainability?
Will Velocys become involved in
similar projects in the future?
RL. This JV is focused on convert-
ing biogas (e.g., from landfills) into fuels
and chemicals using our smaller-scale
GTL technology. To my knowledge, this
is the only market-ready approach that
can actually produce third-generation
alternative fuels cost-competitively with
conventional ones.
The first project will be at East Oak,
Oklahoma, and the JV aims to roll out
several of these plants across the coun-
try. Outside of this JV, Velocys sees itself
getting increasingly involved in projects
with producers, midstream companies
and refiners that are seeking a more di-
versified and profitable approach to the
natural gas business.
GP. What are the benefits of smaller-
scale GTL to midstream companies
and their clients?
RL. Without alternative opportuni-
ties to monetize gas, such as smaller-scale
GTL, midstream companies and their
customers can find themselves locked
into gas pricing (at offtake levels), which
can both negatively impact the volume of
gas being processed, as well as the under-
lying margins.
Colocating a smaller-scale GTL plant
at, for example, a gas processing facility
would enable midstream companies to
provide an attractive new service to their
customers while realizing their ultimate
goal of processing more gas. Customers
will be able to diversify from gas pric-
ing into oil, moving more gas to market
without impacting gas prices, while cap-
turing greater margins and supporting
higher fees.
GTL gets gas into vehicles without
the high switching costs of CNG and
LNG. It is also a way of moving gas to
market where no gas pipelines exist,
or where potential production exceeds
available infrastructure.
Finally, since GTL plants can be con-
figured to operate on NGL as well as on
dry gas, they provide the luxury of feed-
stock flexibility by allowing the lowest-
valued BTU at any particular time to be
directed to the GTL facility, leaving the
higher-valued molecules to access the
market through more conventional, but
likely capacity-limited, infrastructure.
GP. How is Velocys strategy evolving?
RL. In the past, Velocys has been
viewed as a technology provider, but re-
ally we are an enabler of an exciting new
economic proposition to gas producers,
midstream companies and downstream
players alike. As pioneers of smaller-scale
GTL as a means of distributed production,
our business has been evolving toward fa-
cilitating access to the benefits of smaller-
scale GTL for a broad range of companies,
by minimizing the risks and barriers to
deployment. We are partnering with in-
dustry leaders to provide to our customers
all the necessary components of a GTL
project, from opportunity identification
to final plant delivery and operation.
For example, we recently announced
the acquisition of Pinto Energy, one of
North Americas leading developers of
smaller-scale GTL projects. Were now able
to help with the practicalities of developing
a project to completion for those custom-
ers that dont want to do it themselves.
Another example is our JV with Waste
Management, NRG Energy and Ventech,
where, in addition to providing technol-
ogy, we are also participating as equity
investors in the actual projects.
GP. How is Velocys applying
best practice?
RL. In addition to its cutting-edge
technology, Velocys is partnering with
leading technology and service provid-
ers, who, along with us, are committed to
continually improving our smaller-scale
GTL solutions.
For example, developing a relation-
ship with Ventech Engineers was an ob-
vious choice; several of the benefits of
smaller-scale GTL arise from the use of
modular plant construction methods that
are enabled by our smaller reactors. Ven-
tech is an established leader in the design
and construction of modular refineries,
and together were bringing this expertise
to modular GTL.
Another, possibly less obvious example,
is our relationship with Shiloh Industries.
Shiloh is a leading supplier of engineered
metal products and lightweight solutions
to the automotive industry. With Shiloh,
weve developed mass-manufacturing ca-
pabilities for the production of our reactors
(FIG. 1) that harness state-of-the-art manu-
facturing technology and quality systems
from the automotive industrycapabili-
ties that, to date, have rarely been applied
in the oil and gas industry. This will allow
us to meet strict quality control standards,
access economies of volume, ensure short-
term and long-term cost competitiveness,
and rapidly increase manufacturing capac-
ity to satisfy anticipated demand growth.
GP. How do you see the GTL
landscape changing over the
next few decades, particularly
with regard to economics?
RL. I think where we are today is like
the cellular phone of the 1980sa big
brick in the hand; but, for its time, it was
revolutionary and opened up a whole
new market. It was also the beginning of
a voyage that ultimately led to the smart-
phones of today.
The journey were on will continue
to reduce the size required for economic
facilities and bring the means of produc-
tion into the hands of the manyone
day producing only what we need, where
we need it, and when we need it. GP
FIG. 1. This Velocys Fischer-Tropsch reactor
is considerably smaller than the reactors used
in large-scale GTL plants.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201425
Small-scale GTL technology
cuts production costs for drop-in fuels
GEORGE BOYAJIAN, Vice President of Business Development,
Primus Green Energy, Hillsborough, New Jersey
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE
GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
DR. GEORGE BOYAJIAN is a technology entre-
preneur with 18 years of experience as a senior
executive. He has launched several companies,
including a plant genetic engineering ven-
ture and a medical device company that was
acquired by GE Healthcare. Dr. Boyajians exper-
tise includes business development, licensing,
public relations, raising financing, vendor rela-
tions and government relations. Prior to his
business career, he was an assistant professor
for six years at the University of Pennsylvania.
He received his BA degree in geology from the
University of Pennsylvania and his PhD in geol-
ogy from the University of Chicago.
Primus Green Energy is one of a small
group of companies leading the technol-
ogy revolution in small-scale gas process-
ing. Its STG+ process directly converts
natural gas and biomass into drop-in liq-
uid fuels. Primus vice president of busi-
ness development, George Boyajian, talks
with Gas Processing about applications
for STG+ technology and the companys
progress on a commercial-scale plant.
GP. How does Primus Green Energys
STG+ technology cost effectively
turn natural gas and biomass into
transportation fuels on a small scale?
GB. Primus STG+ technology fun-
damentally improves the efficiency and
economics of GTL and liquid fuel synthe-
sis technologies. STG+ boasts very high
efficiency, which means that commercial
facilities are expected to cost one-third to
one-tenth as much as traditional alterna-
tive fuel and GTL facilities.
An important advantage that contrib-
utes to improved process efficiency and
economics is our feedstock flexibility. We
can use any carbon-rich feedstock that
can be turned into a high-quality syngas,
including natural gas, biomass, municipal
solid waste and others.
STG+ is not the only GTL process that
uses syngas. Unlike competing technolo-
gies that convert syngas into liquid end
products via multistage processes, Pri-
mus STG+ technology converts syngas
directly into gasoline via a proprietary,
single-loop process. To produce syngas,
Primus uses a standard commercial tech-
nology called steam methane reforming
(SMR) to convert natural gas into syngas,
as well as other commercially available
systems for the conversion of biomass
into syngas, a fuel precursor composed
primarily of hydrogen and carbon mon-
oxide. Primus can reform the natural gas
into syngas on its own, or buy the syn-
gas from a supplier. The syngas is then
scrubbed to remove carbon dioxide and
other impurities, such as sulfur, prior to
the liquid fuel synthesis process. Primus
STG+ technology can utilize syngas from
a variety of sources, as long as the syngas
meets its specifications.
After the syngas is produced and
scrubbed, the STG+ process uses four
separate reactors to transform that gas
into liquid fuels. In the first reactor, syngas
is converted into methanol. The second
reactor converts the methanol into di-
methyl ether. The third reactor produces
heavy gasoline, which has an undesirable
durene content. The fourth reactor cleans
the heavy gasoline by converting durenes
into other compounds, with a finished
transportation fuel being produced at the
end. The end product depends partly on
the catalysts used in the four-reactor sys-
tem. Primus uses standard catalysts similar
to those used in other GTL technologies.
By reducing the number of steps in its
process, Primus has made its STG+ tech-
nology more efficient, less expensive to
build, and more scalable than competing
GTL technologies, which include meth-
anol-to-gasoline (MTG) and Fischer-
Tropsch (FT), the most common GTL
process in use today. The cost effective-
ness of Primus STG+ technology has
been validated through a cross-examina-
tion of data provided by Christodoulos A.
Floudas, a professor at Princeton Univer-
sity. In a study comparing FT with MTG
processes, he demonstrated that MTG is
consistently more cost-effective, in terms
of both capital and overall costs, than FT
at small, medium and large scales. Because
Primus STG+ process is more energeti-
cally efficient and less costly to build than
MTG processes, it promises to be more
efficient, cost effective and scalable than
26JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
In October 2013, Primus Green
Energy successfully commissioned its
100,000-gpy pre-commercial dem-
onstration plant (FIG. 1), which con-
verts natural gas directly into drop-in
90-plus-octane gasoline via Primus
proprietary STG+ single-loop GTL
process. This plant was designed as a
scaled-down version of the companys
first commercial plant, enabling Primus
to optimize the process at its Hillsbor-
ough, New Jersey headquarters, thereby
significantly mitigating any technologi-
cal risk to scale-up.
At the time of commissioning, the
demonstration plant was operated con-
tinuously for over 720 hours (hr)a
major milestonewith excellent re-
sults. The purpose of the demonstra-
tion plant run was twofold: To identify
opportunities to fine-tune the STG+
process and to verify the quality of the
drop-in gasoline produced.
Operations at the demonstration
plant provided Primus with significant
insight to inform its commercial op-
erations. The company learned that the
requirements for the composition of
syngas used in its STG+ process are less
stringent than anticipated. Originally, it
was believed that a hydrogen-to-carbon-
monoxide ratio of 2.1 to 1 would be
required to produce high-quality liquid
products. The company also discovered
that lower-quality syngas can be used,
with the relaxed requirements resulting
in a 40% savings in feedstock costs for
the first commercial plant.
Additionally, Primus learned through
continuous operation that the catalysts
used in the STG+ processwhich in-
clude molecular size- and shape-selec-
tive zeolite catalysts and commercially
available shape-selective catalysts, such
as ZSM-5last much longer than ex-
pected. The catalysts will only need to
be regenerated every two years, instead
of every six months. This advantage will
also enable the company to save signifi-
cant costs during the operation of the
first commercial plant.
Importantly, these results were con-
firmed by a third partyspecifically, an
independent engineering firm. An inde-
pendent engineers report, prepared by
E3 Consulting LLC, concluded that the
STG+ system and catalyst performance
exceeded expectations during plant op-
eration. The report noted that the dem-
onstration plant has substantially met
the goal of fully integrated operations;
that it is a successful demonstration of
the scalability of the technology; and
that the gasoline quality consistently
meets or exceeds industry standards.
As Paul Plath, president of E3 Con-
sulting, stated, The data resulting from
the initial 720-hr continuous operation
of Primus natural gas-to-gasoline dem-
onstration plant has exceeded initial
expectations. The data shows that Pri-
mus STG+ technology, when applied
at commercial scale, can be expected to
be efficient, cost-effective and able to
produce a premium transportation fuel
product.
The demonstration plant results also
verified the high quality of the 90-plus-
octane drop-in gasoline. Previously, two
independent testing laboratories, in-
cluding Bureau Veritas, tested the gaso-
line produced at the pilot plant, which is
also at the Hillsborough complex. More
recently, gasoline produced by the dem-
onstration plant in September and Oc-
tober 2013 was continuously sampled
and analyzed by Primus and by the in-
dependent laboratory Bureau Veritas.
In all instances, the tested gasoline
quality of the demonstration plant gas-
oline samples met or exceeded ASTM
International standardsthe gold
standard by which gasoline is mea-
sured today. Specifically, as compared
to traditional gasoline, the produced
gasoline exhibited far lower sulfur
content (less than 1 parts per million
[ppm] vs. 30 ppm), lower benzene
content (0.16% vs. 0.62%), minimal
corrosion and the lowest degradation
possible. Furthermore, the gasoline
demonstrated far less durene content
(< 0.1%, as compared to < 1%), making
it a much more desirable fuel.
In addition to the results outlined
above, Primus gasoline was also tested
for oxidation (i.e., fuel stability) and
corrosion potential in accordance with
standard ASTM International test pro-
cedures. Both oxidation and corrosion
potential results were excellent. During
the run, Primus intentionally varied the
operating conditions (recycle ratios, op-
erating pressures, temperatures, etc.) to
better understand how the process re-
sponds, and to explore operating condi-
tion boundaries. During this run period,
Primus optimized its process by identi-
fying specific operating conditions that
would repeatedly produce optimum
product, including high (> 91) octane.
Following the successful run in
October 2013, Primus completed a
900-plus-hr run of its demonstration
plant in May. This latest run again con-
firmed the system performance and
capital and operating expenditure find-
ings from the initial run.
Operation of the demonstration
plant has validated Primus patent-
protected STG+ process, confirming
its commercial readiness. Primus is
working to finalize site selection and
financing for its first commercial plant,
on which it expects to break ground in
2014. The plant is expected to produce
28 MMgpy, beginning in 2016. The
company will co-locate its first commer-
cial plant near established feedstock de-
livery infrastructure. Since the first com-
mercial plant is expected to use natural
gas as the primary feedstock, natural gas
pipeline infrastructure is a key criterion
in selecting the final location. GP
The STG+ experience: Present and future
FIG. 1. Primus Green Energys 100,000-gpy
pre-commercial demonstration plant in
Hillsborough, New Jersey converts natural
gas directly into 90-plus-octane gasoline.
26th World Gas Conference
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|
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28JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
these competing GTL processes for a large
range of GTL applications, even at scales
as small as 6,000 bpd or smaller.
At present, Primus is leveraging the
low cost of natural gas to enhance the eco-
nomics of its GTL process. Primus plans
to incorporate biomass feedstock into its
business model after the economics of
gasifying such feedstocks improve.
GP. A patent application for the
STG+ technology was accepted
by the US Patent and Trademark
Office. What does this mean for the
future of Primus Green Energy?
GB. The approval of this patent is an
important milestone, as it confirms that
the single-loop feature of the STG+ pro-
cess is truly novel. In addition, this new
patent allows Primus to strengthen its in-
tellectual property portfolio.
GP. What types of feedstock are in
use at Primus demonstration plant,
and what fuels are being produced?
Also, how have the produced fuels
been tested, and what results have
been achieved?
GB. Our demonstration plant uses nat-
ural gas as a feedstock to produce 90-plus
octane gasoline directly, via a single-loop
process. We plan to begin the production
of jet fuel and diesel fuel later this year, in
addition to the development of solvents.
As mentioned, we plan to incorporate bio-
mass feedstocks into our business model
once the improving economics of biomass
gasification yield a more economically at-
tractive biomass-derived syngas.
Our drop-in gasoline has undergone ex-
tensive third-party testing, and it has been
verified to meet or exceed all ASTM Inter-
national standards by independent labo-
ratories, including Bureau Veritas; ASTM
is the industry metric by which gasoline is
measured. Specifically, as compared to tra-
ditional gasoline, our gasoline exhibits far
lower sulfur content, lower benzene con-
tent, minimal corrosion and the lowest deg-
radation possible. In addition, our gasoline
was also tested for oxidation (fuel stability)
and corrosion potential, in accordance with
standard ASTM International test proce-
dures. Both oxidation and corrosion po-
tential results were excellent. The gasoline
produced at our demonstration plant has
consistently produced these results.
Furthermore, because of its high qual-
ity and low sulfur and benzene contents,
our gasoline exceeds the US Environment
Protection Agencys proposed Tier 3 stan-
dards for sulfur content and carbon emis-
sions, and it has a lower GREET score than
petroleum-based fuels. (GREET is the
Greenhouse gas, Regulated Emissions, and
Energy use in Transportation model, de-
veloped by Argonne National Laboratory.)
GP. Primus is breaking ground on
a commercial-scale plant in 2014.
What essential operations data
and lessons learned will Primus
incorporate into this project from
the demonstration plant run?
GB. Operations at our demonstration
plant, which was designed as a scaled-
down version of our first commercial
plant, have enabled us to identify oppor-
tunities to fine-tune the STG+ process.
Most importantly, weve learned key les-
sons related to two factors: syngas quality
and catalyst performance.
Specifically, weve learned that the re-
quirements for the composition of syngas
used in our process are less stringent than
anticipated. The relaxed requirements
will result in a 40% savings in feedstock
costs at the first commercial plant. Weve
also learned that the catalysts used in our
process last much longer than originally
expected. Instead of regenerating the
catalysts every six months, this will only
have to be done every two years, which
will also result in considerable savings.
GP. Does Primus plan to build
any more plants?
GB. Our focus is on the first commer-
cial plant, which is expected to produce
more than 28 million gallons per year
(MMgpy) of fuel, starting in 2016. We ex-
pected to start construction on that plant
later in 2014, with the exact location to be
determined. We do foresee the construc-
tion of additional large-scale commercial
plants in the future, though we are focused
on the first plant.
There is also a sizeable market oppor-
tunity for our STG+ technology at a small
scale, to address the problems of flared gas
and stranded gas.
GP. At which types of locations,
and in which world regions, do you
see investment opportunities
for small-scale GTL technologies,
in general, and for STG+ technology,
specifically, going forward?
GB. The opportunity for large-scale
GTL plants that use the STG+ technol-
ogy is a global one. Any location that
offers a cost-effective source of syngas
(produced through any carbon-rich feed-
stock, including natural gas) can benefit
from our technology. For example, here
in the US, natural gas is a domestically
abundant resource, and gas prices are at
or near 10-year lows. This scenario pres-
ents a highly lucrative opportunity to
cost-effectively produce liquid products
directly from natural gas, helping the US
reduce its reliance on petroleum and re-
duce carbon emissions (since natural gas
produces a cleaner-burning fuel than does
petroleum-based fuels).
Additionally, because our STG+ tech-
nology is cost-effective at scales of 6,000
bpd or smaller, there is a huge opportunity
for flared gas or stranded gas applications,
which are a major challenge for the oil and
gas industry. According to estimates from
the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring
Reduction (GGFR) Partnership, which
strives to overcome barriers to the reduc-
tion of flaring, about 5.3 Tcf of gas are be-
ing flared globally. The US is the fifth-larg-
est flaring country, topped only by Russia,
Nigeria, Iran and Iraq. In total, flared gas is
a $20 billion global opportunity.
The economics and practicality of
deploying offtake technologies at small
scales have been the main challenges in
flared gas reduction, but STG+ has been
proven to produce liquid products eco-
nomically, at scales as low as 350 bpd.
STG+ provides an end-to-end, unattend-
ed solution that converts flared gas into a
variety of liquid fuels, including drop-in
gasoline and diesel or a product that is
miscible in crude oil. Furthermore, our
flared gas GTL units, designed to produce
500 bpd or 2,000 bpd, are fully fabricated
and tested in the factory and then trucked
to the site. Onsite, they are placed on a
pad, bolted together and connected to lo-
cal inputs and outputs. The units can be
readily disassembled, moved to another
location and reassembled. STG+ repre-
sents the first truly small-scale GTL so-
lution, enabling it to be easily deployed
onsite, at oil fields around the world, to
reduce flare gas.
At present, we are in discussions with
potential partners about flared gas ap-
plications, and we look forward to an-
nouncing news on these discussions in
the future. GP
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201429
Valerus CEO: Modularization
is key to gas industry evolution
STEVE GILL, CEO, Valerus
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE
GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
STEVE GILL is the CEO of Valerus. He has
worked for the company since 2008, serving
as senior vice president for the international
and product lines segments, followed by senior
vice president of the commercial segment. Prior
to his employment with Valerus, Mr. Gill spent
over 13 years with Hanover and Exterran as vice
president of international and vice president of
total solutions. Previously, he spent 15 years with
Dresser-Rand, specializing in rotating equipment
sales. Mr. Gill holds a BS degree in mechanical
engineering from Texas A&M University.
Valerus, headquartered in Houston,
Texas, is a key player in natural gas well-
head production, handling, compres-
sion, processing and treating. The com-
pany provides integrated service and
distribution solutions for gas producers
and consumers worldwide. In this view-
point interview, Valerus CEO Steve Gill
discusses gas processing in the age of
shale, and how modular and mobile gas
processing trends are transforming the
energy landscape.
GP. How has the shale boom in
North America transformed the
business models and offerings of
oil and gas handling companies?
SG. Much like our peers in the down-
hole services sector, the need to develop
these resources quickly and efficiently is
driving a need for lean manufacturing,
plug-and-play designs, and modular-
izationa standardization mindset, if
you will. There has been much talk of
this model being applied during drilling
and production, where a bulk of CAPEX
[capital expenditures] is spent.
Handling and processing also allow
for a standardization mindset, especially
in terms of optimizing facility develop-
ment time lines and the ability to deploy
facilities with flexible, plug-and-play
designs. After all, it is the handling and
processing facility that stands between
production and getting gas to market.
GP. There has been much attention
recently on modular and mobile gas
processing solutions. How is Valerus
responding to this trend? Does the
company plan to add to or modify
its services to fit the changing gas
processing landscape?
SG. For Valerus, this is not a trend,
but rather a core operating model. As
producers continue to build processing
and gathering infrastructure in oil and gas
plays throughout the world, the focus has
changed to expediting cash flow, which
has challenged the industry to focus on
designing and building facilities that meet
a wide range of process conditions, enable
quick installation and have scalability.
As one of the only companies in the
world that not only fabricates compre-
hensive surface facility equipment but
also engineers, procures, constructs and
commissions full facilities, this is the Va-
lerus sweet spot: standard, modularized
facilities that can be engineered and con-
structed more quickly and efficiently.
Modularization means that we reduce
the amount of stickbuilding and welding
in the field, which improves safety and
quality; it also means design flexibility,
where processing and handling capaci-
ties can be adapted over time. We believe
a move toward modularization will also
drive innovation in a sector that has been
largely commoditized over the last two
decades in terms of process engineering
and lean manufacturing.
There is, however, a caveat to the
progress of modularization. Adding an-
other layer of complexity is that facility
standards are nonexistent or vary wide-
ly among countries, regions and even
operators. As a result, the traditional
approach has been to conduct exten-
sive front-end engineering and design
studies, and to implement rigorous and
complex specifications that often mean
standardization and a modular approach
are not possible. This approach has a
significant impact on project cost, scope
and time line.
It will be imperative across the in-
dustry to try to change, as the economic
benefits to move toward modularization
can be significant.
30JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
GP. How do you see the North
American and South American
markets evolving for oil and gas
handling, operations and services
over the next 510 years?
SG. According to most sources, the
outlook for North America and South
America over the next few years is strong.
ExxonMobils latest energy outlook indi-
cates that North America and Latin Amer-
ica, combined, will provide approximately
15 million barrels of oil equivalent per day
(boepd) in liquids production between
2010 and 2040, which is over half of all
global projected liquids production; and
that North America will become a net ex-
porter of natural gas in the next few years.
Latin Americas success in this area will
also be strong, but will be more dependent
on geopolitical factors in terms of success.
Due to these factors, producers will
continue to spend money to build the
necessary processing and handling in-
frastructure required. In the US, where
producers often partner with midstream
companies to handle and process hydro-
carbons, the outlook continues to show
processing capacity additions over the
next 510 years. As a result, compression
requirements will continue to grow as ad-
ditional infrastructure is added and aging
facilities are updated.
In South America, the challenge will
be building new infrastructure, often in re-
mote locations, to accommodate produc-
tion. This requirement means that service
companies must be equipped to handle
not only the facility itself but often the as-
sociated infrastructure required.
GP. How do you see the North
American NGL market changing
over the next decade?
SG. Most industry analysts believe
that NGL demand is expected to continue
to grow in North America, which is one
of the few markets outside of the Middle
East where most steam cracking facilities
are designed to use NGL over the more
expensive oil-based feedstocks used in
Europe and Asia. This scenario will like-
ly drive growth in the North American
chemicals industry, boding well for the
upstream and midstream natural gas sec-
tors. In fact, according to some industry
analysts, tight oil and NGL will account
for almost 35% of liquids production in
North America by 2040.
GP. What factors will shape CNG
fuel markets going forward?
SG. Economics will always be the
main influence. It is still more economi-
cal to use gasoline in terms of the driving
range, cost of vehicles and access to refu-
eling. Even in the US, where natural gas
is produced, it is still more expensive to
purchase a CNG vehicle than a gasoline-
powered car; however, we do see signs of
change in the near future.
GP. How has the integration of
Valerus oil and gas handling
services into parent company
Kentzs portfolio broadened the two
companies business opportunities?
SG. Kentz is a global engineering
specialist solutions provider, and it has
provided engineering, construction and
technical support services to clients for
more than 90 years. As a result of the ac-
quisition, we can now leverage additional
engineering and project management ca-
pabilities from Kentz to complement our
existing portfolio of equipment and ser-
vices to develop surface facilities globally.
In addition, Kentz and Valerus have
tremendous synergy geographically. Va-
lerus has experienced great success in
North and South America, while Kentz
has a large presence in the Eastern Hemi-
sphere. This joining of forces will benefit
our customers across the globe and create
additional opportunities.
GP. Health, safety and environment
(HSE) is a priority for Valerus.
How does the company integrate
HSE principles into its operations?
SG. It is not just a priority, but the pri-
ority. We have consistently maintained a
total recordable incident rate well below
the industry average for the last few years,
due to significant vigilance, implementa-
tion of standard work procedures, and,
most of all, culture. Our target zero men-
tality starts with me and is driven into ev-
ery employee from day one. We have man-
ufacturing facilities that have operated for
years without an incident. We pride our-
selves on this track record, as we believe
we have one of the best track records in
our sector, if not the best. GP
Esteemed Speakers
Include:
KEYNOTE: Rick Cargile
President, Midstream
Energy Transfer Partners
Tim Rollenhagen, PE, PEng
Lead Process Engineer
URS Corporation
Robert Schosker
Team Lead Interface Technologies
Product Manager
Pepperl + Fuchs, Inc
George Boyajian
Vice President, Business Development
Primus Green Energy
Dale Winterhof
Principal Engineer
Flowserve Corporation
Join The Experts at GasPro and Learn
about the Latest Developments in North
Americas Gas Market
We invite you to join us on September 1617 at the Hyatt Regency Houston for this exciting,
two-day, dual track, technical conference focusing on the latest trends, technologies,
opportunities and challenges in North Americas natural gas market. Were thrilled to
announce that Rick Cargile, President, Midstream, Energy Transfer Partners will be delivering
the opening keynote address. In addition, youll hear from other leading professionals at top
operator and service companies, connect with key players in the industry and engage in
knowledge-sharing and best practices.

