Offshore production facilities utilize a variety of process heating equipment to start production and operate efficiently. Applications include glycol reboiling, oil and gas conditioning, knock-out drum heating, molecular sieve regeneration, sea or potable water, and fuel/lube oil maintenance. Fuel-fired solutions for these applications present many challenges in regards to start-up time, operating efficiency, safety, and environmental impacts. A new technology regarding medium voltage (MV) electric heating elements and MV thyristor control technology exists as a solution for high powered process heating applications in the oil & gas and petrochemical industry.

Medium voltage electric heating technology is capable of controlling process streams to +/-1°C for very large power output and can operate on voltages up to 7,200 Volts. Medium voltage electric heating technology opens the door for new solutions to eliminate local emissions, improve on operational efficiency, and allow for greater process flexibility through the use of clean, efficient, emissions-free electric heating.

The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, the paper provides a summary to industry experts regarding the latest design methods and test results regarding second-generation MV heating systems. It will be important to gather questions and recommendations for additional research and development of such systems from the conference and apply them to future work.

Second, this paper also highlights several case studies regarding the reduction in installation and operational costs, as well as the positive impact on footprint, weight, and safety for an offshore facility. Lab data, original analysis, and third party testing results will be presented as a means of educating the audience and to provide a model for industry standards regarding this new technology.

Finally, medium voltage electric heating technology opens the door for completely new solutions in downhole, subsea and offshore heating, especially with regard to hydrate prevention and flow assurance.

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