Abstract

The valorization of the natural gas associated to oil production presents various complexities especially if applied to aging infrastructures. Solutions developed in full integration and supporting synergies with the existing assets are therefore necessary to secure the proper technical and economic viability.

This paper covers, by providing some selected examples, the integration of natural gas valorization systems into existing hydrocarbon production sites.

In this regard, the main emphasis is placed on the actions that contribute to the overall plant efficiency and better integrate the new system within the existing premises.

During the plant life cycle is necessary to adjust the operating conditions of some critical links of the production chain. In this case the upgrade of rotating and process equipment can be sufficient to fix inefficiencies that may result in a lower throughput, increase of waste and gas flaring.

The moderate quantity of natural gas extracted often limits the economic viability of a gas valorization system. For this reason, solutions integrated into the existing processes are preferred for the benefit of the overall plant efficiency. Gas valorization in aging fields is a good example to describe the trade-off between minimal production revitalization and new economic sustainability.

Finally, certain plants present specific complexities such as space and structural constraints with limited options for plant expansion. In these cases, dedicated execution approaches like modularization can be a viable solution.

Introduction

The rising need of energy efficiency and the evolution of regulatory on emission control increase the attractiveness for unused gas valorization [1]. This trend applies mainly to natural gas associated to oil extraction. In this environment, oil & gas field operators need to face several challenges such as:

  • the reduction of production losses and a good utilization of the well production

  • the growing cultural awareness for environmental issues

  • the larger diffusion of carbon tax

  • the maturity of existing production sites and relevant changes in production parameters

  • capex control for brownfield equipment rejuvenation

  • low impact on plant lay-out and space constraints

  • process integration and lean plant operations

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.