Specic topics to be discussed include:
NGL/LNG
Stranded Gas/Sour Gas
Separation Technology/Catalysts
Dehydration/Cryogenics
Compressors/Equipment
Reliability
GTL/Modular Construction
Alternative Uses
North American Infrastructure
Development
Equipment
Methane
Process Improvement
View the complete agenda online at GasProcessingConference.com

Who Should Attend:
Those who are involved in natural gas gathering, compression, treating, processing, storage
and marketing, as well as those involved in natural gas liquids fractionation, transportation
and storage and marketing. Individuals involved in the following roles will benet by
attending: Chief executive of cers, chief operating of cers, chief technology of cers,
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November 11 12, 2014
Moody Gardens Convention Center / Galveston, Texas
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November 1112, 2014 at the Moody Gardens Convention
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ECF is the only event that brings together all the key stakeholders in the rapidly growing energy projects &
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best opportunity to connect with major project leaders in the energy industry. The Forum caters to companies
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CATALYSTS
Design fixed-bed sulfur removal systems for offshore natural gas C34
CORPORATE PROFILE
BASF C39
COVER PHOTO
Courtesy of BASF. An international, downstream, catalysts provider,
BASF is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
2014
C34 CATALYSTS | JULY/AUGUST 2014 | GasProcessingNews.com
CATALYSTS
DESIGN FIXED-BED SULFUR REMOVAL
SYSTEMS FOR OFFSHORE NATURAL GAS
H. GARRETT, Clariant Corp., Louisville, Kentucky
Today, natural gas is not just a source of fuel. It is a feedstock
for many chemical and petrochemical processes, and it is in-
creasingly becoming a significant source of clean fuel for power
generation and vehicles. Regardless of its end use, natural gas
must often be treated to remove contaminants, such as sulfur,
mercury, and arsine.
Cleanup of onshore natural gas is relatively straightforward.
Several options exist for the location of the treatment facility, size
of vessels, and transportation of treatment chemicals to the facil-
ity. Such logistics are not as predictable in offshore environments.
With a growing focus on offshore markets, such as Latin America,
extensive assessment, planning and economic study are required
to design the most efficient system for processing gas.
FPSO VESSELS
Floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels
have brought great advantages to offshore oil and gas producers.
All necessary equipment is available on the FPSO ship or barge,
allowing for onsite processing, treatment and storage.
The design of sulfur-removal systems on FPSO vessels is of
particular importance. With various technologies available, un-
derstanding their different performance and commercial char-
acteristics will help offshore producers select the most suitable
option for optimizing return on investment.
LIQUID VS. FIXED-BED SYSTEMS
The main sulfur-removal technologies available for sweetening
natural gas are fixed-bed systems based on adsorbents, and liquid
systems based on chemicals, such as amines. There is a consider-
able amount of literature available on liquid sulfur-removal systems
for onshore and offshore applicationsin particular, amine-based
liquid systems for the removal of hydrogen sulfide (H
2
S). How-
ever, fixed-bed systems deserve greater consideration, as they can
significantly improve cost efficiency and offer a longer lifespan.
For FPSO sulfur-removal systems, an important factor to con-
sider is the effect of sea motion on the performance of processing
equipment. This could be particularly challenging for liquid sys-
tems. Nevertheless, if the sulfur content of the natural gas stream
is significantly high, a liquid amine system is a viable option, as it
may lower operating costs. Consequently, there is no one-size-
fits-all solution for removing sulfur from gas produced on FPSO
vessels. Achieving the most efficient and profitable results relies
on key criteria such as performance, reliability and total cost.
FIXED-BED TECHNOLOGY
In fixed-bed sulfur-removal systems, the adsorbent has a direct
impact on operating costs. Spent materials handling, footprint,
energy requirements, logistics and cost per kilogram (kg) of sul-
fur are some of the factors that should be assessed.
Furthermore, adsorbents are continuously consumed and
must be regularly replaced; therefore, the design of fixed-bed
systems should balance reactor configurations with associated
costs. Since performance, operating conditions, and costs vary
for each type of catalyst, selection should be based on the unique
needs of the gas processing company.
METAL-OXIDE ADSORBENTS
The adsorbents in this class chemically adsorb sulfur mole-
cules in an irreversible reaction with water as a byproduct. They
are typically selected when the gas stream is dry, and water in-
jection is not possible. Available in several formulations, these
adsorbents can contain zinc, copper or other transition met-
als. A combination of these metals may also be used to achieve
maximum efficiency.
The choice of metal oxide adsorbent depends on the con-
taminant to be removed. These adsorbents operate at a broad
range of temperatures, with some providing greater pickup ca-
pacities at higher temperatures.
IRON-BASED ADSORBENTS
The most common solid adsorbents for sulfur removal in gas
processing are iron-based materials. These adsorbents utilize
iron in various forms, such as magnetite or hematite, to react with
H
2
S and water. In many regions, natural gas streams contain suf-
ficient water vapor to promote the chemical reaction needed to
remove H
2
S. In situations where the gas is dry, a water-injection
system can be added to ensure optimal performance. Iron-based
adsorbents are often preferred, as they are typically low-cost yet
high-performance solutions.
BRAZIL OFFSHORE STUDY
After the initial discovery of oil and gas off the coast of Brazil,
a major oil-producing company approached one company to help
with the challenges of treating gas at sea. In response, the company
designed a set of experiments to test different adsorbent composi-
tions under various conditions, including a range of sulfur concen-
trations, gas compositions, velocities and water-saturation levels.
The studies allowed the company to define the most impor-
tant parameters for the design of fixed-bed sulfur-removal sys-
tems, and to develop new adsorbents with ideal performance
and kinetics. This systematic approach is still used today to cre-
ate adsorbent solutions for customers.
ASSESSING THE SOURCE
A thorough assessment of the natural gas stream is essential
when designing a fixed-bed system. The questions in TABLE 1
provide the critical information needed to select the appropri-
ate adsorbent technology. This data is also helpful in building
GAS PROCESSING | JULY/AUGUST 2014 | CATALYSTS C35
CATALYSTS
a model for the total cost of ownership (see the Economic
study section of this article). The parameters shown have a
direct impact on vessel size and lifespan of the adsorbent.
For example, carbon dioxide can reduce sulfur pickup with
some iron-based adsorbents. It can also alter the laminar flow
or turbulence of the gas stream. Furthermore, as flowrate in-
creases across the adsorbent bed, a greater volume of adsor-
bent may be required. Conversely, higher pressure enables
more efficient sulfur removal as it increases the contact time
between H
2
S molecules and adsorbent. However, this may re-
quire vessels with thicker walls, and it may raise capital costs.
EVALUATING ADSORBENT PROPERTIES
Since numerous adsorbents are available, their chemical
and physical properties must be carefully evaluated when de-
signing fixed-bed systems. As explained in TABLE 2, these prop-
erties impact all areas of gas treatment, from loading to opera-
tion and unloading.
REACTION RATES AND MASS TRANSPORT
During adsorption, contaminants (in this case, H
2
S) are at
a molecular level, while the rest of the gas is at a macro level;
therefore, contaminants are transported more slowly than the
remaining gas across the adsorbent bed.
The flow pattern is influenced by motion and interactions,
and it can be predicted using Reynolds number. Other factors
affecting chemical reaction rates include gas characteristics,
such as hourly space velocity, viscosity and compressibility.
POSITION OF SULFUR-REMOVAL UNIT
One of the advantages of fixed-bed sulfur removal is that it
requires minimum equipment. Typically, two vessels are suffi-
cient, and can be arranged in either a parallel or lead-lag flow
arrangement. The lead-lag configuration is recommended, as
it optimizes adsorbent usage and offers greater flexibility in
scheduling bed replacement.
During the design stage, the volume of water formed in
each operating vessel must be calculated to predict vessel
drain and purging times. This prevents the water from becom-
ing slurry due to contact with other components. If necessary,
the height of the vessel containing stored water should be in-
creased at this stage.
As demonstrated in FIG. 1, the fixed-bed sulfur-removal unit
can be located at different positions in the FPSO vessel, pro-
vided that the right adsorbent type and unit size are selected.
Since the reaction between the H
2
S molecules and adsorbent is
facilitated by the presence of water in the gas stream, the ideal
position is prior to the dehydration unit.
LOADING AND UNLOADING
Compared to onshore fixed-bed sulfur-removal applications,
an FPSO vessel requires a more modular design to minimize
equipment footprint and weight. The configuration of the ves-
sels should allow the unit to operate continuously during load-
ing and unloading. Once the sulfur-removal unit reaches maxi-
mum sulfur breakthrough, the solid should be unloaded and
replaced with fresh material.
Inert spheres or a foam filter are used to support the adsor-
bent during loading. This prevents adsorbent particles from
flowing though the bottom of the mesh screens. The mechani-
cal properties of the product, such as crush strength and attri-
tion loss, should be considered to minimize adsorbent fines
during loading. The bulk bags filled with adsorbent should
TABLE 1. Factors affecting the design of xed-bed
sulfur-removal systems
Assessment of natural gas stream
What is the gas ow per day?
What is the H
2
S level in the gas stream to be treated?
What is the outlet sulfur level?
How much CO
2
and O
2
does the gas stream contain?
How much water does the gas stream contain?
What are the temperature and pressure of the gas stream?
TABLE 2. Effect of adsorbent properties on sulfur removal
Adsorbent property Description and impact on performance
Pickup capacity Capacity of adsorbent to remove sulfur, expressed in mass of sulfur per volume of adsorbent (sulfur kg/m of adsorbent),
or mass of sulfur per weight of adsorbent (sulfur kg/kg of adsorbent). Amount of sulfur removed can be determined based on
the adsorbents composition.
Lifespan The lifespan of the adsorbent bed must be long enough to prevent premature sulfur breakthrough.
Porosity Resulting from different production methods, porosity contributes to the surface area where chemical adsorption occurs.
Sulfur molecules must move into the pores to react with the active sites.
Surface area Active sites are distributed on the surface where adsorption takes place. The amount and nature of active sites play a critical
role in adsorption.
Particle size/shape Promote activity, provide strength and inuence pressure drop. Selection of particle shape and size is governed by the
required adsorbent volume and vessel size.
Crush strength Dependent on shape, size and formulation, crush strength measures the amount of force that adsorbent particles can withstand
before cracking. It is important to provide continuous operation of the gas treatment unit without reduction in production
capacity or shutdown due to pressure drop or plugging.
Density Helps determine the amount of sulfur removed from a certain volume or weight of adsorbent.
Attrition Measures the propensity of the particle to generate dust, nes or powder during operation. Can be a problem for units
with high gas velocities where the adsorbent can move.
C36 CATALYSTS | JULY/AUGUST 2014 | GasProcessingNews.com
CATALYSTS
be carefully transferred into hopper sulfur-removal units to
prevent misdistribution, uneven loading density, and particle
breakageall of which can cause channeling, and premature
sulfur breakthrough.
Typically, spent adsorbents are free-flowing, and unloading
is done without water to accelerate adsorbent turnaround. On-
shore systems have shown that adsorbents can agglomerate and
prolong unloading. To counteract this issue, new formulations
of sulfur adsorbents should be considered, since they have a
lower tendency to agglomerate. Furthermore, the vessel should
be blanketed with nitrogen during unloading to prevent dust
accumulation and undesired reactions with latent natural gas.
MANAGING LOGISTICS
Due to space limitations on FPSO vessels, the management of
logistics and advance planning are essential. First, basic site prep-
aration and equipment mobilization should be performed. Once
these are completed, unloading and loading of the adsorbent can
follow. Depending on the size of the vessels, this can take four to
seven days, with two shifts per day. The final tasks are cleanup
and removal of equipment and personnel from the FPSO vessel.
Logistical factors to consider for loading and unloading include:
Area required for fresh product
Area required for spent product
Area required for equipment
Area required for crane handling
Daily loading capacity (volume)
Daily unloading capacity (volume).
PLANNING TRIPS
Usually, there is not enough space on an FPSO vessel to
perform loading and unloading in one step. Furthermore, it is
necessary to transport the solid adsorbent using a support boat.
The adsorbent packaging is also transported on the support
boat, and its capacity influences crane-safe operations; the cost
of this service must be considered as well. If the support boat
does not have enough capacity to transport all of the equipment
in one trip, then a plan can be established as follows:
First trip: Fresh adsorbent and equipment; back empty
Second trip: Fresh adsorbent; back with spent adsorbent
Third trip: Fresh adsorbent; back with spent adsorbent
Fourth trip: Go empty; back with spent adsorbent
and equipment.
ECONOMIC STUDY
Limited space and intricate logistics make offshore sulfur
removal a more complex and costlier task than onshore ap-
plications. The most effective way to minimize expenses is
through the use of high-performance sulfur-removal technol-
ogy. Iron-based adsorbents are the preferred choice for FPSO
vessels, as they combine lower total costs with a higher capac-
ity for sulfur removal.
COST COMPARISON OF IRON- AND
COPPER-BASED ADSORBENTS
FIG. 2 simplifies an exercise in evaluating iron-based tech-
nologies for fixed-bed sulfur-removal systems. Relative costs
change dramatically depending on the technology selected
and its performance (i.e., its capacity to react with H
2
S). While
Blower A
Well uid
Position
1
Lower-pressure
Dehydration
Position
2
Higher-pressure
Position
3
FIG. 1. Possible positions for the fixed-bed sulfur-removal unit.
TABLE 3. Simulation results for operating expenditure and capital expenditure on a relative basis
Technology version Iron-based original formulation Iron-based improved formulation Iron-based new formulation
Relative total owrate 100 100 100
Relative H
2
S content at inlet 100 100 100
Relative H
2
S content at outlet 100 100 100
Number of vessels (lead lag) 6 6 6
Number of vessels for unloading 3 3 3
Relative activity of adsorbent 100 114 375
Relative density 100 54 110
Example
Flowrate, Nm
3
7 7 7
Inlet sulfur, ppmv 170 170 170
Outlet sulfur, ppmv 2 2 2
Relative bed life 100 100 100
Time spent unloading and loading xed beds 100 50 50
Relative operational cost per year 100 87 53
Relative cost of material per year 100 128 364
Relative operational cost per unit mass of sulfur removed 100 77 14
GAS PROCESSING | JULY/AUGUST 2014 | CATALYSTS C37
CATALYSTS
lower-cost materials are often selected for budgetary reasons, a
more expensive adsorbent that yields higher performance can
result in a lower total cost of ownership.
HIGHER-COST ADSORBENTS CAN REDUCE TOTAL COSTS
Other factors that affect cost analysis are shown in TABLE 3.
The major cost drivers are the adsorbents pickup capacity and
the cost per replacement after the adsorbent is spent. For liquid
and fixed-bed systems, a common comparison between adsor-
bents is the cost of operations per unit of sulfur removed. As ad-
sorbents become more advanced, their cost increases. However,
when costs are added to a ratio that takes turnaround expenses
and maintenance into consideration, the ratio drops.
TAKEAWAY
The design of offshore sulfur-removal systems requires care-
ful planning and consideration. A modular setup and efficient
logistics will help minimize equipment footprint and overcome
space limitations on FPSO vessels.
When selecting a technology, it is important to remember
that, while fixed-bed systems require regular replacement, they
can offer greater cost efficiency and a longer lifespan than liq-
uid systems. Choosing between fixed-bed adsorbents that are
based on either iron or metal oxide depends on the producers
goals and the characteristics of the natural gas stream. A detailed
analysis of all costs will result in the lowest total cost per ton of
sulfur removed, while also reducing risk and complexity. GP
HOLLI GARRETT has extensive experience in the oil and gas industry,
particularly in diesel and gasoline refining processes. She is the
North American account manager for Clariants Gas Processing group.
Ms. Garrett has directed multiple complex projects, and she has successfully
achieved compliance with the Environmental Protection Agencys
regulations for clean fuels. She previously worked for Total in Houston,
Texas, and Brussels, Belgium, where she was responsible for scaling-up
and implementation of new catalytic technologies in refineries. Ms. Garrett
holds an MBA degree from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and
Management in Brussels, Belgium, and a BS degree in chemistry from
the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa, Texas.
Fe original
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

