Abstract

The West Whitecourt Project represents a scheme devised to obtain production from three sour gas reservoirs, to optimize hydrocarbon condensate recoveries and to coincidently produce sulphur consistent with market demand. Considerables our gas processing experience has been obtained in two and one-half years of Windfall Pilot Cycling Plant operations and an additional two years ofoperations in the enlarged West Whitecourt Plant. The installation of over12,000 BHP for the compression of extremely sour gases has indicated the attainment of a fair degree of compressor dependability, with due consideration to compressor material selection and design, modified operating techniques, and scheduled maintenance and repair programs. Unique plant design features include refrigeration of the sour gas stream prior to sweetening, the installation of asolid desiccant adsorption unit on the residue gas stream, and dehydration ofthe stabilization units' 50 per cent H2S, 190°F overhead vapours with a solid desiccant unit. Corrosion, resulting either directly or indirectly from sour gases in the process streams, has been maintained within tolerablelimits using appropriate corrosion-resistant materials, material stress relieving, optimum operating techniques and corrosion inhibitors.

Introduction

The Windfall Field, located about 20 miles west of the town of Whitecourt, Alberta, was discovered in 1955. This was followed shortly thereafter by the discovery of the Pine Creek and Beaver Creek fields, 25 miles southwest of Windfall. Figure 1 shows the proximity of the fields to the towns of Whitecourt and Edson and other key transportation arteries of the West White court Project. All discoveries were on a million-acre block of leases held jointly by Canadian Fina Oil, Ltd., Hudson's Bay Oil & Gas Company and PanAmerican Petroleum Corporation. Early in 1958, construction of the Windfall Pilot Cycling Plant began, and this plant was started up in July of 1959. Itwas designed to process 30 MMcf/D of Windfall well effluent, stabilize there covered liquids to produce a condensate product and reinject the gases back into the reservoir.

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