c
o
s
t
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Fe improved formulation Fe new formulation
100%
87%
53%
FIG. 2. Relative cost analysis for copper- and iron-based adsorbents.
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ARKET IN
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E GLOBAL
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BASF
BASFs Catalysts division is the global market leader in catalysis.
The division develops and produces mobile emissions catalysts as well
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worldwide. The division also provides precious metals procurement,
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Innovation in catalysis is crucial for all our product groups. For
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Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201441
Consider technology implications
for small-scale Fischer-Tropsch GTL
A. de KLERK, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering,
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE
GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
Small-scale GTL processes aim to produce transportable
liquid products from smaller natural gas reservoirs that can-
not be profitably connected to pipeline infrastructure. The size
of small scale GTL processes is a byproduct of the nature of
such natural gas reservoirs. There is no specific size limit be-
yond which GTL processes should no longer be considered
as small-scale. Rather, it is contended that the design of small-
scale GTL processes should be inherently different from that
of large-scale GTL processes.
Smaller natural gas reservoirs unconnected to pipeline in-
frastructure have some characteristics that must be considered
when selecting a small-scale GTL technology:
Remoteness. When connection to pipeline infrastruc-
ture is unprofitable, it implies that the reservoir is remote
with respect to the main utility grid. Access to basic utili-
ties such as water, electricity and sewage disposal is likely
to be limited.
Accessibility limitations. The roads leading to the
reservoir will have a more limited carrying capacity for
heavy loads, which limits the size and weight of prefabri-
cated equipment that can be transported.
Transience. The productive lifetime of the reservoir
will, in many cases, be limited. The first implication is
that the GTL facility must be easily relocateable so that
the service lifetime of the GTL facility is decoupled from
the lifetime of the reservoir. The second implication is
that site remediation must be easy and inexpensive.
Location. The actual location of the reservoir matters.
The climate, seasonal variability, access to skilled labor
and legislation are a few of the factors that will affect the
design and operability of the facility.
The design of small-scale GTL processes is still in the de-
velopment phase. The challenge for new entrants into the
field of GTL is the steep technological learning curve. The
individual technologies that comprise a GTL process (FIG. 1)
are licensable. The remaining challenge lies in the efficient
integration of these technologies to produce a small-scale
GTL process. At each step of the integration, the technology
selection has implications, some of which are not immedi-
ately apparent.
The purpose of the subsequent discussion is to provide
some insight into the implications of technology decisions.
The discussion will be limited to Fischer-Tropsch (FT)-based
GTL, although many of the points are equally applicable to
methanol-synthesis-based GTL.
GAS PRETREATMENT
The first step in any GTL process is gas pretreatment. The
purpose of gas pretreatment is to make the gas suitable for the
downstream processes. There are two groups of compounds
that are usually present in natural gas and that should be re-
moved during pretreatmentthe associate NGL and the sul-
fur-containing compounds. Some natural gas reservoirs may
also have other trace components that must be removed, but
these are not discussed here.
Associated NGL. The reasons for recovering the associated
NGL are twofold. First, since the objective of the process is to
produce liquid products from natural gas, products that are al-
ready in liquid form should be recovered. Second, the design
of the natural gas reformer depends on the gas composition.
Hydrocarbons heavier than methane are more easily converted
and are more prone to carbon formation under some reform-
ing conditions. By recovering the associated NGL, the natural
gas is less prone to carbon formation.
The recovery of NGL is a physical separation. The technology
selection must be tailored to the reservoir characteristics. The ef-
ficiency of liquid recovery is dependent on the technology selec-
tion, and the downstream impact is localized to the gas reformer.
Desulfurization of natural gas. In large-scale GTL facilities,
desulfurization is typically performed by passing the natural gas
with a co-feed of hydrogen (H
2
) over a hydrotreating catalyst,
followed by desulfurization over a packed bed of porous copper-
containing zinc oxide (ZnO). The initial hydrotreating step
is necessary to convert sulfur in mercaptan (thiol) and sulfide
(thioether) compounds to hydrogen sulfide (H
2
S). The ZnO
reacts with H
2
S to capture the sulfur as zinc sulfide (ZnS), and
Pretreatment
Reforming
FT
Recovery/
rening
Natural gas
Oxidant
Water Conditioning
Water
Steam
Water
CO
2
Gas
Oil products
Water products
FIG. 1. Generic FT-based GTL process.
42JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
the packed bed is typically operated at 350C400C. Once the
packed bed reaches capacity, the ZnS can be regenerated by con-
trolled oxidation. It is, therefore, customary to apply two packed
beds in parallel.
Selecting ZnO-based desulfurization technology for small-
scale GTL has some implications:
A source of pure H
2
is required as utility. The issue is not
H
2
availability, but rather the need to include an H
2
purifi-
cation unit, or an external source of pure H
2
in the design.
During regeneration, a sulfur-dioxide-(SO
2
)-rich offgas
is produced as effluent. Depending on the location, the
offgas can be disposed of through a stack, or it can require
gas treatment before release.
Other gas treatment strategies will have different require-
ments and implications. For example, spent FT catalyst makes
a good sulfur trap. Gas treatment and spent FT catalyst disposal
can be integrated, instead of using ZnO.
NATURAL GAS REFORMING
The purpose of the natural gas reformer is to produce syn-
gas (H
2
and CO) as feed for the FT synthesis, which converts
the syngas into heavier products. The flow of syngas through the
GTL facility, which passes from one unit to another and may in-
clude one or more recycle streams, is called the gas loop. The
gas loop design is central to the overall GTL process, and the
reforming technology selection has a tremendous impact on the
gas loop design.
The selection of a specific reforming technology determines
the importance and the impact on the gas loop of methane
(CH
4
) conversion, the nature of the oxidant, syngas composi-
tion, and operating pressure. Before delving into the details of
each, it is worthwhile to examine the technology options for
natural gas reforming (FIG. 2).
The steam reforming reaction (Eq. 1) is very endothermic
(H
r,298 K
= 206 kJ/mol), and it requires significant energy input
to proceed:
CH
4
+ H
2
O r CO + 3 H
2
(1)
The energy to drive this reaction can be provided in two ways:
directly, as part of the conversion process, or indirectly, through a
utility stream. When the energy is provided directly, the oxidant is
introduced into the process stream, and part of the natural gas feed
is oxidized to provide energy for the steam reforming reaction.
The oxidant is, therefore, a process feed, and it enters the gas
loop. The advantage of doing so is that the reformer becomes
more compact in design. When the energy is provided indirectly,
as a utility, no oxidant is introduced into the process stream and
the oxidant does not enter the gas loop. Steam reformers tend
to be bulky in design, but the advantage of keeping the oxidant
separate from the process will become evident during the subse-
quent discussion.
Another important reaction in natural gas reforming is the
water-gas shift reaction (Eq. 2), which governs the equilibrium
composition of the syngas:
CO + H
2
O i CO
2
+ H
2
(2)
The reforming temperature affects this equilibrium, with
lower temperatures favoring the production of H
2
. The reform-
ing temperature, in combination with the reforming catalyst (if
used), determines the reaction rates in Eqs. 1 and 2, which, in
turn, affects the extent of CH
4
conversion and the approach to
water-gas shift equilibrium.
Methane conversion. Unconverted methane will remain in the
syngas as an inert. Unless the gas loop is designed with a recycle
of gas from the recovery section back to the reformer (recycle
not shown in FIG. 1), any methane that is not converted during
reforming remains methane. The methane then becomes part of
the gas product. The gas product is, at best, a low-quality fuel gas
and it is a much lower-quality fuel than the natural gas feed. The
gas product has a lower quality, because the non-combustible
inerts that entered the process concentrate in this stream. For ex-
ample, if the natural gas contained some N
2
, that N
2
will end up
at higher concentrations in the gas product and thereby reduce
the calorific value of the gas product.
Oxidant selection. Oxidant selection is critically important if
the reforming technology uses direct heating (FIG. 2), because
the oxidant becomes a process feed and it is no longer a utility
stream. The trade-offs are complex:
Pure O
2
. When pure O
2
is used as an oxidant, the least
amount of inert material will be introduced with the O
2

into the process. The main contaminant introduced with
O
2
is usually argon. In large-scale GTL facilities, pure O
2
is
invariably used. However, it either requires the availability
of an onsite air separation unit, or the continual purchase
of liquid O
2
as process feed. Considering the characteris-
tics of small-scale GTL, neither of these options are attrac-
tive prospects, despite the obvious process advantage of
employing pure O
2
.
Air. When air is used as an oxidation agent, a large volume
of inert material is introduced into the process. Although
the inert material does not participate in the downstream
conversion, it affects the process design in three ways.
First, it reduces the concentration of the reactive compo-
nents, which causes a decrease in the rate of reaction dur-
ing reforming and FT synthesis, which makes separation
Natural gas reforming
technologies
Direct heating
Indirect heating
Oxidant
Fuel gas
Natural gas
Water (steam)
Syngas
To stack
Natural gas
Water (steam)
Oxidant
Syngas
Non-catalytic partial oxidation (gasication)
Autothermal reforming (ATR)
Steam methane reforming
Catalytic partial oxidation
FIG. 2. Classification of natural gas reforming technologies.
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44JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
less efficient. Second, it increases the size of all equipment
and piping, because the gas volume is increased by the in-
ert components in the gas. Third, it necessitates an open
gas loop designi.e., no recycle of gas back to the reform-
er. For the most part, the implications of using air as an
oxidant are negative. Yet, there may be pragmatic reasons
for using air in a small-scale facility to avoid the complex-
ity associated with the use of pure O
2
.
Operating pressure. Most large-scale GTL facilities operate
with a gas loop pressure in the range of 1.9 MPa2.5 MPa (275
psi360 psi). FT synthesis can be conducted at near-atmospher-
ic pressure, but the reaction rate increases and the equipment size
decreases as the operating pressure is increased. There are also
costs involved with operating at higher pressure. Any operating
pressure above the production pressure of the natural gas from
the reservoir requires additional gas compression. Furthermore,
when the reforming technology involves direct heating (FIG. 2),
the pressure of the oxidant co-feed must also be increased.
Compressors are expensive capital equipment that are costly
to operate and that have a large utility footprint. The operating
pressure of the gas loop, in conjunction with the technology se-
lection for gas reforming, determines the compressor require-
ments. The reliability of the compressor type and the utility re-
quirements associated with the compression needed to achieve
the operating pressure must be carefully considered in relation
to the location of the small-scale GTL facility.
Syngas composition. The syngas composition produced by
the natural gas reformer largely depends on the technology se-
lected in combination with the feed gas composition. What is
of importance to the downstream process is the H
2
:CO ratio
in the syngas. If the H
2
:CO ratio does not match the down-
stream process requirements, then the H
2
:CO ratio will have
to be changed during syngas conditioning. The H
2
:CO ratio
increases with decreasing outlet temperature and increasing
steam-to-carbon ratio in the feed to the natural gas reformer:
non-catalytic partial oxidation (approximately 12) < autother-
mal reforming (approximately 24) < steam methane reform-
ing (approximately 35).
Syngas conditioning. The syngas produced by natural gas
reforming is also called raw gas to differentiate it from the
conditioned syngas feed used for FT synthesis. Syngas condi-
tioning involves one or more of the following three steps:
Condensation and recovery of water from the raw gas
Separation and recovery of some or most of the CO
2

from the raw gas
Water-gas shift conversion of the raw gas to manipulate
the H
2
:CO ratio of the raw gas.
Of these processing steps, only the condensation and re-
covery of water are always necessary, as well as beneficial. The
removal of CO
2
and manipulation of the H
2
:CO ratio depends
on the requirements imposed by the gas loop design and the
technology selected for FT synthesis.
FISCHER-TROPSCH SYNTHESIS
FT synthesis is the process step that is responsible for convert-
ing the syngas into heavier products. The product obtained from
FT synthesis is a mixture of hydrocarbons, oxygenates and water.
The three most common organic compound classes that are pro-
duced are paraffins (Eq. 3), olefins (Eq. 4) and alcohols (Eq. 5):
n CO + (2n + 1) H
2
r C
n
H
2n + 2
+ n H
2
O (3)
n CO + 2n H
2
r C
n
H
2n
+

n H
2
O (4)
n CO + 2n H
2
r C
n
H
2n + 1
OH + (n 1) H
2
O (5)
Other organic compound classes can also be formed, such
as carbonyls (aldehydes and ketones), carboxylic acids and
aromatics.
The carbon chain length, n, follows a fixed distribution,
which is called the Anderson-Schulz-Flory (ASF) distribution.
The ASF distribution is a consequence of the way in which the
products are formed on the FT catalyst. For every step of the
reaction, there is a chance that the molecule being synthesized
will either increase in length by one carbon, or leave the catalyst
as a final product.
The probability that the molecule will increase in length is
expressed in terms of a single variable, , called the alpha-value.
The alpha-value is determined by both the FT catalyst and the
operating conditions. The mole fraction of compounds with (n
+ 1) carbons will be related to the mole fraction of compounds
with n-carbons by Eq. 6:
x
n + 1
/ x
n
= (6)
Using the relationship shown in Eq. 6, it is possible to cal-
culate the ASF product distribution that will be obtained from
FT synthesis with a known alpha value. The impact of choos-
ing different alpha values on the resulting product distribu-
tions is illustrated in FIG. 3. The only two carbon numbers that
do not follow this relationship are C
1
and C
2
. Normally, the C
1

mole fraction is higher than predicted from Eq. 6, and the C
2

mole fraction is lower than predicted from Eq. 6. The values for
C
1
and C
2
compounds are, consequently, not shown in FIG. 3.
Other subtleties affect the product distribution, as well, but the
ASF distribution is usually a good approximation of the carbon
distribution that is obtained during industrial operation.
The selection of the FT technology holds implications for the
upstream and downstream design of the GTL process. These im-
plications will be discussed in terms of the key parameters that
can vary. Note: It is possible to create new FT technologies by
combining these parameters into different groupings. This is one
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Carbon chain length
M
o
l
e

f
r
a
c
t
i
o
n
,

o
p
e
n

s
y
m
b
o
l
s
M
a
s
s

f
r
a
c
t
i
o
n
,

s
o
l
i
d

s
y
m
b
o
l
s
0.65 (mole)
0.80 (mole)
0.90 (mole)
0.95 (mole)
0.65 (mass)
0.80 (mass)
0.90 (mass)
0.95 (mass)
Alpha-values
30C360C
boiling range
FIG. 3. Mole fraction and mass fraction distribution of different
alpha-value FT products.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201445
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
of the main advantages of FT synthesis, because it provides the
design engineer with ways to manipulate the nature of the prod-
uct to best fit the application. It is unfortunate that the technology
selection for recent industrial GTL facilities has created a more
monochromatic impression of what is desirable and what is not.
FT alpha-value. The alpha-value cannot be selected inde-
pendently of the FT catalyst type, reactor type and operating
conditions. Nevertheless, it is advisable to estimate what alpha-
value best suits the design intent of the small-scale GTL facility.
The alpha-values of industrial GTL processes are in the range
of 0.600.95.
A high alpha-value limits the production of normally gas-
eous lighter products while producing a broad distribution of
products (FIG. 3), including a significant fraction of waxes. A
low alpha-value produces a significant fraction of lighter prod-
ucts, including naphtha and normally gaseous products, but
the boiling range distribution is narrow, and almost no heavier
products are produced (FIG. 3).
In a small-scale GTL facility, gaseous light products and
waxes are usually undesirable products. The following implica-
tions should be considered:
Normally gaseous light products (C
1
C
4
). Just like the
natural gas feed, the problem with the normally gaseous
products that are produced by FT synthesis is transport-
ability to the market. The olefinic C
2
C
4
gases can be
converted into liquid products using oligomerization
technology. For example, high conversion of light olefins
to naphtha and kerosine boiling-range products is pos-
sible over a solid phosphoric acid catalyst. The paraffinic
C
1
C
4
gases are inert to this type of conversion. Although
some of the light gases will also dissolve in the oil prod-
uct, most of the light paraffinic gases are undesirable FT
products in a small-scale GTL facility. In this context, the
light paraffinic gases effectively have the same value as
the natural gas feed at that location, because the gaseous
products cannot be brought to market.
Waxes. In large-scale GTL facilities, waxes are desired
products. In small-scale facilities, the presence of waxes
creates a challenge in terms of production, conversion
and marketing. Heavy waxes readily congeal in cold
spots, and all process equipment in contact with waxes
must be rigorously heat-traced. To convert waxes into liq-
uid oil products, a hydrocracker is needed. Hydrocrack-
ing technology requires high-pressure purified H
2
and a
fired preheater, which are both onerous requirements in
a small-scale GTL facility. Alternatively, the waxes can be
recovered as a slack-wax product that can be marketed
separately from the oil product.
FT catalyst type. All industrially used FT catalysts are based
on either iron (Fe-FT) or cobalt (Co-FT). The selection of one
catalyst type over the other is a process-specific selection that is
based on the different characteristics of the catalysts (TABLE 1).
The comparison assumes that the Fe-FT and Co-FT catalysts
are both state-of-the-art, industrially produced catalysts that are
skillfully operated. The implications of the catalyst selection for
the process follow from the catalyst characteristics.
Many of the characteristics stem from the hydrogenation activ-
ity of the two metals. The hydrogenation activity of iron is lower
than that of cobalt. The main advantage of lower hydrogenation
activity is that Fe-FT catalysts can be operated over a much wider
temperature range than can Co-FT catalysts. At higher operating
temperatures, Co-FT catalysts become strong methanation cata-
lysts. The main disadvantage of lower hydrogenation activity is
that the product from Fe-FT synthesis contains more oxygenates.
TABLE 1. Comparison of iron- and cobalt-based FT catalyst characteristics
Description Fe-FT Co-FT
Product properties
Alpha-value Low to very high Usually high; > 0.8
Methane selectivity
a
Lower Higher
Olen selectivity
a
Higher Lower
Oxygenate selectivity
a
Higher Lower
Water-gas shift activity High Minimal
Catalyst properties
Catalyst cost Cheap Expensive
Complexity of catalyst manufacturing Lower Higher
Metal toxicity of spent catalyst Low; can be waste Toxic; must reclaim
Operating properties
Catalyst lifetime Months Years
Temperature range of typical operation 220C340C 190C230C
Sensitivity to feed H
2
:CO ratio Lower Higher
Sensitivity to H
2
S in syngas Deactivation Deactivation
Sensitivity to NH
3
in syngas No efect Deactivation
Sensitivity to halogens in syngas Deactivation Deactivation
a
Comparison made at same operating conditions
46JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
In addition to the implications that stem from the character-
istics of the two catalyst types shown in TABLE 1, there are two
issues of common misconception:
CO
2
footprint of Fe-FT vs. Co-FT. The net CO
2
foot-
print of an FT-based GTL process is determined by the
reaction stoichiometry and energy requirements of the
process. The stoichiometry of FT synthesis, shown in Eqs.
35, is similar for Fe-FT and Co-FT catalysts. The main
difference between Fe-FT and Co-FT is the step in the
process where most of the water-gas shift conversion (Eq.
2) takes place. In the case of Fe-FT, water-gas shift conver-
sion takes place in parallel with FT synthesis, but this does
not mean that Fe-FT has a larger CO
2
footprint than does
Co-FT. The overall CO
2
footprints for Fe-FT- and Co-FT-
based GTL processes are similar.
Fe-FT catalyst lifetime. The reported catalyst lifetimes
for Fe-FT catalysts span a wide range. The catalyst life-
time is based partly on the operating temperature, as well
as on minimum acceptable activity and alpha-value. At
operating temperatures typical of high-temperature FT
synthesis processes (typically > 320C), catalyst life-
time is mainly determined by activity loss. However, at
lower operating temperatures, which are more typical of
low-temperature FT synthesis, acceptable activity can be
maintained for much longer, but at the expense of a slight
decrease in alpha-value (i.e., lower wax selectivity) and an
increase in olefin content of the product. For small-scale
GTL applications that aim to produce oil or fuels, catalyst
lifetimes in the order of a yearand possibly longer
can be anticipated.
FT operating conditions. The operating temperature is the
most important of the operating conditions to select. The selec-
tivity profile of FT synthesis is sensitive to the operating tem-
perature, especially for Co-FT, which has a narrow operating
window compared to Fe-FT (TABLE 1). An increase in operating
temperature leads to a decrease in alpha-value. The implications
associated with changes in the alpha-value have already been
discussed. Generally speaking, higher operating temperature
disqualifies Co-FT and places more emphasis on the need for
an oligomerization process downstream from FT synthesis.
Another important aspect of the operating temperature is
the quality of the steam that is generated by removal of reac-
tion heat during FT synthesis. FT synthesis is very exothermic;
about 20% of the calorific value of the methane feed is released
during the FT reaction. This makes the steam production dur-
ing FT synthesis a meaningful energy flow in relation to the
overall GTL process. The higher the operating temperature, the
higher the steam temperature and pressure, which makes the
steam more useful. The importance of producing high-quality
steam in a small-scale GTL facility depends on the design of the
GTL facility and its location.
Operating pressure affects the alpha-value and volumetric
reactor productivity. The pressure will likely be determined by
the technology selection for gas reforming.
The syngas composition is important, and it is affected by
the design of the FT gas loop. When the gas loop includes one
or more syngas recycle streams, the H
2
:CO ratio produced by
the reformer is less critical.
Generally speaking, the FT synthesis becomes more sensi-
tive to the H
2
:CO ratio of the syngas feed at higher per-pass con-
version in the reactor. The increased sensitivity to the H
2
:CO
ratio at high conversion is because H
2
and CO are consumed in a
specific ratio (Eqs. 35). Co-FT is more sensitive to the H
2
:CO
ratio of the feed. Fe-FT is water-gas shift-active and will tend to
produce a more H
2
-rich syngas due to the water-gas shift equi-
librium (Eq. 2) at low temperature that favors H
2
over CO.
FT reactor type. The reactor type must be selected in combi-
nation with the nature of the catalyst and operating conditions.
Heat management is central to the design of reactors for FT
synthesis. Although near-isothermal operation is preferable, it
is important to understand the origin of this requirement.
Activity and selectivity during FT synthesis is sensitive to
temperature. If waxes are the preferred products (as is often the
case in large-scale, low-temperature FT GTL facilities), then
any localized temperature increase results in a loss of wax selec-
tivity. In small-scale GTL facilities that aim to produce oil, the
stringency of this requirement can be relaxed for Fe-FT and, to
a lesser extent, for Co-FT, due to its narrower operating win-
dow (TABLE 1). Depending on the extent of the deviation from
isothermal operation, there is a risk that methane selectivity
will be increased, or that catalyst deactivation will be increased.
These are general reaction-engineering concerns and are not
just specific to FT synthesis.
The process implications for the main reactor types em-
ployed in FT synthesis are:
Fixed-bed. Multitubular or microchannel fixed-bed reac-
tors approach ideal plug-flow reactor behavior. The main
advantages for small-scale GTL facilities are their robust-
ness of operation and the localized deactivation of catalyst
when there are impurities in the syngas. The main disad-
vantages are the need for manual loading/unloading and
the inability to replace catalyst while onstream. Size and
cost can be minor disadvantages.
Slurry bubble column. Slurry bubble column reactors
can only be used when the alpha-value of FT synthesis is
high enough so that there is a liquid phase present at syn-
thesis conditions. Slurry bubble column reactors have be-
havior that can be approximated by one to three continu-
Organic
liquid
Organic
liquid
Vapor
240C
2 MPa
Solid
wax
25C
0.1 MPa
Low-temperature FT
with alpha-value of 0.90
320C
2 MPa
Aqueous
product
Aqueous
product
Organic
liquid
25C
0.1 MPa
High-temperature FT
with alpha-value of 0.65
Organic
and
water
vapor
Organic
and
water
vapor
Vapor
FIG. 4. Product phases during FT synthesis and at ambient conditions.
Inert gaseous compounds, CO
2
and unconverted syngas were excluded
from the vapor-phase product.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201447
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
ous stirred tank reactors in series. The main advantages are
high heat transfer for near-isothermal operation and the
ability to add and remove catalyst while onstream. The
main disadvantages are difficult catalyst/product separa-
tion and bulk poisoning of the catalyst when there are im-
purities in the syngas.
Fluidized bed. Fluidized-bed reactors can only be used
when the alpha-value of FT synthesis is low enough so
that there is a no-liquid phase present at synthesis condi-
tions. Therefore, this reactor type is found only with high-
temperature FT synthesis using Fe-FT catalysts. The main
advantages are simplicity of construction (fixed-fluidized
bed) and the ability to add and remove catalyst while on-
stream. The main disadvantage is bulk poisoning of the
catalyst when there are impurities in the syngas.
PRODUCT RECOVERY
The product from FT synthesis at ambient conditions con-
sists of gaseous compounds, an organic oil phase, a solid wax
phase (when the alpha-value is high) and an aqueous phase that
contains dissolved short-chain oxygenates (FIG. 4). The relative
amounts and the composition of each product phase depend
on the nature of the FT synthesis and the conditions of product
recovery. The product from FT synthesis is not a single-phase
hydrocarbon oil, and although product recovery seems like a
simple matter of condensation and phase separation, the vapor-
liquid-liquid equilibrium is complex.
The nature of the product separation associated with the
product recovery affects the downstream design and the effi-
ciency of the FT gas loop. The impact of poor product recovery
design on downstream operation should not be underestimated
and is not necessarily apparent from calculations. For example,
if the design does not allow complete recovery of short-chain
carboxylic acids in the aqueous product, then the oil phase will
become corrosive, affecting the material selection of down-
stream equipment. The composition of the different product
fractions produced during product recovery also affects the ef-
ficiency of product refining units.
Product refining. The extent of refining that is required in
small-scale GTL facilities depends on two decisions, both of
which affect the economics of the overall process. First, there
is the nature of the products that must be produced for the in-
tended market, which is a business decision. Second, there is
the refining units needed to convert light gaseous hydrocarbons
and/or solid slack waxes into liquid products, which are needed
to improve the overall liquid yield of the GTL facility.
The incremental cost associated with FT refining can usually
be economically justified by the increased value of the refined
products. However, the primary aim of small-scale GTL is to
produce a transportable product. Value addition to the trans-
portable liquid product can take place in a centralized, larger-
scale facility, and it does not need to be part of the small-scale
GTL facility. Generally, two refining units should be considered
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48JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
for possible inclusion in a small-scale GTL design: olefin oligo-
merization and wax hydrocracking. The relative need and im-
portance of each is a consequence of the FT technology selec-
tion and, in particular, the alpha-value of FT synthesis.
Olefin oligomerization. The importance of olefin oligomer-
ization in a small-scale GTL facility increases as the fraction of
light olefins in the FT product increases. By not including an
olefin oligomerization unit, much of the light olefins will re-
main as vapor-phase product with the same lack of transport-
ability as the natural gas feed.
There are many olefin dimerization and oligomerization
technologies from which to choose. Most technologies are based
on the use of an acid catalyst in a fixed-bed reactor. Oligomeriza-
tion proceeds by successive dimerization reactions (Eq. 7):
2 C
n
H
2n
r C
2n
H
4n
(7)
Luckily, most olefin oligomerization technologies are fairly ro-
bust and well suited for small-scale implementation. In the con-
text of a small-scale GTL facility, it is preferable to select an oligo-
merization technology that has the following characteristics:
Feed flexible. It is necessary for the oligomerization
process to be effective with a range of feed compositions.
The implication of selecting a technology with limited
feed flexibility is that changes in the alpha-value of the FT
catalyst will hamper the efficiency of light olefin recovery.
Moderate operating temperature. The oligomeriza-
tion process should not require feed preheating beyond a
temperature that can be provided by the steam generated
from cooling the FT reactor. Furthermore, oligomeriza-
tion is thermodynamically favored by low temperature.
The implication of selecting a technology with more
onerous preheating requirements is that a fired heater will
be required. Fired heaters are both expensive and bulky.
High selectivity to heavy naphtha and distillate. The
objective is to recover the light olefins by converting them
into liquid products. Ideally, most of the olefinic product
should be heavy enough to be easily recoverable by con-
densation. The implication of selecting a technology that
favors dimerization is that some products will be in the
light naphtha range, which is more difficult to recover.
High once-through liquid yield. The olefin oligomer-
ization technology must be able to convert the olefins ef-
ficiently, even at low olefin partial pressure in the gaseous
feed. The implication of poor conversion at low olefin
partial pressure is a decrease in overall process efficiency
and profitability.
Product quality. Depending on the intended market,
some olefin oligomerization processes may produce bet-
ter-quality products that can be sold as blending compo-
nents. Although this will increase the logistical complex-
ity of the operation, there might be sufficient economic
incentive to do so.
Wax hydrocracking. Despite the prevalence of wax hydro-
crackers in large-scale GTL facilities, it is not a technology
that is easy to implement on a small scale. The need for a wax
hydrocracker is the consequence of the decisions to make use
of a high alpha-value FT technology and to produce a liquid
product. By changing either of these decisions, the inclusion
of a wax hydrocracker can be avoided.
A wax hydrocracker will meaningfully increase the cost, size
and complexity of a small-scale GTL facility, due to the inherent
requirements of hydrocracking technology mentioned previ-
ouslythe need for pure H
2
and the need for a fired preheater.
Need for pure H
2
. Wax hydrocracking consumes little H
2
,
but the required feed ratio of H
2
to wax far exceeds the H
2

consumption. Sufficient H
2
partial pressure is needed to
suppress catalyst deactivation by coking. The unconverted
H
2
is recycled. However, the partial pressure of H
2
can be
reduced by any inert materials that build up in the recycle
loop. In a small-scale GTL facility, H
2
is available from the
syngas, but the H
2
must be purified before it can be used
for the hydrocracker. The implication is that some H
2
pu-
rification technology, such as pressure swing adsorption,
must be included in the design. Furthermore, it is likely
that there will be a difference in the H
2
pressure required
by the hydrocracker and the pressure at which the pure H
2

is produced. Consequently, there will be additional gas
compression requirements associated with both the H
2

purification and the H
2
recycle loop on the hydrocracker.
Need for a fired preheater. Hydrocracking typically
takes place at temperatures of 350C and higher. Fired
heaters are bulky and costly. In addition to these require-
ments, there is also the need for wax recycling. The once-
through conversion of wax by hydrocracking is limited
by the liquid selectivity that can be obtained at high con-
version. In practice, the per-pass conversion is limited to
around 70%, which implies that there is a distillation step
that must be included in the process design. Since the re-
cycled product is unconverted wax, the distillation step
has a bottom temperature that is also around 350C, and
it also requires a fired heater.
TAKEAWAY
The development of small-scale FT-based GTL facilities is
an exciting future prospect. These facilities will likely be very
different in design to their larger-scale counterparts.
Technology decisions associated with the processing steps
in small-scale GTL facilities have many implications. By point-
ing out the implications of design decisions, which transcend
unit boundaries, the selection and integration of commercially
available technologies can be optimized to produce more effi-
cient designs.
Here, the absence of recommendations related to the tech-
nology decisions is deliberate. It underscores the interrelated-
ness of the technology decisions and emphasizes the message
that it is inadvisable to make such decisions in isolation. GP
ARNO DE KLERK is a registered professional engineer in
Alberta, Canada, with around 20 years of experience in Fischer-
Tropsch-based gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids conversion. He
spent around 15 years working for Sasol in South Africa, where
he was the technical manager of its Fischer-Tropsch Refining
Catalysis group. In 2009, he relocated to Canada to take up a
position in the Department of Chemical and Materials
Engineering at the University of Alberta, where he is the Nexen Professor of
Catalytic Reaction Engineering. He consults globally on topics related to carbon-
based conversion processes. His publications include monographs on different
aspects of the Fischer-Tropsch process in addition to various papers.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201449
Planning small-scale LNG? Manage
engineering risk to maximize returns
E. H. RODRIGUEZ, OnQuest Inc., San Dimas, California
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE
GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
The attractiveness of natural gas as a principal source of
fuel for a range of uses is predicated on several factors. Princi-
pal among these factors is readily available supply. The twin
technological breakthroughs of reliable horizontal drilling and
hydraulic fracturing have meant that fields formerly considered
too costly to exploit are now economically viable. In turn, plen-
tiful supply drives down prices.
Geopolitical factors also play a role. Given turbulence in
major oil-producing nations worldwide, from Iraq and Iran to
Venezuela and Nigeria, the appetite for a domestic source of
high-horsepower fuel has only increased.
Another driver is environmentalfrom increasingly strin-
gent regulation on coal-fired power plants to public concerns
about nuclear power, greenhouse gases and air quality. In the
US, opposition to crude oil from Canadian oil sands has be-
come a concern for producers on that front as well. Natural gas
exploration and production are not without environmental im-
pacts. However, technology advances and environmental regu-
lations suggest that these can be controlled.
The most important driver for continued reliance on US
shale gas as a fuel source is its plentiful supply and its discounted
cost when compared to crude oil. At high-volume use in high-
horsepower applications, this cost differential reaches hundreds
of thousands of dollars per year.
Opportunity for purpose-built plants. Developers of natu-
ral gas fields, prospective investors in natural gas liquefaction,
and commercial buyers of LNG may wish that enormous sup-
plies of methane were always located within reach of existing
transportation, and/or in close proximity to prospective buyers.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Domestic LNG supply and consumption are both con-
strained by a lack of transportation infrastructure. Building
larger-scale plants and infrastructure is costly and presents
imposing regulatory challenges. To be transported safely and
cost-effectively, natural gas is reduced in volume using cryo-
genic technology. Moving large volumes of supply to consum-
ers is expensive, and requires refrigerated pipelines (which are
impractical), massive fleets of LNG tanker-trucks, rail cars
and/or barges.
This challenge translates into opportunity for investors in
purpose-built facilities. Building processing capacity and the
necessary infrastructure to deliver LNG to customers where
they need the fuel is critical. Smaller, purpose-built, dedicated
LNG production facilitiesso-called mini- and micro-LNG
plantscan be constructed close enough to natural gas sup-
ply and closer to customers that need energy.
The rise of the micro-plant. Large LNG infrastructure proj-
ectsoffshore platforms, production facilities, terminals and
pipelinescost billions of dollars. They entail complex and
sometimes politically fragile coalitions of exploration and pro-
duction (E&P) companies, government entities and lenders.
Almost always, the engineering contractor is billing time and
materials (T&M) on a project that could take a decade from
conception to commissioning.
Because of their size, smaller-scale LNG plants present an at-
tractive economic proposition, if construction budgets are well
managed (FIG. 1). Developers of smaller LNG facilities typically
plan to spend between $50 million and $200 million upfront.
Most are already familiar with the technologies available to
purify and liquefy natural gas; frequently, they have already se-
lected one and secured a site for the facility by the time they
commit to an engineering contractor. Most likely, they already
know where they can sell the LNG once it is processed, and may
even have a contract. Developers will also have forecast capital
costs and return on investment (ROI).
Investors and facility owners interested in developing pur-
pose-built micro-scale and small-scale LNG plants for trans-
portation fuel requirements or for high-horsepower uses in oil
or gas production must forecast profitability to establish their
FIG. 1. Smaller LNG plants present attractive economics, if budgets
and planning account for elements of risk.
50JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
return on invested capital (ROIC). They need to assure equity
partners and lenders of adequate returns.
Planning for success. Forecasts of financial returns are typi-
cally based on assessing initial capital costs for the requisite
technology, and include the anticipated cost of design, engi-
neering, procurement and construction for so-called balance-
of-plant construction of the processing facility.
Other parameters for financial modeling include estimates
of facility operating costs, including projections of feedstock
prices (or futures contracts), personnel costs for operators, fa-
cility maintenance, and a forecast of the price for LNG that the
investor has either contracted for or reasonably expects to com-
mand in the market.
Understanding the engineering and technical risks inherent
in building smaller-scale LNG facilities is critical. Anything that
interferes with projected profitability must be carefully assessed
and accounted for in cost models; the same is applicable to
LNG process plant construction.
For smaller LNG plants, economic feasibility analyses typi-
cally forecast onstream production within 18 to 20 months, and
a ROI in year three. Developers must still mitigate any risk to
achieving projects on schedule and on budget; the plant must
begin operating as soon as possible. On smaller LNG projects,
a 3% or 5% cost overrun on construction, a six- or nine-month
permitting process, or a holdup in the fabrication of key equip-
ment can seriously squeeze profitability. These are just a few of
the critical factors that can affect timelines for completion and
costs.
Economic forecasts may miss key engineering complexities
and other considerations. Variables include the attributes of the
proposed site and its proximity to feedstock and utilities, engi-
neering alternatives for various plant functions, the prevailing
regulations and environmental requirements in the specific ju-
risdiction, health and safety considerations and others.
LNG production: Gauging execution risk. LNG develop-
ment projects share a similar project planning profile to other
hydrocarbon and chemical processing facilities. These include
specific site requirements, health and safety considerations,
permitting requirements, transportation infrastructure, the
availability of key utilities, and air and wastewater treatment.
Often overlooked in financial models, however, is a range
of engineering and associated project risks that can affect near-
term profitability. The range of these challenges is depicted in
FIG. 2. Natural gas treatment facilities present their own tech-
nical challenges. Available cryogenic technologies have differ-
ent ranges of processing capacity and energy requirements;
these can alter design parameters and operating costs based
on production volume.
Other variables include the volume and purity of methane
gas supply. They include the challenge of separating, processing
and storing NGL, along with managing their sale and transport.
New and emerging environmental factors. Methane is a
greenhouse gas more potent than CO
2
, and its emission has
recently become a significant environmental concern. Control-
ling emissions during production and transportation is becom-
ing more important.
Challenges also arise during plant construction, due to un-
foreseen design modifications, scope changes, inaccurate or
incomplete materials specifications, the incompatibility of key
process components, and the execution risks inherent to any
technology construction project. All of these risks interfere with
timely project completion and can affect the timeline for ROI.
Modeling risks to manage outcomes. A comprehensive tech-
nology project risk assessment can give investors a clearer forecast
of total installed cost, infrastructure requirements, and operating
and utility requirements in advance of breaking ground. This al-
lows for a more accurate financial model and ROI assessment,
including the liquefaction technology selected and balance-of-
plant costs. It also allows investors to model ROI under different
circumstances, from best-case scenarios to higher-risk ones.
Developers and investors should consider adopting a risk
model (FIG. 2) that identifies potential hurdles to timely, on-
budget completion. In partnership with their technology pro-
vider and engineering contractor, they can then articulate a
strategy for managing each of those risks based on key factors:
criticality (i.e., relative importance to realizing the project on
time), severity (i.e., the financial impact and/or cost-to-cure)
and likelihood (which depends on an informed estimate of pos-
sible incidence). Importantly, the coincidence of two or more
risks during the balance of plant design, engineering, and con-
struction can contribute to a complex interplay of factors that
affect project schedules.
Financial planners and analysts can build sophisticated pre-
dictive models that will forecast profitability and cash flows
based on multiple operating and market base-cases. Develop-
ers and investors know how to project ROI based on feedstock
and process costs. However, variables that affect project cost
and timeline for construction are often overlooked during the
early stages of a feasibility analysis.
Those variables can be identified, examined and frequent-
ly quantified; they can be plotted on a timeline that identifies
which risks belong to which phase. As shown in FIG. 3, most
of these risks belong to the earliest planning stages, with the
Site
location
Regulatory and
permitting
Availability
of utilities
Feedstock
quality
Limited
suppliers
Logistics
Subcontractor
performance
Force majeure
(weather)
Technology
specications
Equipment
delivery
Project
protability
(ROIC)
FIG. 2. Forecasting risk: A model for LNG development projects.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201451
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
second-highest number occurring in the construction phase.
With sufficient planning in advance of groundbreaking, many
of these risks can be mitigated or even eliminated.
The experience and qualifications of the engineering partner
on an LNG production facility are key factors in circumventing
certain types of financial risk. For smaller-scale facilities, a de-
veloper can cap or contain costs relating to risks in the design,
engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phases of
the project by involving the engineering partner to address these
risks during the development phase, and by agreeing to terms
with a provider willing to work for a predetermined fixed fee.
A typical micro-LNG plant will require 18 to 20 months for
engineering, procurement and construction up through com-
missioning, or four to six months after receiving the key piece
of process equipment.
Procurement is criticalfrom specifications, to fabrication,
to delivery. The critical activities are chiefly based on acquiring
specific equipment to the necessary specifications:
Brazed aluminum heat exchanger required for the
cold box
Refrigeration compressor(s)
Turboexpander.
Delivery and/or onsite construction of the LNG storage
tank(s) may also be on the critical path to completion, depend-
ing on source limitations.
In some states, an air permit can be obtained in parallel with
design engineering. In others, securing a permit can add 8 to
12 months prior to the start of engineering/procurement. Con-
struction will take 7 to 10 months, depending on the plant size,
location and whether work can continue throughout the winter.
Variables affecting project cost. Following are some details
on variables that can affect construction cost and impact short-
term ROI.
Natural gas supply. Several factors come into play imme-
diately in considering the most fundamental decisionplant
location. The principal factors are the source of supply and the
planned or contracted demand. LNG plants require a reliable
natural gas feed, delivered at a volume and pressure capable
of meeting full production capacity. Reviewing the design of
proposed delivery systems for the feedstock is imperative. Low
natural gas pressure may require a compressor, which adds sig-
nificantly to the capital outlay and facility operating cost. Nor-
mally, natural gas is supplied by a local gas provider, with supply
contracted before the plant is built.
Adjacent gas processing facility. Sometimes, locating an
LNG plant near a gas processing facility can offer substantial
capital cost savings. Being able to rely on a supply of leaner feed
gas can eliminate propaneand, therefore, the need for a sepa-
rate depropanizer unitand it can lessen the need to remove
heavy ends (such as ethane) in the gas. It can also simplify feed
gas handling, and it can simplify pretreatment by eliminating
the amine system in cases with low levels of carbon dioxide
(CO
2
) in the feed.
However, the potential capital cost savings realized by co-
locating the LNG facility adjacent to a gas processing facility
may be offset by the higher cost of feed gas from that supplier,
because of the requirement that the gas be treated more exten-
sively before it arrives at the LNG facility.
A more viable option may be to sweeten the gas at the new
facility once it arrives onsite, and to return the LNG heavy
ends (i.e., ethane and heavier NGL) to the gas processing facil-
ity. This eliminates the need for the planned facility to handle
and store NGL, and to have the corresponding loading system.
Since ethane and NGL can also be used as fuel, it creates an-
other potential source of revenue for the developer.
Natural gas demand. On the demand side, the plant should
be strategically located with respect to proposed or contracted
markets, to reduce transportation cost. This means considering
how the LNG will be delivered to buyers: The type of tractor
used, the tractor/trailer storage location, whether the tractor
needs to return to home base in a day, and whether to use com-
pany-owned tractor-trailers or contract for bulk delivery.
In undertaking economic modeling, owners and developers
must account for the contracted costs of transportation. Piping
the LNG is not practical, as it requires expensive insulated pip-
ing. Sometimes, however, transportation and customer delivery
are still being debated during the engineering feasibility stage,
affecting the length of planning time, decisions about facility
size, transportation infrastructure, and applications for local
and county permits.
Plant size. Another factor often determined in advance
but, on occasion, without full consideration of the engineering
demands of building a plantis the size of the property required.
The size will depend on the capacity of the plant to be built, and
should take into account any requirements for berms surround-
ing LNG storage; LNG loading, including tanker staging and
parking; standalone fire-prevention equipment; and other site
safety provisions, such as overflow retention impoundments.
The site must also be large enough to meet the offsets to property
boundaries resulting from gas dispersion and radiation studies.
Plant developers also need to consider whether demand fore-
casts allow for later expansion. Economies of scale dictate that
a larger plant is more cost-effective than multiple smaller ones,
but the initial installation of a larger plant may not be the best
economic option due to available markets for LNG, investment
constraints (cash/financing) and the impact on operating effi-
ciency of running a plant at less than its designed capacity.
Local community and taxation. Preferably, developers will
want to locate new LNG facilities in areas where petrochemi-
cal facilities have already been permitted and approved, and/or
in communities or regions already familiar with gas processing
and even cryogenic processing. Local building departments and
agencies, as well as fire departments, will have more experience
Construction
Commissioning
Experience of operators
Subcontractor performance
Labor availability
Equipment deliveries
Force majeure (weather)
Construction permitting
Rework
Phase 1 planning
Design/engineering
Procurement
Contract sales price for LNG
Liquefaction technology
Site location
Feedstock availability
Feedstock price and supply
Regulatory and permitting
Siting studies
Dening design basis
Shortage of equipment
suppliers
Logistics
Engineering resources
Fire dept. requirements
FERC permissions
Utilities supply
Vendor information
availability
Timely decision-making
Timely order release
Deliveries
FIG. 3. LNG project timeline with risks by phase.
52JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
in permitting and inspecting such facilities, and a shallower
learning curve facilitates faster decision-making.
Municipalities that derive tax revenues from these types of
facilities should be of particular interest. From the standpoint of
taxation, these are friendlier than others and, furthermore, likely
far less hostile from a regulatory point of view. Some may provide
tax-increment financing (TIF), or other financial incentives, to
encourage development and job creation. Developers will want
to investigate such economic development zones for industry.
Utilities requirements. Reviewing utilities available at the
siteand road access to the siteshould also be included in
upfront analysis.
Water. Water is required for some process uses in all LNG
production facilities. For certain processes, usage is high, and at
least some percentage of supply needs to meet particular degrees
of cleanliness and chemical composition. Consumption is high-
est in plants with cooling towers. Water may also be needed for
firefighting use, based on regulatory requirements.
Water can be provided by a local utility, from a well spe-
cifically drilled for the LNG plant use, or from a neighboring
property. Local regulations control the drilling of wells and, in
some cases, may not allow it due to contracted obligations on
the water table, existing demand or environmental regulation.
In many jurisdictions, wastewater treatment requirements also
must be considered.
Electrical. Power is normally provided by a local utility, but
it can be generated onsite if necessary. In one recent LNG facility
construction project, the available electrical power supply was
sufficient for continuing operations, although it was inadequate
for the initial demand load required to start the compressors
electric motor. The solution meant specifying a variable fre-
quency drive to allow use of available power, without needing
to add new electrical supply lines from the municipal power sup-
pliera cost that would have been passed on to the developer.
The extent of an LNG plant owners investment in power-line
and gas-supply pipeline extensions will depend on negotiating
terms with local suppliers. Accounting for the costs of electrical
power supply will be important to calculating ROI.
Sewer. Sewers are not a necessity for an LNG plant, but
ready access to a municipal system makes disposal of wastewa-
ter from water treatment and control-room facilities simpler and
less costly. If the proposed design includes cooling towers, the
cooling tower blowdown will be the largest waste stream. The
volume and flowrate of the waste stream is directly proportional
to concentration cycles in the cooling tower, and it is affected by
the quality of available water. Wastewater from the gas purifica-
tion system is the second-largest stream.
Both waste streams will have a higher concentration of to-
tal dissolved solids (TDS) than the available water source. De-
pending on that concentration and the water quality of the waste
stream, local regulations may allow discharge into storm-water
ponds or injection into the ground. In a worst-case scenario, wa-
ter may have to be piped or trucked offsite. In this case, a process
design that calls for the use of a cooling tower would not be cost-
effective, and an alternative design should be considered.
Highway access and condition. Once an LNG plant is up
and running, tanker-truck traffic places continual demand on
transport infrastructure: roads, bridges, and viaducts. At an
LNG plant producing 100,000 gallons per day (gpd), opera-
tors can expect 10 to 14 tanker trucks to arrive at the facility,
load, and leave on a daily basis. A fully loaded tanker weighs
65,000 lb to 80,000 lb; this means significant stresses on road-
ways and bridges.
Especially in less-developed rural areas, infrastructure may
not be able to sustain this continual loading. Securing an oper-
ating or use permit from the local municipality or county may
require the LNG plant owner to invest in road upgrades or main-
tain a budget for yearly maintenance. The closer the facility is to
major highways, the smaller this investment could be.
Layout and process design variables. Examining variables
that can affect a projects cost and the timeline for successful
completion is not a linear or sequential process. Instead, engi-
neering feasibility reviews inform the developer/owners finan-
cial planning, modeling should be performed during the first
few months of design development, and the technical risk model
should be used as a reference and be updated as work continues.
By preparing a layout and site plan, developers and their engi-
neering consultants can use them as a basis/input for the model-
ing; the results offer management guidance about whether de-
sign changes are required. Once changes are implemented, the
models can be adjusted to confirm compliance with standards
and regulations.
Determining what cryogenic process will be optimalni-
trogen cycle, mixed-refrigerant, or another processis a vitally
important early decision. However, process design is also the sin-
gle-largest variable in ongoing operations cost. The purity, sup-
ply volume and pressure at which the feed gas supply is delivered
are critical. Often, pretreatment processes are necessary, and, in
some circumstances, source pressure needs to be adjusted with
the supplier to deliver the requisite volume.
Other considerations also affect design, construction and
permitting time, as outlined below.
Cooling system. Process cooling can be accomplished via
evaporative coolers (cooling towers) or air coolers. A typical air
cooling system uses a bank of centrally located air coolers to cool
a water/glycol stream that is used to provide cooling to all us-
ers. Alternatively or in combination, air coolers can be used to
directly cool the process stream (FIG. 4).
Air coolers are easier to secure permits for and do not require
water makeup or handling purge waste streams. Water cooling,
using evaporative coolers such as cooling towers, provides more
efficient cooling but requires makeup water supply and disposal
of purge streams. Given the scarcity of water in many of the re-
gions where natural gas is sourced and processed, it can be diffi-
cult to secure permits for systems with high water consumption.
Building processing capacity and the
necessary infrastructure to deliver LNG
to customers where they need the fuel is
critical. Smaller, purpose-built, dedicated
LNG production facilities can be constructed
close enough to natural gas supply and
closer to customers that need energy.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201453
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
Evaporative coolers may also emit contaminants into the at-
mosphere and may require an air emissions permit. In addition,
operating an evaporative water cooling system requires opera-
tors to budget for chemical additives and keep close watch on
water chemistry.
Process heat. Process heating is required for the amine re-
boiler and for regenerating the adsorption capacity of the mo-
lecular sieve(s). Both fuel-based and electric heat are technically
feasible, but heating requirements differ based on plant size and
production method.
For larger systems, developers should consider a central fuel-
fired hot oil heating system, although a fire tube or hot oil heater
may create emissions that, in turn, pose permitting challenges.
For other systems, developers can plan on a feed gas-supplied
fire tube or electric heating. The installed cost of an electric
heating system is higher, but it is simpler to operate and main-
tain and easier to permit.
Process water. Water is required for the amine system that
removes hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide from the feed gas,
and to supply makeup water to the evaporative cooler system.
The extent of water treatment required is a function of the qual-
ity of the feed water. Possible treatment can include water soften-
ing, reverse osmosis or demineralization.
Nitrogen supply. Nitrogen is used for purging and makeup in
nitrogen-based cryogenic liquefaction systems. Nitrogen can be
transported to the plant by tanker truck, and it can be stored in
liquid form at pressure, or it can be generated onsite using a nitro-
gen generator. Some plants do both, allowing operators to supple-
ment supplies based on the nitrogen consumption of the plant.
Operation and maintenance access. An LNG plant resem-
bles a small gas processing plant more than it does a petrochemi-
cal refinery unit, and the plants footprint is typically limited to
reduce overall cost. Equipment is packaged and erected on skids
to the maximum extent possible, and interconnecting pipe is run
along pipe sleepers, which require stiles for operator access/mo-
bility within the plant. This means access to equipment is often
limited to one of its sides. Maintenance considerations are not
too different from those at natural gas plants: For example, pro-
viding access to a crane for the removal of heavy equipment (e.g.,
compressors), and providing an area that allows operators to pull
tubes from heat exchangers.
Pressure drop. Feed gas travels from pretreatment to lique-
faction to storage to loading. The longer the lines, the greater
the pressure drop, which, in turn, affects power consumption
and correlates to operating cost. Engineering design must,
therefore, strive for the optimal balance between compactness
and efficiency on one hand, and access and safety consider-
ations on the other.
Of particular importance in LNG plants are the net positive
suction head (NPSH) requirements for the LNG line between
the storage tanks and the loading pump, and the goal of minimiz-
ing expensive cryogenic lines from cold box to storage and from
storage to loading.
LNG storage tank. Storage requirements will be derived
from the specific objective of the plants construction: To whom
the LNG will be sold and supplied, and with what frequency
the customer plans to order it. Some plans call for peakshaving,
which demands a higher capacity for long-term storage as well
as proportionally larger valving, pumping and offloading capac-
ity. For storage capacity of greater than 500,000 gal, a single flat-
bottomed tank may be more cost-effective and require a smaller
footprint than multiple bullet-type freestanding tanks.
Regulatory and environmental considerations. A num-
ber of permitting considerations also exist for developers and
owners. Air permitting and wastewater treatment requirements
differ significantly by jurisdiction, with some states and re-
gions being more attractive to industry than others. Proposed
developers and facility owners should conduct a preliminary
site review, and the engineering and financial feasibility study
should acknowledge and address the specific requirements for
new construction and/or any proposed expansion. Owners/de-
velopers will want their legal and/or environmental advisors to
determine which agency will take the lead on permitting in their
jurisdiction, and will want early on to establish a list of permits
they will require.
NFPA and DOT requirements. Depending on a plants
proposed capacity, both National Fluid Power Association 59A
and Department of Transportation Code of Federal Regulations
Title 49, Part 193, have standards and regulations for its design.
Both require gas dispersion and radiation studies to verify that
conditions comply with regulations and consider terrain, ambi-
ent conditions, wind patterns and equipment arrangement to
determine gas concentration and radiation levels at a propertys
fenceline. The single most common reason for increasing the
size of the property is the result of these studies.
Emergency egress. Any engineering firm undertaking EPC
scope for an LNG facility must consider how to ensure safety
for operating personnel while servicing different processing
units, as well as to anticipate regulatory requirements. Although
spacing requirements established by OSHA will be incorporat-
ed into the design, other factors may increase a plants required
footprint. For example, the local fire department may require a
perimeter road for access/egress. These and other factors could
affect project cost.
FIG. 4. Cryogenics technology and plant cooling systems are major
components of cost analysis, supply risk and utilities demand.
54JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL-SCALE GAS PROCESSING SOLUTIONS
Storm-water retention. State and local requirements dic-
tate how storm water is to be handled. Runoff is typically col-
lected in retention ponds and released in a controlled manner
consistent with county requirements. Depending on the size of
the required retention basin, this may affect property size.
LNG firefighting. Fighting an LNG fire is unique and not
normally understood by most fire departments. As with many
chemical fires, water is not the preferred method of extinguish-
ing an LNG fire; instead, using water on a burning LNG pool is
actively dangerous, because it increases the rate of vaporization
of the LNG. Counter-intuitively, therefore, it has the opposite
effect of feeding the fire rather than extinguishing it. Most nitro-
gen-based gas liquefaction plants do not have firewater systems.
However, the property owner may still be required to obtain the
approval of the local fire department.
Firewater tank. In the event a fire system is mandated and
a supply of firewater is not available, a dedicated firewater tank
with pumps will be required. The tank will be sized during the
development of the fire prevention and control plan. As with
storm-water retention ponds, the need for a firewater tank may
affect the required size of the property.
Emergency power systems. Emergency power should, at
minimum, allow the plant to safely shut down. Backup power
can be an independent power feed (not typical) or an electric
generator designed to provide power to control systems and
for emergency lighting. The generator can be fueled by diesel
or feed gas. Both fuel sources have benefits and drawbacks. An
owner may want to include the LNG pump and instrument air
compressor loads in the emergency circuit to allow truck load-
ing to continue during power outages.
Instrument air. Instrument air (I/A) options depend on
owner reliability requirements and operating standards. In a
typical design, the I/A system is provided with a 100% backup
system. Alternatives include providing backup I/A using avail-
able nitrogen, and using nitrogen for all I/A needs and eliminat-
ing the I/A system.
Other safety features. Plants will always require some sys-
tem for fire detection and suppression, including ultraviolet
and infrared sensors for detection, monitoring equipment to
detect combustible gases, smoke detectors, manual fire alarms,
security cameras and a system to shut the plants processes
down, if necessary.
Other requirements include fire control of ignition sources
(inspection, work permits, hot work permits, lockout/tagout,
training); spill control, including drainage systems specifically to
manage an LNG excursion; building sprinkler systems; an elec-
trical control room; and fire suppression systems, such as halon.
A note about expansion. If an owner/developer is seeking
to build a smaller plant and considering adding capacity in the
future, the engineering firm should be tasked with determin-
ing the minimum space that will be sufficient to accommodate
new liquefaction trains. If an expansion is highly probable, the
owner may want to consider pre-investment in some areas to
reduce the overall cost.
Pre-investment ideas include sizing the equipment to handle
future capacity, such as:
A larger feed gas line, with appropriate instrumentation
and valving
A larger-capacity inlet power line, including power
disconnect and transformers
Available volume and pressure at the source
of the water supply line
Allowances for an expanded instrument air system
Capacity of the water treatment system
Ability to generate sufficient emergency power
for a larger configuration
Flare sized for future capacity.
At the Clean Energy LNG facility completed in 2010 at
Boron in the Mojave Desert in California, the plants modular
design allowed for replication of certain systems for a third liq-
uefaction train alongside the original two trains. This required
awareness of the costs for construction at project inception, as
well as an understanding of the implications of adding a third
train on all of the plants utilities, systems, power demands, and
permit applications.
Takeaway. In summary, many variables and practical consid-
erations affect project execution risk in developing a small-
to mid-sized LNG plant. While managing financial risk falls
strictly within the purview of the developer/investor, techni-
cal and engineering risks can impact financial projections, and
must be factored in.
In conducting feasibility analyses, risks can be identified be-
fore project inception, costs can be anticipated and/or funds re-
served for contingencies, and, importantly, certain types of risks
can be addressed and eliminated. It is important to remember,
however, that these variables do not occur sequentially; each
should be considered concurrently, as part of an engineering
study that helps the economic analysis team to model outcomes
based on different selections.
Investors looking to realize returns from LNG developments
will, therefore, want to look to process engineering contractors
with an established project management approach, a holis-
tic awareness of various risks that can affect profitability, and
the ability to develop accurate cost estimates before breaking
ground on new projects. Such a provider should be able to im-
part experience in process design; in mechanical, civil, and elec-
trical engineering and other technical disciplines; in materials
supply and technology procurement; and in the construction
and operation of similar process plants.
Advance design planning helps ensure successful execution,
and total installed cost can be better predicted once variables
are assessed. As the project moves forward, the developers and
engineering firms integrated business and project execution
risk model can be used as a baseline for monitoring and address-
ing risk and cost on an ongoing basis. In this way, a turnkey EPC
provider can protect investors and developers ROIs. GP
EDUARDO H. RODRIGUEZ, vice president of process operations
for OnQuest Inc., joined the company in June 2002. He has over 32
years of experience in the environmental, chemical, petrochemical
and water treatment industries. Mr. Rodriguez attended Arizona
State University, followed by California State Polytechnic
University (Pomona), where he received his BSc degree in
chemical engineering in 1980. Immediately after graduating, he
joined Lawrence-Allison and Associates West Inc., which was purchased by KTI Corp.
in 1981. In 1995, he completed the Construction Management Program at Texas A&M
University. Mr. Rodriguez has been a registered professional chemical engineer in
California since 1983. He also holds a contractors license in the state of Louisiana.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201455
Simplify BOG recondenser design
and operationPart 2
S. P. B. LEMMERS, Vopak LNG Holding BV, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
BONUS REPORT: LNG
An LNG receiving and regasification terminal connects the
intermittent process of LNG carrier unloading and/or loading
with the mostly continuous process of LNG vaporization and
gas transmission into a sendout pipeline system.
In addition to these LNG carrier operations, truck/train
loading operations can take place simultaneously. During all
operational modes of the LNG terminal, boil-off gas (BOG) is
produced, which requires processing to avoid flaring or vent-
ing (under normal operating conditions) and to minimize the
environmental impact of the facility.
Part 1 of this article discussed optimal designs for BOG re-
condensers used in LNG terminals. Here, operational aspects of
BOG recondensers, based on the designs selected, are examined.
For the two BOG recondenser designs commonly used in
the industry, there are several operational and process control
elements to consider with respect to pressure and level control.
ANNULAR SPACE TYPE
In FIG. 1, an annular space type of BOG recondenser is
shown. This type is used in many LNG terminals, both older
and newer. There are a number of advantages and disadvan-
tages to this design.
The LNG and BOG enter the packed section. This type of
BOG recondenser works by adjusting the amount of packed-
section area available for condensing, by means of partial flood-
ing of the packed bed. To achieve partial flooding while ensur-
ing a constant level and net positive section head (NPSH) for
the high-pressure (HP) pumps, a physical separation between
the two packed sections and the annular space is required.
The level and pressure in the annular section are kept con-
stant. The level and pressure in the packed section can be dis-
tinct from those in the annular section. Both the pressure and
level in the packed section self-adjust in response to varying
BOG/LNG ratios.
At high BOG/LNG ratios, the liquid level in the packed-
bed section decreases automatically, through pushing of liquid
to the annular space, as the pressure in this section increases.
This process exposes more of the packed bed, increasing the
heat transfer/condensation area to create equilibrium condi-
tionscommonly referred to as the auto-regulating effect.
Likewise, a lower BOG/LNG ratio tends to reduce pressure
in the packed section, which then results in a level increase in
the packed section. In other words, this type of recondenser
tends to adjust itself. Both the level and pressure in the two sec-
tions are different.
Pressure control. For stable operation of the BOG recon-
denser, the BOG compressor discharge pressure and annulus
pressure must be controlled. Also, the annulus level and the
BOG recondenser outlet temperature must be guarded to en-
sure sufficient NPSH for the HP pumps. The following ex-
amples of pressure control have been proven in the industry.
Example 1. The BOG compressors compress the BOG
into the BOG recondenser. The BOG entering at the top of
the BOG recondenser is condensed by contacting the BOG
with subcooled LNG from the discharge of the low-pressure
(LP) pumps over a packed bed in the BOG recondenser.
The pressure (and, therefore, the level) in the packed bed
of the BOG recondenser varies with the ratio of LNG vs. sup-
plied BOG. When the BOG/LNG ratio increases, the pres-
sure in the packed section will rise, and the level in this section
(which differs from the level in the annular section, as does
the pressure) will decrease. This results in an increase of the
available area for recondensation, thereby establishing a new
equilibrium where all incoming BOG is fully recondensed.
The discharge pressure of the BOG compressors is con-
trolled via pressure controller PC
1
, and the pressure in the an-
nulus is controlled via pressure controller PC
2
:
PC
1
is a split-range controller that maintains the pressure
in the discharge of the BOG compressors via the control
To HP pumps
PC
1
PC
2
LC
L
H
LNG from LP pumps
BOG from compressors
Padding gas
To BOG header
FIG. 1. Operation of an annular space BOG recondenser.
56JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
BONUS REPORT: LNG
valve, which regulates the flow of BOG to the packed-
bed section. If the BOG compressors discharge pressure
becomes too low to guarantee sufficient NPSH
required

for the HP pumps, then PC
1
will introduce padding gas
from the HP natural gas system or fuel gas system.
PC
2
is a split-range controller that maintains the
pressure in the annulus of the BOG recondenser.
Even in the annular space, there will be some
recondensation of BOG into the LNG at the interface.
Therefore, to maintain pressure, some BOG must
be fed into the annular space. On the other hand,
ambient heat in-leak generates BOG, counteracting the
above process. There is a need for split-range pressure
control (i.e., bringing in BOG or venting to the BOG
compressor suction head, as required). When the
pressure rises, this controller will first close the control
valve on the incoming BOG that bypasses the packed
bed. Then, when the pressure rises further, PC
2
will
open the control valve to the LP BOG head upstream
of the BOG compressors.
The control characteristics of both pressure controllers are
depicted in FIG. 2.
Example 2. To maintain both the correct pressure con-
trol (FIG. 3) of the annulus pressure and the NPSH
required
for
the HP pumps, transmitters connected to the annular space
provide an input to three pressure controllers to deal with low
(PC
1
), medium (PC
2
) and high (PC
3
) pressure conditions:
Under normal conditions, the pressure in the annulus
will be maintained by gas from the BOG compressors
by means of the PC
2
pressure controller, which controls
BOG flow into the annular space.
If there is less BOG available, then the pressure in the
annulus will tend to fall, and the pressure controller
will introduce padding gas. Under normal conditions,
the padding gas control valve will be closed.
If the pressure in the annulus becomes too high, then the
PC
3
pressure controller will allow BOG to pass through
the vent to the LP BOG head upstream of the BOG
compressors. Similar to the padding gas control valve,
this control valve will be closed under normal conditions.
A differential pressure control valve will be provided in the
line from the BOG compressors downstream of the split
to the recondenser annulus and center section, to maintain
positive BOG pressure upstream of the BOG recondenser.
Level and total volume control. To ensure constant HP
pump conditions, the LNG level in the annular space of the
BOG recondenser is controlled via manipulating the LNG inlet
valve to the packed-bed section of the BOG recondenser. The
level controller must be tuned so that moderate fluctuations in
the BOG recondenser level are allowed to prevent unaccept-
able disturbances to the LP pump operation. The control valve
should have a high turndown ratio and high resolution.
As discussed previously, the level in the packed-bed section
is not directly regulated; it will vary as a result of the BOG/
LNG ratio. The higher the BOG/LNG injection ratio, the
less contacting area is required for recondensation, and the
higher the level will reach. When there is less contacting area,
the pressure will rise and the level will decrease due to the in-
creased pressure.
Conversely, when the BOG/LNG ratio is high, the pres-
sure in the packed section will rise and the level will drop. This
results in an increase of the available area for recondensation;
the pressure will fall, and the level will rise again.
A practical result of this floating packed-section level is the
following inverse-response phenomenon. If the BOG/LNG
ratio increases, then the level in the packed bed will decrease,
and the level in the annulus will initially increase because the
pressure in the central section increases (pushing LNG from
the packed section into the annular space), which forces the
level controller (LC) to close the LNG inlet valve. This reduc-
es the level in the packed-bed section even further.
To avoid this inverse response of the level control system,
an LNG total volume control, based on both the level in the
packed section and the level in the annulus, has been devel-
oped and implemented. This response, which is potentially
caused by uncontrolled introduction of padding gas, may dis-
place liquid from the packed-bed section to the annulus and
vice versa, making the simple annulus level an unstable param-
eter for controlling the flow of LNG into the recondenser.
For total volume control, liquid levels in both the BOG
recondenser annulus and the BOG recondenser packed bed
will be measured and used for calculation of total LNG vol-
ume in the BOG recondenser. The calculated total LNG vol-
ume, rather than the level in the annular space, is controlled by
regulating the flow of LNG to the packed bed. By using total
Controller output, %
(controller direct acting)
Controller output, %
(controller direct acting)
Valve
position
%
100%
(open)
0%
(closed)
Valve
position
%
100%
(open)
0%
(closed)
PC
2
B
y
p
a
s
s

v
a
l
v
e
V
e
n
t

v
a
l
v
e
0% 100% 50% 0% 100% 50%
PC
1
P
a
d
d
i
n
g

g
a
s
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
o
r

d
i
s
c
h
a
r
g
e
FIG. 2. Pressure control characteristics.
To HP pumps
PC
3
PC
1
PC
2
DPC
LC
L
H
LNG from LP pumps
BOG from compressors
Padding gas
To BOG header
FIG. 3. BOG recondenser pressure control.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201457
BONUS REPORT: LNG
volume control, any transient conditions are ignored and the
inverse response is eliminated.
The total volume of LNG in the BOG recondenser is calcu-
lated as shown in Eq. 1:
LNG volume = Vf Rb
2
Lb + ( Rv
2
Rb
2
) La (1)
where:
Vf = Volume of fractional voids
La = Annulus level
Lb = Core section level
Rb = Packed-bed radius
Rv = Vessel radius.
Application of total volume control is depicted in FIG. 4.
Bottom level and ratio control. All process control examples
described so far include LNG flow through the BOG recon-
denser packed section. At high LNG terminal sendout rates,
this can result in a continuous recycle of padding gas from
downstream of the LNG vaporizers to maintain pressure in the
BOG recondenser, since the LNG sendout rate is significantly
higher than that required to recondense all generated BOG.
This operation is not energy efficient; therefore, some an-
nular space type designs have introduced an LNG inlet into
the holdup section. This reduces the BOG/LNG ratio in the
packed-bed section and minimizes the requirement for pad-
ding gas. The downside is that it influences the effectiveness of
the auto-regulating effect (when level is maintained predomi-
nantly below the packed bed), compared to a BOG recondens-
er without a bottom inlet.
Some of these annular space BOG recondenser designs have
introduced ratio control for the ratio of LNG to the packed
bed and BOG. The balance of the LNG goes directly into the
holdup section of the BOG recondenser. Since BOG and LNG
compositions and temperatures can change, the pressure in the
BOG recondenser packed section is a result of the setpoint of
the BOG/LNG ratio controller.
FIG. 5 shows the described level and ratio control scheme.
The installation of a bottom LNG inlet that is controlled by
level can influence the effectiveness of the auto-regulating ef-
fect, which is the main feature of the annular space type design.
The selection of an annular space BOG recondenser should,
therefore, be reconsidered.
Ratio control and pressure override. When the BOG/
LNG ratio controller is not programmed and/or configured
correctly, there is a possibility that either padding gas will need
to be introduced by PC
1
(when the LNG-to-packed bed/BOG
ratio is too high), or BOG will need to be directed to the BOG
suction head by PC
3
(when the ratio is too low). Either sce-
nario results in a loss of operational energy efficiency.
To resolve this issue, overrides from PC
2
can be configured
to control the BOG recondenser pressure when the bypass
valve around the pressure differential controller (i.e., the by-
pass of BOG to the annular space) is already closed. This sce-
nario is depicted in FIG. 6.
TOP PACKED-BED SECTION TYPE
A typical top packed-bed section type of the BOG recon-
denser is depicted in FIGS. 7 and 10. The pressure and level con-
trol for this type are depicted in FIGS. 2 and 5 of Part 1. Similar
to the annular space type, this BOG recondenser receives BOG
from the BOG compressors for recondensation, and it also
provides holdup and NPSH
required
for the HP pumps.
For the top packed-bed section BOG recondensers, the liq-
uid level is normally below the bottom of the packed bed. As
such, the heat transfer area constantly allows for a simple and
proven pressure control scheme. To control the BOG recon-
denser pressure, only some of the LNG is routed to the packed
bed, with the balance of the incoming LNG being routed di-
rectly to the bottom holdup section. This type of BOG recon-
denser requires two LNG inlets.
Pressure control. The main objective of the pressure control
is achieved by the flowrate of the subcooled LNG from the bot-
tom LNG inlet line to the packed section, to keep the BOG
recondenser at a pre-set operational pressure. This control en-
To HP pumps
PC
1
PC
2
LIT
L
H
LNG from LP pumps
BOG from compressors
Padding gas
To BOG header
LIT FY
LIC
L
H
FIG. 4. Total volume control applied to the BOG recondenser.
To HP pumps
PC
3
PC
1
PC
2
DPC FRC
FI
1
FI
2
LC
L
H
LNG from
LP pumps
BOG from compressors
Padding gas
To BOG header
FIG. 5. Introduction of level bottom inlet and BOG/LNG ratio control.
58JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
BONUS REPORT: LNG
ables stable HP pump and BOG compressor operation. Out-
put from the pressure controller is cascaded as setpoint to the
LNG quench (LNG to packed bed) flow controller.
If the pressure increases, then more LNG is routed to the
packed bed, reducing the pressure and preventing the opening of
the connection to the BOG compressor suction head. If the pres-
sure decreases, then the pressure controller will increase the LNG
flowrate via the quench flow controller, to prevent the opening of
the padding gas supply. With this type of BOG recondenser, it
is easy to adjust the operating pressure of the BOG recondenser
(typically between 6 barg and 10 barg) in LNG operations.
When no quench flow controller or flow measurement is
provided, the pressure controller can directly act on the quench
flow valve. A cascade configuration provides more stability with
respect to change in flow, which will be picked up directly by
the flow controller before it affects BOG recondenser pressure.
Level control. The LNG liquid level in the BOG recondens-
er is controlled by manipulating the bottom LNG inlet valve
to the BOG recondenser. The level controller can be loosely
controlled, since neither operation nor the process requires
tight level control in the BOG recondenser.
PROCESS CONTROL EXAMPLES
AND LESSONS LEARNED
Process control scenarios can be applied to both types of
BOG recondensers, showing control schemes that work, as
well as schemes that have failed to work, in practice.
Ratio control with pressure prediction. For both BOG re-
condenser designs, the BOG/LNG ratio control between the
LNG quench flow to the packed bed and the incoming BOG
has been applied. FIG. 7 depicts this control scheme for a top
packed-bed section type.
The objective of this control scheme is to establish a pres-
sure setpoint that is converted into a flow setpoint to the
quench flow controller. The scheme in FIG. 7 is a simplifica-
tion; an implemented control scheme uses a ratio of mass-
flow of LNG to BOG, corrected for BOG and LNG quench
temperature and BOG recondenser operating pressure. The
final volumetric quench flow setpoint is based on actual LNG
quench flow density calculations, shown in Eqs. 24:
LNGtoBOGmassratio = UncorrectedRatio
BOGTCorrection LNGTCorrection
(2)
ActualVolLNGtoBOGmassratio =
LNGtoBOGmassratio / LNG
(3)
ActualVolFlowLNG = ActualVolLNGtoBOG
massratio BOGmassflow
(4)
The control schemes objective is to predict the pressure
in the BOG recondenser on the basis of Eqs. 24. However,
multi-process variable control resulted in an offset between
the desired pressure in the BOG recondenser and the actual
pressure. This result proved that, even by creating a rigorous
mathematical model of the involved thermodynamics, the
pressure in the BOG recondenser could not be predicted.
LNG operations then changed the input to the model (i.e.,
the desired pressure in the BOG recondenser) so that the de-
sired pressure was reached. This resulted in manual feedback
control by the operator. For instance, if 6 barg was the desired
pressure, the operator keyed 6.32 barg into the distributed
control system. However, when the composition changed, the
resulting value was 6.65 barg. LNG operations used trial-and-
error to achieve the desired setpoint pressure.
Pressure override on ratio control. Some designs for both
types of BOG recondensers have a pressure override control-
ler on the BOG/LNG ratio control. When the pressure reach-
es the HP setting, this pressure controller will take over from
the BOG/LNG ratio controller.
As an alternative to this pressure override controller, a pres-
sure controller with a gap could be considered; this controller
acts only on the quench on HP to avoid opening the control
valve to the suction of the LP compressors. On LP, it acts on
the quench to avoid the unnecessary supply of padding gas.
To vaporizers
LC
FC
1
FI
FX
FC
2
PIT
PC
2
PC
3
L
H
LNG from
LP pumps
BOG from compressors
Padding gas
To BOG header
X
HP pumps
SP
FIG. 7. BOG/LNG ratio control with the objective to predict
operating pressure.
To HP pumps
PC
3
PC
1
PC
2
DPC
FRC FY
FI
1
FI
2
LC
L
H
>
LNG from
LP pumps
BOG from compressors
Padding gas
To BOG
header
FIG. 6. Level bottom inlet control with pressure override.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201459
BONUS REPORT: LNG
Some fundamental questions to ask are, If the pressure
must be controlled, can a pressure controller be installed on
the quench? and What are the real advantages and benefits
of BOG/LNG ratio control and a floating pressure? This ar-
gument is especially true for the top packed-bed type of BOG
recondenser. Furthermore, the original annular space type
without a bottom LNG inlet requires a floating pressure for
the auto-regulating effect.
By installing the override from PC
2
, it has become obvious
that BOG recondenser control based on ratio control is not
essential. Also, the main pressure control is better located on
the bypass, and the quench LNG flow should be located at the
top (FIG. 8).
Padding gas stability. For stable padding gas control of the
BOG recondenser pressure, the padding gas control valves
should be installed at a certain distance to the BOG recon-
denser to provide adequate control time for the control loop to
stabilize. Typically, a few seconds are required for the padding
gas control loop to stabilize. An unstable padding gas control
loop results in violent opening and closing of the valve. In one
example, LNG operations decoupled the padding gas control
loop due to valve issues.
Full operational bypass without pumps holdup. A BOG
recondenser with full operational bypass directly to the HP
pump suction is depicted in FIG. 9. In this configuration, the
majority of the LNG completely bypasses the BOG recon-
denser and is fed directly into the suction of the HP pumps,
while the balance of the LNG is fed to the packed bed, as re-
quired to control the pressure in the BOG recondenser.
Successful application of this system has demonstrated
that there is no need for substantial liquid holdup in the BOG
recondenser. The one potential operational disadvantage of
this control scheme is that the LNG in the BOG recondenser
can be at bubble-point conditions (rather than subcooled, as
is the pumped LNG from the LP pumps), and a sudden in-
flow of warm LNG (resulting from the interruption of colder
LNG flowing directly from the LP pumps) can upset HP
pump operations. This upset would happen at a high level in
the aforementioned example, where the valve supplying sub-
cooled LNG from the LP pumps is closed, and only relatively
warm LNG from the BOG recondenser is fed into the HP
pump suction cans.
Control of recondenser bottom pressure. One design that
uses bottom pressure control in an attempt to maintain stable
suction conditions to the HP pumps is shown in FIG. 10. At a fixed
BOG recondenser pressure, the HP pump suction pressure is a
direct function of the LNG level, so the PC
4
effectively replaces
the normal level controller, manipulating the control valve to the
holdup section. However, this pressure control scheme is not ad-
vised, since 0.5 bar of pressure in the suction needs to be com-
pensated with approximately 10 meters of LNG, which will result
in unstable level and pressure control of the BOG recondenser.
Compressor type and pressure control. The type of com-
pressor chosencentrifugal or reciprocatingsets require-
PC
3
PC
1
PC
2
FRC FY
FI
1
FI
2
>
LNG from
LP pumps
BOG from compressors
Padding gas
To BOG
header
FIG. 8. Pressure override and padding gas stability.
FI
1
FRC
FI
2
BOG from compressors
To HP pumps
To BOG header
LNG from
LP pumps
Padding gas
PC
2
PC
1
LC
L
H
FIG. 9. Full operational bypass without holdup for HP pumps
with operational bypass.
To vaporizers
LC
FC
1
FC
2
PC
4
FY
1
PC
1
SP
FY
2
PC
2
FI
FX PC
3
L
H
<
>
x
LNG from
LP pumps
HP pumps
BOG from compressors
Padding gas
To BOG header
FIG. 10. Control of BOG recondenser bottom pressure.
60JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
BONUS REPORT: LNG
ments on the BOG recondenser pressure control. The more
commonly used reciprocal compressors are reasonably insen-
sitive to fluctuations in BOG recondenser discharge pressure.
Conversely, the less commonly used centrifugal compres-
sors can easily move between the surge area (at high BOG re-
condenser pressure) to the stonewall area (at low BOG recon-
denser pressure) as a result of discharge pressure fluctuations
(FIG. 11). Therefore, when using centrifugal BOG compressors,
the BOG recondenser pressure must be tightly controlled.
OPERATION AND PROCESS CONTROL TAKEAWAY
Several conclusions can be drawn with respect to the infor-
mation presented on operation and process control of both
types of BOG recondensers. For the annular space type of
BOG recondenser:
Various pressure control schemes have been successfully
implemented in the industry, and are functional
An annular space design having an LNG inlet only to
the top packed-bed section can suffer from an inverse
response when configured to operate on level control
only; therefore, total volume control is required
for stable operation
The aforementioned type can also introduce the
requirement of continuous recycle of padding gas
from the gas sendout system (in the case of high BOG/
LNG ratio), at the expense of overall energy efficiency
To avoid continuous recycle of padding gas to the
BOG recondenser, an LNG bottom inlet controlled
by level can be introduced at the cost of reducing
the effectiveness of the auto-regulating effect
Selecting a top packed-bed type of BOG recondenser
should be considered when a bottom LNG inlet is
installed in combination with an annular space type of
BOG recondenser, since its main feature, the
auto-regulating effect, will not work when the
level remains predominantly controlled below
the packed bed.
For the top packed-bed section type:
Trying to predict the resulting operating pressure on
the basis of BOG/LNG ratio has proven not to be
feasible in practice
When the operating pressure must be controlled, a
simple pressure control loop (see FIGS. 2 and 5, Part 1)
has proven its effectiveness
BOG/LNG ratio control is feasible, but pressure
remains a fluctuating process variable
Controlling the BOG recondenser bottom LNG outlet
pressure by controlling level has proven to be unstable
in practice, since a small change in pressure results in a
large change in BOG recondenser level.
For both types:
For BOG recondenser types with a bottom LNG inlet,
BOG/LNG ratio control can be used when a fluctuating
pressure in the BOG recondenser is acceptable
When installing BOG/LNG ratio control and
pressure overrides, the designer should consider
installing pressure control with a gap, or just a
simple pressure control
For stable padding gas control, the padding gas control
valves should be installed at a certain distance to the
BOG recondenser to provide adequate time for the
control loop to stabilize
In top packed-bed section type BOG recondensers
that have operational bypass directly into the HP pump
suction cans, a sudden inflow of warm LNG from the
BOG recondenser can disturb HP pump operations
When a centrifugal BOG compressor is applied, stable
pressure control is required to ensure stable BOG
compressor operation. The top packed-bed section
type with pressure control on the LNG quench is more
suitable for this process than is the annular space type.
Less is more. An overview of the most commonly used process
control and operational tactics of BOG recondensers reveals the
advantages and disadvantages in BOG recondenser operation.
BOG recondensers of both typesannular space type and
packed-bed typehave been installed and operated successfully.
As a general recommendation, BOG recondenser designers
are advised to consider simple designs and operational process
control mechanisms.
End of series. Part 1, May/June 2014. GP
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The author thanks Michiel Baerends from Fluor BV and his colleagues at Vopak
LNG Holding BV (part of Koninklijke Vopak NV), as well as Gate terminal BV,
for reviewing the article prior to publication.
SANDER P. B. LEMMERS has more than 17 years of experience in both the
technical and business facets of the global engineering, procurement and
construction industry. He holds a BSc degree and an MSc degree in industrial
engineering and management, and an MSc degree in chemical engineering, from
Twente University for Technical and Social Sciences in Enschede, The Netherlands.
At present, Mr. Lemmers is involved in the development of LNG and other liquefied
gas terminals in Southeast Asia, Scandinavia, France, and The Netherlands.
Dynamic pressure loss
Polytropic head, kJ/kg
Suction volume ow, m
3
/s
P
o
l
y
t
r
o
p
i
c

h
e
a
d
,

k
J
/
k
g
Static pressure loss
Stonewall
points
Speed 1
Speed 2
Operation point 1
Surge line
Surge points
Operation point 2
FIG. 11. Typical variable centrifugal BOG compressor curves
(either by inlet guide vanes or speed).
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201461
Uruguay finds floating
regasification solution to LNG growth
M. NOGARIN, Contributing Writer
BONUS REPORT: LNG
Uruguay is quickly becoming the sec-
ond-largest importer of LNG in South
America after Chile, with the opening of
its new floating storage and regasification
unit (FSRU) near Punta Sayago, and its
growing exports of natural gas.
The dynamics of energy policy in the
region show the tendency to invest vast
amounts of capital in technology to pro-
mote economic development. This trend
not only increases economic profitability,
but it also decreases dependence on oil
imports in favor of more environmentally
friendly natural gas.
NEW FSRU IS AN
ECONOMIC BOON
Construction of the new LNG regasifi-
cation plant, GNL del Plata (FIG. 1), is the
first step in Uruguays energy policy to
2030. The goal is to achieve energy self-suf-
ficiency over the next decade by increasing
Uruguays energy matrix to include 50%
non-subsidized renewable energies, and
by decreasing oil imports (TABLE 1). The
GNL del Plata regasification plant, which
required an investment of $1.1 billion (B),
will generate 10 million cubic meters per
day (MMcmd) of natural gas. Half of this
volume will be used for internal consump-
tion, and the rest will be exported.
Several direct economic benefits will be
gained from the new regasification plant:
A decrease in the cost of generating
electricity by substituting natural gas
for gasoline
Increased profits for Uruguayan oil
company ANCAP for transportation
and distribution of natural gas
A decrease in the price of natural gas
for domestic users, both residential
and commercial
Increased revenue for the government.
At the beginning of October 2013,
GDF Suez signed a build, own, oper-
ate and transfer (BOOT) contract for 15
years with Gas Sayago SAa partnership
of ANCAP and national electric company
UTEto provide shipping and receiving
services for the LNG, as well as storage and
regasification services.
GDF Suez began construction of the
FSRU in January. The plant has an area
of 345 m in length by 55 m in width,
which will allow a storage capacity of 263
thousand cm (Mcm) and a regasifica-
tion capacity of 10 MMcmd. Regasifica-
tion capacity can be later expanded to 15
MMcmd (TABLE 2).
The regasification plant will be an-
chored 4 km off the coast of Montevideo
(FIG. 2). The LNG terminal will have the
capacity to receive ships up to 218 Mcm
through an access channel being dredged
by Administracin Nacional de Puertos.
PROJECT PROGRESS
Until the new FSRU is delivered at the
end of 2016, the GDF Suez ship Neptune
(FIG. 3) will be used for the temporary
regasification of LNG, which will allow
commercial activities to begin at the ter-
minal in 2015.
The other components of the new ter-
minal are a receiving unit for the storage
and regasification of LNG, an underwa-
ter gas pipeline that will unload gas to the
onshore terminal, the gas transfer station,
and a pipeline that will move the gas to
the junction with the already existing
Cruz del Sur gas pipeline, which con-
nects to Argentina.
FIG. 1. General map of the new FSRU vessel. Image courtesy of Gas Sayago.
TABLE 1. Primary energy matrix
for Uruguay, 2011 and 2016
Energy type
2011,
actual
2016,
forecast
Oil 53% 39%
Hydroelectric 13% 14%
Biomass 13% 10%
Wind energy 5% 7%
Natural gas 2% 5%
Imported electricity 1%
Bioelectricity 5%
Bioheat 15%
Biocombustibles 3%
Solar 2%
Source: Uruguay Ministry of Energy
62JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
BONUS REPORT: LNG
The connecting gas pipeline from the
regasification plant to the Cruz del Sur
pipeline has two parts, one under water
and one on land. The first part will be
buried beneath the sea floor from the
terminal at Punta Yeguas and cover a
distance of 2.3 km. From Punta Yeguas,
the land portion will travel 13 km, have
a diameter of 24 in. and connect with the
existing gas pipeline of Cruz del Sur. The
overland portion of the gas pipeline will
be buried in its entirety, except at two
points: the transfer and metering station,
and the pressure-regulating station.
The LNG project (FIG. 4) also includes
construction of the breakwater and load-
ing docks, which, at the end of the 15-year
contract with GDF Suez, will become
property of UTE and ANCAP. Sayago
Gas will rent and operate these facilities
and the regasification tanker ship for an-
other five years, with the option to extend
the contract for an additional five years.
GDF Suez is also obligated to build
mooring and unloading docks, as well as
a protective breakwater. The company
will charge an annual fee of $120 MM
for the use of its FSRU and for operation
of the plant.
PROJECT SPECIFICATIONS
The major providers of LNG in the At-
lantic region are Uruguay, Nigeria, Equa-
torial Guinea, Angola and Trinidad and
Tobago. However, Marta Jara, the general
manager of Sayago Gas, does not discount
buying LNG from Middle Eastern pro-
ducers such as Qatar, Yemen, Abu Dhabi,
Libya, Algeria, Egypt and other countries.
Major domestic demand for natural
gas will come from electricity-generating
companies. Gas will complement other
renewable energy sources being devel-
oped in Uruguay in accordance with Uru-
guays energy matrix plan to 2030.
To meet these goals, a combined-cycle
turbine will be used, which burns gas and
produces electricity, and also uses the
generated heat to create water vapor that
will move a third turbine, which will also
produce electricity. Additional demand
will come from the residential, industrial
and commercial markets. Natural gas will
also be used in the transportation market
to move passengers and cargo, on land as
well as by water. These secondary markets
have been unable to develop in the past
due to the scarcity of natural gas in the
country. Uruguays total gas consumption
should increase to 4.6 MMcmd, which
means there will be an excess of 5 MM-
cmd available for export markets.
According to the preliminary business
plan drafted by the Ministry of Energy
of Uruguay, the excess gas will be sold to
Argentina. The latter countrys energy
matrix depends on natural gas, which ac-
counts for 51% of its energy consumption.
Natural gas can be delivered to Argen-
tina by two methods: The excess gas can
be shipped through the Cruz del Sur gas
pipeline, or the excess capacity of the plant
can be made available to Argentina to pro-
cess its own LNG. The second option
would increase the total volume of LNG
Argentina processes at its regasification
installations in Bahia Blanca and Escobar.
At the end of April, a commission
made up of representatives of the three
companies began work to reach a final
agreement by the end of the year. Ancap,
Uruguays national oil monopoly, fore-
sees two possible outcomes. YPF can use
20% of the capacity of the regasification
plant, which is the low-range and worst-
case scenario. The income generated for
Ancap during the useful life of the plant
would be $126 MM, from selling excess
capacity during eight months of the year
until 2024. A more optimistic scenario is
for YPF to sell excess capacity during 12
months of the year, which would generate
an income of $571 MM for Uruguay over
the useful life of the regasification plant.
The economic benefits for national
electric company UTE, by substituting
natural gas for gasoline, would be a sav-
ings of $826 MM to $1.059 B. Ancap will
also reap savings of $155 MM and gener-
ate tax revenue of $105 MM.
REGASIFICATION OPERATIONS
Once the LNG ship reaches the re-
gasification terminal, the LNG is trans-
ferred via pump to the FSRU. The facility
contains a regasification unit to convert
LNG to its gaseous state. The regasifica-
tion facility sources water from the Rio
de la Plata. There is a large difference in
temperature between the LNG, which is
stored at 162C, and the river water. The
process by which heat is exchanged never
allows the LNG to come into direct con-
tact with the river water.
The water, which cools during the pro-
cess of regasification, is returned to the
river at a distance from the degasification
facility, so as not to affect the overall tem-
perature of the river. The returned water re-
covers its temperature rapidly. During peak
demand, one LNG ship will arrive every
month and will be docked while the LNG
is offloaded over a period of 24 hours. GP
TABLE 2. FSRU technical specications
Storage capacity 170 Mcm263 Mcm
Regasication capacity 10 MMcmd, with possible expansion of 15 MMcmd
Reception capacity of LNG tanks 70 Mcm190 Mcm
Source: Uruguay Ministry of Energy
FIG. 2. Marine port of Montevideo. Photo
courtesy of Universidad de la Repblica.
FIG. 3. GDF Suezs FSRU vessel, Neptune.
Photo courtesy of Hegh LNG.
FIG. 4. Three-dimensional computer rendering
of the GNL del Plata FSRU. Image courtesy
of GDF Suez.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201463
Diversification drives North American
gas processing M&A activity
J. STELL, Contributing Writer
GAS PROCESSING IN NORTH AMERICA
This decades dramatic growth of gas
resources from what used to be consid-
ered unconventional sourcesshale,
mostlymakes one issue perfectly clear:
the increasing need for new, long-lived
infrastructure. New gas processing facili-
ties and systems have become an energy
industry priority. As a result, gas process-
ing owners and operators are looking for
growth through geographical and asset
diversification to serve their exploration
and production (E&P) customers and to
attract and retain investors.
To that end, a number of mergers and
acquisitions (M&A) deals have come
to fruition during the past 12 months,
and the trend is expected to continue,
according to midstream industry guru
Kenny Feng, president and CEO of in-
vestment consultancy Alerian. The com-
pany provides market information de-
signed to help investors make decisions
about master limited partnership (MLP)
investments and energy infrastructure
projects. At present, Alerian has more
than $17 billion (B) directly tied to the
Alerian Index Series through exchange-
traded products, delta one notes, and
separately managed accounts.
We expect interest in gas processing
MLP M&A activity to continue, says
Feng (FIG. 1). The factor which may
temper that would be a function of bid-
ask spread, as sellers seek to take advan-
tage of valuations above the historical
average and buyers seek to be disciplined
in their capital deployment. That might
reduce the likelihood of a lot of deals get-
ting done, but, as far as interest level, I
would say it is fairly high.
The new wave of deals is driven pri-
marily from a market standpoint and
is based on publicly held MLPs, he ex-
plains. The activity is fueled by the MLP
investor market, which is showing value
that comes from economies of scale, and
which is being rewarded by the market
through premium valuation (TABLE 1).
Players that have scale and exposure
to multiple basins are being rewarded
by the markets, both from a financing
perspective, through cheaper debt, and
from an investor perspective, due to li-
quidity in the equity, Feng says. That
will be something that may drive more
of those conversations.
CrosstexDevon merger. One of the
more significant mergers of 2014 oc-
curred on March 10, when Crosstex En-
ergy Inc. officially merged its assets with
Permian basin
Barnett shale
Eagle Ford shale
Miocene-Wilcox
Austin Chalk Tuscaloosa Marine
Haynesville and
Cotton Valley
Cana-Woodford
Arkoma-Woodford
TEXAS
LOUISIANA
OKLAHOMA
Ohio River Valley
Utica
Marcellus
OHIO
P
E
N
N
S
Y
L
V
A
N
I
A
WEST VIRGINIA
Processing
Processing and
fractionation
Fractionator
Condensate stabilizer
Brine disposal well
Rail terminal
Barge terminal
Storage
Crude and brine
truck station
North Texas Pipeline
NGL Parker System
North Texas Gathering
Acacia Pipeline
Bridgeport Gathering System
East Johnson Gathering System
Deadwood Gathering
Mesquite Liquids System
Bearkat Gathering
PNGL-Cajun Sibon Pipeline
PNGL System
ORV Crude Pipeline
Howard Energy
Cana Gathering
Arkoma Northridge Gathering
LIG System
FIG. 2. Crosstex Energy Inc. merged its assets with Devon Energy Corp., creating a new company
called Enlink Midstream LLC.
FIG. 1. Kenny Feng, president and CEO of
Alerian, expects interest in gas processing
MLP M&A activity to continue.
64JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
GAS PROCESSING IN NORTH AMERICA
the midstream assets of Devon Energy
Corp. creating a new company called
Enlink Midstream LLC (FIG. 2). Both
Enlink Midstream and its MLP, Enlink
Midstream Partners, are now trading on
the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
To complete the merger, Crosstex and
Devon combined their gathering, process-
ing, fractionation, transportation and lo-
gistics assets in the Permian, the Cana and
Arkoma Woodford basins, and in the Bar-
nett, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Utica and
Marcellus shale plays. The assets include
7,300 miles (mi) of gathering and trans-
portation pipelines, 12 processing plants,
six fractionators, barge and rail terminals,
product storage facilities, wastewater dis-
posal wells and a crude oil truck fleet.
Almost immediately, the new entity
launched plans to build a 35-mi, 12-inch-
diameter pipeline to carry natural gas out
of the Permian basin. Although the merg-
er is a recent event, it has been a long time
coming, says Feng.
Crosstex attempted to get a trans-
action done with Devon two previous
times, and the third time was the charm.
Crosstex had a relationship with Devon
on the producer side. Certainly, Devon
had its own midstream footprint before
it was transformed into EnLink, but the
deal was driven by the fact that the com-
panies had a previous relationship.
Feng and the analysts at Alerian have
seen a similar level of interest across
other platforms, such as Williams Com-
panies taking a general partnership into
Access Midstream, which was formerly a
Chesapeake business.
Williams Companies. Last year, Wil-
liams completed its investment in previ-
ously privately held Access Midstream
Partners GP LLC, with a total of $2.25
B (including transaction costs) for the
companys investments in the Access
Midstream entities (FIG. 3). That amount
was reduced from the previously report-
ed amount of $2.4 B, primarily due to
Access Midstreams capital-raising activ-
ities and closing adjustments. The deal
gave Williams a 50% interest in Access
Midstreams general partner, which in-
cludes a 2% interest in Access Midstream
and incentive distribution rights.
The deal followed Williams separa-
tion into two standalone, publicly traded
corporations in early 2012. The compa-
nys former exploration and production
business, WPX Energy Inc., began trad-
ing on the NYSE on January 3. The spin-
off was completed with the distribution
of one share of WPX Energy common
TABLE 1. Stock values for gas gathering and processing MLPs and general partners
1
Company
NYSE ticker
symbol
Stock price,
US$
Market cap,
US$
Float adjusted
market cap, US$
Yield,
%
Trailing 30-day
average volume
Access Midstream Partners LP ACMP 63.40 12,779 5,766 3.63 424,835
American Midstream Partners LP AMID 29.23 505 293 6.33 55,742
Atlas Pipeline Partners LP APL 33.40 3,154 2,485 7.43 411,071
Atlas Energy LP ATLS 42.50 2,188 2,062 4.33 587,313
Crestwood Equity Partners LP CEQP 14.86 2,769 1,573 3.70 372,772
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP CMLP 21.96 4,127 3,099 7.47 463,958
DCP Midstream Partners LP DPM 55.22 5,711 4,615 5.40 278,619
Enable Midstream Partners LP ENBL 24.21 10,064 605 4.75 361,451
EnLink Midstream LLC ENLC 41.94 6,858 1,835 1.72 242,890
EnLink Midstream Partners LP ENLK 31.77 7,281 2,903 4.53 484,214
Marlin Midstream Partners LP FISH 20.00 356 143 7.10 41,266
Midcoast Energy Partners LP MEP 21.45 970 455 5.83 118,472
MarkWest Energy Partners LP MWE 64.97 11,301 10,175 5.36 969,692
Targa Resources Partners LP NGLS 68.29 7,675 6,764 4.47 257,034
QEP Midstream Partners LP QEPM 24.89 1,329 572 4.34 57,518
Regency Energy Partners LP RGP 29.01 10,549 8,514 6.62 868,252
Summit Midstream Partners LP SMLP 45.59 2,439 654 4.39 44,837
Southcross Energy Partners LP SXE 18.82 668 368 8.50 102,307
Targa Resources Corp. TRGP 120.40 5,077 4,519 2.15 253,167
Western Gas Partners LP WES 74.69 8,808 4,995 3.35 124,388
Western Gas Equity Partners LP WGP 52.63 11,521 1,009 1.90 78,918
Williams Companies Inc. WMB 47.68 32,633 32,516 3.57 4,578,564
Williams Partners LP WPZ 52.99 24,598 8,430 6.83 564,269
1
All values in table are current as of June 6, 2014.
2
Types are limited partnership (LP) and general partnership (GP).
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201465
GAS PROCESSING IN NORTH AMERICA
stock for every three shares of Williams
common stock.
Today, Williams Partners owns and
operates gas processing and pipeline as-
sets across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi,
offshore Gulf of Mexico, Alabama, Geor-
gia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Vir-
ginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, New York, New Mexico,
Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Ore-
gon and Washington. Its NGL and petro-
chemical services segment extracts, frac-
tionates, treats, stores and sells propane,
propylene, n-butane, isobutene, butylene
and condensate to users in the energy and
petrochemical industries. The companys
Access Midstream Partners segment pro-
vides gas gathering, treating and com-
pression services to multiple producers.
We are seeing a lot more of this type
of activity because the investor market
is rewarding those companies that have
diversified geographic risk, as well as a
diversified exposure to multiple produc-
ers, Feng explains. Thats why we think
that interest in M&A activity is at an ac-
celerated level.
Regency EnergyPVR acquisition.
Like Williams, risk diversification is a
major theme of the recent slate of M&A
activity. For example, Regency Energy
Partners LP recently took the philosophy
to the next level when it acquired crude
and water gathering assets, then a fellow
midstream company, and it now plans to
acquire Eagle Rock Energys assets.
First, on February 3, Regency En-
ergy Partners LP announced that it had
closed its acquisition of the midstream
unit of Hoover Energy Partners LP for a
combination of cash and Regency com-
mon units. Regency issued more than
4 million (MM) Regency common units
to Hoover and funded the cash portion
of the consideration with borrowings
under Regencys revolving credit facility.
The acquisition adds to Regencys
footprint in the Delaware basin in West
Texas and expands its suite of producer
services by adding crude and water-gath-
ering services in one of Regencys core
operating regions. The Hoover assets are
connected to Regencys existing Permian
basin rich gas system.
Then, on March 21, Regency Energy
and PVR Partners LP completed their
merger, which makes Regency one of the
largest independent gas gathering and
processing MLPs in the country. The deal
created a fully integrated midstream part-
nership platform by expanding Regencys
network of gas pipelines and processing
TABLE 1. Stock values for gas gathering and processing MLPs and general partners
1
(cont.)
Main of ce location Tax Type
2
IPO
Most recent quarterly
dividend, US$ General partner
Oklahoma City, OK K-1 LP 7/28/10 0.5750 Williams Companies Inc., Global Infrastructure Partners
Denver, CO K-1 LP 7/26/11 0.4625 ArcLight Capital Partners LLC, American Infrastructure MLP Fund LP
Pittsburgh, PA K-1 LP 1/28/00 0.6200 Atlas Energy LP
Pittsburgh, PA K-1 GP 7/20/06 0.4600 Management
Houston, TX K-1 GP 7/25/01 0.1375 First Reserve Corp.
Houston, TX K-1 LP 12/15/11 0.4100 Crestwood Equity Partners LP
Denver, CO K-1 LP 12/01/05 0.7450 Spectra Energy Corp., Phillips 66
Oklahoma City, OK K-1 LP 4/10/14 0.2875 OGE Energy Corp., CenterPoint Energy Inc.
Dallas, TX 1099 GP 1/12/04 0.1800
Dallas, TX K-1 LP 12/11/02 0.3600 EnLink Midstream LLC
Houston, TX K-1 LP 7/25/13 0.3550 W. Keith Maxwell III
Houston, TX K-1 LP 11/06/13 0.3125 Enbridge Energy Partners LP
Englewood, CO K-1 LP 5/20/02 0.8700 Management
Houston, TX K-1 LP 2/08/07 0.7625 Targa Resources Corp.
Denver, CO K-1 LP 8/08/13 0.2700 QEP Resources Inc.
Dallas, TX K-1 LP 1/30/06 0.4800 Energy Transfer Equity LP
Dallas, TX K-1 LP 9/27/12 0.5000 General Electric Co., Energy Capital Partners
Dallas, TX K-1 LP 11/01/12 0.4000 Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, Management
Houston, TX 1099 GP 12/06/10 0.6475
The Woodlands, TX K-1 LP 5/08/08 0.6250 Western Gas Equity Partners LP
The Woodlands, TX K-1 GP 12/06/12 0.2500 Andarko Petroleum Corp.
Tulsa, OK 1099 GP 10/23/57 0.4250
Tulsa, OK K-1 LP 8/17/05 0.9045 Williams Companies Inc.
66JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
GAS PROCESSING IN NORTH AMERICA
plants in the Granite Wash shale in the
Mid-Continent and adding a strong foot-
print in the Marcellus and Utica shales in
the Appalachia basin, as well as coal and
natural resource properties in the Appala-
chian, Illinois and San Juan basins.
Lastly, on May 27, Regency an-
nounced that it is conducting an exchange
offer and consent solicitation for its pend-
ing acquisition of Eagle Rocks midstream
business. Regencys general partner is
owned by Energy Transfer Equity LP.
Kelcy Warren of Energy Transfer
has long been a proponent of growth
through acquisitions, as evidenced by the
RegencyPVR transaction, says Feng.
At the Energy Transfer Equity LP level,
investors in the stock now own general
partner interests in a number of MLPs,
including Regency, Energy Transfer
Partners LP, Sunoco Logistics Partners
LP, and an LNG MLP that will be filed
later this year.
The MLP market is undergoing bifur-
cation, where investor interest is in low-
yield names with multi-year visibility to
double-digit distribution growth through
asset drop-downs on the one hand, and
high-yield, low-growth value names on
the other hand. Regency is one of the
few MLPs with an above-average yield
and visibility to above-average growth,
explains Feng.
Income-oriented investors will be at-
tracted to Regencys above-average yield,
and distribution growth is expected to
be comparable to the industry average.
If management is able to integrate the
newly acquired assets well over the next
several quarters, then concerns about ex-
ecution risk should decrease and investor
interest should grow.
Philosophy and financial position.
Each companys M&A strategy will de-
pend on its unique situation, Feng says.
The factors that are likely to determine
interest in deal-making are a companys
management team, its growth philoso-
phy, and what it needs to do to continue
its forward momentum.
A higher-growth company, like Ac-
cess Midstream, for example, at least at
the LP level, might be less inclined to do
acquisitions because they already have a
significant growth platform organically.
They are not looking for ways to move
the needle from an idle position, so to
speak, says Feng.
While management philosophy is a
significant driver of M&A activity, equal-
ly important is the strength of the com-
panys underlying business, says Feng. If a
particular companys distribution growth
is going to be muted over the near term,
it might have to acquire a higher-growth
platform from a third party to get that
distribution growth number back into a
place where it will interest investors.
The third significant factor that drives
M&A activity is the basin issue, says
Feng. If a company is not in a particular
basin, it will probably need to acquire, to
think about M&A activity, to get a foot
in the door. Thats what we saw with the
WilliamsCaiman deal several years ago.
The same holds true for the Castle-
tonAnadarko asset deal, which gave
Castleton a larger footprint in a signifi-
cant market.
WilliamsCaiman acquisition. In
2012, Williams Partners spent $2.5 B to
acquire Caiman Energys wholly owned
subsidiary, Caiman Eastern Midstream
LLC. Williams funded the purchase price
of the acquisition with a combination of
$1.78 B in cash and the issuance to Cai-
man of approximately 11.8 MM Williams
Partners common units valued at approx-
imately $720 MM.
Williams made an additional invest-
ment in Williams Partners of $1 B to fa-
cilitate the acquisition, and it purchased
16.3 MM Williams Partners limited part-
ner units. The company also agreed to
temporarily waive the general partner in-
centive distributions through 2013, with
respect to the limited partner units to be
issued to Caiman and Williams, and it
completed the acquisition in the second
quarter of 2012.
The acquisition provided Williams
with a significant footprint and growth
potential in the liquids-rich portion of
the Marcellus shale. Caiman Eastern
Midstream was an independent gathering
and processing business in West Virginia,
Pennsylvania and Ohio that included a
gathering system, two processing facili-
ties and a fractionator.
Immediately after the sale, Williams
began planning expansions to the gather-
ing system, processing facilities and the
fractionator, and it also planned an eth-
ane pipeline. At the time of the transac-
tion, the assets were anchored by long-
term contracted commitments, including
236,000 dedicated gathering acres from
10 producers in West Virginia, Ohio and
Pennsylvania, and processing commit-
ments in place of 100 MMcfd (FIG. 4).
CastletonAnadarko asset acquisition.
While many gas processors consider geo-
graphical diversification, other companies
consider portfolio diversification to be at-
tractive to investors and to the M&A mar-
ket. One example is Castleton Commodi-
ties International LLC (CCI), which has
a highly diversified energy portfolio. Cas-
tleton was formerly called Louis Dreyfus
Highbridge Energy.
In May, the privately held US com-
modities merchant acquired a gas pro-
cessing plant in Kirtland, New Mexico,
and about 225 mi of gas gathering pipe-
lines. The seller was Anadarko Petroleum
Corp. The San Juan plant has a capacity
of 75 MMcfd and can process sour gas
and recover NGL through its 20-MMcfd
cryogenic processing unit. About 150 mi
of its 225 mi of gathering pipelines con-
nect into CCIs existing Lisbon gas plant.
The acquisition was a logical expansion
of the companys existing upstream and
midstream assets in Colorado, Utah and
New Mexico.
Elsewhere, the company owns the
Cyrus River terminal on the Big Sandy
River in Kenova, West Virginia, which is
a blending terminal where 5 million tons
per year (MMtpy) of coal are aggregated,
stored and blended to higher specifica-
tions, and then loaded on barges and
trucks. The facility has over 1 MM tons
of surface storage and a fleet capacity of
13 barges. It can load one barge per hour,
and can load 50 (and unload 340) trucks
per day. Castleton also owns the Slones
Branch terminal in Pike County, Ken-
FIG. 3. Williams Companies, which owns
the Willow Creek facility (pictured) in the
Piceance basin of western Colorado through
its subsidiary Williams Partners, gained a
50% interest in Access Midstream Ventures
LLC in 2013.
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201467
GAS PROCESSING IN NORTH AMERICA
tucky, which is another coal-blending ter-
minal with a capacity of 3 MMtpy of coal.
The terminal can load 110 to 135 car unit
trains in four hours.
In addition to gas processing and
coal, Castleton has interests in power
generation. It owns the Wichita Falls co-
generation plant, a 77-megawatt (MW)
electric-power-generation facility that
supplies power to the Electric Reliabil-
ity Council of Texas (ERCOT) market
during periods of peak demand and/or
supply volatility. It also owns the Rensse-
laer cogeneration plant near Albany, New
York, which is an 80-MW combined-cy-
cle electric power-generation facility that
interconnects to the New York Indepen-
dent System Operator (NYISO) in Zone
F. Just north of New York City, Castleton
owns Roseton, a 1,210-MW facility ca-
pable of running on both natural gas and
fuel oil. The facility supplies power to the
NYISO Zone G market.
In its upstream portfolio, Castleton has
Paradox basin upstream and midstream
assets in the Four Corners region of Utah
and Colorado. The assets consist of 180
oil and gas wells and 150,000 net acres in
mineral leases, as well as a midstream gas
processing facility and a 262-mi gas gath-
ering system. The companys Robinsons
Bend field is in the Black Warrior basin
in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, and in-
cludes more than 500 gas wells and about
44,400 net acres in mineral leases.
QEP asset dropdown. Yet, not all gas
processing M&A is via unrelated compa-
nies. Often, parent companies and general
partners drop down assets into their asso-
ciated MLPs. Recently, QEP Midstream
Partners LP acquired 40% of the out-
standing membership interest in Green
River Processing LLC for $230 MM from
QEP Field Services Co., a wholly owned
subsidiary of QEP Resources Inc. The
transaction represented the partnerships
first acquisition following its initial public
offering (IPO) in August 2013.
Green River Processing owns four
processing plants with total processing
capacity of 890 MMcfd and a fraction-
ation capacity of 15,000 bpd. The sys-
tem includes interconnections to six in-
terstate natural gas pipelines and direct
pipeline access to the Mont Belvieu and
Conway NGL markets. In 2013, total in-
let volumes for Green River Processing
were 201 MMBtu, of which 65% were
processed under fee-based processing
agreements and 35% were processed un-
der keep-whole processing agreements.
QEP Midstream Partners is in a
unique place, says Feng. The formation
of the company itself was driven by share-
holder interest in enhancing the value of
the parent through the isolation of mid-
stream assets from the rest of the com-
panys base business. Weve also seen that
on the refining side, where several refiners
have recently created their own logistics
subsidiary MLPs, such as PBF Logistics
LP, MPLX LP, or Phillips 66 Partners LP.
The same is true for QEP, he says,
which is an E&P company with a signifi-
cantly sized midstream subsidiary, QEP
Field Services. Its just the reverse of
what Williams Companies did, explains
Feng. In Williams case, they spun off
their E&P subsidiary, WPX Energy, and
WMB became a pure-play general part-
ner. The same thing is happening with
QEP, except in reverse. The remaining
entity is QEP, the E&P company, and it
will spin off the field services business,
which will retain the general partnership
interest in the subsidiary QEPM.
This speaks to a trend that began
many years ago at a measured pace but
is now accelerating, which is that energy
Fort McMurray
Redwater
Markham
Conway
Opal
Parachute
Ignacio
Mitchell
Conway West
Conway East
Kutz
Willow Creek
Aux Sable
Echo Springs
Geismar
Milagro
Mobile Bay
GA A244
Canyon Station
GI 115
Devil's Tower
Blue Racer
Paradis
LaRose
Port Allen
Chemical plant
Fractionator*
Gas plant
Ofshore platform
Underground storage
Susquehanna supply hub
Canada
Discovery*
Four Corners area
East Gulf Coast
West Gulf Coast
Gulfstream*
Gulf olens
Laurel Mountain Midstream
Overland Pass pipeline
Northwest pipeline
Ohio Valley Midstream
Piceance
Purity pipelines
Southwest Wyoming
Transco
Wamsutter
ACMP**
Blue Racer**
*Partially owned **Partially owned and not operated by Williams
San Juan
Anadarko
Appalachian
Ardmore
Marietta
Arkoma
Cherokee
Platform
TX-LA-MS
Salt
Fort
Worth
Marfa
Permian
Paradox
Uinta-Piceance Denver
Powder River
Western
Gulf
San
Joaquin
Raton
Rocky Mountain
Foothills
FIG. 4. Williams Partners continues to grow its US asset base.
68JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
GAS PROCESSING IN NORTH AMERICA
companies with a non-midstream-base
business that have midstream assets are
isolating those assets to enhance value at
the parent company, either due to share-
holder activities or to an internal review
of how to drive the companys valuation
higher, says Feng.
North American renaissance. Even as
M&A players eye other US companies
and their assets on the market, many of
those same companies are looking across
the border for deals that might be a good
fit in their portfolios, or for potential
buyers of unwanted companies and as-
sets, or for sellers. According to Feng,
this trend will, and should, continue.
We launched an energy infrastruc-
ture index in 2013 that includes both
Canadian and US names from a bench-
marking standpoint, he says. The rea-
son we did that is really because we think
more and more people are realizing how
integrated are the US and Canadian sto-
ries. The industry talks a lot about the
US energy renaissance, but what we re-
ally mean to say is the North American
renaissance.
Feng sees an interconnectivity of en-
ergy synergies across the border, and says
the issues that affect the energy industry
in one country will noticeably affect the
interests of the other.
We are really starting to see that now.
MLPs are taking an interest in assets
across the border because they realize
that there is a knowledge base from own-
ing US assets that helps them in Canada,
as opposed to buying assets on a com-
pletely different continent. For the US
and Canada, there is a lot of overlap in
terms of how the dynamics of one affect
the other. So, whether it is Keyera Corp.
or the Canadian companies in general, I
think we will continue to see that.
KeyeraWhitecap. On March 17 of this
year, Keyera Corp. entered into an agree-
ment with Whitecap Resources Inc. to
acquire ownership interests in processing
assets in west-central Alberta, Canada,
and in the associated oil and gas reserves
for $113 MM. Whitecap initially acquired
the assets as part of a larger transaction.
As part of the agreement, Keyera will
acquire an 85% ownership interest in the
West Pembina 6-28 gas plant (known
as the Cynthia gas plant); varying own-
ership interests in certain oil batteries,
compressors and gathering pipelines as-
sociated with the Cynthia gas plant; and
a 4.6% ownership interest in the Bigoray
gas plant. These acquisitions will bring
Keyeras ownership in the facility to
100%. Keyera will also gain some Nisku
reserves that are presently tied into the
Cynthia and Bigoray gas plants.
The Cynthia gas plant has a licensed
capacity of 78 MMcfd and is located
in west-central Alberta, near Keyeras
Pembina North, Brazeau North and
Bigoray gas plants. The plant has a tur-
boexpander capable of extracting a deep
cut of ethane-rich NGL (C
2
+
mix) from
the raw gas stream. The plant also has an
acid gas injection facility that enables it
to handle sour gas. Current throughput
is 46 MMcfd and is largely made up of
associated gas and NGL from Nisku oil
production in the area.
Keyeras business is principally in
Canada, but they have dabbled a bit on
the US side as well, says Feng. They are
going to be very choosey if they make a
bigger splash in the US market. If a US
company is going across the border the
other way, its the same idea. US compa-
nies are not going to want to put a lot of
resources at that level of geographic dis-
tance unless they find something that re-
ally makes strategic sense.
CentricaQPI. Elsewhere in Canada, a
Canadian-to-Canadian swap occurred as
CQ Energy Canada Partnership (CQE),
the joint venture between Centrica and
Qatar Petroleum International (QPI),
agreed to acquire a package of natural gas
assets in the Foothills region of Alberta
from Shell Canada Energy for $45 MM.
As part of the transaction, Shell will re-
ceive CQEs interest in the Burnt Timber
gas processing plant and its interest in the
Waterton undeveloped lands in south-
west Alberta. CQE estimates that the
assets to be acquired have proven plus
probable reserves of 90 Bcfe and will in-
crease the partnerships production in the
region by approximately 24 MMcfed.
Future of M&A. With selective M&A
activity taking place between the US and
Canada, can Mexicos companies and as-
sets be far behind the deal flow? Maybe,
says Feng.
Mexico is a more recent part of the
conversation, because its energy reforms
have only taken place over the course of
the past year. We could see US compa-
nies engage in strategic transactions with
Pemex, the Mexican state-owned petro-
leum company, or they could go in and
bid for projects on their own. You may
see bigger names like Kinder Morgan, for
example, choose the latter route. From
a macro standpoint, we will continue to
see a lot more integration across the con-
tinent in a way that hasnt been as much
the case until recent years, Feng says.
To what does all this deal activity speak?
Its obviously just an interest in midstream
in general, says Feng. Whether its gas
processing or other parts of the midstream
value chain, I think it speaks to the fact
that investors can participate in the energy
renaissance beyond just the producers.
The shale plays are driving interest in
midstream. There are some who prefer in-
vesting in the higher-risk, higher-reward
upstream companies. However, there are
other energy investors that are looking
for a balance of income and growth. An
investment in the midstream sub-sector,
generally speaking, is exactly that, and
its a way to participate in the long-term
buildout of North American energy in-
frastructure. The companies also see that
the production boom is expected to last
for many years, and thats contributing to
M&A interest, Feng explains.
Interest in energy infrastructure grew
at a slow and steady rate for the first 20
years after the Tax Reform Act of 1986,
says Feng. But, given historical returns,
the energy renaissance and interest in
yield and real assets, midstream is no lon-
ger an emerging asset class. GP
... The investor market is rewarding those companies
that have diversified geographic risk, as well as
a diversified exposure to multiple producers.
Thats why we think that interest in M&A activity
is at an accelerated level.
WHATS NEW IN GAS PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY
H. MECHE, Associate Editor
Gas Processing|JULY/AUGUST 201469
Metal loss measurement in remote locations
Permasenses integrity-
monitoring systems use sensor
technology to continuously monitor
metal wall thickness and deliver
high-integrity data from remote
and inhospitable environments.
The quality and frequency of the
measurements enable detection
of corrosion and erosion activity
before failure occurs.
The systems are suited for
offshore applications, negating the
need to send inspection personnel
into hazardous situations offshore,
and providing data to the desks
of integrity/operations engineers,
either on the platform or on land.
The marine version of the nonintrusive wall-thickness monitoring sensor features standard or compact form
factors (the compact form factor sensor offers a height from the pipe wall of only 200 mm), metal components
made of duplex steel for increased resistance, a tip seal to protect pipe from external corrosion at the pipe-
sensor contact area, an IP67 rating and flexible sensor mounting solutions.
Permasense systems monitor sand erosion in offshore gas production facilitiesa particularly valuable
application, as unpredictable sand content can erode platform pipework. High erosion rates can occur in areas
of high velocity or with sudden changes in flow direction. In gas production platforms, this is usually directly
after the choke, where the flowrate is increased; on the outside radius of bends; or just downstream of bends,
especially straight after the choke or downstream of blind tees.
www.permasense.com
Analyzer
continuously
measures
hydrocarbons
GOW-MAC Instrument
Co.s Series 2300 total
hydrocarbon analyzer is a
2,300-microprocessor-controlled
instrument for continuously
measuring concentrations of
hydrocarbons. Using an optional
catalytic methanizer, it can
measure carbon monoxide and
carbon dioxide in gas streams.
The analyzer uses a flame
ionization detector (FID) where
ionized carbon atoms are
produced when burned in a
hydrogen flame. Ionized atoms
are detected and displayed as
parts-per-million (ppm) or parts-
per-billion (ppb) concentrations
on a high-resolution LCD
touchscreen. An accompanying
membrane keypad enables
straightforward navigation
through settings and functions.
The instrument operates on
either zero-grade hydrogen (H
2
),
a 40% or 60% H
2
/nitrogen mix, or
a 40% or 60% H
2
/helium mix. It
features auto ranging from 0 ppm
to 20,000 ppm; auto zero and
auto calibration; programmable
relays for concentration alarms,
events and diagnostics; electronic
flow control of air, fuel and
sample gas; real-time data
logging; a flame-out indicator
with auto shutoff of gases for
safety; an array of optional output
capabilities; USB and Ethernet;
and MODBUS and PROFINET
(read-only) communication
protocols. Samples can be
introduced by an optional internal
pump or by pressurized tanks.
www.gow-mac.com
Gas lter lines
handle high
pressure
Xebec Adsorption Inc.s
three new X-Series filter lines
accommodate pressure ranges up
to 290 pounds per square inch
(psig), 725 psig and 6,000 psig
(20 barg, 50 barg and 420 barg).
The X-Series has been
performance-validated according
to International Organization
of Standardization (ISO) 8573
quality standards and ISO 12500
test methods by Institut fr
Energie-und Umwelttechnik eV, an
independent verification body.
www.xebecinc.com
Pressure transmitter reduces energy use
Newgate Instruments multivariable pressure transmitter (MVT), the JT400, uses
five times less energy than traditional MVTs. The JT400 transmitter is reportedly the only
MVT with an integrated autonomous power system contained within an explosion-proof
housing. It can operate for up to 12 years without requiring a battery change, and the
solar-powered JT400 version can operate up to 200 days without sunlight.
The JT400 transmitter logs data of 15-minute averages up to 30 days for
periodic transmission or local download. Additionally, it maintains industry-leading
performance accuracy, is the only MVT to offer a local USB port for convenient data
download, is compatible with all pipeline equipment, and can be installed to replace
any existing transmitter or on new natural gas wells.
www.newgateinstruments.com
Complete portable
emissions analyzer
The E5500 combustion
analyzer provides emissions
monitoring for regulatory and
maintenance use in boiler, burner,
engine, turbine, furnace and
other combustion applications.
The complete portable tool also
includes electrochemical gas
sensors (O
2
, CO, NO, NO
2
, SO
2
)
and is low-nitrogen-oxides (NO
x
)
and total-NO
x
capable.
It has a real-time PC
software package with wireless
communications, along with other
features, including a wireless
remote printer; external water-trap
assembly; stack gas and ambient
air temperature measurements;
draft and differential pressure
measurements; and calculated
values for efficiency, excess air
and CO
2
%.
www.E-Inst.com
Blowers safely handle corrosive/
explosive gases
AMETEK Precision Motion
Controls ROTRON Chem-Tough
regenerative (side-channel)
blowers safely handle corrosive
and/or potentially explosive
gases. The blowers operate in
environmentally challenging,
chemically corrosive and
potentially hazardous conditions,
including methane extraction and flaring.
The blowers use regenerative air technology to develop proper air
pressures and vacuums. This is accomplished without the higher energy
and maintenance costs associated with larger multistage or positive-
displacement blowers and compressors. An extensive product range
allows users to achieve ideal flows, pressures and vacuums.
Rugged construction features include nickel-plated components
and 303 stainless steel motor shafts and hardware. Custom seals ensure
leak containment. Use of low-friction polymers provides permanent
dry lubricity. The blowers low-noise, high-efficiency aerodynamics are
achieved through its lower-speed alternating-current induction motors.
These ATEX-certified, explosion-proof motors are designed for harsh
environments, and they are available in all international voltages.
www.ametektip.com
WHATS NEW IN GAS PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY
H. MECHE, Associate Editor
70JULY/AUGUST 2014|GasProcessingNews.com
Protect LNG transport assets against spills, res
Gas transported as LNG is typically stored at temperatures of 260F.
Steel becomes brittle at roughly 22F, exposing the transport asset
to cracks, corrosion and potential cryogenic spills. Any type of spillage
caused by this process, if the LNG is vaporized, can create a potential fire
risk. Syntactic epoxy insulation offers protection against cryogenic liquid
contact. This epoxy binder system is filled with insulating microspheres,
which are typically wet-applied by hand or spray.
Sherwin-Williams FIRETEX M89/02 is a seamless, high-solids epoxy-
resin-based insulative epoxy. It was developed to provide protection against both cryogenic/LNG spillage and
hydrocarbon fires, and it can be used at operating temperatures from cryogenic to 300F. The insulative epoxy
has been tested for freeze-thaw cycling, impact resistance, flexibility, compressive strength and adhesion, as
well as for resistance to saltwater and freshwater immersion.
Ongoing testing by Sherwin-Williams revealed no breakdown of coating in large-scale testing. FIRETEX
M89/02 epoxy was proven to withstand a cryogenic spill simulation in which systems were immersed in liquid
nitrogen and then hydrocarbon fire-tested per UL 1709 for 60 minutes.
FIRETEX M89/02 epoxy can be used in conjunction with the FIRETEX M90 Series epoxy to provide
protection against hydrocarbon and jet fire following a cryogenic spill.
www.protective.sherwin-williams.com
Enclosed combustors are environmentally compliant
As a result of interviews with its major shale play clients, AEREON developed its Quad-O Design Enclosed
Combustor (QDEC) as a solution to meet demands for an environmentally compliant line of combustors. The
QDEC is a completely smokeless system, offering quiet operation with no visible flame, reducing emissions to
comply with New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) Subpart OOOO.
The system does not require electrical, steam or assist gas utilities to achieve smokeless performance.
Also, with low power consumption and an optional solar-powered ignition panel with nine-day battery backup
support, the QDEC offers reliability in remote installations.
www.AEREON.com
Bret Ronk, Publisher
Phone: +1 (713) 520-4421
Fax: +1 (713) 520-4421
E-mail: Bret.Ronk@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
www.GasProcessingNews.com
SALES OFFICESNORTH AMERICA
IL, LA, MO, OK, TX
Josh Mayer
Phone: +1 (972) 816-6745
Fax: +1 (972) 767-4442
E-mail: Josh.Mayer@GulfPub.com
AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, ID,
IN, IA, KS, KY, MI, MN, MS, MT, NE, NV, NM,
ND, OR, SD, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY,
WESTERN CANADA
Ryan Akbar
Phone: +1 (713) 520-4449
Fax: +1 (713) 520-4449
E-mail: Ryan.Akbar@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ,
NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT, WV,
EASTERN CANADA
Merrie Lynch
Phone: +1 (617) 357-8190
Fax: +1 (617) 357-8194
Mobile: +1 (617) 594-4943
E-mail: Merrie.Lynch@GulfPub.com
DATA PRODUCTS
Lee Nichols
Phone/Fax: +1 (713) 525-4626
E-mail: Lee.Nichols@GulfPub.com
SALES OFFICESEUROPE
FRANCE, GREECE, NORTH AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST,
SPAIN, PORTUGAL, SOUTHERN
BELGIUM, LUXEMBOURG, SWITZERLAND,
GERMANY, AUSTRIA, TURKEY
Catherine Watkins
Tl.: +33 (0)1 30 47 92 51
Fax: +33 (0)1 30 47 92 40
E-mail: Watkins@GulfPub.com
ITALY, EASTERN EUROPE
Fabio Potest
Mediapoint & Communications SRL
Phone: +39 (010) 570-4948
Fax: +39 (010) 553-0088
E-mail: Fabio.Potesta@GulfPub.com
UNITED KINGDOM/SCANDINAVIA,
NORTHERN BELGIUM, THE NETHERLANDS
Michael Brown
Phone: +44 161 440 0854
Mobile: +44 79866 34646
E-mail: Michael.Brown@GulfPub.com
SALES OFFICESOTHER AREAS
CHINAHong Kong
Iris Yuen
Phone: +86 13802701367, (China)
Phone: +852 69185500, (Hong Kong)
E-mail: Iris.Yuen@GulfPub.com
INDIA
Manav Kanwar
Phone: +91-22-2837 7070/71/72
Fax: +91-22-2822 2803
Mobile: +91-98673 67374
E-mail: India@GulfPub.com
JAPANTokyo
Yoshinori Ikeda
Pacific Business Inc.
Phone: +81 (3) 3661-6138
Fax: +81 (3) 3661-6139
E-mail: Japan@GulfPub.com
ADVERTISER INDEX
Ametek Process Instruments .......................... 5
Ariel Corporation .............................................. 14
BASF Corporation........................................C38
Bryan Research & Engineering .......................11
Chart ....................................................................... 2
Cobey .................................................................. 30
DMG EventsGas Asia Summit ................... 20
Dresser-Rand ..................................................... 18
Exterran ................................................................17
Gulf Publishing Company
EventsECF ....................................................32
EventsGasPro ...............................................31
US Gas Processing Plant Directory ......... 43
Jonell, Inc .............................................................13
KP Engineering ...................................................71
Linde AG ................................................................9
Paqell ...................................................................... 7
Pentair ..................................................................72
Select Engineering ........................................... 19
Siirtec Nigi SpA ..................................................12
SKF Group ...........................................................47
World Gas Conference ....................................27
This index and procedure for securing additional information are
provided as a service to advertisers and a convenience to our readers.
Gulf Publishing Company is not responsible for omissions or errors.
System inspects
tank welds swiftly
The Applus RTD Rayscan
Tankscan, a real-time digital
radiographic inspection system,
enables a full inspection of LNG
storage tank welds in a single-
scan movement, producing an
image of each weld. No film
chemical processing is required,
and a steady scanning system is
used for dynamic examination.
The system is suitable for
both horizontal and vertical
welds, and its rigid frame helps
maintain alignment between
the X-ray source and the digital
line detector. This process offers
savings by reducing both time
spent on the examination of
each weld and the number of
operators required.
The product has been
designed to avoid vibrations,
with a rigid frame and support
wheels. A safe working distance
of only 3 m from the frame is also
achieved with a protective shield
that surrounds the X-ray source,
beam and detector.
www.applusrtd.com
SEPARATION
ANXIETY?

YOU CAN RELAX


An efficient, high performing separation and filtration
process is critical. Critical to your safety measures. Critical
to your environmental footprint. Critical to your capital and
operational costs.
Pentairs high performance separation capabilities include
Liquid-Gas, Solid-Gas, Liquid-Liquid, Solid-Liquid and
Extractive Separations. We offer complete skidded systems
to existing vessel upgrades and turnkey rental equipment for
faster delivery.
Technology. Service. Results.
(936) 788-1000
www.pentairseparations.com